Welcome to our website. If you’re here, your son or daughter is likely interested in Army ROTC.
I am Lieutenant Colonel James D. Scrogin, the Department Head and Senior Professor of Army ROTC. I am a graduate of Army ROTC from Northwest Missouri State in 1996, and have served in the in the Army for over 22 years, both as an enlisted Soldier and an officer. I love being able to give back and help young people. I am also a father of two children, and when I speak with you, or with your child, I do so from a position of complete integrity and disclosure, because I would want the same for my sons. This letter is written directly from me to curious, and possibly concerned, parents.
I’d like to share with you some thoughts on the military, our officer program, the Cadre Team and provide a little information on financial resources.
The Military. Less than 1% of Americans serve in the military. With less than a third of that serving as an officer in the military. As officers, we are a very small, very professional group who serve something greater than ourselves, and give back to our great country. Furthermore, Army ROTC is one of the paths to becoming an Army officer (approximately 80% of today’s Army officers come from ROTC programs like ours).
The Purdue Officer Program. Army ROTC is an academic program on campus that anyone can enroll in. Students receive academic credit for our classes, our leadership labs, and for our morning Physical Training sessions. These courses show up on their transcripts like any other class. The 4-year ROTC program is broken into two 2-year groups. The first two years of ROTC is called the Basic Course, which anyone can attend for elective credit. The last 2 years of the program is our Advanced Course, and is more serious and challenging. Only “contracted” cadets can participate in these last 2 years. “Contracted” simply means these students have decided to serve in the Army as an officer after graduation. They can choose active duty (full time, like I did), or National Guard or Reserves (part time, in any state they want).
Our program is all about Leadership Development - Always! Our graduates finish their time at Purdue with a marked advantage over other graduates. They have had four years of structured, developmental opportunities to improve their leadership abilities. We have very effective ways of challenging students by placing them in charge of other cadets and in stressful situations. Our senior cadets evaluate their actions, and provide verbal and written feedback on their leadership attributes. Our seniors do this as part of their own leadership development and focus their learning on resource management (time, people and logistics).
The Cadre Team. The team of very experienced military staff assesses the seniors as they “run” the program by conducting and evaluating training. It’s a great system that allows us to tap into every ounce of potential in our students and create the best, most capable young leader possible. Being an Army officer is a difficult, demanding job. It’s not for everyone. Not everyone will be allowed to continue into the Advanced Course. We make our assessment on each student, and then make a deliberate decision whether or not to allow him or her to continue. Only the best 1% of Americans can lead and protect the other 99%. We take our responsibility very seriously.
Financial Resources. Because the Army needs nearly 5,000 new officers each year, Congress has allocated funds to ROTC to provide scholarships and incentives to attract the very best students into our programs. We also have amazing incentives to reward those students who choose to serve beyond their initial obligation term. For high school students, we have the National Scholarship process. This is a web-based application and process for HS juniors and seniors to complete. We award scholarships to the best high school students in the nation. These scholarships pay full tuition (regardless of in-state or out-of-state), books, and a living allowance each month of school. We also have some (very few) campus-based scholarships that I can personally give out each year. There is also a summer training program that college sophomores can attend to compete and qualify for a full 2-year scholarship. We also have incentives that pay bonuses to cadets who choose to go into the National Guard or Reserves, which means these officers fulfill their Army role “part-time”, and have a full-time regular job in any state.
Note - for any Indiana resident, the National Guard is an AMAZING path to take to pay for college. And, after college/ROTC, you can serve in the Guard/Reserves in any state or ask to be allowed to compete for Active duty if you wish. If you’re interested in this, please contact our Scholarship and Enrollment Officer. If your child’s a high school sophomore, we can tell you how your student can not only get college paid for, but have significant income while going to college and being a student.
I hope this letter helps you understand a little of what we do here, and why it’s vitally important that we commission only the very best officers to lead and to protect our nation. Please explore our website and contact us with any questions.
Lieutenant Colonel James Scrogin
Department Head and Senior Professor, Purdue Army ROTC