Department of Military Science & Leadership


On-Campus Training

The ROTC curriculum is common across all Army ROTC programs nationwide.  The U.S. Army Cadet Command establishes the training and educational requirements for all prospective Officers before they enter service.  To be considered a fully 'enrolled' Cadet, student's must participate in classroom lectures, leadership labs, and physical fitness training. 

Classroom Lecture

Classroom lectures range from 1-hour per week during the first year of Military Science education to 3-hours per week during the third and fourth years.  ROTC curriculum spans a wide range of topics and is designed to progressively educate Cadets on what will be expected of them while serving as Commissioned Officers. 

Leadership Lab

Leadership labs provide for the practical application of lessons learned in the classroom and serve to bring together all year groups of the program into a consolidated training exercise.  Training includes everything from the basic wear of the Army uniform to advanced leadership scenarios designed to stress, develop, and refine small unit leadership capabilities.  Cal Poly affords our ROTC program the unique benefit of having lots of nearby open land to facilitate quality training.

Physical Fitness

Physical fitness training (PT) is conducted for 3-hours per week; from 0700-0800 on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings.  PT is designed to educate Cadets on the Army's unique Physical Readiness Training program and works to prepare Cadets to succeed on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).  Cadets plan and lead each PT session which typically include a long distance run focused on cardiovascular endurance, core-strength exercises focused on a particular muscle group, and short distance sprints.  We also mix in beach runs, ruck marches, pool PT, and gym workouts on occasion. 

Army Schools and Summer Training Opportunities

There are many additional training opportunities that Cadets can compete for, primarily over the Summer break.  Cadets must be contracted in order to be considered.

Airborne School - Fort Benning, Georgia



The purpose of the U.S. Army Airborne School is to qualify the volunteer in the use of the parachute as a means of combat deployment and to develop leadership, self-confidence, and an aggressive spirit through mental and physical conditioning.  If successfull, Cadets are awarded the Army Parachutist Badge.

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Air Assault School - Fort Campbell, Kentucky/Fort Benning, Georgia



The purpose of the U.S. Army Air Assault School is to train Soldiers in Air Assault operations, sling-load operations, and rappelling.  Upon graduation of the course each Soldier will be able to perform skills required to make maximum use of helicopter assets in training and in combat to support their unit operations.

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Combat Diver Qualification Course - Key West, Florida


During CDQC, students learn to use open and closed scuba systems, underwater search and recovery, submarine lock-in/lock-out procedures, ship-bottom search, underwater navigation techniques for day and night operation. Their knowledge, skill and accuracy are tested on dives during varying tide, wave and current conditions – and over distances of 3,000 meters.  

CDQC slots are rare and typically only filled by Cadets with sigificant diving experience.

Mountain Warfare School - Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, Vermont


Mountain Warfare School provides tactical and technical training for mountain warfare operations. AMWS courses, offered during both the Winter and Summer, enable Soldiers to operate successfully using proven techniques derived from lessons learned by units currently engaged in mountain warfare. AMWS is located in the mountains of Jericho, Vermont at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site (CEATS). Graduates of the Basic Military Mountaineer Course (BMMC) earn the SQI "E" Military Mountaineer.

Northern Warfare School - Black Rapids Training Site, Alaska


The 15-day Basic Mountaineering Course trains selected Soldiers in the fundamental knowledge and skills required to successfully conduct small unit operations in typical, mountainous terrain found throughout the world. Emphasis is placed on developing the Level 1 mountaineering tasks. Like the Mountain Warfare School, graduates are awarded SQI "E", Military Mountaineer.

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Leadership Development

Basic Camp - Fort Knox, Kentucky


Basic Camp is the premier leadership program of its kind in the United States. An intense four-week introduction to Army life and leadership training of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, the aim of the course is to motivate and qualify Cadets for entry into the Senior ROTC program.

Basic Camp is designed for college students, typically between their sophomore and junior years. Upon successful completion of the course, graduates can take part in ROTC at their college as a third-year student in the four-year program.

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Advanced Camp - Fort Knox, Kentucky


Advanced Camp is held annually at Fort Knox, Kentucky and is the U.S. Army Cadet Command's capstone training event.

The purpose of the course is to train U.S. Army ROTC Cadets to Army standards, to develop their leadership skills, and to evaluate their officer potential. Most Army Cadets attend Advanced Camp between their junior and senior undergraduate years after having contracted to join the Army. Successful completion of Advanced Camp is a prerequisite to becoming an Army officer through ROTC.

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Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT) - CONUS & OCONUS Army Installations


The Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT) provides Cadets the opportunity to experience leadership in Active Army units over a three to four week period. Cadets serve in lieutenant-level leadership positions.  Platoon Leader positions have a 3-4 week duration depending on the hosting unit and location. Assignments include units that are located CONUS and OCONUS. Cadets are assigned a unit mentor, and are provided on-post lodging and meals via a Dining Facility. This program is exclusively designed for MS III Cadets before and after completion of Advanced Camp.

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Cultural and Professional Development

Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP) - Worldwide


Cadets can compete for immersion in more than 40 countries with the CULP program.  These opportunities expose them to everyday life in different cultures and intensifies language study, which helps produce commissioned officers who possess the right blend of language and cultural skills required to support global operations in the 21st Century.

Participants experience up to three different venues during immersion, including humanitarian service, host nation military-to-military contact and education on the social, cultural and historical aspects of the country. 

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Cadet Internships - CONUS & OCONUS


CTLT Internships provide MSL III Cadets with an opportunity to exercise specialized language, technical or research skills. Internships range from three to eight weeks long. Cadets receive an Officer Evaluation Report upon completing the internship.  

CTLT Internships include research, public affairs, forensics, intelligence, simulations, chaplainry, nuclear security, and equipment handling focuses in addition to medical, engineering, and nursing professions.

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