Your military experience could satisfy credit requirements for the ROTC Basic Course, the first two years of Army ROTC classes. If credit is granted, and you are not on a Army ROTC scholarship, you can skip the freshman and sophomore years of ROTC and enroll directly in the Advanced Course. (A three year ROTC scholarship winner must take the sophomore classes)
In the ROTC Advanced Course, you will learn leadership, organization, and management skills, military tactics, ethics, and professionalism: qualities essential to success in any career. Your instruction will go beyond a basic classroom environment to give you practical leadership experience.
At ROTC Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), the summer between your junior and senior years, you'll be able to apply the principles, theories, and decision-making skills learned in your ROTC classes . You'll plan and execute tactical missions and experience responsibility as you are given the opportunity to serve in challenging leadership positions. At the end of four weeks, you'll leave LDAC with renewed pride and increased confidence in your ability to lead others. All this valuable training, and you get paid too!
You may be eligible to compete for an ROTC scholarship while you're in college. Even if you're awarded a scholarship, you will still receive your normal VA benefits. To be awarded an ROTC scholarship, you must be under 27 years of age on June 30th of the year you expect to graduate and receive your commission. As a veteran, however, you may receive up to a three year extension for your past military service. Requests for a waiver of age may be considered on an individual basis.
You may be able to take advantage of a program that allows you to participate in ROTC and enlist in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve at the same time, provided a vacancy exists in either a Guard or Reserve unit. It's called the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP), and it means that while you're still in college, you can be gaining valuable experience and earning extra income. Under SMP, you will be paid at the rate of at least a Sergeant (E5) for your Guard or Reserve service, and you'll still receive the ROTC Advanced Course allowance as well ($200/mo). You'll serve as an officer trainee in a Guard or Reserve unit and perform duties commensurate with the grade of second lieutenant. Once you graduate and are commissioned, you may continue your military service with your unit, or apply for active duty.
Army ROTC is a good deal. It's an even better deal for veterans like you. Army ROTC helps you apply what you've already learned to new situations, and trains you for a leadership role. You'll receive a commission, and if you return to active duty, your previous active duty enlisted time will count toward both pay and retirement.