Military Science

Catalog Home

Dexter Bldg. (34), Room 115
Phone: 805.756.7682

Department Head: Major Joshua Gillen

Programs

Program name Program type
ROTCFour-Year Program
Military ScienceMinor

Four-Year Program

The Military Science Department conducts a dynamic four-year program of instruction which develops the mental and physical qualifications of graduates in preparation for positions of leadership within the military and civilian communities. Students may enroll at any time for full academic elective credit without incurring any military service obligation. However, the last two years of the program are oriented toward preparing the student for a military career.

The innovative and well-taught courses complement all major areas of study by broadening the student's basic education. The complete curriculum includes both military leadership and management courses; courses which provide an awareness of the heritage of the U.S. military; the Armed Forces' role in national defense strategy; professional military subjects; and military ethics.

Students desiring to attain a highly sought-after commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army must meet eligibility requirements and complete the entire Military Science/ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) Advanced Course (25 units). To be eligible for participation in the Cal Poly ROTC Program, a student must be enrolled full time (12 units) at Cal Poly, have at least two years remaining as a university student to permit completion of the advanced course prior to reaching the 30th birthday, and be physically qualified.

Financial Assistance

Many opportunities for financial assistance are available to students. Three areas of opportunities are: ROTC cadets who sign a contract for Advanced Phase, students who earn an ROTC scholarship, and cadets who train with Reserve or National Guard units. All ROTC cadets sign a contract to participate in the Advanced Phase of ROTC and receive a $300 - $500 a month allowance. Criteria to participate in the Advanced Phase are stated later. Highly competitive two-, two and a half, three-, and four-year ROTC scholarships are available. The scholarship provides payment of either full tuition or room and board (student’s choice), books, supplies, and the $300 - 500 a month allowance for the duration of the scholarship. Students interested in ROTC scholarship should contact the Military Science Department. Reserve or National Guard training provides an additional two sources of financial assistance: approximately $165 a month for one weekend drill and approximately $190 a month tuition assistance from the National Guard/Army Reserve "New GI Bill" benefits.

Equipment and Uniforms

All necessary equipment, uniforms and textbooks for participation in the Military Science/ROTC program are furnished to the student by the United States Government free of charge. Title to this property, other than expendable items, remains with the government.

Phases of Four-Year Program

The four-year program elective military science curriculum is divided into two diverse phases. The basic phase is primarily for freshmen and sophomores, and the advanced phase is for junior and senior level students.

Basic Phase

The Basic Phase is a two-year challenging opportunity where students may, without obligation, investigate the ROTC Program and the military as a full- or part-time career. Students may enter and leave this phase during any quarter. The curriculum for the basic phase is listed below and offers many exciting opportunities for all students. To become an ROTC cadet during this phase requires the student be registered for a Military Science class, completion of an ROTC enrollment form (obtained at the Military Science Department, Dexter Building, Room 115), and an interview with the ROTC Enrollment Officer. Because this phase is for students to examine the ROTC Program without obligation, participation in ROTC activities is encouraged but not mandatory.

Entry to the challenging Advanced Phase is accomplished either by successfully completing the Basic Phase classes, completing ROTC Leader’s Training Course or completing any military basic training program. Students have the option of contracting any time during their second year of the Basic Phase of study.

Program Requirements
 

ROTC Leader’s Training Course (Summer Session only)

One method to qualify for the Advanced Phase is to successfully complete the four-week challenging ROTC Leader’s Training Course (LTC). Students normally attend LTC during the summer between their second and third academic years. Transfer students may complete the camp during the summer immediately prior to their matriculation at Cal Poly. It is important that potential transfer students who plan to participate in the two-year ROTC program make their intentions known directly to the Military Science Department no later than June 1 of the year they plan to register at the university even though this date may precede the date of their final acceptance by the university.

The government provides a transportation allowance to and from LTC and pay at the rate of one-half of a Second Lieutenant's basic pay. All equipment, uniforms, room, board and medical care are furnished free while at camp. A maximum of 7 units elective credit may be earned for attending LTC. No military obligation is incurred for attending this camp.

Basic Training

Outstanding students who have successfully served on active duty, regardless of the branch of service, are qualified to enter the Advanced Phase because they have completed basic training for their particular branch of service. Also, students who have been or are members of Reserve or National Guard units and have completed basic training are qualified for the Advanced Phase.

Advanced Phase

The Advanced Phase is a two-year period where ROTC cadets receive advanced leadership and management training. The cadets receive many hours of hands-on, practical leadership experiences to prepare them for a military career or a management position in the civilian sector. To become a cadet in the Advanced Phase a student must complete the Basic Phase, ROTC Summer Leader’s Training Course (LTC) or Basic Training. The student must also make a commitment to attend all required training activities and sign a contract to accept a prestigious commission in the United States Army. In return for the student's commitment, the Military Science Department provides $450-500 a month (which is based on program year), classroom instruction, real leadership opportunities, and continuous professional development of their leadership skills.

After their first year of the Advanced Phase, cadets usually attend a four-week camp where their leadership skills are further developed and assessed. All equipment, uniforms, room, board, and medical care are furnished free while at this camp. The cadets also receive approximately $800 during the five weeks. Upon successful completion of the Advanced Phase and graduation from the university, the cadet is commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.

Program Requirements
 

Simultaneous Membership Program

Students can serve simultaneously in either the California National Guard or Army Reserve while they are cadets in ROTC and receive pay from both their unit and ROTC. Those who complete the ROTC Advanced Phase prior to graduation may continue serving in the Reserve or National Guard in the Simultaneous Membership Program. Since students can earn as much as $4,000 each year, this program provides both substantial financial benefits and leadership experience.

Military Science Minor

The minor emphasizes the following personal and technical skills: time, personnel, and resource management under duress; knowledge of U.S. military heritage, customs, and courtesies; planning and briefing under time constraints; current national defense issues; equal opportunity, sexual harassment, and military ethics; military justice; physical fitness; map reading and orienteering; leadership, management, and counseling skills under duress; oral, visual, and written communication skills in accordance with Army norms; small unit tactics. It provides marketable skills to students interested in government service, personnel management, and law enforcement. The Military Science Minor is limited to contracted ROTC cadets only. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required in all units counted for completion of the minor.

Minor Requirements

How to Read Course Descriptions

MSL Courses

MSL 101. Foundation of Officership I. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: Freshman or sophomore standing.

Introduction to issues and competencies of the Army officer profession. Emphasis on stereotypes about the military, the role of the Army officer, customs and traditions within the military, and personal and physical development. 1 lecture.

MSL 102. Foundation of Officership II. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: Freshman or sophomore standing.

The role of leadership within a large organization. Emphasis on the definition of leadership, leadership framework, individual and organizational core values, and the moral responsibility of leadership. 1 lecture.

MSL 103. Basic Leadership. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: Freshman or sophomore standing.

The foundation of basic leadership fundamentals such as problem solving, communications, briefings and effective writing, techniques for improving listening and speaking skills, and an introduction to counseling. 1 lecture.

MSL 110. Exercises in Military Leadership. 1 unit

CR/NC

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Enrollment in any MSL course or consent of department head.

Hands-on instruction on the proper execution of small-unit military operations. Incorporation of the military decision-making process in the planning, execution and conducting of a wide variety of squad, platoon and company sized missions. Credit/No Credit grading only. 1 activity.

MSL 111. Orienteering. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Principles of orienteering, basic map reading and compass skills; course running techniques applied in field orienteering events. Open to all freshmen and sophomores. 1 lecture, 1 activity.

MSL 112. The Army Physical Fitness Program. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

The Army Physical Fitness Program and its proper execution. Physical training to the Army standard with the goal of successfully passing the Army Physical Fitness Test. 1 laboratory.

MSL 201. Foundations of Leadership I. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: Freshman or sophomore standing.

The development of individual leadership traits and capabilities using the Army officer as a model. The Army's problem solving methods, written and oral communications, tactics and group leadership. 2 lectures.

MSL 202. Foundations of Leadership II. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: Freshman or sophomore standing.

The development of individual leadership traits and capabilities using the Army officer as a model. The Army's problem solving methods, tactics and group leadership. 2 lectures.

MSL 203. Foundations of Leadership III. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: Freshman or sophomore standing.

The development of individual leadership traits and capabilities using the Army officer as a model. The Army's problem solving methods, land navigation techniques, tactics and group leadership. 2 lectures.

MSL 212. Leader's Training Course. 1-7 units

Term Typically Offered: F

One to seven units of credit may be granted depending upon successful completion of training. Five weeks of training, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Travel pay and salary provided through the Military Science Department. No obligation. LTC graduates eligible to enroll in ROTC Advanced Program.

MSL 229. Ranger Challenge. 2 units

CR/NC

Term Typically Offered: F

Selection and preparation of the Ranger Challenge Team which will represent Cal Poly in military tactical skills competition. Includes rope bridging, orienteering, weapons knowledge, hand grenade accuracy, 10K road march with equipment, first aid, marksmanship, physical fitness and tactics. Credit/No Credit grading only. 2 activities.

MSL 240. American Military History and the Evolution of Western Warfare. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Comprehensive analysis of American military history from the early Anglo-French period to the end of the 20th Century. Examination of the strategies, operations and tactics of military warfare, and exploration of how social, economic, and technological factors produced the distinct patterns of war that characterize the struggles of the past two hundred plus years. Open to all students. 4 lectures.

MSL 270. Selected Topics. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics. The Schedule of Classes will list title selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

MSL 275. Facilitation and Teambuilding. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Techniques and models used in leadership, facilitation, and teambuilding. Emphasis on leadership and facilitation styles and models, teambuilding and group dynamics, and working with various populations. Field trip required. 2 seminars. Crosslisted as MSL/RPTA 275.

MSL 301. Tactical Leadership I. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: Completion of MSL 101, MSL 102, MSL 103, MSL 201, MSL 202, MSL 203, or completion of MSL 212, and consent of department head.

Introduction to the life of a professional Army officer. Instruction in the operational art of small-unit leadership, and the roles and responsibilities of an Army 2nd Lieutenant in preparation for attendance at the Leader Development and Assessment Course. 3 lectures.

MSL 302. Tactical Leadership II. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: MSL 301, and consent of instructor.

Continuation of study of the life of a professional Army officer. Instruction in the operational art of small-unit leadership, and the roles and responsibilities of an Army 2nd Lieutenant in preparation for attendance at the Leader Development and Assessment Course. 3 lectures.

MSL 303. Applied Leadership. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: MSL 301, MSL 302, and consent of instructor.

Demonstration of proficiency in leading small units. Emphasis on clear and concise oral communications, land navigation, weapons skills, and timely decision-making. Completion of training for the Leader Development and Assessment Course and preparation for attendance at the course. 3 lectures.

MSL 310. Advanced Leadership of Military Exercises. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: MSL 110. Recommended: MSL 203 or MSL 212.

The planning, resourcing and execution of selected Army tactical missions in a field environment, and leading all students enrolled in MSL 110. Total credit limited to 3 units. 1 activity.

MSL 312. Leadership of the Army Physical Fitness Program. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: MSL 112. Recommended: MSL 203 or MSL 212.

The planning, resourcing and execution of the Army Physical Fitness Program, and leading all students enrolled in MSL 112. Total credit limited to 3 units. 1 laboratory.

MSL 314. Leadership Development and Assessment Course. 6 units

CR/NC

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: MSL 301, MSL 302, MSL 303, and consent of instructor.

Five week summer training program required to achieve an Army commission. Testing and training as functional Army officers and determination of potential for service. Travel pay, room and board, and salary provided by the U.S. Army. Held at Fort Lewis, Washington. Credit/No Credit grading only.

MSL 400. Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Individual investigation, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units, with a maximum of 2 units per quarter.

MSL 401. Developmental Leadership I. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: MSL 301, MSL 302, MSL 303 and consent of instructor.

In-depth study and analysis of the duties and responsibilities of an ethical Army officer. Emphasis on honing skills required at follow-on training. Administrative actions and self and subordinate developmental processes utilized by an Army 2nd Lieutenant. 3 lectures.

MSL 402. Developmental Leadership II. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: MSL 401 and consent of instructor.

Continuation of MSL 401 with a focus on communications and personal development. Continuation of in-depth study and analysis of the duties and responsibilities of an ethical Army officer. Emphasis placed on honing skills required at follow-on training. Administrative actions and self and subordinate developmental processes utilized by an Army 2nd Lieutenant. 3 lectures.

MSL 403. Adaptive Leadership. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: MSL 401 and MSL 402.

Beginning of transition from student to commissioned officer. Emphasis on expectations of an Army 2nd Lieutenant. Cultural awareness, effective command climates, terrorism and force protection in the current operational environment, and individual officer skills. 3 lectures.

MSL 410. Administration and Evaluation of Exercises in Military Leadership. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: MSL 303 or MSL 310. Recommended: MSL 314.

The supervision and evaluation of the organization, planning, resourcing, and execution of selected Army tactical missions, and mentoring assigned students enrolled in MSL 310. Total credit limited to 3 units. 1 activity.

MSL 412. Administration and Evaluation of the Army Physical Fitness Program. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: MSL 303 or MSL 312. Recommended: MSL 314.

The supervision and evaluation of the organization, planning, resourcing, and execution of the Army Physical Fitness Program, and mentoring assigned students enrolled in MSL 312. Total credit limited to 3 units. 1 laboratory.

MSL 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1-4 lectures.