Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets
|Motto||Ut Prosim (Latin)|
Motto in English
|That I May Serve|
|Type||Public land-grant university|
|Endowment||$817 million (parent institution)|
|President||Timothy D. Sands|
|Campus||2,600 acres (4.06 sq mi) (10.52 km²)|
|Colors||Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I, Atlantic Coast Conference, 21 varsity teams|
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets (VTCC) is the military component of the student body at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Cadets live together in residence halls, attend morning formation, wear a distinctive uniform, and receive an intensive military and leadership educational experience similar to that available at the United States service academies. The Corps of Cadets has existed from the founding of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1872 to the present-day institution of Virginia Tech, which is designated a senior military college by federal law. According to program staff, about 1400 students participate as of September, 2018.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Organization
- 4 The modern freshman training system
- 5 Cadet awards
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Corps provides leadership training for all of its cadets through two tracks: a Military-Leader Track for cadets enrolled in one of the three Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs, and the Citizen-Leader Track for cadets wishing to pursue civilian sector careers. Students in the Military-Leader track can pursue a commission in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Air Force.
All cadets have the opportunity to receive an academic minor in Leadership through the Rice Center for Leader Development which is in the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business. To earn the minor, cadets must complete 22 academic credits, have three successful leadership positions, and pass their graduating-year physical fitness test.
Around 75% of the Corps' graduates choose the Military-Leader Track. If a cadet is enrolled in an ROTC program at Virginia Tech, they must also be enrolled in the Corps of Cadets. However, a cadet does not have to be enrolled in an ROTC program in order to participate in the Corps. There are a few exceptions made for active duty enlisted students participating in programs like the Army's Green to Gold program. However, ROTC cadets may compete for four-, three-, and two-year ROTC scholarship opportunities that typically pay tuition, fees, and amount towards books, and a monthly stipend that ranges from $250 per month to $500 per month.
The remaining cadets choose the Citizen-Leader Track to pursue civilian careers or officer training or officer candidate training programs after graduation, or attend professional or graduate schools. Eighty-three percent of the Citizen-Leader Track cadets had a job or graduate school offer in hand upon graduation in May 2016. Recently, Northrop Grumman funded six scholarships for Citizen-Leader Track cadets or Military-Leader Track cadets not on scholarship which included an opportunity to intern with Northrop Grumman as well. Citizen-Leader Track cadets participate in an exercise called Job-Ex, where the junior and senior cadets learn to write a job description, freshman and sophomore cadets apply to those jobs, the upperclass cadets review them, and then they conduct panel interviews with the underclass cadets, so they can learn from their peers what is successful in an job interview. The upperclass cadets learn what interviewers expect, so they can improve their interviewing skills as well. The Rice Center Board of Advisors, made up from executives from organizations like Northrop Grumman, Union Pacific, Dell, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations, advise the Corps staff on curriculum and skill sets cadets need to develop to be more employable after graduation.
Women entered the VTCC in the Fall of 1973 and created a single unit called L Squadron. By 1979, women were integrated into the line companies, though they still lived separately from the males in their units. In 1981, the residence halls became co-ed and women began to live in the same unit area as their male counterparts. In 1987, the first female Regimental Commanding Officer (CO) was appointed. To date, the Corps has had 4 female Regimental Commanding Officers. Today the Corps is nearly 17% female and women hold leadership positions throughout the Corps.
Early years of the Corps
On October 1, 1872, Virginia Tech opened as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (VAMC). All students were cadets organized into a battalion of two companies with an enrollment of 132. The Commandant of Cadets was General James H. Lane, formerly the youngest general in the Army of Northern Virginia, who was wounded three times in combat. He worked to provide both the best education and the best military training in the state for his cadets based on his experience in the Civil War, and as a student and teacher at VMI and UVA, and as a teacher at Florida State Seminary and North Carolina Military Institute.
Lane is considered the father of the Corps. He wrote the first cadet regulations and began the tradition of academic and military excellence. In 1878, VAMC President Charles Minor wanted to do away with the strict military requirements. Lane opposed him and their disagreement became so heated that a faculty meeting ended with a fistfight between the two. Both left campus in the ensuing scandal, but the Corps remained.
The VAMC cadets made their first Corps trip in 1875 to Richmond to the dedication of the Lee Monument. Over the years, the Corps has made many trips. These trips were more frequent in the early years including the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York in 1901 and the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. In 1880, political mismanagement from Richmond contributed to enrollment dropping to just 78 cadets. But in the ensuing years, enrollment and educational opportunities were expanded. E Battery, manning four Civil War artillery pieces with upper classmen, existed between 1883 and 1907.
In 1896, VAMC, through an act of the Virginia Legislature, changed its name to the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute. The name was quickly abbreviated in common usage to VPI. Also that same year, a tradition began that lasted nearly three-quarters of a century, the VPI-VMI annual football game in Roanoke. Known as the Military Classic of the South, the annual Corps trips and associated parades ended in 1970.
Spanish–American War service
In 1898, with the outbreak of the Spanish–American War, the VPI Corps of Cadets formally volunteered to the governor for combat service. This request was declined, but most of the VPI Cadet band and their director enlisted as the Band of the 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment. Many alumni served in the Spanish–American War and the Philippine Insurrection. One alumnus (A.M. Gaujot. Class of 1901) was awarded the Medal of Honor during the Philippine–American War and another cited for gallantry at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. The Gaujot brothers remain the only two brothers in American history to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in two separate wars.
The VPI Cadet Band had first been organized in 1892. Prior to that, as early as 1883, music was provided by the "Glade Cornet Band," an organization made up of townspeople. The summer of 1902 saw the VPI Cadet Band serve as part of the 70th Virginia Infantry during large-scale national military maneuvers held in Manassas, Virginia. The VPI Cadet Band has been referred to as the Highty-Tighties since 1921.
World War I
With the approach of World War I, the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) was established at Virginia Tech. In January 1917, Infantry ROTC was established followed shortly by Engineer and Coast Artillery. During the war, Virginia Tech became an army post. Cadets were inducted and became enlisted men of the Student Army Training Battalion and its Navy detachment. They wore Army and Navy uniforms during this period. Two Army training detachments of between 226 and 308 men each operated on campus.
CPT. J.W.G. Stephens (class of 1915), of the 26th Infantry, led the first American forces "over on top" in combat near Montdidier, France. Many alumni served with distinction with the 1st, 2nd, 29th, and 80th Divisions, all of which saw heavy combat. Note must be made of Major Lloyd W. Williams (class of 1907), US Marine Corps. One of the famous quotes of the war, used for years as a Marine standard, was attributed to him. "Retreat, Hell No!" was his reply to the French orders to retreat his company. His company held its ground, but he was killed in the action and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. In the air, alumni, even as World War I foreshadowed VPI's contribution to the Air Force, CPL Robert G. Eoff (class of 1918), French Foreign Legion, attached to the 157 French Fighter Squadron shot down the first of 6 enemy aircraft credited to Techmen. LT John R. Castleman (class of 1919) was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (United States) for heroism in completing an aerial reconnaissance in spite of the attack of 12 enemy aircraft, two of which he shot down.
VPI's contribution to the war effort during World War I included 2,297 men in uniform. These included 2,155 in the Army, 125 in the Navy, 19 in the Marine Corps, 6 in the Coast Guard, 1 in the British Army and 1 in the French Foreign Legion. One alumnus (Earle D. Gregory, Class of 1921) was awarded the Medal of Honor, seven the Distinguished Service Cross (United States), and one the Navy Cross. At least eight were awarded the Silver Star. Twenty-six died in service and another twenty-six were wounded. Based on this, VPI was designated as one of twelve 'Distinguished Colleges' by the War Department.
After World War I, veterans affected the Corps and VPI at large, both as new and returning cadets. In 1921, women were admitted to VPI as civilian students and attended classes as day students. The next year the Corps was reorganized into a regiment of two battalions. Two years later (1923) military service as a cadet was reduced from four years to two; however, after two years of the camaraderie of Corps life very few cadets chose to convert to civilian student status. During the national rail strike of 1923 the corps again volunteered to the Virginia Governor for active military service. They were not called upon.
A Third Battalion was added to the regiment by 1927. Rapid growth followed as Virginia Tech's reputation as both an outstanding academic and military institution grew. In 1939, a Fourth Battalion was added.
World War II years
During World War II, academic sessions and the Corps operated on a twelve-month cycle. The Corps had grown to a brigade of 2,650 cadets consisting of two regiments with a total of five battalions. The First Battalion was primarily Infantry ROTC. The Second Battalion was Engineer ROTC and the Third, Fourth and Fifth consisted of Cadet Batteries taking Coast Artillery ROTC. Because of the war, seniors were graduated and commissioned early. Juniors were on an accelerated schedule and brought on active duty. Finally, sophomores and freshmen over 18 were largely inducted into military service. The Corps soon numbered under 300 and was organized into a single battalion.
During the war, the Commandant of Cadets, in addition to the cadet battalion, supervised a unit of the Army Specialized Training Program and Army Specialized Training Reserve Program (ASTRP) (soldiers under 18 years of age) and a Navy pre-flight-training unit. These units included many former cadets, and adopted many of the traditions of the Corps, including the Honor Code and saluting the Rock. The young men of the ASRTP were actually uniformed in cadet gray. Once again VPI was largely an active duty military installation.
Edward H. "Buddy" Dance was the President of the Corps of Cadets in the graduating class of 1942. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps but quickly rose to the rank of Major in the Air Force. He flew many missions and then taught others how to fly and fight in the air.
During World War II, 7,285 alumni served in uniform. The army had 5,941 men, the navy 1,095, 110 in the Marine Corps, 29 in the Merchant Marine, 23 in the Coast Guard, and one in the Royal Air Force. These included ten Brigadier Generals, five Major Generals, and one Rear Admiral. Three hundred twenty-three died, five were awarded the Medal of Honor, seven the Distinguished Service Cross, two the Navy Cross, at least 73 the Silver Star, and 94 the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Following World War II, returning veterans were not required to serve in the Corps and the great influx of veterans swelled the number of civilian students. Civilian students out-numbered cadets for the first time in 1946. That same year Air Force ROTC was introduced to Virginia Tech. Initially civilian-cadet relations were not good as most veterans were attending Virginia Tech for the first time. Thanks to the regimental commander, Cadet Robertson (class of 1949), a World War II Coast Guard veteran, greater understanding was promoted among his fellow veterans and the Corps continued to grow and flourish.
During the following years the Corps would expand again back to a regiment and eventually organize into four battalion-size units. The Cadet 1st Battalion was housed at Radford Army Arsenal for two years at "Rad-Tech." There, in World War II Army barracks, the cadets lived and took many of their classes. For unavailable classes, a fleet of buses brought them back to the main campus. As new dorms were completed the battalion returned to campus.
During the Korean War, 1,867 corps alumni served, of whom 30 died in service. During the war, First Lieutenant Richard Thomas Shea, Jr. (Class of 1949) received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions at Pork Chop Hill as a company commander. In 1952, the university employed a retired general as the Commandant of Cadets. This was a departure from policy since 1884, where the senior active duty military instructor functioned as commandant.
1950s, 1960s, and 1970s
In 1958, Virginia Tech became the first traditionally white southern college to graduate an African American, with the graduation of Cadet Charles Yates (class of 1958).
In a move to expand educational opportunities at Virginia Tech, the board of visitors made participation in the Corps completely voluntary starting in 1964. However the taking of ROTC continued to require Corps membership. The Vietnam War period saw unrest on campus outside the Corps ranks. In 1970 demonstrations were conducted with the aim of halting Corps drill. Cowgill and Williams Hall were occupied and over 100 students were arrested. Other incidents occurred including the suspected arson of an on-campus building. Civilian-cadet relations were at an all-time low. Throughout all of this, the Corps maintained discipline and high esprit.
The post-Vietnam years saw the Corps numbers decline and reorganization to a two-battalion sized regiment. In 1973, Virginia Tech was among the first Corps of Cadets in the nation to enroll women, assigning them to L Squadron. In 1975, the first female cadet was assigned to Band Company. In 1979, L Squadron was disbanded and female cadets were integrated into the line companies. In 1991, the Cadet dormitories became coed.
1980s and beyond
The freshman "Rat System" converted to the "New Cadet System" in the fall of 1981. Naval ROTC was established in 1983. The cadet regiment expanded to a three-battalion structure in 1998. Today the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is one of six senior military colleges outside the five federal military academies. Virginia Tech is one of only three universities in the nation that maintains a full-time military environment within a larger civilian university; the others are Texas A&M and University of North Georgia.
Since the Spanish–American War, the Corps has provided officers to the U.S. military. The valor of Corps alumni is legendary, with seven Medal of Honor recipients, and eighteen recipients of the nation's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross or Navy Cross. The Corps exemplifies in many ways the University motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets (VTCC) is a cadet-run organization, consisting of over 1400 members (as of fall 2018), and is modeled on an Army infantry regiment structure. The Corps is supervised by a senior leadership staff who establish cadet regulations and enforce baseline guidance for the running of the Corps. The day-to-day corps activities, however, are run primarily by the cadets themselves.
The senior leadership is provided by the Commandant of Cadets, who is appointed by Virginia Tech and is a paid faculty member. The Commandant is typically a retired Major General from either the Army or Air Force. Of note, the VTCC has never had a Commandant from the Navy or the Marine Corps. The Commandant of Cadets is assisted by an Executive Officer in administrative matters and coordination with a number of university constituencies.
Other Corps leadership staff are the three Deputy Commandants who, along with three Senior Enlisted Advisors, oversee the cadet battalions along with one Deputy Commandant and an Assistant Deputy Commandant for the Citizen-Leader Track. There is also a Director of Alumni Development with an administrative assistant, and an Assistant Deputy Commandant for Recruiting. A Director of Communications coordinates communication efforts amongst the Corps' many audiences, and two Residential Life Coordinators are also assigned to the Corps in order to liaison between the Office of Housing and Residence Life and the Corps. The Director of the Rice Center for Leadership Studies oversees the leadership minor and curriculum for the cadets. The Director of the Regimental Band, the Highty Tighties, is also a member of the Commandant's Staff. Also assigned are a Museum Curator, an athletic trainer (provided by Carilion), and two office and one scholarship manager. The Commandant of Cadets also oversees operation of the university's Tailor Shop.
Commandants of Cadets
|General||James H. Lane||1872–1880|
|Cadet Captain||James A. Clarke (acting)a||1880–1882|
|Colonel||W. Ballard Preston||1882–1884|
|Lieutenant||J. C. Gresham||1884–1887|
|Colonel||W. Ballard Preston||1887|
|Lieutenant||J. T. Knight||1887–1890|
|Lieutenant||J. A. Harman||1890–1894|
|Lieutenant||D. C. Shanks||1894–1898|
|Colonel||A. T. Finch||1898–1900|
|Colonel||J. S. A. Johnson||1900–1906|
|Captain||G. H. Jameson||1906–1909|
|Captain||E. R. Dashiell||1909–1911|
|Lieutenant||S. W. Anding||1914–1917|
|Major||W. P. Stone||1917–1918|
|Major||J. C. Skuse||1918–1919|
|Captain||C. C. Carson||1919–1920|
|Major||F. E. Williford||1920–1924|
|Major||W. R. Nichols||1924–1929|
|Lieutenant Colonel||J. B. Maynard||1929–1935|
|Lieutenant Colonel||C. H. Tenney||1935–1938|
|Colonel||J. H. Cochran||1938–1942|
|Colonel||R. W. Wilson||1942–1945|
|Colonel||T. W. Munford||1946–1951|
|Colonel||W. B. Merritt||1951–1952|
|Major General||J. M. Devine||1952–1961|
|Brigadier General||M. W. Schewe||1961–1967|
|Major General||F. T. Pachler||1967–1972|
|Brigadier General||David S. Henderson||1972–1973|
|Brigadier General||Earl C. Acuff||1973–1980|
|Lieutenant General||Howard M. Lane||1980–1989|
|Major General||Stanton R. Musser||1989–1999|
|Major General||Jerrold P. Allen||1999–2011|
|Major General||Randal D. Fullhart||2011–present|
a"From the day of its founding to the present Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has had a commandant of cadets. The session of 1880-1882 is unique however. The Board of Visitors failed to appoint either a commandant or a president. Acting President Hart thereupon appointed a senior cadet as acting commandant and permitted this individual to select other seniors as acting assistant commandants. With this one exception all commandants have been appointed by the Board of Visitors."
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is organized on the level of an Army infantry regiment. The following is the structure as of the 2013-2014 Academic Year:
- Regimental Commander (Cadet Colonel, 6 Gold Chevrons)
- Regimental Executive Officer (Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, 5 Gold Chevrons w/ Star underneath)
- S-1 [Adjutant] (Cadet Major, 5 Gold Chevrons)
- S-2 [Public Affairs] (Cadet Major)
- S-3 [Operations and Planning] (Cadet Major)
- S-4 [Supply and Finance] (Cadet Major)
- S-5 [Academics] (Cadet Major)
- Command Sergeant Major (Cadet Command Sergeant Major, 3 White Chevrons w/ 3 rockers and a diamond in the middle)
- Regimental Executive Officer (Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, 5 Gold Chevrons w/ Star underneath)
Regimental Special Staff
- Honor Court Chief Justice (Cadet Major)
- Vice Chief of Education (Cadet Captain)
- Vice Chief of Investigations (Cadet Captain)
- Regimental Counsel (Cadet Captain)
- Defense Counsel (Cadet Captain)
- Sergeant-at-Arms (Cadet Sergeant First Class)
- Executive Committee Chairman (Cadet Major)
- Inspector General (Cadet Major)
- Regimental Chaplain (Cadet Captain, 4 Gold chevrons)
- Recruiting and Retention Officer (Cadet Captain)
- Medical Officer (Cadet Captain)
- Information Systems Officer (Cadet Captain)
- Historian (Cadet Captain)
- Regimental Information Systems Officer (Cadet Captain)
- Color Guard Commander (Cadet Command Color Sergeant, 2 White Chevrons w/ two rockers, a star and wreath underneath it in the center of the rank)
- Skipper Crew Gun Captain (Cadet Artillery Sergeant, 2 Chevrons w/ two rockers and crossed cannons in the center)
- Regimental Armorer - Senior (Cadet Captain)
- Regimental Alumni Liaison - (Cadet Captain)
- Regimental Bugler (Cadet Command Signal Sergeant, 2 Chevrons w/ two rockers and a bugle with a wreath in the center)
- VTCC Hall Council Director (Cadet Captain)
- Battalion Commander (Cadet Lieutenant Colonel)
- Battalion XO (Cadet Major)
- S-1 [Adjutant] (Cadet Captain)
- S-3 [Operations and Planning] (Cadet Captain)
- S-5 [Academics] (Cadet Captain)
- Battalion Sergeant Major (Cadet Sergeant Major, 3 Chevrons w/ 2 rockers and a diamond in the middle)
- Battalion XO (Cadet Major)
- Company Commander (Cadet Captain)
- Company XO (Cadet 1st Lieutenant)
- Platoon Leader (Cadet 2nd Lieutenant)
- Academics Officer (Cadet 2nd Lieutenant)
- Operations Officer (Cadet 2nd Lieutenant)
- Safety Officer (Cadet 2nd Lieutenant)
- Company First Sergeant (Cadet First Sergeant, 2 Chevrons w/ 2 rockers and a diamond in the middle)
- Platoon Sergeant (Cadet Sergeant 1st Class, 2 Chevrons w/ 2 rockers)
- Squad Leader (Cadet Staff Sergeant, 2 Chevrons w/ 1 rocker)
- Fire Team Leader (Cadet Sergeant, 1 Chevron w/ 1 rocker)
- Company XO (Cadet 1st Lieutenant)
The Regimental Band has these additional ranks exclusive to their company:
- Drum Major (Cadet Captain with crossed batons under 4 gold chevrons)
- Supply Sergeant (Cadet Supply Sergeant, 2 Chevrons with horizontal stripe)
In recent years all senior cadets were granted the rank of Cadet 2nd Lieutenant regardless of whether they had a billet, unless they had shown substandard performance. Additionally, all seniors were entitled to wear a gold chin strap on their cover regardless of rank and had the privilege to carry a saber. During that semester, the regulations were changed so that only seniors with a requisite billet would be cadet officers. All other seniors would maintain enlisted cadet rank and would no longer be allowed to wear a gold chin strap or carry a saber. The regulations were again changed in the Fall of 2014, and presently, all seniors without a command billet that would rate a higher rank are given the rank of C/2LT. In the Fall of 2017, company rank structure was changed to relate more with the Army. Company commanders were given the rank of Cadet Captain, with the XO being a Cadet 1st Lieutenant.
"New Cadet" is the standard rank for all freshman upon entrance into the cadet corps, after which time the freshman may be advanced to Cadet Private but still wears a white cloth belt in contrast to Cadet Privates of other classes, who wear a black belt as an upperclassman but hold no leadership position. A special rank of Cadet Private First Class may be held by second semester cadets who hold a high grade point average. This also includes freshman, who are often referred to as "Freshman PFC's" to denote their class status, since they would still be junior in respect to upperclassmen cadet privates.
A cadet of any class year (including seniors), who commits a serious infraction may be reduced in rank to Cadet Private, which carries no insignia, although during certain periods in the cadet corps history, seniors who held this rank were known as "Senior Cadet Privates" and could still wear a gold chin strap. An unofficial rank is known as "Skipper Cadet", and is held by fifth year seniors, who in the past have been permitted to wear a silver chin strap. The modern cadet corps does not recognize this rank or insignia, and fifth year seniors typically simply hold the rank of Cadet Second Lieutenant.
The modern freshman training system
First-year cadets are required to arrive one week before the start of classes for training, also known as New Cadet Week. During this week, the new cadets are trained in drill with and without a weapon and also receive physical training to help prepare them for the rigors of leadership and the upcoming stresses of the academic year. The week ends on Saturday with the New Cadet Parade, where the new cadets march under arms for their families and university staff, as well as a crowd of friends and fellow Virginia Tech students moving on to campus. The parade is intended to display the change in the new cadets and their acquisition of military knowledge and discipline. After this event, the new cadets are given approximately 30 hours of pass so they can stay overnight off-campus with their families. During this freshman pass, the returning upperclass who were not cadre move into their rooms on Upper Quad (starting Fall 2017: Pearson and New Cadet Halls).
The cadet training system at Virginia Tech has evolved throughout the decades, with each iteration seeking to improve the quality of leader produced by the program. Beginning with the class of 2004, the current cadet training system was implemented. The new cadets officially begin Red Phase upon returning from pass at 1830 (6:30 pm) for their first study hours Sunday evening. A freshman cadet typically has eight-and-a-half hours of unstructured time during a weekday in which to attend classes, study, run errands, and workout. Red Phase, like the color red, is the most intense phase, and the new cadets continue to be trained by their cadre (juniors and seniors who were specifically trained to train the freshmen). They will be expected to learn topics from The Guidon, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets book of knowledge and will be quizzed on topics from the Guidon during "Freshmen Online", more commonly referred to as "onlines". Onlines are conducted Monday through Thursday and last for one-half hour. Onlines typically go away at the end of Red Phase. In addition to onlines, freshmen will begin having pass (also known as U-pass or Unity pass) every weekend night, where the cadre will conduct rigorous training reminiscent of New Cadet Week. Common activities during weekend pass include Guidon quizzes, physical training with and without rifles, dragging with and without rifles, and changing into uniforms or remaking beds under time constraints.
The Caldwell March is named after Addison Caldwell, who walked 26 miles (42 km) to enroll as the first student at Virginia Agriculture and Mechanical College (V.A.M.C.) (Virginia Tech). The march commemorates Addison's historic journey and is broken into two 13-mile (21 km) hikes. The fall hike begins at the Caldwell Homestead in Craig County and loosely follows the original hike along parts of the Appalachian Trail, before ending at a park named after the Caldwell brothers, "Caldwell fields". Homer Hickam, a former cadet, and co-creator of Skipper sometimes joins the cadets on this momentous hike. The successful completion of the fall hike marks the end of the red phase for the first year cadets.
It is the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors' policy, that any freshman or transfer cadet who leaves the Corps before the end of Red Phase (which is usually defined by the university's last day to withdraw without penalty in the fall semester), must leave the university and begin again in the spring semester (they do not have to re-apply to the university for admission).
White Phase begins after the Caldwell March in October and lasts until the conclusion of Military Weekend in February. During White Phase, freshman cadets attend Cadet Leader School taught by the Commandant's Staff and upperclassman cadets. During the Thursday afternoon period reserved normally for the Corps of Cadets lab, freshmen are educated in leadership responsibilities and role play scenarios to learn solutions to different situations. Freshman cadets are evaluated during this time for their competence as Fire Team Leaders. White Phase normally terminates at the annual Military Ball during Military Weekend (typically in the middle of February). During White Phase, weekend passes are still conducted by the cadre, however based on the previous week's performance pass may be something enjoyable such as a group trip to a movie theater.
At the beginning of Blue Phase, freshmen cadets are awarded new privileges and continue in their transition from follower-ship to leadership. Marking the end of freshmen cadet training year is the second half of the Caldwell March. After successful completion of the march, the freshman cadets are "turned" to upperclassman status for the remainder of the year. During this period, the freshman cadets will be partially integrated into their future companies, providing them with valuable acclimation time in order to prepare themselves for their sophomore challenges.
- Regimental Presidential Service Ribbon
- Outstanding Recruiting Service Ribbon
- Presidential Inaugural Award Ribbon
- Regimental Cadre Ribbon
- Recruiting Service Ribbon
- Academic Excellence Ribbon (Gold Level) 3.75 - 4.0
- Academic Excellence Ribbon (Orange Level)3.4-3.74
- Academic Excellence Ribbon (Maroon Level)3.0-3.39
- Armed Forces Special Operations Preparatory Team (AFSOPT) Ribbon
- Arnold Air Society Ribbon
- Association of the United States Army Ribbon
- C.A.R.E Ribbon
- Color Guard Ribbon
- Gregory Guard Service Ribbon
- Ranger Company Service Ribbon
- Raider Company Ribbon
- Conrad Cavalry Service Ribbon
- Naval Aviation Society (formerly Blue and Gold Society) Membership Ribbon
- Surface Warfare Society Membership Ribbon
- Submarine Society Membership Ribbon
- Skipper Crew Service Ribbon
- Scabbard and Blade Membership Ribbon
- Sash and Saber Membership Ribbon
- Eagle Scout Association Ribbon
- Society of American Military Engineers Ribbon
- Tactical Applications Company Ribbon
- VTCC Athletics Ribbon
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.|
- "Factbook: Financial Overview". Virginia Tech Foundation. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- Harry Downing Temple 'The Bugle's Echo A Chronology of Cadet Life at the Military College at Blacksburg, VA', The Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Volume I 1872–1900 Date: 1998
- "Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Home Page". www.nrotc.navy.mil. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
- "Scholarships for Students & Enlisted Soldiers". goarmy.com. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
- "U.S. Air Force ROTC - Scholarships Offered". www.afrotc.com. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
- "Corps History". Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Website. Archived from the original on 2009-05-10. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
- "Hospitals & Medical Centers in Virginia | Carilion Clinic | Virginia Doctors & Physicians". Carilion Clinic. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
- "Commandants of Cadets, 1872–2000". University Archives of Virginia Tech. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
- "Major General Randal D. Fullhart named Commandant of Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets". Virginia Tech News. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
- "Freshman Year". Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Website. Retrieved 2009-07-23.