Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Donelson Forsyth


Upon graduation, students in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs are commissioned to lead the individuals tasked with protecting the American people and their ideology. This project examines the values of leaders and followers in military and nonmilitary contexts to determine if students in military education programs endorse values that are different from the values of students in non-military programs. First, this paper discusses the concept of values, and how values are defined and differentiated from other concepts. By providing an overview of past literature on values within the military and in general, the importance leaders place on values and value structures is highlighted. A revised version of the Schwartz Values Survey was used to gather data for this project; ROTC cadets and their civilian peers rated 72 values via an online survey. The data suggest that (1) the value structures of both groups are similar to the Schwartz’s conceptualization of values; (2) ROTC students and civilians do not fall on different sides of the orthogonal dimensions and instead have equivalent reported values’ and (3) military science students endorse values that are stressed by traditional military organizations as they rated individual military values, as well as military values as a whole, significantly higher than their civilian counterparts. The results of this study suggest that ROTC and civilian students have equivalent universal value structures, but that the ROTC students uniquely endorse military values at higher rates than their civilian counterparts. This paper concludes that the findings are potentially positive for both the ROTC programs and the field of leadership as a whole, given that the findings generate a better understanding of the value structures some Americans possess.