My twins have had an amazing 4-year ROTC summer experience. One spent time in Africa learning Swahili. The other spent their June and July at Nanjing University in China learning Mandarin one year and then learning about forensics the next.
The best part of these experiences, for me, was it cost nothing. Not only did the military pay for everything, but also each of the boys got paid while studying languages and learning about forensics.
Additionally, when one of them decided to continue their study of Chinese during the school year, the Army paid him $750 per semester to take the course!
An ROTC cadet does not need a summer job if they take advantage of the various programs offered. Besides all expenses, including tuition, paid for by the DOD, my sons each made over $2000 during the summers by taking advantage of these voluntary programs.
Then, during the school year, they made another $1500 for taking a two-semester language class! You do not need to be an ROTC scholarship recipient to take advantage of these programs. You merely need to be enrolled in Army, Navy or Air Force ROTC. Project Go was the name of the program my sons participated in at their respective colleges.
The program provides scholarships for studying languages designated critical by the military. These languages include Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Russian, Korean, Hindi and some others. The DOD reimburses the participating universities for all costs associated with any ROTC cadet.
The summer after their freshman year, my sons spent six weeks studying language: one at the University of Virginia and the other at NC State. All tuition, books and housing were paid for and each received a stipend, based on the number of credits, totaling almost $2000. (The Government takes taxes out.) During their sophomore year in the fall and spring, one elected to continue his Chinese studies and continued receiving his stipend for doing so.
The summer after their sophomore year, each decided to take advantage of the program again and continue their language studies abroad. Everything, including the airfare, was paid for and each received $2000 again in stipends.
Project CULP is a similar program but does not necessarily include language study. Cultural immersion is the focus of CULP. Small groups of cadets, all volunteers, go abroad with active duty cadre members and participate in community service related projects. For example, some may go to Africa or South America and help build a school. Others might go to Thailand and teach English. All expenses are paid and each cadet also gets paid for participating.
Cadets have the opportunity to go to some of the military schools during their summer vacations too. Airborne and Air Assault Schools are two of the most popular. They are very competitive though and there are not many slots. The Project Go and CULP programs, however, cannot seem to get enough cadets to participate. If you are willing to take a language, then you likely will be able to go.
Finally, after Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), the officer’s basic training course you attend between your junior and senior years, you can also attend an all-expenses-paid training course. Courses include spending three weeks at the Pentagon in contracting, a forensics course in Florida, etc.
What a deal! Instead of cleaning tables to make money during the summer, you can gain a useful skill, see the world and make money doing it.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
As Vice President of a Security Fusion Center, Bill has provided risk management advice and direction to major Fortune 100 defense industry, ultra high net worth and other clients.
As Global Director for Security, Alem International, Bill planned and directed all facets of the security and risk mitigation strategies for the 2004 Olympic Torch Relay that took place in over 34 countries.
Bill was commissioned as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer in the US Army immediately after college.
Mr. Gaskill has a Bachelor of Science degree in Ancient History with a math minor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.He has a current Top Secret/SCI clearance.He has professional fluency ratings in Spanish, Greek, Hebrew and French, and has a working knowledge of Russian.