Is there any obligation incurred by incoming freshmen when they join the program?
Not right away. Scholarship students have a year and College Program students have two years to experience the NROTC program before they have to decide whether to remain in the program and to incur the obligation, or to leave the program without obligation. In other words, scholarship students receive a textbook stipend, a $250/month subsistence stipend, and full tuition with no obligation. You should also note that if a College Program student receives a three-year scholarship at the end of his or her freshman year (see below), then there is no one-year grace period as there is for four-year scholarship students.
What are the obligations of an NROTC Scholarship Midshipman upon commissioning?
Scholarship students that graduate and receive their commission are obligated to serve 8 years of commissioned service, 5 years of active duty and 3 years inactive reserve. This is in an unrestricted line billet (surface, submarine, aviation, or special warfare). If students go to flight school as Pilots or Naval Flight Officers, their obligations increase to 8 and 6 years of active duty respectively, which begin upon completion of flight school. The Nurse Corps and Marine Corps commitment is 4 years of active duty.
What is the purpose of the NROTC?
As the official NROTC website says, “The NROTC Program was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, and loyalty, and with the core values of honor, courage and commitment in order to commission college graduates as naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the naval service, and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.” Hence, our purpose at the Yale NROTC Unit is to train and commission future leaders who meet these important requirements and will honorably serve as officers in the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
Some people need to work during the summer. Are there any allowances for this?
The summer cruises are part of our curriculum and attendance is mandatory if a student is qualified. However, we will allow you to state your preference for one of three phases throughout the summer. The cruises are only two to six weeks long, so you should still be able to work for part of the summer. Also, the midshipmen are paid as an E-5 for the duration of the cruise.
Where do we go during summer cruise, and who pays for our transportation?
Our students travel all over the world on cruises. The Navy pays for your travel expenses from school or your home to the cruise site and your return to home each summer. Our rising seniors have many options available to them. They can request aviation cruises or compete for limited availability to train with Special Operations or Special Warfare units. They may also compete for a foreign exchange cruise with any number of international navies.
What does the summer training consist of for scholarship students?
There are three different cruises, one each summer. The first summer cruise, known as CORTRAMID (Career ORientation and TRAining for MIDshipmen), occurs after the freshmen year, and gives all scholarship students the chance to learn about the four basic line officer specialties. The students spend one week each at four locations to receive familiarizations with aviation, submarine, surface ships, and Marine Corps operations. The second summer cruise, which all scholarship students take after the sophomore year, is aboard either a surface ship or submarine (student’s choice) and is geared toward experiencing the Navy from an enlisted viewpoint. The summer cruise after the junior year provides junior officer training aboard ships, submarines or aviation squadrons for the Navy students, and at the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, Virginia for the Marine Corps students. College Program students take part in only one summer training cruise after their junior year.