U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) announces passage of the Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps Eligibility Reform Act which was included as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002.
Senator Shelby's amendment will enhance the military's ability to recruit and retain qualified junior officers by expanding eligibility criteria of the college level Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program.
The provisions will alter the way in which ROTC determines eligibility by allowing active duty enlisted personnel who have been selected for an officer commissioning program to participate in ROTC training. Currently, these enlisted personnel do not begin their formal officer training until after earning their degree when they attend their respective service's officer candidate school. This legislation would permit these personnel to complete their officer training at the ROTC unit which serves the college or university they are attending, which would decrease the time and cost associated with training.
"Our junior officer ranks are depleted and there is an immediate need to rebuild the morale and readiness of our armed forces," said Shelby. "The ROTC scholarship program has been the backbone of our military's ability to train and commission high quality junior officers. My legislation expands this established program to regular active duty personnel and increases the ability of our military to commission more junior officers -- especially those with valuable prior enlisted service," added Shelby.