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1999-2000 Catalog

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The University of Alaska Fairbanks hosts the only Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program in Alaska. An integral part of UAF since 1922, the program initially was not an official ROTC program but a military science curriculum, mandatory for all male freshmen and sophomores. In 1935, Dr. Charles Bunnell, president of the university, petitioned the War Department to officially open an Army ROTC program at the university; approval was granted in 1940. The program has continued to develop since then. Today's ROTC program is staffed with both Regular Army and Alaska National Guard officers and non-commissioned officers, providing students with a balance of knowledge and experiences.

The focus of the program is academic excellence and preparing leaders. All students enrolled in at least one course are assigned a faculty member to provide leadership and academic counseling. The counseling is closely monitored by the department head and is conducted twice every semester.

The program offers a myriad of resources from scholarships to athletic teams to academic assistance. "Denali," the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center's supercomputer, is maintained and managed by UAF for the Department of Defense. It is one of the fastest computers in the world and ROTC students may have research assistantship opportunities to work on the system.

Neighboring Fort Wainwright offers students numerous opportunities to participate in military activities such as the arctic biathlon competition, mentorships and recreational activities in an arctic environment.

The Department of Military Science hosts several activities and organizations. The Ranger Challenge team, a varsity-level sport, participates in an annual competition against other Pacific rim schools in Hawaii or Guam. Physically and mentally demanding, participation on the ROTC Biathlon team includes cross-country skiing and shooting. The competition is held locally at Fort Wainwright. Other athletic events include a rifle team and color guard. The color guard routinely participates at the opening of UAF Nanook hockey games. An ROTC club also is sponsored by the department and is an integral part of the university. Club members provide academic assistance to other students who are enrolled in similar majors and also organize campus events for student activities such as an annual broom-ball tournament and snow machine and ski trips.

Financial Assistance

Army ROTC provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships and monthly allowances known as stipends. The current stipend is $150 monthly and is tax free for all committed cadets. Scholarships are awarded in a tiered system on a competitive basis and range from $3,000 to $12,500. The length may range from two to four or five years, depending upon the competitiveness of the applicant. In addition to the scholarships, the university grants the department four housing fee waivers per semester for scholarship students. Additional fee and book allowances also are granted in conjunction with the scholarships. In accordance with NCAA regulations for this university, Army ROTC scholarships may be awarded in conjunction with athletic scholarships.


Military science courses are not different from any other college-level course and satisfy electives to a maximum of 23 credits toward degree requirements. Classes are offered every semester, including outdoor skills labs. Labs are designed to provide students with a class that is hands on and include instruction in areas such as rappelling, skiing and survival.

Army ROTC is comprised of two levels: the basic course followed by the advance course. Credit for the basic course is earned in several ways. The most elementary method is through successfully completing freshman and sophomore military science classes. Two additional methods for earning basic course credit include completing a six-week summer camp or having prior military basic training. Students do not incur any obligation to Army ROTC or the Armed Forces during the basic course.

After successfully completing the basic course, the student may enter the advanced course, which is normally reserved for juniors and seniors pursuing a commission in the Regular Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard. A minor in military science is available. For more information about ROTC at UAF, see Fees and Financial Aid, Degrees and Programs -- Military Science and the Military Science course descriptions, or contact the Department of Military Science at (907) 474-6852/7501, e-mail: fyrotc@aurora.alaska.edu.