Senior Military College

Senior Military College

In the United States, a Senior Military College (SMC) is one of six colleges that offer military Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs and are specifically recognized under 10 USC 2111(a). The six senior military colleges are:
*North Georgia College and State University; Dahlonega, Georgia
*Norwich University; Northfield, Vermont
*Texas A&M University; College Station, Texas
*The Citadel; Charleston, South Carolina
*Virginia Military Institute; Lexington, Virginia
*Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Blacksburg, Virginia

Under U.S. law and U.S. Army regulations, there are three types of ROTC programs administered, each with a different element. In addition to ROTC at Senior Military Colleges, there are ROTC programs at civilian colleges and at Military Junior Colleges.


An SMC must meet certain criteria: [cite web
url =
title = AR 145-1 (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps)
accessdate = 2008-09-04
date = 1996
work = Army Regulation
publisher = United States Army

*Baccalaureate degrees must be granted.
*All physically fit male students who reside on campus must take courses in military training. Exceptions to this requirement include foreign nationals, prior-service personnel, and students specifically excused by a professor of military science.
*Outside ROTC, the school must establish a corps of cadets in which all students wear military uniforms. The corps of cadets involves a military environment in which the students live constantly, not just during the school day, and in which the students are subject to military discipline.
*The SMC must have as an objective the development of character through military training and the regulation of cadet conduct according to principles of military discipline (a cadet code of conduct).
*The SMC must maintain military standards similar to those of the federal service academies.

Federal law currently prohibits the Department of Defense from requiring a policy in SMCs that mandates female students' participation in the ROTC programs:

"Regulations . . . may not require a college or university, as a condition of maintaining its designation as a military college or for any other purpose, to require female undergraduate students enrolled in such college or university to participate in military training." [cite web
url =
title = 10 USC 2009
accessdate = 2006-11-16
date = 1985
work = United States Code
publisher = Legal Information Institute
Cadets at an SMC are authorized to take the ROTC program all four years, but taking a commission upon graduation remains optional, unlike other colleges where ROTC cadets are required to sign a contract to take commission before entering their final two years.

Under both AR 145-1 and federal law, the ROTC programs at the Senior Military Colleges are treated differently. Unlike ROTC at other schools, the Department of Defense is prohibited from closing or reducing the ROTC programs at an SMC, even during time of war (full or total mobilization).

"The Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the military departments may not take or authorize any action to terminate or reduce a unit of the Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at a senior military college unless the termination or reduction is specifically requested by the college" [cite web
url =
title = 10 USC 2111a
accessdate = 2006-11-16
date =
work = United States Code
publisher = Legal Information Institute
] and " [SMC] ROTC programs will continue at an accelerated rate as directed." [cite web
url =
title = AR 145-1 (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps)
accessdate = 2006-11-16
date = 1996
work = Army Regulation
publisher = United States Army

In contrast with other colleges and universities: "Under full or total mobilization, the Secretary of the Army may withdraw the ROTC detachments without giving prior notice to the academic institution. The establishment of new SROTC detachments will not be authorized after full mobilization has been declared." All MS-IV cadets at the Senior Military Colleges will be commissioned and directed to attend the proper officers basic course (OBC). At other colleges, ROTC programs will be suspended and the cadre will immediately be available for reassignment.

Another advantage to the SMC system is that all cadets at the Senior Military Colleges are guaranteed active duty commissions when they graduate:

"The Secretary of the Army shall ensure that a graduate of a senior military college who desires to serve as a commissioned officer on active duty upon graduation from the college, who is medically and physically qualified for active duty, and who is recommended for such duty by the professor of military science at the college, shall be assigned to active duty."


North Georgia College and State University

North Georgia College & State University (NGCSU), also known as The Military College of Georgia, is located in Dahlonega, Georgia. Since its inception in 1873, the college required undergraduate resident males to participate in the Corps of Cadets (the corps was optional for resident undergraduate females and all commuting or graduate students). North Georgia was also the first SMC to admit women into the Corps of Cadets. [ [ Career Services - Employers ] ] The school has a large United States Army ROTC program and is the only Senior Military College without Navy/Marine Corps and Air Force programs. [ [ Norwich University ] ] [ [ ROTC Programs: Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets ] ] [ [ Virginia Military Institute ] ] [ [ The Citadel / Financial Aid / Cadet Scholarships / ROTC Scholarships ] ] [ [ About the Corps | Corps of Cadets | Virginia Tech ] ] [ [ NGCSU - The Military College of Georgia ] ] Beginning in 2008, due to legal action, North Georgia will begin transitioning away from mandatory ROTC, following the lead of Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. All male students will no longer be required to enroll in the military program. [ [ North Georgia College and State University ] ]

Norwich University

The oldest Senior Military College and recognized by the Department of Defense as the "Birthplace of ROTC", Norwich University is a private university located in Northfield, Vermont. Founded in 1819 at Norwich, Vermont, as the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy, it is the oldest and currently only private military college in the United States. It is home to both a corps of cadets and a smaller traditional student population. [ [ Norwich University ] ]

Texas A&M University

With an enrollment of 45,380 studentscite web |url = |title = Texas A&M University Fall 2006 Enrollment |accessdate = 2007-02-25 |date = |format = PDF |publisher = Texas A&M University |language = English ] and, of those students, approximately 2,200 cadets, [] Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas is the largest of the SMCs. It was established under the Morrill Act of 1862 and cadets began classes there in 1876. [ [ Frequently Asked Questions ] ] During World War II, Texas A&M produced 20,229 Aggies who served in combat. Of those, 14,123 Aggies served as officers; more than the combined total of the United States Naval Academy and the United States Military Academy [cite web|url=|title=Texas A&M Standard|accessdate=2007-02-27|date=2007-02-27] and more than three times the totals of any other SMC.Keepers of the Spirit, page 160, by John A. Adams Jr.]

The Citadel

The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, is a state-supported, comprehensive college located in Charleston, South Carolina. In addition to the cadet program, civilian programs are offered through the Citadel's College of Graduate and Professional Studies with its evening undergraduate and graduate programs. The Citadel enrolls almost 2,000 undergraduate cadets in its residential military program and 1,200 civilian students in the evening programs. While both programs make use of the Citadel campus and Citadel professors, cadets and civilian students do not generally share classes and only cadets live on campus. [ [ The Citadel / About The Citadel / Quick Facts ] ] The exception to this is a veterans program, reinstated in the fall of 2007, which allows cadets who left The Citadel for active military duty to return as civilians, attend classes with cadets, and complete their degrees if certain criteria are met. [ [ Citadel reinstates veterans program | The Citadel Public Affairs Office ] ] Cadets also share classes with enlisted active duty Marines and Navy personnel. [ [ MECEP ] ] [ [ STA 21 ] ]

Virginia Military Institute

Founded in 1839 in Lexington, Virginia, the Virginia Military Institute is the oldest state military college in the United States. [ [ Untitled Page ] ] VMI has been called the "West Point of the South" because of its role during the Civil War and because unlike any other military college in the United States, VMI enrolls only cadets and grants baccalaureate degrees exclusively. VMI was the last military college in the United States to admit women.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Tech is one of only two major universities (along with Texas A&M) to host a senior military college as part of a larger civilian university. The Corps of Cadets has existed since Virginia Tech's 1872 founding; membership was mandatory for all male students during their entire term at the school until 1924 when the requirement was reduced to two years. After World War II, prior-service students were not required to enter the Corps, and in 1964 Corps membership was made voluntary for all non-ROTC students. Women had been admitted to the school as civilian students since 1921, but were permitted to join the Corps in 1973. [] Members of the Corps may participate in ROTC programs leading to an officer's commission or simply in Corps drill and military life on campus. [ [ About the Corps | Corps of Cadets | Virginia Tech ] ]

External links

* [ Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States]


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