Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)

The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) traces its origins back to 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Defense Act. Throughout its history, Army ROTC has been a prominent source of leadership development and military training, producing over a half million officers. 

Virginia Military Institute

Virginia Military Institute

Mary Baldwin University partners with Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for ROTC classes. MBU’s ROTC units at VMI are among the largest and best in the country, offering more scholarships and more commissions than most other college and university ROTC units. We commission officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force (Space Force), and Marines.

You’ll have a General Officer and a Command Sergeant Major supporting you, as well as an ROTC staff of 15 active duty officers and enlisted members, with a full colonel as their commander for all the services. 

Students register for ROTC classes at Mary Baldwin University using normal registration procedures. Classes are conducted by military personnel on the VMI campus, and transportation is provided by Mary Baldwin University. Physical training is hosted at MBU and at VMI for our ROTC cadets.

At Mary Baldwin University, Army ROTC offers a transformative experience to cadets, combining the valuable attributes of a diverse and self-disciplined civilian education with rigorous leadership development training. This program equips you with essential tools, comprehensive training, and invaluable experiences that empower success in any competitive environment. 

As a cadet, you’ll enjoy a typical college student experience on campus, but upon graduation, you’ll earn the prestigious rank of an Army Officer. Through classroom instruction and practical field training, you’ll gain firsthand knowledge of effective leadership, group motivation, and the art of conducting missions as an Army Officer. Upon completing your Mary Baldwin University journey with Army ROTC, you’ll be proudly bestowed with the honor and responsibilities of a Second Lieutenant, becoming a leader for life.



The mission of Army ROTC is to commission the future officer leadership of the U.S. Army. The four-year program is divided into basic and advanced courses. The basic course during the first two years consists of instruction in general military skills and foundations of leadership. The advanced course during the last two years emphasizes leadership and advanced military skills training. The Army program is centered on leadership development, with individual counseling and feedback provided to each cadet. Army ROTC sponsors a wide variety of extracurricular activities such as the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA), Ranger Company, Tanker Platoon, Cadet Battery, Ranger Challenge, and Field Training Exercises. Students pursuing a commission are strongly encouraged to participate in these activities.

At the beginning of the junior year, qualified students are encouraged to contract as the first step toward a commission as a second lieutenant.

Completion of the Army ROTC program and graduation from Mary Baldwin University allows you to compete for a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard.

Army ROTC Official Website

Navy and Marine ROTC

Navy and Marine ROTC

The Naval ROTC program is a four-year course of instruction designed to provide cadets with commissions in either the Navy or the Marine Corps. Cadets who enroll in the Naval Science courses receive instruction leading to possible careers on the sea, in the air, and on land. Navy ROTC courses for the first year are the same for all cadets. They provide familiarization with Navy surface, subsurface, nuclear, aviation, and special warfare forces. 

Additionally, the classes acquaint cadets with the Marine Corps and all elements of Marine Air Ground Task Forces. Navy-option cadets will subsequently receive instruction in naval ship systems, navigation, ship operations, leadership, and management. Marine option cadets will study the evolution of warfare, leadership management, and command. A cadet may become a Navy ROTC Midshipman either by selection before matriculation for a national Navy ROTC scholarship or by nomination and selection after matriculation for either the scholarship or Navy ROTC College Program. 

Completion of the Naval Science program and graduation from Mary Baldwin University allow you to compete for a commission and service as a Navy unrestricted line officer or a Marine Corps ground or aviation officer eligible for a wide range of duties at sea and ashore.

Naval ROTC Official Website

Air Force ROTC

Air Force ROTC

The Air Force ROTC Program provides college-level education that qualifies eligible cadets for commissioned service in the U.S. Air Force or Space Force. The four-year program is divided into two distinct two-year courses: the General Military Course (GMC) and the Professional Officer Course (POC). In the GMC, cadets are evaluated for a commission based on their performance, aptitude, and motivation. If qualified, cadets may enter the POC by signing a contract for commissioned service following graduation from Mary Baldwin University. The POC is designed to build leadership and professional qualities new commissionees will need once on active duty. 

Cadets may apply for the career fields of their choice; however, entry into the field of choice depends on individual qualifications and the needs of the Air Force or Space Force. A continuing need for officers with technical backgrounds results in attractive scholarship opportunities for students in the engineering and sciences curricula. Acceptance of an Air Force ROTC scholarship incurs no additional service obligation for the recipient.

Scholarships are either two, three, or four years in length.

Cadets who are qualified may volunteer to attend parachute training and an advanced training program, for which they are paid. Qualified cadets have the opportunity to participate in a flight orientation program consisting of eight hours in a light aircraft flown by the Virginia Civil Air Patrol.

Successful completion of the Air Force ROTC program and commissioning in the U.S. Air Force or Space Force results in a four-year active duty assignment for those graduates not entering rated training (pilot, remotely-piloted aircraft, combat systems officer). Successful completion of the pilot/navigator training program after commission results in an eight-year/six-year respective assignment at the completion of such training.

Air Force ROTC Official Website

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