The Citadel is justly proud of its military training program which contributes significantly to the State of South Carolina and the nation in the form of military and civilian leadership. The Citadel is one of six senior Military Colleges remaining in the country. Citadel graduates are adding to the rich heritage of their alma mater as officers in the armed forces and as leaders in the state and nation.
The ROTC training at The Citadel is conducted by active duty commissioned and noncommissioned officers of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Marine Corps. These active duty military personnel are organized into the Department of Military Science, the Department of Naval Science, and the Department of Aerospace Studies. Cadets are encouraged to seek a commission in one of the armed force services; however, they are not required to accept a commission.
Commandant of Cadets
The Commandant of Cadets oversees the military aspect of all cadet life. Along with the Chief of Staff, the Assistant Commandant for Discipline, the Assistant Commandant of Operations and Training, the Assistant Commandant for Leadership Programs, the Commandant’s Sergeant Major, and his Special Staff, the Commandant designs, plans, and executes various leadership programs and activities for the Corps of Cadets. All cadet discipline, privileges, leaves, and special recognitions are managed inside this department. The Commandant and his team of TAC (Teach, Advise, Coach) Officers exercise the implementation of all Citadel policies as well as Cadet Regulations in their supervision of life in the barracks, through the teaching, advising, and coaching of all cadets. As a senior college Vice President, the Commandant is in continuous communication with the College President on all matters pertaining to the administration, conduct, training, and discipline of the Corps of Cadets.
As a military college, The Citadel sets high standards of conduct and discipline. By instruction and example, cadets are taught to be neat in person and in uniform. Daily inspections of rooms ensure cleanliness and good order. Through individual personal contact, group meetings, and training, cadets are encouraged to uphold the traditions of The Citadel and the standards of honor, duty, and respect which are the core values of the college.
A cadet who commits an act off-campus that reflects adversely on The Citadel or the Corps of Cadets may be punished as if the act had been committed on-campus should the alleged misconduct violate the cadet disciplinary code in the following manner:
- potentially endangers the health, safety, or welfare of members of the campus community, or
- potentially places college property at risk of damage, loss, or destruction, or
- occurs at a time when the cadet represents the College in an off-campus activity, or
- involves conduct that charges one or more of the following:
a felony act; a crime of moral turpitude; an act of violence; an act that involves the possession, use, or sale of an illegal drug or alcohol; or, an act involving racial or sexual harassment, sexual assault, or results in the student being found guilty in a court of law or the student declines to contest such charges although not admitting guilt (e.g. no contest or nolo contendere).
During periods of furlough, the cadet disciplinary system may apply if the conduct meets these criteria.
Leadership, initiative, and character are developed by placing cadets in positions of responsibility within the Corps of Cadets. In addition, all cadets are engaged in the Leadership Training Program which covers a wide range of topics to develop problem-solving techniques and expand general knowledge in real-life situations. These value-added sessions are conducted in classroom and practicum environments.
All cadets live in the barracks. From reveille to taps, every hour of the cadet’s time is programmed. Regular habits of study and living, attention to duty, obedience to authority, and appreciation for order are considered among the most valuable features of The Citadel education. While some graduates enter the military profession, thousands in all walks of civilian life attest to the high value of the training received at this institution.
The daily routine is regulated by the Corps of Cadets Training Schedule and the Commandant’s Yearly Training Plan and supported by the Cadet Regulations which include the Blue Book and the White Book.
Commandants Classification of Cadets
In terms of policies and procedures inside the Commandant’s Department, cadets are classified according to the number of years they have been a cadet:
C1 represents a freshman in his/her first year
C2 represents a cadet in his/her second year
C3 represents a cadet in his/her third year
C4/5 represents a cadet in his/her fourth/fifth year
These classifications have NO RELATIONSHIP to Academic Status.
Allowances of Demerits
Cadets who accumulate more than 20 demerits per month in their senior year, 22 per month in their junior year, 25 per month in their sophomore year, or 30 per month in their freshman year, will be declared conduct deficient. Cadets repeating any part of the fourth class year are allowed only 25 demerits per month. Conduct deficient cadets are not allowed to take normal leaves or passes and are required to serve one hour of punishment for each demerit over the specified limit. Any cadet exceeding the allowed limit of demerits or other punishments may be discharged.
All cadets are required to furnish their own sheets, pillows, and pillow cases. A bedspread and blanket will be issued to each cadet when they arrive. Beds and mattresses are provided by the College. Lists of required and suggested items for freshmen to bring can be found on The Citadel webpage inside the Fourth Class Success Packet. It is imperative that items be purchased prior to arrival. Training begins immediately and there is no time provided to acquire anything missing. Policies require graduating seniors to retrieve their stored items no later than 15 days following commencement. After that time items will be removed and donated to local charity. It is not the responisbility of warehouse personnel to notify cadets having stored items.
Cadets are advised to bring inexpensive trunks and suitcases. Luggage must be stored in the Central Warehouse Facility on campus. Only one overnight bag for weekend or athletic trips may be kept in a cadet’s room. On a limited basis, excess luggage may be stored in the Central Supply Facility at the risk of the owner.
Luggage and boxes of supplies may be shipped to The Citadel in advance. They should be sent by commercial transportation and clearly identified with the following address: Cadet’s Full Name, Central Supply, The Citadel, 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29409.
All vehicles operated on campus by cadets must be registered with the Commandant’s Department. Each cadet classified as C3 or C4 is authorized to have an automobile at The Citadel. No other cadet is allowed this privilege regardless of academic standing. Registration is a privilege, not a right. Registered vehicles must meet current home-state requirements with regard to registration, insurance, and safety inspections. All vehicles operated and parked on campus are at the owner’s risk. All unregistered or illegally parked vehicles are subject to ticketing and towing at the owner’s risk and expense. Certain conduct infractions may affect a cadet’s ability to maintain an automobile on campus.
Parking fees are charged for all cadet parking. Each registered vehicle will be assigned to a specific, 24 hour-a-day campus property lot. A set of decals for this lot will be affixed to each registered vehicle, which can only be parked in the lot designated. Cadets may park in any space inside that lot except for those assigned to specific leadership positions. These reserved spaces will be identified around each barracks. On major college weekends, cadets may be required to move their vehicles to other college procured locations to allow for family, alumni, and guests to park on or near the main campus.
NO CADET IS ALLOWED TO PARK IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THE CITADEL. This area is defined by Spring Street on the south, Rutledge Avenue on the east, and St. Margaret Street on the north. Parking in this area will result in ticketing and possible towing by the Charleston City Policy and/or disciplinary action from the Commandant’s Department for the cadet. 4th class cadets are NOT authorized to have, maintain, drive, or park an automobile on The Citadel campus or within this prescribed area at any time during their freshman year. They should not bring a car to Charleston.
Two- or three-wheeled motorized vehicles may not be operated on campus.
Reserves and National Guard
Cadets may become members of Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps Reserves or National Guard (Army or Air). Students who join these organizations should consider joining local units in the Charleston area for ease of transportation and conducting business. Although Reserve and National Guard duty is a priority responsibility, cadets must be aware of their academic and Citadel military responsibilities and make all efforts to ensure that conflicts are kept to a minimum.
It is expected that parents will not ask for special leave for their sons or daughters except in cases of extreme emergencies. In every case, the decision is left to Citadel authorities as to whether the circumstances warrant the granting of the leave.
Emergency leave may be granted in the event of death or critical illness of a member of the cadet’s immediate family.
Duration of this leave will be predicated upon distance and time required but should normally not exceed five class days. The immediate family includes parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and the permanent resident members of the family.
Critical illness is defined as an illness of such proportions that death may be imminent.
Special leave normally may be granted upon request of the family or guardian for events/activities which involve his/her immediate family.
Cadets may also be granted special leave for such unusual business affairs as cannot be arranged by correspondence but require the presence of the cadet in person. In all cases, the final decision rests with the Battalion TAC Officer.
The Citadel has a weekend and overnight leave policy based on cadet’s C-STATUS and includes requirements for maintaining academic, physical, and conduct proficiency. Fourth class cadets are not authorized overnight or weekend leaves during the first semester.
Furloughs for the Corps of Cadets are scheduled throughout the year. They include Fall Furlough (November), Winter Furlough (December-January), and Spring Furlough (March). Specific dates for these can be found on the college calendar. Cadets may depart after their last class in the case of Fall and Spring Furloughs which always begin on a Friday and end on a Sunday. CADETS MAY NOT DEPART EARLIER. Parents are highly discouraged from purchasing tickets that require early departure. Cadets will not be allowed to leave. In the case of Winter Furlough, cadets may depart after completing their last exam. Return times from all furloughs are posted on the Commandant’s Department website accessed from The Citadel Home Page. It is imperative that ALL cadets return not later than the published accountability formation.
Except in an emergency occurring on leave requiring immediate attention, a cadet will not arrange for or receive professional treatment from doctors or specialists without the knowledge of The Citadel Physician. Applications for any special leave required for such treatment will be submitted to The Citadel Physician and, if approved, will be forwarded by The Citadel Physician to the Commandant.
Cadets who are receiving medical care under the auspices of a private doctor will in all cases report the nature of the treatment, to include the illness and prescribed medication, to The Citadel Physician.
SPECIAL MEDICAL AND DENTAL SERVICE.
- Dental work, special eye examinations, etc. should be scheduled during the summer, winter, or spring furlough periods.
- If the services of a local dentist, oculist, doctor, or other specialist are deemed necessary, cadets will make their own appointments; however, they must inform The Citadel Physician. If desired, the Infirmary will schedule the required appointment for the cadet.
The Fourth Class System
The purpose of the Fourth Class System at The Citadel is to lay the foundation, early in a cadet’s career, for the development of those qualities of character and discipline implied in the mission of The Citadel as a military college-to educate principled leaders with an alert mind and a sound body who have been taught high ideals, honor, integrity, loyalty, and patriotism; who accept the responsibilities which accompany leadership; and who have sufficient professional knowledge to take a place in our competitive world.
These personal qualities must be deeply ingrained in individuals so that neither time nor troubles will diminish their respect for complying with the customs and traditions set forth for the fourth class cadets’ conduct. Self-discipline and self-evaluation develop graduates whose integrity and sense of duty cause them to serve selflessly beyond the prescribed limits of their tasks.
The Fourth Class System is both difficult and demanding. It represents an abrupt change from the life normally experienced in the home and encompasses the period from the cadet’s arrival for his or her first year at The Citadel until determined by the Commandant of Cadets and Cadet Leadership. It is administered professionally and requires a full measure of mental preparedness and physical endurance.
Because of the nature of the new cadets’ training during their first weeks at The Citadel, physical demands are great. Experience indicates that the cadets who, prior to admission, have conditioned themselves physically are best able to meet the training requirements.
At the time of their medical examination, cadets should consult with their physician regarding their body weight. Particular attention should be given to estimated percent body fat, which provides a much more accurate figure for determining proper body weight than height/weight charts. If body weight loss appears to be indicated, cadets should follow the physician’s advice relative to reducing caloric intake and increasing caloric expenditure.
The Charleston climate is generally conducive to year-round outdoor physical activity; however, the hot, humid conditions of August and September present several problems worthy of consideration. It is, therefore, important that cadets prepare themselves by controlled exposure to similar conditions during exercise. Preparation guidance can be found in the Fourth Class Success Packet on The Citadel home page.
In addition, each applicant for entry into The Citadel should be assured through a medical examination that there is no history of physical ailments which could possibly cause discharge due to inability to participate in the Fourth Class System.
The Fourth Class System by nature appears arbitrary on the surface. It demands prompt and unquestioning obedience of authority through the use of a collection of customs and traditions. However, each of the elements or customs has a special purpose in furthering a cadet’s development.
The system includes standing at a rigid position of attention, turning square corners when walking, undergoing inspections before formations, learning various items of fourth class knowledge, working on approved company details such as minor chores incident to keeping one’s own area of the barracks in order, submitting to a variety of minor restrictions concerning the use of certain campus grounds and facilities, the wearing of the uniform, and the general conduct of a fourth class cadet.
Cadets who are unable to meet the desired standards or violate one or more of the customs are subject to corrective action. This can range from a verbal reprimand to walking tours on the barracks quadrangle and may include restriction to the limits of campus. In extreme cases, a cadet who is unable to conform to the military way of life may be brought before a Suitability Board to determine fitness to continue at The Citadel.
The measures described above are designed to test a cadet’s mettle and to determine motivation for cadet life. Their value lies in developing cadets’ ability to perform their duty successfully under trying and stress-producing conditions.
Hazing is not a part of the Fourth Class System and is not tolerated. The suffering of degradation, humiliation, and indignity does not foster the rapid development of those qualities sought in fourth class cadets.
The Fourth Class System is a formidable challenge to any young person. The decision to enter The Citadel must be preceded by a conviction on the part of the prospective cadets and their parents that these future cadets have the mental and physical characteristics appropriate to the system and possess a willingness to undergo the system’s rigors with a determination to see it through and to reap its benefits.
Although the system is demanding and difficult, the rewards are considerable, and they more than justify the effort. At recognition by the upper class cadets, a better person emerges-one who is mentally, physically, and ethically prepared to accept the responsibilities of leadership which will ultimately be given at The Citadel and in the world.
An incoming cadet is classified as a “Legacy” if at least one or more of the following criteria are confirmed:
- Father and/or mother are graduates and former members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets
- Brother and/or sister are current members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets
- Brother and/or sister are graduates and former members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets
- Grandfather and/or grandmother are graduates and former members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets
These are the ONLY qualifications that relate to the determination of “Legacy” cadets.
Fourth Class System for Transfer Students
Those students transferring from the national service academies (specifically the Military Academy, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy), Virginia Military Institute, or any other institution at which such students have:
- successfully completed their participation in a fourth class or plebe system;
- been full-time students in good standing in an ROTC program for the period of their enrollment at such an institution;
- been enrolled at any of the institutions listed above for a minimum of two semesters;
shall have the option of requesting a transfer out of the Fourth Class System after one semester at The Citadel, provided at that time they are at least academic sophomores. Eligible students exercising this option to transfer out of the Fourth Class System shall have no cadet rank, nor have any authority over the other fourth class cadets for the balance of the academic year. All other transfer students, regardless of academic standing, will undergo a full year of the Fourth Class System at The Citadel. The Commandant of Cadets will make the final decision on requests for transfer.
The Citadel’s Physical Effectiveness Program
There are two (2) parts of The Citadel Physical Effectiveness Program: Weight Management and Physical Fitness. Every cadet is expected to meet the standards established in each of these areas at all times. A Corps Height/Weight Screening is held each fall and spring semester. The Corps Physical Fitness Test is administered each term. By regulation, cadets are required to take these tests every semester. Detailed information on both is found in Chapter Five of the cadet regulation entitled The White Book. Cadets not meeting the standards of the Corps Physical Fitness Test are considered Physically Deficient resulting in loss of privileges and rank. Programs are designed to help those cadets work towards reaching the minimum requirements in both fitness and weight management. These programs are mandatory, and it is the individual cadet’s responsibility to participate. Seniors who do not pass the Corps Physical Fitness Test as required each semester will not be allowed to participate in the Fall Semester Ring Presentation or the Spring Semester Graduation Activities to include the Long Gray Line Parade and the Commencement Ceremony.