Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a coeducational program dedicated to developing college-educated men and women to serve in challenging positions of leadership, responsibility, and varied managerial positions both as officers in the U.S. Army and civilians in corporate America.

Why Army ROTC?

Francis Marion University Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is dedicated to developing character and leadership in young men and women. ROTC offers unique scholarship and career opportunities focused on building leaders for our nation and helping students become leaders for life.
Like the United States Military Academy, the purpose of Army ROTC is to train and commission Army officers. For the past 14 years, FMU has produced officers for the United States Army and their names are displayed proudly on the front of our webpage. We seek talented young men and women who possess a desire to lead, a passion for service, and aspire to make an impact on the world.

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How can I find out more about ROTC?

Stop by the Army ROTC office, which is located in suite 210 of the Smith University Center, or call one of the ROTC Officers at 843-661-1836.

Is taking ROTC the same as "joining up" for the military?

NO. ROTC is a series of elective courses, which you begin as a freshman with no military obligation. Military Science is a program of study within the college of Liberal Arts. It is similar to taking any other class. 

What is my service obligation if I complete the program?

Eight years, but before you go into cardiac arrest, let’s break it down a little further. These eight years can be fulfilled in a number of ways: 3 or 4 years (depending on scholarship status) on active duty, and then the remainder in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Essentially, the IRR is a non-active status with no drill requirements. The other option is 6 years in a drilling unit of the Reserves or National Guard, meeting one weekend a month and two weeks each summer followed by 2 years in the IRR. This obligation is federally mandated and is the same across all services.

Do I have any summer training requirements in ROTC?

Yes. The summer between your junior and senior years of college, all ROTC cadets will attend the Leadership Development and Assessment Course, otherwise known as Warrior Forge, at Fort Lewis, Washington. This 5-week leadership experience is the culmination of everything you have learned thus far and is used as an evaluation tool which determines your future as an officer. Cadets receive a stipend while attending this training. Other training opportunities are available during the summer, but Warrior Forge is the only required one.

When does my participation in ROTC begin to incur a military service obligation?

For most students, it is the start of your junior year of college. This is when you decide whether or not you want to pursue a commission in the Army. At this time you would sign a contract with the US Army. This applies to two-year scholarship students and all non-scholarship students in the program. A three-year or four-year scholarship winner becomes obligated at the start of their sophomore year.

I heard that ROTC cadets have to run every morning at 5 a.m. Is that true?

Absolutely not. Juniors and seniors along with all scholarship cadets are required to participate in Physical Fitness Training every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6:00 to 7:00 AM. All other cadets are only obligated to participate on Wednesday mornings, but are encouraged to do so three days a week.

I heard that ROTC students are always running around in the woods. Is that true?

Not entirely. We do a good portion of our training outdoors. Some of the activities we do include hiking, rappelling, and orienteering. If you stay in the program long enough, you will have the pleasure of sleeping on the ground outdoors, but that type of training is usually done during favorable weather conditions.

Do I have to go to "boot camp" to be in ROTC?

No prior military training or experience is required.

Do I have to wear a military uniform while taking ROTC?

Yes. All cadets are required to wear a uniform to the ROTC classes and ROTC lab.

Does ROTC offer any extracurricular activities?

Yes. The Ranger Challenge team offers intense technical and tactical training in soldier skills. We also have intramural sports teams and are constantly developing new opportunities for student involvement.

How much time does ROTC take?

Not a great deal of time for freshmen and sophomores, a little more for juniors and seniors. For freshman, lecture meets one day a week. Lecture meets twice a week for sophomores, juniors and seniors. In addition to lecture, there is a two hour lab which meets once a week and physical training sessions three mornings per week.

Can I participate in other activities while taking ROTC?

Yes! In fact, we highly encourage students to participate in other activities. We subscribe to the total person concept and want well-rounded individuals to lead the Army and the nation in the Twenty First century.

Can I "major" in ROTC?

No. ROTC is taken for elective credit.

What do ROTC students do?

Mainly, they are just like any other college student. They earn an academic degree and learn to think and reason at the college level. Along the way they will learn leadership skills and have experiences that will set them apart from their peers. These skills and experiences will qualify them to become officers in the US Army. Upon graduation, they are placed in job positions as Second Lieutenants, either on active duty or in the Army Reserve or National Guard.

Will ROTC conflict with my other classes?

No. Military science classes are scheduled just like any other class. We have a planned curriculum to deconflict with most FMU course requirements. If a scheduling conflict arises, the instructor will make every effort to work through it with you.


No updates have been submitted by Alumni from the 1970’s! Be the first to submit your updates.

The following alumni from the FMU ROTC program who graduated during the 1980’s have submitted updates. Please join them by submitting your updated information.

Colonel Mark E. Powell (Aviation) is G6 for the 1st Army. Colonel Powell was commissioned in 1987. (

LTC Randy Reynolds is a 1988 graduate/ 1986 commissionee. He is currently the Assistant Commandant of the School of Geospatial-Intelligence, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Ft Belvoir, Virginia.

LTC London Jordan currently serves with the 310th Human Resources Sustainment Center at Fort Jackson, SC. He received his commission in 1985. (

LTC Jake Kelly currently serves with the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) in NY. He received his commission in 1981. (

Major Rick Wise (retired) “Greetings to all former FMU cadre, cadets, faculty and students! It was my honor to serve at FMU from 1992-1995. I have run into many of you along life’s way in various places. I look forward to hearing from any of you, and may God Bless you and yours.” Major Wise retired after serving with the Multi-National Forces in Iraq. ( )

The following alumni from the FMU ROTC program who graduated during the 1990’s have submitted updates. Please join them by submitting your updated information.

Bruce Mallick is a 1990 graduate/commissionee. He served as an Active Duty Field Artillery Officer with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea and with the 101st Airborne Division at Ft Campbell KY. Bruce left Active Duty and has been an Owner/Operator with Chick-fil-A since 1996. Bruce married Mary Hammet of Kingstree, SC in 1992.  They have a daughter, Laura, who is 14.

MAJ Fred Phillip is a 1996 graduate/commissionee. He is currently attending ILE at Ft Leavenworth, Kansas.

MAJ Tracy Simmons currently serves as the Operations/Plans Officer for the 108th Training Command (IET) in Charlotte, NC. She received her commission in 1992. (

The following alumni from the FMU ROTC program who graduated between 2008 and the present have submitted updates. Be the first to submit your updates.