» Army Reserve Officer Training Corps

Army Reserve Officer Training Corps

at Wheaton College

Become an Army Officer
Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is a college course of leadership training that produces 75% of the Army’s officer strength. Becoming an Army officer allows you to empower and inspire strength in others. When you lead soldiers, you gain the strength to lead in life. As an officer, you learn to lead from the front—from day one—through the Army’s unique and unparalleled training. The program transforms men and women from college students into Army leaders, prestigious professionals who serve in the most respected institution in America.

About the Rolling Thunder Battalion
ROTC cadets at Elmhurst College participate in training with the Rolling Thunder Battalion at Wheaton College. This non-denominational Christian school, located about 25 minutes from Elmhurst’s campus, has been training and commissioning Army lieutenants since 1952. The Army ROTC program enhances your degree and helps you excel during and after college. The Rolling Thunder Battalion is consistently recognized in the top 10% of all Army ROTC programs, and our graduates have gone on to serve with distinction in the military, the business sector, government, and the ministry. As part of the Rolling Thunder Battalion, you’ll be a vital member of our team and the best leadership development program in the nation. You’ll quickly gain the confidence and self-discipline to succeed in your classes. You’ll acquire leadership skills from our people-oriented organization that will serve you during college and prepare you for a lifetime of successes. You’ll also earn opportunities to use your abilities and talents to serve others and your country. The Rolling Thunder Battalion will push you to be the kind of compassionate warrior-leader our world needs.

What We Do
You can try Army ROTC for up to 2 years with no obligation in the Basic Course, where you will study leadership development, military skills, and adventure training while you combine classroom time with hands-on experience—skills that are sure to give you an edge over your peers when it comes time to look for a job. If you are able to be a part of our team and decide to continue in the advanced course, you will be agreeing to serve your country for a total of 8 years after graduation as an Army officer, either full-time on active duty or part-time (reserve duty) while pursuing your civilian career—your choice. During college your training will consist of:

  • Once a week Military Science Leadership Lab with hands-on practical exercises Thursday afternoons, followed by weekly Military Science academic class Thursday evenings
  • Physical Training three times a week with fellow cadets
  • One weekend each semester, a Field Training Exercise lets you put together everything you’ve learned
  • One paid four-week leadership evaluation camp during the summer after your junior year

Here are a few extracurricular opportunities offered:

  • The Ranger Challenge Team, ROTC’s varsity sport. Our best Rolling Thunder cadets compete against other schools from our region once a year.
  • Color Guard. This small group of cadets presents the nation’s colors all over the Chicago area.

Think you’re ready?
If you have a desire to learn, lead and serve, we want to talk to you. We specifically look for students who meet or exceed as many of these requirements as possible:

  • U.S citizen, 17 years of age before scholarship is effective
  • 24 ACT/1100 SAT with at least a 3.0 high school GPA.
  • Men: 42 push-ups, 53 sit-ups, 2-mile run in 15:54
  • Women: 19 push-ups, 53 sit-ups, 2-mile run in 18:54
  • Scholars (valedictorian/salutatorian, member of the National Honor Society, Honors or Advanced Placement Program graduate, top 10% of class, etc.)
  • Athletes (varsity letter from high school team, member of regional/city/competitive league, active involvement in organized or individual athletic competitions, etc.)
  • Leaders (elected member of student government, class or activity, captain of athletic or academic team, served in position of responsibility in school/club/private organizations, Eagle Scout/Gold Star, etc.)

Getting you through school
The Army offers opportunities to compete for a variety of scholarships, including 2, 3, and 4-year awards that provide 100% of the tuition and fees annually! In addition, contracted cadets earn a $300–$500 monthly stipend and $1200 a year for books. Anyone with at least two full years of graduate or undergraduate studies remaining may apply. Other scholarship options are also available. Nursing students who enroll in ROTC are eligible for scholarships that will begin their professional military careers in the Army Nurse Corps.

For more information
Contact the Rolling Thunder Battalion at (630) 752-5680 or Nathaniel LaLone at

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Elmhurst College • 190 Prospect Avenue • Elmhurst, Illinois 60126-3296 • (630) 279-4100


Undergraduate Admission • (630) 617-3400 • (800) 697-1871 •


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