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Navy ROTC Terminology Glossary

Affiliate School (or cross-town)

A college or university which participates in the Navy ROTC program but which does not physically host  the Department of Naval Science or the Navy ROTC unit –see host school
Students at an affiliate school take their Naval Science classes and participate in drill and other unit activities at the host school. The student is responsible for transportation, class scheduling, and other logistics.


A document conferring authority issued by the president of the U.S. to officers in the Marine Corp, Navy, and other military services or the delegated authority to position and rank of an officer in any of the armed forces


See warfare community


Two or more Navy ROTC units along with their cross-town affiliate schools all within the same geographical proximity. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and Houston all have consortiums.


See affiliate

Designator Membership in a specific warfare community


Entry level commissioned officer in the US Navy

Host School

A college or university that hosts a Department of Naval Science and an Navy ROTC unit


A student member of an Navy ROTC unit; a student who is pursuing formal studies in Naval Science leading to commissioning as an officer.

Second Lieutenant

Entry level commissioned officer in the US Marine Corps


Abbreviation designating ‘Surface Warfare Officer’; the community of naval officers responsible for navy surface vessels

Unit or Navy ROTC Unit

The staff of the Department of Naval Science at a host school combined with all Navy ROTC students in that school and any affiliated schools; the chairman of the DNS also serves as the Commanding Officer of the unit

Warfare Community

One of several different groups of officers within the Navy who have a professional specialty related to a specific kind of ship or function (i.e. the submarine community, the surface warfare officer community, or the SEALS)


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