Program Description


Department of Leadership Studies

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

In the world today, there is no greater challenge to leadership than directing a platoon of United States Soldiers to accomplish anything, anytime, anywhere. It is one thing to learn the art of leadership under the air-conditioned environment of an office building, but to lead in mobile environments and on the present-day battlefield is a challenge that cannot be found anywhere else. In Army ROTC, you will learn the skills necessary to become a leader in the United States Army and pursue your college education at the University of San Diego at the same time.

The United States Army offers many opportunities to college students through ROTC to a commission in the Army. The Reserve Officers’ Training Course (ROTC) offers possibilities for prior service military personnel, Army reservists and National Guardsmen, undergraduate students, and even graduate students to earn a commission at the rank of Second Lieutenant after completion of a college degree. The rank of Second Lieutenant, a gold bar, signifies a leader and officer in the United States Army, one of the most respected professions in America.

One may think of ROTC as simply a series of college classes beginning with 100 level classes and ending with 400 level classes. Generally, incoming freshman (termed MS 1s) with no prior military experience enter the program by taking Introduction to Military Science. Assuming normal academic progression, the student enters their MS II year as an academic sophomore, MS III as an academic junior, and MS IV as an academic senior. The MS I and MS II students are introduced to the Army Culture and principles therein, such as uniform wear, drill and ceremonies, basic land navigation skills, and rifle marksmanship. The MS IIIs, however, are found in local training environments learning and applying small unit infantry tactics, refining land navigation skills and, most importantly, practicing leadership--the foundation of Army ROTC.

The cadets in their MS III year are the focal point of the program as more time and resources are dedicated to these students. This is because the summers of their MS III years cadets participate in the Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), a thirty-three-day-long course conducted at Fort Lewis, Washington. Completing LDAC is the pinnacle of an ROTC career and puts the cadet closer to the ultimate goal—a commission. While at LDAC, cadets receive assessments based on their leadership performance which, to some degree, determines which branch or specialty for which they serve. The result is a competitive atmosphere both for the Cadets and respective schools; every Army ROTC program in the nation compete for top honors at LDAC. Once returning from LDAC, cadets are promoted to MS IVs and inherit the responsibility for the training of junior cadets while under the supervision of professional cadre.

The Army is composed of seventeen different branches, such as Infantry, Field Artillery, Finance, Military Police and many others to include Nursing. The Army recognizes the academic difficulty of Nursing Programs and the ROTC curriculum for nurses to accommodate Army nurse requirements. In addition, cadets in the nursing program may attend the Nurse Summer Training Program (NSTP), a clinical elective offered in the United States and Germany during the summer between their junior and senior years. It is also important to note that all cadets receive college credits for all requisite summer training programs such as LDAC and NSTP.

Finally, once cadets have completed their degree requirements and the ROTC program they have rightfully earned a commission in the Army the rank of Second Lieutenant. Their eight-year obligation to the Army can be served in different ways:

  • Four years Active Duty and four years Inactive Ready Reserves
  • Four Years Active Duty and four years Reserves or National Guard
  • Eight years of Reserve or National Guard
  • In any capacity, a new Second Lieutenant is an invaluable asset to the United States and the United States Army.