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George Mason University
2002-03 University Catalog

University Academic Programs and Resources

Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC)

Phone: (703) 993-2707
Fax: (703) 993-2708


Lieutenant Colonel Maurice L. Guyant
Director, Military Science Department
South P.E. Module, Room F28


The U.S. Army ROTC program at George Mason is an elective program of instruction and training that offers qualified students the opportunity to earn a commission as an officer (second lieutenant) in the U.S. Army, Army National Guard, or U.S. Army Reserve, while pursuing a baccalaureate degree as a full-time student. The program emphasizes student learning and participation in applied leadership, leadership theory and assessment, decision making, management skills, time management, ethics and military law, logistics, military roles and national objectives, strategic and tactical planning and principles, and basic military knowledge and skills.


Enrollment in military science (MLSC) courses is open to all students. Freshmen classes (MLSC 100 and 101), sophomore classes (MLSC 200 and 201), and junior classes (MLSC 300 and 301) are awarded 1 credit each. Senior classes (MLSC 400 and 401) are 3 credits each and count toward degree completion as elective credit. No service obligation is incurred by enrolling in Army ROTC. Courses can be dropped or added, just as any elective course at George Mason.

The four-year program is organized into two successive phasesthe Basic Course and the Advanced Course. For students seeking the opportunity to earn a commission as an officer, several entry methods and participation strategies can be used. A minimum of four semesters must remain in the student's academic curriculum to complete commissioning requirements; these semesters may be part of either an undergraduate or graduate level degree. Course descriptions appear under Military Science (MLSC) in the Course Descriptions chapter of this catalog.

Basic Course Curriculum

The Basic Course curriculum is a four-course series (MLSC 100, 101, 200, 201), usually taken in the freshman and sophomore years. Each Basic Course class awards 1 academic credit. The Basic Course trains students in the types of topics listed above as well as such applied topics as map reading, land navigation, first aid, physical fitness and health, writing, briefings, and more. Each lecture class meets once a week for 80 minutes. Textbooks are provided free of charge to all enrolled students. Uniforms and equipment are also issued (lent) to students at no cost. While only one section is listed per MLSC class, small sections or individual tutorials are offered when scheduling conflicts exist.

The George Mason Army ROTC program has numerous experiential aspects. MLSC LAB 201, Leadership Laboratory, encompasses several different activities. Students enrolling in any ROTC lecture class must enroll in the required, nongraded lab section. Only the ROTC director can dismiss LAB 201 enrollment in certain circumstances (such as scheduling conflicts)

All LAB 201 sections meet as a combined unit on Tuesdays, 3 to 4:20 p.m. During this time, the unit trains in a variety of hands-on, practical military tasks ranging from drill and ceremonies to squad and platoon tactics. Upper-class cadets lead drills and training as part of their leadership training and experience.

Other experiential aspects of LAB 201 include field training exercises (FTXs) and physical training (PT). Participation in one FTX per semester is required and involves some type of training on a weekend day at a nearby military base. PT classes are conducted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7 to 8 a.m., at the Field House. Physical training for Basic Course students can be waived in certain circumstances; Army PT standards must be met no later than the beginning of the junior year.

Over the four-year program, there are progressive requirements for meeting physical fitness standards, weight limits, and leadership positions. Much emphasis is placed on cadets to meet established academic standards. A student must maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.0 to participate in and complete ROTC.

Army ROTC also organizes numerous optional adventure and social events including, rappelling, orienteering, and helicopter orientations. A battlefield visit is offered every year, and a formal Military Ball is offered during the spring semester. The unit has an organized Color Guard and a Ranger Challenge Club. Airborne and Air Assault training, among other Army formal schools, is available to enrolled cadets. Enrolled students typically become progressively more involved to enhance their training, develop esprit de corps, and take part in social aspects of the program.

Advanced Course Curriculum

The Advanced Course consists of a four-course series (MLSC 300, 301, 400, 401) taken during the junior and senior years. MLSC 300 and 301 award 1 credit each, while MLSC 400 and 401 are 3 credits each. Normally, Advanced Course cadets contract to become commissioned officers, and thus incur a service obligation upon graduation and commissioning. An active duty tour is not guaranteed, although most cadets request and receive active duty tours upon graduation. ROTC also offers guarantees of entering either the Army Reserve or Army National Guard to students so inclined.

The 300-level courses emphasize squad and platoon leadership, tactics, and preparation for the National Advanced Leaders Camp (NALC). NALC is a five-week training and evaluation activity required for contracted students. Cadets attend NALC in the summer between their junior and senior years. A salary, travel expenses, and room and board are all provided during camp. NALC is a critical part of the ROTC program that students must pass to receive a commission.

There are also professional military education requirements: contracted cadets must take and pass courses in written communications, computer literacy, and military history. These courses come from the general course offerings of the university and may also fulfill the student's general education or academic major requirements at the same time.

Because all students may enroll in ROTC classes, students wishing to take an upper-level course have to declare their intentions when seeking enrollment approval from the ROTC director or instructor. Prerequisites exist for upper-level courses (see the "Course Descriptions" chapter).

"Noncontract" students who wish to take MLSC 400 and 401 must have junior or senior standing in their majors and meet the appropriate prerequisites. Course requirements will be established between the ROTC director and students to tailor the class to the students' interests and needs.

The 400-level courses are considered to be the "transition to lieutenant" phase. The courses focus on staff operations, logistics, military law, and ethics. Seniors are expected to organize and attend an additional one-hour staff and training meeting per week as part of their leadership experience and duties. Planning and implementation of training becomes the primary focus for seniors in LAB 201.

Methods for Completing Program and Earning a Commission

Students may enter Army ROTC to seek and earn a commission as a second lieutenant upon graduation by several methods:

  • A student may complete the four-year program
  • The freshman and sophomore classes may be compressed into the sophomore year
  • A veteran may enter directly into the junior year (when academically aligned as a junior)
  • A sophomore student may attend a five-week Leaders Training Camp (LTC) between the sophomore and junior years to gain experience equivalent to the Basic Course
  • A special four-semester program is available to nursing majors in which LTC is not required

Students who complete the ROTC program may take up to two years to complete their baccalaureate studies, and education delays for graduate study also may be approved for graduating cadets before commissioning. Graduate students and resident aliens who become U.S. citizens by a certain time may become commissioned officers.

Scholarship Programs

Two- and three-year ROTC scholarships are available to sophomores and freshmen in all majors on a competitive basis (minimum 2.500 GPA to apply and under age 27 when graduating, unless they are active duty veterans). Scholarships pay 100% of tuition, a book allowance ($450/year), and a stipend of at least $300/month during the school year, all tax free. A student does not have to be enrolled to apply, and there is no service obligation incurred when applying.

A two-year Reserve Forces Duty scholarship is available that guarantees reserve duty upon graduation and commissioning (no active duty tour). Contact the ROTC director to determine eligibility. Four-year scholarships are available for high school students, but they should apply by December 1 of their senior year for a scholarship that would start in the fall semester of their freshman year. Call the ROTC Director for details.

Many students participate in ROTC as non-scholarship cadets. A non-scholarship cadet cannot contract to receive a commission until the junior year. For the junior and senior years, non-scholarship contracted students receive the monthly stipend for the school year.

The George Mason Army ROTC "Patriot Battalion" began in 1981, achieved independent status in 2000, and frequently conducts training jointly with Georgetown University and the University of Maryland Army ROTC.