What is Army ROTC?

Army ROTC trains college students to be the future leaders of the United States Army. It consists of taking elective courses along with a normal college curriculum. Army ROTC prepares students with the tools, training and experiences to succeed as Army Officers as well as in any competitive environment. ROTC gives students the chance to have their tuition paid for. Not only will students get to enjoy a normal college lifestyle, they can be paid to do so.

The following information is a compilation of the exciting activities and challenging opportunities the Army ROTC Ram Battalion offers its students. This list, while comprehensive in itemization, is not comprehensive in portrait of each activity or program. More information can be acquired from persons who have participated in these programs, but the full picture can only be obtained by first hand experience.

Campus Activities


Military Science classes take place twice a week and start with a general orientation to Army ways. Students begin by learning basic military structure and codes of conduct. As students progress through the program they learn basic military tactics and battle scenarios. The classes provide students with progressive in-class training in military conduct and prepare them for the weekly skills labs.


The ROTC Lab is a two hour orientation to much of everything that a cadet will need to know in order to prepare him or her for success in the military. Subjects range from weapons familiarization (M16, M249 SAW, M67 Grenade, etc.) to the different types of battle drills, such as Ambush, Recon, or Deliberate Attack. The goal of the labs is to prepare cadets for the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), as well as our annual Field Training Exercise (FTX). The Lab occurs weekly and is designed to expand the topics touched on in class.

Zero Week

Prior to the beginning of each fall semester, an orientation to Army ROTC is held to introduce the program to new cadets and give older cadets a chance to lead. These couple days are focused on campus orientation, basic military knowledge and skills and building teamwork into the Battalion. There is no obligation to ROTC by participating in zero week so we especially encourage students who are simply interested to see what Army ROTC is all about to join us. Participating in this program gives cadets a head start to the school year and ROTC.

Training Courses

Most of these programs take place during the summer months, when students are not attending classes. These programs give students superior hands-on experience with real Army training and instruction. Students who complete these programs are proud to attach these accomplishments to their resumes. Cadets continue to benefit from these experiences throughout their careers.

Cadet Initial Entry Training

Also known as "CIET", this four-week leadership program is offered during the summer at Fort Knox, Kentucky, for college students who have no prior military or ROTC training, have two years left to complete their bachelor's degree, and want to pursue a commission as an Army officer. Participants are paid over $700, given a certificate of completion, and offered enrollment in the Military Science III class at their university.

Cadet Leader Course

CLC is a 29-day leadership capstone course held at Fort Knox, KY. Cadets attend the course following their Military Science III year and are evaluated based on their leadership, learning, and interpersonal skills. CLC also prepares cadets for their Military Science IV year in which they will be expected to be the cadet officers of their respective ROTC Battalions.

Cadet Troop Leadership Training

(CTLT) Cadet Troop Leadership Training takes place during the same summer cadets attend CLC and is a chance for cadets to shadow a junior officer for a period of two to five weeks. This gives them a taste of the responsibilities of a junior officer in that type of unit. Cadets become familiarized with command, training, administration, and logistical functions of military units.

Airborne School

Airborne School is taught in Fort Benning, Georgia, and is a course comprised of three weeks of training. In the first week, "ground week", students are physically conditioned and taught the basics of parachuting. In the second week, "tower week", students try their first jumps off of a tower to practice parachute landing falls, or "PLFs". Week three is the opportunity for students to make jumps of their own out of a low-flying Lockheed C-130 Hercules or a Lockheed C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Cadets compete for slots based on their physical fitness, school, and participation points.

Air Assault School

An eleven-day school situated in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, or Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Air Assault School teaches candidates about preparing combat loads for transportation by air as well as insertion techniques like fast-rope rappelling from helicopters. Cadets compete for slots based on their physical fitness, school, and participation points.

Battalion Activities

As one of the most active Battalions in the Region, the Ram Battalion has a wide variety of activities and clubs in which cadets are involved. These clubs and activities appeal to all interests and most students are involved in several activities at once. Each activity seeks to foster and hone several character traits in the student: teamwork, spirituality, focus, respect. These activities, while being fun and exciting, often inspire healthy competition.

Ranger Challenge

Ranger Challenge participants compete in a region-wide competition against other ROTC Ranger Challenge teams in eight events: Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), 10k Ruck Run, One-Rope Bridge, M-16 Assembly, Land Navigation, Patrolling test, Patrolling Lane, Orienteering, and M-16 Qualification. This competition is the culmination of an intense two month practice schedule. The Ranger Challenge team works out 6 days a week for 2 months to prepare for the competition. In 2008 the CSU team brought home first place.

Cannon Crew

Cannon Crew cadets attend home football games in support of the Rams. Every time the Rams score points, the Crew fires a victory round from "Comatose", our 75mm French Howitzer cannon. These students are also responsible for care and maintenance of the cannon, including preparation before games and cleaning the breech and bore after usage. The firing of our cannon is one of the oldest traditions in CSU history!

Push-Up Crew

These students team up with students from our sister service, Air Force ROTC Detachment 90, and cheer on the Rams at all our home football games. Every time the CSU Rams put points on the scoreboard, the Push-Up Crew gets down in the end zone and performs synchronized push-ups amid the cheers of the crowd, stopping only when they reach the current Ram score.

Bronze Boot Run

Once a year, football arch rivals Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming clash in alternating cities, Fort Collins and Laramie. It has become a tradition that ROTC students of opposing sides run the game ball from their stadium to the opposing state line where students from the rival school pick up the ball and run it into their stadium. Once in the stadium, the ball is presented to officials as the Game Ball. The run is named the Bronze Boot Run after the trophy that is presented to the winning team. CSU amlumnus and former ROTC instructor, CPT Dan Romero, who had worn the boot while serving in the Vietnam conflict, donated the Bronze Boot as the trophy.

Leadership Training Exercises

Each semester, students are given a tremendous opportunity to put into practice skills learned in class and leadership labs. During a LTX weekend, students spend four days in barracks and in the field practicing and honing rifle marksmanship, land navigation and leadership skills. Cadets also participate in the Squad Training Exercise (STX) lanes where they learn defense, ambush, raid, and reconnaissance techniques. There are also fun events for the cadets to participate in such as the grenade assault course, paintball, and casevac procedures.

Military Ball and Dining-In

The Military Ball is an age-old tradition in the Army. An occasion for which military personnel dress in their finest uniforms and bring dates to experience this event. A Military Ball is an opportunity for cadets, cadre, alumni, and faculty to interact in a social, albeit formal, setting. Food, atmosphere, and entertainment are festive, extravagant and pleasant. An awards ceremony is held where cadets are awarded for achievements through out the year. This is very likely to be the most popular event the Ram Battalion offers.

The Ram Battalion Dining-In, held at the end of the fall semester, is similar to the Military Ball. Dining-In is a strictly unit affair, meaning that dates are not invited to the event.

Color Guard

The Ram Battalion Color Guard performs precision ceremonies at all major events on campus and several events off campus as well. Some of the functions the Color Guard serve include football games, the Military Ball, commissioning and graduation ceremonies. The Color Guard also gets requests from the local community to perform at special events. The Color Guard has posted the colors at Colorado Eagles hockey games and at VFW special events. Color Guard participants practice diligently to present the most professional and respectful ceremonies possible.

If you require more information about Army ROTC, do not hesitate to contact our Scholarship & Enrollment Officer COL(R) Peter Bleich. We are located at the Army ROTC Military Science Building, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523. We may also be reached by phone at (970) 491-1640 or (970) 491-6506.

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