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The Blue & Gray Press | February 26, 2018

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University AROTC program expands, in collaboration with George Mason

911-ceremony_asvBY BRITTANY POLSON

In 2009, the University of Mary Washington partnered with the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (AROTC) at George Mason University (GMU) to add a military science program. In the years since, the program continued to grow in popularity.

Maj. Paul Kremer, a military science professor at GMU, traces ROTC history back to 1916 with President Woodrow Wilson’s signing of the National Defense Act of 1916.   This Act brought federal control of military training and birthed ROTC programs throughout schools.

Maj. Kremer asserts that the ROTC’s mission is to “…recruit young leaders for America. Develop those leaders. Obtain them in our program for a series of years until they graduate. And then the ultimate goal of cadet command and ROTC, is to commission them as second lieutenants and young officers for the Army.”

UMW’s current AROTC courses are divided into two sequences.  The first sequence ranges from 100 to 200 level courses and does not require the individual to enter into a contract with the U.S. Army.  For students who take these courses without continuing onto the next sequence, the classes count as elective credits.

The second sequence ranges from 300 to 400 level courses and requires military service upon graduation in either an active duty or reserve unit.  Upon graduation, students are commissioned into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant and are required to serve for four years.

While UMW’s military science program continues to grow, it is not yet an independent program.  While SSG. Jasmine Everett heads up a number of the courses on UMW’s campus, many of the courses offered through this concentration require students to drive to GMU’s campus for instruction. GMU’s facilities promote and allow the comprehensive training that the students need.

No prior service or ROTC experience is required to enter this expanding program.