Above all, an Army ROTC cadet is a student.
A cadet's first priority is always the completion of their degree. Cadet's lives are similar to any other college student; they take jobs at local businesses, join fraternities and sororities, and perform community service.
Instructors teach Army ROTC just like another class in the school curriculum. There is no special application to attend ROTC; students simply select Military Science classes during their class registration process. Freshman and sophomores take classes that explore the history, customs, traditions, and role of the U.S. Army. Juniors and seniors broaden their scope to officership training. These courses cover a wide spectrum of subjects, from training in common military skills to fostering a value system that emphasizes service to the nation. The emphasis of junior level classes is to prepare cadets to attend the Leadership Development Advanced Camp the summer between their junior and senior year. Senior level courses prepare cadets for commissioning as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army.
In addition to class, each week all cadets take part in a two hour-long leadership lab. This training is conducted at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Stetson cadets are members of the Eagle Battalion at ERAU, approximately 150 members strong. Lead lab is where cadets put the information they learned in class to practical, hands-on application. The training environment is fun and exciting; cadets learn basic infantry skills such as marksmanship, land navigation, and squad combat tactics.
Stetson Army ROTC takes to the field twice a semester with the Eagle Battlion. Training takes place on weekends and usually is located at the nearby Ocala National Forest or at Camp Blanding in Starke, FL. These trips further the cadet training experience by allowing them to use their skills in a realistic environment. Cadets practice their navigational skills and squad tactics at Ocala National Forest and their marksmanship skills with the M-16 rifle at the Camp Blanding range.
Between a student's junior and senior year, cadets will attend the Leadership Development Advanced Camp at Fort Lewis, WA. This camp is designed to solidify a cadet's ROTC experience and ensure that they are prepared to become an officer in the U.S. Army. Students from all Army ROTC battalions nation wide are required to attend this camp. The Eagle Battalion cadets consistently rank among the top in camp performance.
Ranger Challenge (Optional)
If you are athletic, enjoy team spirit, have a drive to win, and just love the whole Army infantry experience, Ranger Challenge is probably for you. The team provides cadets with another opportunity for exciting and challenging training. Ranger Challenge is Army ROTC's "varsity sport." Annually, more than 300 universities nationwide field teams to compete in a series of challenging events. Locally, cadets compete against 21 schools and teams from Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico in the Brigade Competition at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Training for this event includes rigorous physical fitness workouts, information classes on various elements of light infantry tactics, and a weekend Field Training Exercise where the team practices rifle marksmanship, rope bridge, land navigation, and other infantry skills. The Eagle Battalion team has a strong reputation as a winner. Despite the fact that neither Stetson nor Embry-Riddle are a military college like many of our competitors, the team placed first within the Brigade twice in the past five years. In addition, our team was invited to the Sandhurst Competition three times in the same five years. Sandhurst takes place during spring at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. This is a major international event involving teams from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Germany. Participation and success at this competition has always been the goal of our team. During the 2002 Competition, our Ranger Challenge team placed 9th out of 46, beating all the ROTC teams, 26 of the West Point teams, all the other Academy teams, the Canadian team, and the German team. In addition, the team placed first in marksmanship.
Airborne (Optional; Fort Benning, Ga.)
This physically demanding three week course trains soldiers to conduct military parachute operations. During the final week of the course, cadets conduct five parachute jumps as a prerequisite to Airborne graduation.
Air Assault (Optional; Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Rucker, Ala., Schofield Barracks, Hawaii)
This physically demanding, 12-day course trains soldiers to conduct military operations with Army Aviation support. In addition to a challenging physical training program, the course includes instruction on the preparation and inspection of external helicopter sling loads, rappelling from helicopters, and a 12-mile timed road march in full combat gear.
Northern Warfare (Optional; Fort Greely, Alaska)
This three-week course provides training in the skills required for survival, movement, and the conduct of military operations in mountainous terrain and cold weather. Emphasis is placed on basic military mountaineering skills.
Mountain Warfare (Optional; Jericho, Vt.)
A two-week course that is designed to develop and train the leadership and technical skills needed by Army personnel to perform mountaineering tasks in a realistic mountain environment. It provides students with the practical, hands-on experience in the application of tactics and techniques effective for mountain operations.
Cadet Troop Leadership Course (CTLT)
Available to cadets in the summer between their junior and senior years. CTLT provides a unique opportunity for cadets to experience the work environment of an active duty Second Lieutenant. Cadets are assigned for a three-week period to Second Lieutenant positions in the active army, usually to platoon leader positions, and are expected to lead soldiers in the accomplishment of unit missions. CTLT cadets interact with unit commanders, junior officers, noncommissioned officers, and soldiers in the "real life" environment of the unit.