Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Ashley Holmes

Second Advisor

George Pullman

Third Advisor

Mary Hocks


As composition instructors, we often describe ourselves as capacitating students for complex work environments, and we often describe ourselves as capacitating students for civic responsibility. Meanwhile, there is a large community of young men and women preparing to work in a military environment, and we have very little understanding of their writing needs as future officers, or the writing exigencies of the military workplace. We work on campuses with Army ROTC instructors who teach writing strategies and prepare their students for a writing-heavy work environment, yet have very little understanding of what ROTC instructors do as writing teachers. It becomes easy for composition instructors to believe that the education of future military officers is a task taking place in some far off space by people they have nothing in common with.

This qualitative project explores the writing pedagogy of Army ROTC instructors through interview data and curricular materials. A generalizable description of Army ROTC writing pedagogy is offered, using concepts from the field of writing studies to map and clarify the kind of writing processes, pedagogy, axiology, and epistemology that generally governs Army ROTC writing pedagogy. Interview data is described through the development of five interview profiles, presented with accompanying analysis. To further explicate themes that emerge from interview data and ground the description of Army ROTC writing pedagogy, there is commentary on Army Regulation 25-50 and the Army ROTC suggested writing assignments. These items reveal a unique pedagogical challenge that influences Army writing pedagogy: instructors are constantly trying to balance teaching the “science” of being a soldier with the “art” of being a soldier. The final chapter offers reflection on how this work opens up a new space in the scholarship of teaching and writing studies. This new space envisions military classrooms as sites of important composition pedagogy, and brings together composition and military instructors as pedagogical partners and colleagues.