Ball State University Army ROTC has produced more than 600 graduates with military science minors and commissions as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army, Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve.

Criminal justice is the most common major within Ball State Army ROTC; however, our students have majors from elementary education, nursing, physics, architecture, business, anthropology, construction management, exercise science, and industrial technology, to name a few. All fields of study come together to serve in the Profession of Arms, built upon the foundation of trust and the Army values.

Caleb DuttonCaleb Dutton talks about the rewards and benefits he gained from ROTC.


Ball State University Army ROTC selects, educates, trains, and commissions college students to be officers and leaders of character in the Total Army; it instills the values of citizenship, national and community service, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment in high school students.


Ball State University Army ROTC strives to become recognized as the premier commissioning source in developing critical-thinking leaders capable of operating in often ambiguous, complex, and uncertain military and civilian environments with a clear understanding and passion for service. Choosing to be a part of something bigger than themselves, these students become leaders and citizens of character, values, and the understanding of their role in service to this nation and its citizens.

Army Values

  • Loyalty - Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other soldiers. Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone.
  • Duty - Fulfill your obligations. Doing your duty means more than carrying out your assigned tasks.
  • Respect - Treat people as they should be treated.
  • Selfless Service - Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own. Selfless service is larger than just one person.
  • Honor - Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity, and personal courage in everything you do.
  • Integrity - Do what’s right, legally and morally.
  • Personal Courage - Face fear, danger, or adversity, physical or moral.

History of the Program

After a seven-year absence, Army ROTC came to the campus in September 1978 and would begin as an extension center of the Indiana Institute of Technology (IIT), and Ball State has had active duty cadre assigned to it since the beginning of the 1979-80 academic year. Since its inception, Ball State Army ROTC enrollment has continued to grow, resulting in a role reversal. Ball State has become the host detachment, and IIT/IPFW are extension centers. 

The first professor of military science, Lt. Col. Donald. S. Bergin, arrived in July 1980, transferring all the administrative reporting responsibilities to Muncie, Indiana. Ball State Army ROTC was officially recognized as a department by the university on July 1, 1981, and appointed as an official host institution on September 9, 1981. 

Today, the Ball State Army ROTC is one of the largest programs in a five state area and continues the legacy dating back to 1918.