Search the 1997-1998 Catalog:
Major James K. Berry, Director
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) and to serve 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¬it is an elective program. Credit hours are not awarded for freshman through junior classes, although grades will appear on the transcript. Senior classes (MLSC 400 and 401) are three credit hours each and count toward degree completion as elective credit. No service obligation is incurred from 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 phases¬the 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 as long as the student initiates participation before the end of the sophomore year (a minimum of four semesters must remain in the student's academic curriculum to complete commissioning requirements). Course descriptions appear under Military Science (MLSC) in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog.
The Basic Course curriculum is a four-course series, usually taken in the freshman and sophomore years (MLSC 100, 101, 200, 202). 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 topics, memorandum 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 (scheduling conflicts in a major class, etc.).
All LAB 201 sections meet as a combined unit on Tuesday, 3 to 4:20 p.m. During this time, the unit trains in a variety of hands-on, practical military tasks from drill and ceremonies to squad and platoon tactics scenarios. Drills and training are led by upper-class cadets 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 a.m. to 8 a.m., at the Field House. Underclass students are expected to attend two PT sessions per week. Physical training for Basic Course students can be waived in certain circumstances, and Army PT standards do not have to be met until the junior year.
Over the four-year program, there are progressive requirements for meeting physical fitness standards, weight limits, and assumed leadership positions. Much emphasis is placed on cadets to meet established academic standards. A student must be academically successful to be able to participate and complete ROTC.
Army ROTC also organizes numerous optional adventure and social events including paintball, rappeling, orienteering, and helicopter orientations. A battlefield visit is offered every year, and each semester has a formal Dining In or Military Ball. The unit has an organized Color Guard and a Ranger Club. Airborne and Air Assault training among other Army formal schools are 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.
The Advanced Course consists of a four-course series taken during the junior and senior years (MLSC 330, 301, 400, 401). The MLSC 400 and 401 courses are three credits each. Normally, Advanced Course cadets contract to become commissioned officers and thus incur some type of service obligations upon graduation and commissioning. An active duty tour is not required or guaranteed, although most cadets request and receive active duty tours upon graduation.
The 300-level courses emphasize squad and platoon leadership, tactics, and preparation for Advanced Camp. Advanced Camp is a six-week training and evaluation activity required of contracted students. It is attended by cadets in the summer between their junior and senior years. A salary, travel expenses, and room and board are all provided during camp. Advanced Camp is a critical hurdle that students must pass to receive a commission.
There are also professional military education requirements in which contracted cadets must take and pass courses in written communications, human behavior, computer literacy, mathematics, and American 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 intention when seeking enrollment approval from the ROTC director or instructor. Prerequisites exist for upper-level courses (see Course Descriptions). "Noncontract" students who wish to take the MLSC 400 and 401 classes must have junior or senior standing in their majors and 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 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 become the primary focus for seniors in LAB 201.
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 six-week Basic Camp 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 Basic Camp is not required. Graduate students and resident aliens who become U.S. citizens by a certain time may become commissioned officers. Students who complete the ROTC program may take up to two years to complete their baccalaureate studies, and education delays for graduate study may also be approved for graduating cadets before commissioning.
Two- and three-year ROTC scholarships are available to students in all majors on a competitive basis (minimum 2.5 GPA to apply and under age 25 when graduating, unless an active duty veteran). Scholarships pay tuition, a book allowance ($450/year), and a stipend of $150/month during the school year (to a maximum of $1,500); all tax free. On-campus scholarship applications are due in by March 1 to begin the following fall semester. A student does not have to be enrolled to apply, and there is no service obligation incurred when applying.
Two-year scholarships are also awarded at Basic Camp to attending sophomores, and 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 must apply by December 1 of their senior year for a scholarship that would start in the fall semester of their freshman year. Call 1-800-USA-ROTC for details and application.
Many students participate in ROTC as nonscholarship cadets. A nonscholarship cadet may not contract to receive a commission until the junior year. For the junior and senior years, nonscholarship, contracted students receive the $150/month stipend for the school year (to a maximum of $1,500).
A Tier IV scholarship is also available to juniors, with minimum qualifying academic standards, that pays a total of $2,000 per school year, in addition to the $150 stipend. Nonscholarship, contracted cadets may also participate in the Army Reserves or National Guard in a Simultaneous Membership Program for additional benefits and experience.
George Mason Army ROTC is an extension center unit of the Georgetown University ROTC Program (Hoya Battalion). The unit is designated "The Patriot Company." Contact the ROTC director at (703) 993-2706 or send a fax to (703) 993-2708.