NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Burgeoning ranks of Army ROTC students are filling college classrooms around the nation this fall as the Army seeks to beef up its officer corps with its generous scholarship program that pays the college tuition of students who are commissioned as second lieutenants when they graduate.
U.S. Army Cadet Command, which provides most of the Army's second lieutenants through ROTC, is being asked to produce more second lieutenants, said spokesman Paul Kotakis. In 2001, the requirement was 3,900 new officers. In 2006, the number went up to 4,500. By 2011, the target goes to 5,350.
The Army is short about 3,000 majors and captains, the officers needed to staff the Army's brigade combat teams, said Col. Paul Aswell, chief of the Army's Officer Division.