Basic course classes (Army 101, 102, 203, & 204), where Army basics are taught, are held twice a week in a classroom environment. A leadership laboratory is also part of the program. This lab is the practical part of the program, where leadership techniques taught in class are put to the test. All books, uniforms, and equipment needed for the course are provided to you free of charge.
If you decide to pursue a commission in the Army, you will be enrolled in the advanced program and begin to collect the non-taxable monthly stipend given to all junior and senior cadets.
Much of your involvement during the junior year will be leadership training in preparation for the Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), a five-week course in leadership held at Fort Lewis, Washington. This training, held in the summer between your junior and senior years, is the challenging and exciting culmination of your first three years in ROTC. Under the watchful eye of experienced officers and NCOs, you will undergo realistic training and evaluation on Army weapon's systems, tactics, and other tasks. Your leadership skills will be cultivated and enhanced. You will apply the skills you learn at LDAC when you return to Penn State for your senior year.
Senior cadets are given cadet officer rank and assigned the task of planning, executing and assessing training for all the cadets of the battalion. This final phase of training has proven to be a highly successful tool in the development of young officers.
ARMY 101: U.S. Army Organization and Function
This is the introductory course for Army ROTC. It is three credits and meets twice a week for about one hour. Topics covered are the organization, mission and function of the Army, as well as its customs and traditions. It also voluntarily meets for a one hour Leadership Laboratory with the rest of the battalion on Thursday mornings. Additional opportunities include attendance at physical training one to three times per week, and attendance at one weekend field training exercise during the semester.
ARMY 102: The Military Profession
This course continues the topics covered in Army 101 with an emphasis on leadership techniques and basic management skills. This is also three credits and meets twice a week for lecture. The additional opportunities are the same as for Army 101. However, in Army 102, the student is given more hands-on leadership opportunities at the Leadership Laboratory. Placed in a weekly rotating leadership position, such as squad leader of an 8-person squad, the cadet is responsible for leading his or her unit toward a specific goal. Additional opportunities include attendance at physical training one to three times per week, and attendance at one weekend field training exercise during the semester.
ARMY 203: Army Operations
This course, taken during the sophomore year, teaches organization of units and teams as well as the fundamentals of small unit tactics. This course is three credits and meets twice per week for lecture. Like Army 101 and 102, the weekly Leadership Laboratory and one weekend field training exercise per semester are offered. During this course, the physical training attendance option is highly recommended, but remains one to three times per week.
ARMY 204: Land Navigation
Army 204 covers military map reading and methods of orienteering and land navigation. Like Army 203, this course is three credits and meets twice per week. The course favors a more hands-on approach to skills development. Cadets will be placed in more responsible leadership positions ranging from platoon sergeant to company commander. The physical training option and field training exercise opportunity are the same as Army 203.
ARMY 301: Leadership and Management
This course is the introduction to the Advanced Course. Subjects covered include principles of military leadership, military skills development, and advanced land navigation. This course is three credits and meets twice per week. Physical training is required and varies between one to three times per week based upon individual fitness level. There is roughly one weekend training exercise per month during the semester. The Leadership Laboratory consists of advanced training and leading the cadets in the Basic Course.
ARMY 302: Practical Military Leadership
This course covers leadership in the field. It is also three credits and meets twice per week for lecture. Theory of offense, defense, and squad patrolling are stressed, but are taught as practical leadership situations. The seniors work closely with the juniors at Leadership Laboratory to prepare them for the National Advanced Leadership Camp, which takes place the summer after their junior year. Physical training is highly stressed, and there is again roughly one weekend training exercise during the semester.
ARMY 401: Command and Staff Procedures
The focus of this course is the function of a battalion staff. Each senior cadet will be assigned to a position in the Battalion, from Battalion Commander to Platoon Tactical Officer (evaluator of the underclass cadets). The senior cadets plan and supervise all the training of the underclass cadets under the supervision of the ROTC instructors. Physical training requirements are the same as in the junior year, and seniors attend all field training exercises, performing their assigned position and responsibilities.
ARMY 402: Transition to Lieutenant
This is the final course in the Army ROTC curriculum and teaches knowledge important to new lieutenants, including personnel management and counseling, logistics systems, military justice, personal affairs, training management, ethical responsibilities, and life in the Army. Physical training continues at one to three times per week, and seniors continue to perform their staff duties, coordinating with cadets from other universities for one final field training exercise. Upon the completion of ROTC and academic coursework, the cadet is commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.