For Our Students

Army ROTC classes are college elective courses that focus on leadership and management skills. The ROTC program consists of the Basic Course and the Advanced Course. The Basic Course classes are taken by freshman and sophomore students and provide college students the opportunity to learn about and experience adventure training without incurring any military obligation. The Advanced Course prepares upper classmen for commissioning as officers in the US Army. Once Cadets complete the requirements for a bachelor’s or graduate degree and the ROTC program, they are commissioned as Second Lieutenants.

Information for BHSU Army Cadets

There are many opportunities and activities for our cadets to participate in. These include activities and clubs on campus as well as Regular Army schools, cultural immersion training, and the opportunity to receive credit for educational experiences. 


Ranger Challenge: Ranger Challenge is an opportunity for schools to "compete" with each other completing military tasks. In addition to a written examination where Cadets test their Army knowledge, there are physical fitness drills and field exercises. Each fall an elite group of Cadets train for 8 weeks in preparation for the Ranger Challenge Competition held in Camp Ripley, MN. The team of 9 Cadets compete in ten events such as orienteering, weapons assembly, a 10K ruck run, and rifle marksmanship. Battalions leave a Ranger Challenge with stronger bonds and sharper skills.

Physical ReadinessTraining "PT": Being "Fit to Fight" is the key to success in Army ROTC. Cadets are regularly assessed on their state of physical fitness, which is instrumental in being able to meet the rigors of training as well as maintaining personal health and well-being. PT is conducted at Black Hills State University every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 0615.  All cadets take a monthly Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).

Color Guard: The BHSU Army ROTC provides ceremonial Color Guard support to various campus and off-campus functions, which include sporting events, formal events, and other events to which we are invited. These events include BHSU basketball and football games, community events, Army National Guard events, and 4-H. You can take pride in knowing that you are a practitioner of one of the most honorable military traditions.

Field Training Exercise:

  • Land Navigation: Mastering the art of finding your way in the wilderness armed with only a map, protractor, compass, and intellect is a skill preserved in the Army ROTC program. Training begins in the classroom then after cadets are confident in their abilities they go out with a buddy and later alone into West Camp Rapid, near Rapid City, SD to conduct day and night land navigation.
  • Squad Tactical Exercises (STX Lanes): Plan a mission; conduct a reconnaissance; lead a small band of cadets to victory using tactical prowess and sheer cunning. These are just a few of the skills you will bring to bear when you lead a patrol on a simulated combat mission. The training is as real as it gets to close combat, and a true test of your newly acquired warrior skills. Missions include Raids, Ambushs, React to Contact, and Cordon/Searchs.
  • Rappelling: Army ROTC conducts rappel training each  Fall and Spring semester at the tower located on BHSU's campus. All students enrolled in a military science course receive in-class instruction and then are provided with several opportunities to get hands-on experience. All equipment is provided by the department and instruction by the cadre.
  • Marksmanship Training: Every soldier is a rifleman first! Marksman proficiency is the cornerstone of every warrior leader. You will receive hands-on training and partake in basic rifle marksmanship to further enhance your warrior skills.

Combat Water Survival Training (CWST): CWST is used to measure a cadet's swimming skills as well as their ability to face unique challenges, not routinely encountered on or off campus. CWST consists of several events including, but not limited to: swimming continuously for 10 minutes, treading water for 5 minutes, jumping from the high dive (3 meters) while blind folded with a weapon in hand, swimming 15 meters with weapon in uniform, and jumping into the water and removing all gear while still submerged.

Optional Summer Training: All qualified Cadets have a great opportunity to advance their professional development and knowledge during summer training opportunities.  A good PT scores and good academics will pave the way for a very exciting and challenging experience.  Below are some of the activities available to our cadets:

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Black Hills State University

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Eric C. Jones
Recruiting Operations Officer
501 East Saint Joseph Street
Rapid City, Sd 57701
605.394.2769
Eric.Jones@sdsmt.edu