The School of Mines unit of the senior division of the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) is the headquarters for the Mount Rushmore Battalion. The unit was established in 1950 and is administered by commissioned and noncommissioned officers of the United States Army nominated by the Department of the Army and approved by the President of the School of Mines. The School of Mines is very supportive of the ROTC and Veterans' Affairs programs on campus and each have had a long and prestigious contribution to the campus' community. The ROTC program is open to both men and women. Military science and leadership (MSL) courses complement any course of study, providing leadership training unavailable anywhere else on campus. Participation in the ROTC Basic Course (MSL 101 to MSL 202) incurs no military obligation. MSL 101 and MSL 102 may be used as credits towards physical education credit for degree completion required for all majors on campus.
The Advanced Course consists of the last four semesters of the ROTC program (MSL 301 to MSL 402). This includes a 28-day training event known as the Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) between a cadet's military science (MS) III and IV year in ROTC to evaluate a cadet's knowledge and leadership qualities before receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. The advanced course is offered to students possessing the potential to become Army officers and who desire to serve as commissioned officers and lead US Army soldiers in the Active Army, U.S. Army Reserve, or the Army National Guard. The objective of the advanced course is to select, train, and prepare students for military service.
The ROTC program is designed to provide an understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles of military art and science; to develop leadership and managerial potential and a basic understanding of associated professional knowledge; to develop a strong sense of personal integrity, honor, and individual responsibility; and to develop an appreciation of the requirements for national security. Attainment of these objectives will prepare students for commissioning as a second lieutenant and will establish a sound basis for future professional development and effective performance in the Army or any chosen career field. In the traditional four-year program, students enroll in eight consecutive semesters of MSL courses, 2 credit hours each semester the first two years, and 4 credit hours each semester the last two years. Leadership laboratories are offered concurrently with each of the classroom courses.
Non-traditional, two-year programs include eligible veterans with prior military service, current members of the US Army Reserve or Army National Guard, and students who have had high school junior ROTC or Civilian Air Patrol experience. A two-year program is available for any student having four academic semesters remaining or enrollment into a School of Mines master's degree program after attending a summer ROTC Leadership Training Course at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. Participation at the basic course does not carry any commitment to participate in ROTC but it does satisfy the prerequisites necessary to enter the final four semesters of ROTC. Students must additionally complete a course in the following areas to satisfy commissioning requirements: American military history, communications, and computer literacy.