Additional Training Opportunities
The Advanced Course builds upon previous training of the Basic Course, but it is the Advanced Course which represents the real officer development portion of ROTC. While the Basic Course provides fundamental knowledge in leadership, the Advanced Course refines and further develops managerial talents through leadership seminars and extensive and intensive practical application. Additionally, the student develops military skills common and essential to the Army.
As MS III 's, cadets serve as the battalion non-commissioned officers (NCO's). The cadet NCO's have a difficult task of being both mentors and leaders of underclassmen while continuing their own training and professional development. In their MS III year, cadets receive their first true taste of leadership responsibility as they serve the battalion in rotating positions as squad leaders (C/SSG), platoon sergeants (C/SFC), first sergeant (C/1SG), and master sergeants (C/MSG). An MS III may even serve as a platoon leader (C/2LT) in the second semester of the MS III year. MS III training is intensive but critical. Halfway through the Advanced Course, training reaches a climax, and an MS III is truly put to the test when the cadet attends Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), an intensive five-week summer training course in Fort Lewis, Washington. Following LDAC, some cadets attend Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT).
Upon successful completion of LDAC, a cadet enters the MS IV year and serves the program as a cadet officer. The MSIV's are the senior leadership of the battalion. The cadet officers essentially manage all aspects of the battalion and serve as the role models and leaders for the other cadets. Cadets serve in command positions as platoon leaders (C/2LT), company commander (C/CPT), or battalion commander (C/LTC) or staff positions at company level (C/1LT) or battalion level (C/MAJ or C/CPT depending on position). There is also one NCO position reserved for MS IV's and that is the battalion command sergeant major (C/CSM). Curriculum for an MS IV is focused on preparing cadets for the challenges they will face in their first years as officers; it centers less on military tactics and more on other responsibilities such as administrative or personnel duties. Students successfully completing the Advanced Course reach the ultimate achievement of the ROTC program, being commissioned an officer at the rank of Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, Army Reserves or Army National Guard.