The Basic Course
The Basic Course, normally taken during the freshman and sophomore years, is designed to familiarize the student with the military, the role of an Army officer and the fundamentals of effective leadership.
The Basic course is open to all students, and incurs no military obligation whatsoever. The first year, the Military Science I (MS I) year is designed to acclimate a student to the U.S. Army in the understanding that some students have no prior knowledge of the military. Though the newest members of the program, MS I’s are given the title of “cadet,” a title that throughout the military denotes an officer in training and will be the general title of the ROTC student throughout the course of the program.
In addition to the title of cadet, an MS I receives the Cadet Command rank of Cadet Private (C/PVT). Though bewildering and perhaps overwhelming at first, the MS I year is a time for cadets to fully adapt to the program. Upperclassmen take the time to help MS Is with the inevitable questions and concerns and do their best to openly welcome the new cadets into the battalion.
Appropriately, the MS II year fully allows a cadet to put to use the knowledge acquired in the MS I year. MS IIs are automatically promoted to the rank of Cadet Private First Class (C/PFC), and are often provided the opportunity to hold their first leadership position, serving as a team leader. At this point, many cadets first begin to understand the purpose of the ROTC program and what being a leader is all about.
Many students who never pictured themselves as leaders take charge of a team and feel for the first time the pride and esteem that comes with the responsibility of leading. This pride and esteem begin to grow within a cadet and drive them to the ultimate goal of becoming an officer in the United States Army.