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The DAR began awarding medals to ROTC students in 1967 in recognition of the ROTC as an important program that prepares trained officers for service in the armed forces.

ROTC Medals are awarded to student cadets of outstanding ability and achievement in high school, junior college, college, or university ROTC programs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Medal recipients are selected by the professors of military science and the principals of the school.

Recipients must have demonstrated loyalty and patriotism and earned a record of military and scholastic achievement during their participation in an ROTC program.
Students must be in the upper 25% of their classes in ROTC and in academic subjects. They must have shown qualities of dependability and good character, adherence to military discipline, leadership ability, and a fundamental and patriotic understanding of the importance of ROTC training.

Gold ROTC Medal:
This medal is awarded to a graduating college or university student being commissioned in one of the U.S. armed forces.

Bronze ROTC Medal:
This medal is awarded to either a junior or senior student in a secondary school JROTC program, or in a Junior College program.