Army ROTC has high hopes for new UM program

UM students interested in the Army Reserved Officer Training Core [ROTC] no longer have to commute to Florida International University, now that UM has created its own rigorous program that prides itself on high standards and molding leaders.

“It’s been a slow move,” said Major Albert Harris, head of UM’s Army ROTC.

Now that the program has made it to campus, it is starting out strong – especially with its $2 million budget.

The Army ROTC program offers two to three-credit classes focusing on valuable leadership skills. Interested students must be willing to endure an athletic challenge and demonstrate leadership capabilities. A good GPA is also required.

Students are given problem-solving activities that force them to think through difficult situations. Imagine trying to solve this problem: A large tank is filled with water with eight students on one side. The students must make their way across the water without falling in, using only six short boards and two floating barrels.

This activity is in conjunction with the rest of the program’s “tough training,” which is headed under the title of the Ranger Challenge Team. The “tough training” includes a three-mile run, a six-mile road march, land navigation activities and water events.

In addition to the classes offered, the Army ROTC also has a color guard team which participated in the Dec. 2003 commencement ceremonies.

Another part of Army ROTC is the exclusive Scabbard and Blade Honor Society.

As well as being given extended experience in management and leadership roles and skills, college students are also given incredible scholarship opportunities through Army ROTC.

With the large budget that has been given to the new program, the Army ROTC will award scholarships to deserving students in all academic majors. These scholarships will include $17,000 per year for tuition, $600 for books and $250 to $400 for a tax-free monthly stipend. A student may receive a scholarship for two, three or all four undergraduate years at UM.

Harris encourages student involvement from all academic majors. As with all Army ROTC endeavors, the scholarships are geared toward well-rounded students who exhibit the willingness to take on a challenge.

According to Harris, the Army ROTC is heading in the right direction.

“Basically, we hope to continue the expansion of the army cadet core, the unparalleled leadership training and the distribution of scholarships to those that meet the necessary requirements.”

For more information about the Army ROTC, contact Major Albert Harris at 305-284-3329, or visit the McArthur Building Rm. 225.

Camille Cohen can be contacted at