Last month, our consultant Monika visited the military recruiting centre in New Westminster, and spoke with Sergeant Reid about the Regular Officer’s Training Plan (ROTP). Students with an interest in military service benefit by receiving a paid education and a salary which covers housing and food. In return, they promise to serve in the military for two months for every one month of paid education.
When to apply
If students are interested in ROTP, the best time to first meet with a recruiter is in grade 11. They will assess a student’s academic preparedness for ROTP – grades, community involvement, general fitness. They can make suggestions for missing classes and suggest community activities like Cadets, youth coaching, fitness activities, etc.
The ideal time to apply for ROTP is in September of grade 12. Students apply directly to the ROTP program, which first involves choosing a post-university career. For example, for the job of Pilot, a student can hold any of the degrees that Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) grants. Others are much narrower.
The following is a list of military occupations by undergraduate major:
The following link describes the different majors the RMC offers:
Students attend either Royal Military College of Canada or a civilian university. Each year, approximately 5,000 people apply to ROTP. Approximately 360 students will be selected for first year at RMC, and then another 140 or so will attend civilian universities.
The minimum academic average for ROTP is 75%, but as it is very competitive, students with averages over 85% are more likely to be successful. Students are not required to have French to apply to the program. If they are arts applicants without a grade 12 math, they will have to take a remedial math course at RMC, because arts there includes econ, science, etc. Science and engineering majors, of course, need pre-calc or calc 12.
If a student is accepted to ROTP, they typically enlist as officer cadets in the summer just after grade 12, and then attend Basic Military Training for six weeks. Basic training covers fitness, weapons training, marching, first aid, navigation, and basic skills.
Students at RMC combine their education with military training. In order to meet RMC’s mandate of having a bilingual officer corps, second language training is part of the experience. Anglophone and francophone students are paired, and the language of the entire college switches from French to English every two weeks.
In the summer following first year, students will do second language and military training. In the next two summers, they will work at military units, training for the job they are working towards. Students at RMC earn a small salary, in addition to free tuition, room and board. Students at civilian colleges have their tuition paid and receive a salary, from which they pay their room and board.
In the event that a student chooses to not complete the ROTP program or military service, they are released from their obligation, but must pay back the money that they were paid by the ROTP and the tuition paid on their behalf.
There are also many programs for non-commissioned trades. For example, a student may have cooking school paid for. Also, there are post-graduate occupations that are also paid, such as dental, medical, and social work officers.
For students interested in the military, paid military education is an exciting opportunity!