Army ROTC focuses on developing leadership and management skills, with the goal of commissioning graduated college students as Second Lieutenants into the United States Army, Reserve, or National Guard. Students participate in ROTC part-time while attending college full-time. Most training and coursework takes place on the Boston College campus. Any BC student can join and participate in the ROTC basic course as a non-scholarship Cadet without military obligation during their freshman and sophomore years.

Academic & Skills Training

Army ROTC academic and skills training consists of two parts:

  • Basic Course, usually attended by freshmen and sophomores;
  • Advanced Course for juniors and seniors, including attendance at the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) and a Military History course for which credit is granted by course work in an approved BC history or political science course.

ROTC at BC includes the following:

  • Military Leadership classes meet one to three hours each week;
  • Physical Fitness Training (PT) meets three times weekly from 6:00 to 7:15 a.m.;
  • Leadership labs (24 hours per semester of practical exercises focusing on basic military skills) are conducted weekly;
  • One weekend-long Field Training exercise per semester;
  • One major social event per semester;
  • Informal social events and training opportunities;
  • Periodic community service and local outreach events;
  • Cadets participate and lead Color Guards and optional Drill, Running, Ranger Challenge, and Recon Challenge teams.

Any BC sophomore, junior, or graduate student may join by attending the Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where they will earn constructive credit for the Basic course. For more information see the curriculum.


To recruit, retain, develop, and commission the future junior officer leadership of the United States Army.


An elite and expanding program that leverages the strengths of Boston College and appeals to a broad range of students with unique career goals.


The third president of Boston College established military drill for all students in 1870 as a form of exercise. A sergeant in the regular army initially provided the instruction. The rifles were provided by the state, as there was no contractual agreement between BC and the War Department.

In 1918 the War Department inaugurated the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) to provide for the needs of the Armed Services for highly trained men as officers, chemists, engineers, doctors, and administrators. Following the war, BC applied for a voluntary ROTC unit which began in February 1919 with 137 students. The program went into decline between the wars.

Army ROTC was instituted at Boston College in July 1947 under Colonel James M. Lewis. BC was originally branch affiliated with the Field Artillery. By 1950 there were 438 cadets in the program. In 1959 the program commissioned 159 cadets—the largest number in a single year–and in the 1960s the program enjoyed an enrollment of over 1,200 Cadets and became known as the Boston College ROTC Brigade. The Lewis Drill Team also performed in local and regional parades as a “goodwill emissary of the university.”

On December 10, 1969, in the face of growing dissent toward the Vietnam War, the University Academic Senate voted to reduce ROTC to the status of an extracurricular activity. On October 2, 1970 the Board of Directors voted to sever Boston College’s ties to ROTC. In the 1970 Sub Turri, the entry next to the photo below reads: “The rather odd position of ROTC between university standards and army regulations has always been a precarious one.”

On September 11, 1984 a cross-enrollment agreement between Boston College and Northeastern University re-established the program at the school. Since the inception of the program, more than 1,700 officers have received their commissions from the Boston College Army ROTC program.



Scott T. Lyons

Recruiting Operations Officer


Grady Stebbins

Major, US Army


Andrew Wilson

Sergeant First Class, US Army