The Dickinson Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), locally known as The Blue Mountain Battalion, is a leadership development program deepening the scholastic experience at Penn State Harrisburg by cultivating the ability to organize, motivate, and lead others. It is the cornerstone of Army officer training that develops students, known as Cadets, into future officers in the U.S. Army.
Dickinson College is the host school with Cadets from Gettysburg College, Millersville University, and Penn State Harrisburg participating in the program. Any student may participate in military-science courses without military obligation. Men and women who choose to contract in and successfully complete the program receive a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army National Guard, or U.S. Army Reserve upon graduation.
Penn State Harrisburg students can sign up for Military Science Class by registering for Army 100-400. 100 level and 200 level classes are taught at Penn State Harrisburg; the 300 and 400 level classes are taught at Dickinson, in Carlisle, PA. In addition, each week one PT session and one Leadership Lab are taught at Dickinson; Cadets are required to carpool back and forth to these sessions.
A Two-Part Program
The four-year program focuses on critical thinking, principles of leadership, management, ethics and military history. It consists of two parts:
- Basic Course: Typically taken during the first and second years. Includes one class per week, physical training and a leadership lab.
- Advanced Course: Typically taken during the junior and senior years. Includes two classes per week, physical training and leadership exercises over a couple weekends each semester.
The curriculum includes classroom instruction and practical exercises such as orienteering, paintball, rappelling and field training exercises. In the summer between their junior and senior years, Cadets attend a four-week Advance Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky.