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Department of Military Science (ROTC) Prospective Cadets


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What is Army ROTC?

The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program is a 4 year college curriculum which produces over 70% of the Officers for the Regular Army, the Army Reserves and the Army National Guard. Admission is open to all college students who meet the mental, moral, and physical qualifications who attend James Madison University, or one our partnership schools, Blue Ridge Community College or Bridgewater College. Education goes beyond the classroom as it is designed to provide students with the basic concepts and principles of military art and science while developing the student's leadership, personal integrity, honor, responsibility, and appreciation for national security. These objectives establish a sound basis for future professional development and effective performance as commissioned Officers in the U.S. Army.

The JMU Army ROTC program is dynamic, exciting and challenging, yet still flexible enough to accommodate your needs. All aspects of a student's environment are addressed including the academic, physical, extracurricular, social and interpersonal. The Army ROTC program at JMU is one of the finest in the nation and has consistently been ranked in the top 5 percent of more than 270 ROTC programs in the nation.  We currently have about 130 students, 60 percent male, 40 percent female. 

Students participating in Army ROTC have the opportunity to join clubs and organizations around campus to broaden their experiences during college. As a member of the Duke Battalion, you can also participate in the Color Guard, Ranger Group, Cannon Crew, and the Army 10 Miler Team.

Your academic course of instruction is our primary concern. We offer a 43-hour minor program in addition to lots of exciting training. Students may choose any academic major program of study, and participate in ROTC in conjunction with that program. The military science course of study is in addition to the student’s normal academic program of study. Many departments offer elective credit for taking military science courses. The Army ROTC program at JMU has been an integral part of campus life since January 1974. In December 1979, the ROTC program achieved full-time status and has been growing stronger ever since. Come join us and discover why!

CADETS are students who have been determined eligible for and are enrolled in the ROTC program (class and lab).  CADETS must complete the ROTC enrollment paperwork (as listed below under 'Required Documentation for ROTC Enrollment'), and can compete to contract into the program.  Upon meeting all contracting requirements, CADETS can contract and move into the Advance Course (300-400 level curriculum).  

STUDENTS are those who are enrolled in the military science classes but are ineligible to contract. A STUDENT may be deemed ineligible to contract because they refuse to fill out the ROTC enrollment paperwork, do not meet the medical standards to commission, or just want to take the classes for extra electives and leadership training to help them in their civilian careers. STUDENTS (as defined in this paragraph) are never enrolled in the Advanced Course (MSCI 300 or 400 level courses).

How to Join the Duke Battalion

The 100 and 200 level Military Science courses (Basic Course) are open to Freshmen and Sophomore students (and select Juniors/Seniors by exception) at James Madison University and at our partnership schools. If you are not currently enrolled in a military science course, and want to enroll for the upcoming semester, contact the Recruiting Operations Officer for information about which classes are appropriate for you based on your current academic status.  Typically, incoming Freshman students will enroll in MSCI 101 (2 credit lecture) and MSCI 100 (2 credit leadership lab).  This begins the progression through the Professional Military Education curriculum needed in order to complete the requirements to commission.  There is no military obligation by enrolling in the 100 or 200 level classes.

You must be contracted in order to enroll into the Advanced Course (300 and 400 level military science classes).

The Military Science 300 and 400 level courses are limited to contracted CADETS only, who have completed the basic course requirements (or equivalent, ie. prior service) and are contracted in ROTC according to Army regulations.

Partnership Schools - Our partnership schools include Bridgewater College and Blue Ridge Community College. Students attending one of our partnership schools can enroll in ROTC through the JMU Outreach and Engagement office as a non-degree seeking student. These classes are paid for by the students.  Partnership school students attend all training at JMU while attending their respective college as a full time student. BRCC students can transfer to JMU after their sophomore year, and BWC students graduate from BWC and commission from JMU.  Because each student is different depending on their academic level, contact the Recruiting Operations Officer for more information about which enrollment option is best for you.  The most important aspect of enrolling in ROTC is making sure that you are aligned correctly with the required military science classes and your academic plan based on your major. 

There is no military obligation for taking the 100 and 200 level courses. 


If you are an incoming freshman (admitted to JMU, BWC, or BRCC) and are not on an Army ROTC scholarship when enrolling in classes at JMU, all you need to do is enroll in the MSCI 101 and MSCI 100 classes upon registering for classes for the FALL semester.  If you are an ROTC scholarship winner, you will be notified by the Recruiting Officer about which class sections to enroll in.  Enrolling in the basic military science classes is the first step in joining ROTC.  You must meet all other eligibility criteria in order to be a full contracted Cadet, and on your way to becoming a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army upon graduation.


Contact the Recruiting Operations Officer for information about which classes to enroll in upon entering JMU based on your academic level.


JMU’s nursing program develops the skills and inner- strength necessary to succeed in today’s health profession.  Army ROTC enhances your undergraduate or graduate nursing education by providing the unique leadership and management training, along with the practical experience needed for success. In doing this, we increase that inner-strength while also developing the outer strength necessary to provide outstanding health care to service members and their families, at home and abroad, in times of peace and war.

Based on our well established relationship with the JMU School of Nursing, the Army has charged our program with a Nurse Commission mission which reflects the quality and professionalism of the Duke Battalion and the Nursing Cadets who graduate from JMU, providing the Army with well training and confident Army Nurses who serve in the Nurse Corps around the world.

JMU Army ROTC Nursing presentation

Nursing Scholarships are available to those who qualify.  Find out more information about the Army ROTC Nursing Program.

Basic Camp (for basic course credit)

If you're a current sophomore (or graduate students with at least 2 years remaining in college) and have not taken any military science courses, there is a way you can make up for not taking any 100 or 200 level military science courses.  Eligible applicants can apply to attend the Basic Camp during the summer prior to your junior year.  The course is 29 days long at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  Basic Camp exposes college students to the individual military and leadership skills which will help them integrate into the Advanced Course for the MS III year (300 level).   If you're interested in learning more about Basic Camp, contact the Recruiting Operations Officer, or go to to find out more.  Based on performance and scholarship availability, Basic Camp scholarships are available to those students who complete the course and commit to contracting into ROTC. Basic Camp slots are limited to selected qualified students.

Documentation for ROTC Enrollment                 (Not required until first day of class)

In order to become a Cadet once enrolled in the military science course, you must submit the following completed forms to the ROTC Human Resources Office (Memorial Hall Room 1123D) which are provided by your instructor once you enroll in class.  These documents will be provided to you on the first day of class.

  • Cadet Enrollment Record (Cadet Command Form 139-R)
  • Authorization for Access to Student Records (Cadet Command Form 137-R)
  • Briefing on Government Sponsored Benefits (Cadet Command Form 136-R)
  • Medical Fitness Statement (Department of the Army Form 3425-R)

Additionally, CADETS must provide proof of citizenship or immigration. The Commanding General of Cadet Command must approve enrollment for any non-immigrant alien desiring to sign up for Military Science courses, prior to attending class.

Contracting Requirements

In order to earn a contract with the United States Army ROTC Duke Battalion, you must meet all eligibility requirements and provide proof of citizenship (or application for citizenship), pass an Army physical examination, undergo a criminal background check, and complete all required paperwork. Anyone desiring to contract with ROTC must contact the ROTC Recruiting Operations Officer to begin the process to discuss eligibility and competitive requirements. You can also check out the information brief (below) for a list of general eligibility requirements for scholarships and contracting. Here are some basic requirements:

- Be a US Citizen

- Be at least 17 years old, but not older than 31

- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (3.0 to be competitive)

- Pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (with 180 of 300 points - 270 to be competitive)

- Pass the Army's medical exam (DODMERB)

- Complete the 100 level Basic Course (exceptions: 4 year scholarship winners will contract at the start of the Fall semester as long as they have met the medical and physical fitness standards)

***CONTRACTING is a competitive process!  You must exceed the minimum standards in order to be competitive to fill the ranks of the Duke Battalion.  Only a selected number of enrolled Cadets go on to commissioning.

***NEW ARMY REGULATIONS***  -  The Army has enstated new policies for prospects desiring to contract into ROTC.  These polices specifically cover the wear and appearance of tattoos, and certain non-waiverable medical conditions.  You can click on the links below to read more about the new policies.

TATTOOS - (paragraph 3-3 of Army Regulation 670-1, The Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia)


Phyical Requirements

In order to contract into the ROTC program, you must not only be mentally fit, but physically fit as well.  Our phyical fitness program consists of mandatory training 3 days a week (M/W/F) from 0550 to 0700 each morning (contracted Cadets only).  Enrolled students are encouraged to attend PT (Physical Training) to improve their fitness level and get to know how the Army Physical Fitness Program works and get to know the other Cadets and Cadre better.

Army Physical Fitness Test - The APFT consists of the push up, the sit up, and the 2 mile run.  Each event is scored on a 100 point scale, for a total of 300 points maximum (standard scale).  You are required to pass the APFT with a minimum score of 180 (60 points in each event).  You will tested by performing the push up and sit up events for 2 minutes each, then execute the 2 mile run.  The minimum passing scores for each event (for a 17 to 21 year old) is:

Male: push up - 42; sit up - 53; 2 mi run - 15:54 or better

Female: push up - 19; sit up - 53; 2 mi run - 18:54 or better

 See what it's like to be in ROTC while in college.  

Already a member of the Virginia Army National Guard or Army Reserves?  Learn how to become a Duke Battalion Cadet through the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP).

Simultaneous Membership Program

Want to learn more about how to apply for an Army ROTC High School Scholarship?  Click on the link below to visit the Army's ROTC website for further information.

Scholarship Information

There are 2 or 3 year Scholarship opportunities for current college students.  These scholarship opportunities are merit based and are limited by Army funding.  Ask the Recruiting Operations Officer about our current scholarships available, to include GRFD (Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty) scholarships.  These are scholarships for those Cadets who commit to serving in either the National Guard or Army Reserves upon commissioning for a period of 8 years.

Scholarship information for current high school seniors can be found here.

If you are a high school Army ROTC scholarship winner, you will be contacted by the Recruiting Operations Officer for more information about military science class enrollment and other requirements prior to starting school.

Find out more detailed information in the Duke Battalion Cadet Handbook

Cadet Handbook

AIR FORCE ROTC (UVA) - The Air Force ROTC program offers JMU students the opportunity to join the UVA AFROTC Detachment and enroll in classes held at UVA.   If you're interested in the Air Force ROTC program, contact the UVA AFROTC Detachment POC at 434-924-6832 or  You can visit their website at or