Public Affairs

CSU ROTC Training Future Leaders

November 8, 2012
By Stephanie Thara

Fresno State Army ROTC (Bulldog Battalion) cadets during a field exercise. Along with programs such as Troops to College and the CSU Veterans Admissions Program that help veterans gain an education, CSU campuses offer interested students the opportunity to become future officers in the U.S. Armed Forces through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). Various CSUs offer ROTC for the Air Force, Army and Navy right on campus or students may participate in an ROTC program offered as a cooperative effort with a neighboring institution. Additionally, Cal Maritime offers a Coast Guard officer training program.

At most of the training programs held on CSU campuses, courses are divided into basic and advanced instruction. Generally, the first two years focus on an overview of the chosen military branch and field training basics. During their senior year, students take classes and participate in activities that teach them the leadership skills essential to becoming an officer. Students receive hands-on experience through leadership and field engineering readiness laboratories, language and cultural immersion programs.

SDSU ROTC during the Water Survival LeadlabAs a nationwide program, ROTC is adopted by designated universities that use local resources to customize the program to give cadets a well-rounded education. For example, Fresno State’s Army ROTC offers training options, such as air assault school, a nurse summer training program, drill cadet leader training, and mountain warfare school. Members of the color guard and drill team at San José State’s Air Force ROTC learn the true meaning of precision, dexterity and teamwork as they practice rigorous and complex routines that are showcased for military audiences and the local community. Cal State San Marcos and San Diego State offer students opportunities for additional training through clubs such as surface warfare club, aviation club and the submarine club.

Through extensive field preparation, advanced leadership and training courses, knowledgeable university professors and veteran cadre, the CSU produces some of the finest officers in the U.S. military.