For high school seniors or college freshmen looking to get into military service after college, there are few better ways to prepare than enrolling in a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. As an ROTC cadet, a student will gain the leadership and management skills they need to enter the service as an officer, and many schools offer special perks, programs, and tuition discounts to its ROTC members. We've compiled a list of five schools in Tennessee with ROTC programs, for Army, Air Force, and Navy/Marines.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||Tuition 2016-2017 (in-state)*||Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits|
|University of Tennessee - Knoxville||4-year, public||Knoxville, TN||$12,724||Army/Air Force ROTC, PaYS program|
|University of Memphis||4-year, public||Memphis, TN||$9,125||Army/Navy/Air Force ROTC, Army SMP, LTC program|
|Vanderbilt University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Nashville, TN||$45,610||Army/Navy ROTC, summer training programs|
|Carson-Newman University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Jefferson City, TN||$26,360||Army ROTC, program specialization|
|Walters State Community College||2-year, public||Morristown, TN||$4,032||Army ROTC, LTC program|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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Colleges in Tennessee that Offer ROTC
Many universities in Tennessee offer ROTC programs, but it can be difficult to find one that works best for an individual. Are they looking for a future career in the Army or in the Navy? Are they looking to attend a private university or a community college? With this list of the different ROTC programs offered in Tennessee, a student should be able to find that perfect fit.
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Located in eastern Tennessee, University of Tennessee - Knoxville (UTK) has a well-regarded Army ROTC that helps cadets develop the skills they'll need in the service and out of it. UTK offers basic and advanced military science courses, and guarantees entry into the Army or Army National guard as an officer upon completion. UTK also offers the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program for their cadets, an agreement between the military and America's business community to guarantee future employment for members of the ROTC. For those looking for a career in the Air Force, UTK also has an Air Force ROTC program, which teaches the history of the Air Force and leadership skills to its members.
University of Memphis
The University of Memphis (UM), located in far western Tennessee, has ROTC options available for all branches of the military, with an emphasis on Army cadets. A cadet at UM can enroll in the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP), where they will attend weekend drilling camps and shadow leaders in National Guard or Reserve units to get in-field experience. UM also offers the Leadership Training Corse (LTC) program, where cadets can spend four weeks at Fort Knox, learning leadership and survival techniques, and push themselves to their physical and mental limits. Cadets for UM's Air Force and Navy ROTC programs can take military history and leadership courses, as well as attend summer field training.
For a prospective student looking for a more intimate college experience, Vanderbilt is a private, not-for-profit school with only around 13,000 students that has a strong Navy ROTC program. At Vanderbilt, a Naval cadet (also called a 'midshipman') can sign up for several different hands-on summer training programs, such as working in a nuclear submarine or aircraft carrier, learning by example with its crew. Vanderbilt also offers a scholarship opportunity for its midshipmen, which will pay for tuition, books, and fees--a great chance for someone wanting a private school education without the high fees. Those interested in Army ROTC can also find what they're looking for at Vanderbilt. Army cadets will participate in leadership labs, field training, and a physical fitness regimen to keep in shape.
A student looking for a university that offers an ROTC program while supporting their faith could stand to consider Carson-Newman University (CSN), a private, not-for-profit Christian college in eastern Tennessee. CNU offers several specialized course paths through its ROTC program, including a focus on leadership, mountain warfare, and military nursing, so the cadet would be able to get a feel for what they want to get out of the program. With the program specialization offered at CNU, a cadet has a better chance to stand out from the pack and find a position in the Army that suits them.
Walters Sate Community College
Of course, not everyone can afford, or is looking to attend, a 4-year university. Walters State Community College (WS), located in the north-east of the state, is an affordable college experience that also has an Army ROTC program. At WS, a cadet will take military leadership and management courses, which will teach them tactics and team building to get them ready for an Army career. Like University of Memphis, WS also offers an LTC program over the summer. Those attending will experience life in the Army first-hand as they shadow units at Fort Knox to learn camaraderie, leadership, and physical fitness outside of a classroom setting.