Ball State Reserve Officer Training Corp, or ROTC, gives students the opportunity to become a commissioned officer in the military upon graduation from college.

“Army ROTC, Reserve Officer Training Corp. is one of the few pathways for achieving direct post-graduation career as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army, Army Reserve or National Guard,” Cadet Austin Berry said. 

Army ROTC is offered at over 1,700 academic institutions across the country. The Ball State program currently has 55 cadets and five senior-military instructors Berry said.

Contact Captain Jason L. Earley at earley@bsu or stop by his office in Ball Gym 111 to join. 

If any student organizations wish to partner with Ball State ROTC, contact Austin Berry at arberry@bsu.edu.

The Ball State Army ROTC is one of the largest programs in a five state area.

The Army ROTC provides $274 million in scholarship money to more than 13,000 students each year, according to the U.S. Army Cadet Command.

Additionally, Ball State ROTC Program was recognized as No. 1 for this year’s Minuteman Scholarship Campaign in the five state brigade of 37 schools.

RELATED: Ball State ROTC program ranked No. 1 in the nation

Minuteman scholarships cover full four-year tuition, provide a textbook allowance and weekly stipend to students. Ball State’s ROTC was awarded 27 of these scholarships, which amounts to close to $1.1 million.

While scholarships are offered through the program, the program's versatility appealed to Berry.

“After high school I found myself at a difficult crossroad between the desire to pursue my higher education and a calling to serve my country,” Berry said. “Ball State University’s Army ROTC gave me the ability to fulfill both.”

Ball State was recently ranked No. 1 in the nation by the Army National Guard and is developing student-soldiers.

Berry will graduate this year with a degree in military science. He says his success is, in part, due to the ROTC.

“I have life-long friendships with my cadet peers,” he said. “The opportunity to surround myself with highly-motivated individuals has been a vital asset to my success.”

If students would like to join Ball State ROTC, the program offers year-long open enrollment. In order to join, student will be required to obtain a minor in military science, attend physical training sessions and a weekly lab, Berry said.

“If you possess drive, stand on a moral high ground, and a desire the opportunity to lead soldiers in the United States Army, we want you in our program,” Berry said.

Capt. Jason Earley said if you are unsure about joining the ROTC, it is worth it to try it.

“The profession isn’t for everyone, but the benefit of trying this rather than enlisting is that a student or cadet has time to figure out if it is for them,” Earley said. “Also, any classes completed provide elective credits and benefit them as a goal oriented student.”