Distinction/difference between Corps of Cadets and ROTC?

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by abn70, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. abn70

    abn70 New Member

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    Hello, first post!

    Can you please help me with the difference between the two at an SMC. I have read hours and hours of info on this forum, such a great place! But sometimes the corps of cadets and ROTC are used synonymously and sometimes separately.
    My son is a high school sophomore interested in the navy and army.

    Thank you!
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    At most SMC's and USMA, the Corps of Cadets refers to the entire student body that participates in the 4th class system. For example, at VMI that would include virtually 100% of the students, whereas at Virginia Tech or Texas A & M, it would be a small subset of a large non-military student body. I don't believe that the Cadet Student Body of AROTC at non SMC colleges are ever referred to as a Corps of Cadets. (Please correct me if I am wrong).

    At SMC's it is generally required that members of the Corps of Cadets must participate (but not necessarily contract) with a branch of ROTC. It could be AROTC, NROTC or NROTC/MO, or AFROTC. These members of the Corps of the Cadets will take a different military science curriculum based on their specific selection of ROTC.

    If a cadet chooses to contract, usually a scholarship or stipend accompanies this arrangement to financially assist the cadet through part if not all four years. Once contracted, the cadet is obligated to serve active duty in that particular branch. If a cadet chooses not to contract at an SMC, there is no military obligation upon graduation.

    For Army ROTC, only SMC's (and USMA) can guarantee active duty upon satisfactory graduation from the Corps of Cadets and approval of the AROTC Professor of Military Science (PMS). At other non SMC ROTC colleges, AROTC can dictate reserves or NG instead of active duty upon graduation. NROTC and AFROTC only contract active duty.

    I hope this helps! I'm just a dad and there are lots of other more seasoned experts here, but no one else seems to be awake right now.

    Good luck to your DS!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
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  3. NAS

    NAS Banned

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    Good post from Gokings814 on this.
    To further explain: At an SMC, when you talk about the Corps of Cadets, it does not inherently involve ROTC--Although all cadets must participate in ROTC, it is typically a sub-set within the Corps. At VMI, for example, all students are cadets. So first and foremost you are a VMI Cadet, then you may be an ROTC member or a member of the basketball squad, etc. You wear the VMI uniform 24/7 and you only wear the ARMY, AF, USMC uniforms when required to do so for ROTC department labs, etc.
     
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  4. abn70

    abn70 New Member

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    Thank you gokings814 and NASS! That clears it up nicely!

    My son is still deciding if he wants to play one of his sports in college, is that possible while being a member of the Corps of Cadets at one of these schools? Or, conversely, is it possible or not a career killer to attend a "regular" school like Texas A&M or Virginia Tech and be in ROTC but not the Corps of Cadets?
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    He can play a sport at the school, but remember these are all Division 1 schools in athletics (except Norwich). VT and Texas A&M are big athletic programs. If he isn't being recruited, the chances of playing at that level are slim at schools like VT and Texas A&M. He might have a better chance at an SMC as they are smaller schools and in smaller conferences. Also remember at a school like VMI or Citadel, the entire school is in the Corps and does ROTC so this is something a coach understands and must deal with daily for every team member. A coach at Texas A&M and VT may not be as willing to understand the balance of ROTC, Corps life and a sport.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but if he does ROTC at VT or Texas A&M he will be required to be in the Corps.
     
  6. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    Not all get AD but will have to do a service if contracted. Could be Reserve or Guard. And yes it has been explained well, the Corp is the practically the whole student body at some SMC's The Citadel, VMI . The Corp is managed as a whole different group than ROTC. Everyone in the Corp (student body) is in the Corp ranking system. All Corp students at a SMC take military science classes. Sometimes students that do not go military from a SMC get a leadership certificate based on leadership military science classes.

    ROTC has been explained and functions as a different unit. They also are ranked within ROTC and ranking has nothing to do with Corp ranking.

    And someone clear me up please. A small detail but my DS harps on me about it or did once anyway and I conformed :) Is it the 4 class system and not the 4th class system. And a freshman for example would be in the 4th class.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I don't know for certain but 4 class system sounds grammatically correct.
     
  8. meh126

    meh126 Member

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    It is Fourth Class system (as in: on a plane you want to sit in first class, not one class)
    http://www.experts123.com/q/what-is-the-fourth-class-system.html
     
  9. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    Clueless -- At your DS' school that may be true. My memory while a cadet at USAFA, now many years ago, (which I acknowledge is different from how I believe it is done at ROTC and some SMCs) was "4th class system" because we were referring to the process one goes through as a doolie. Notice "doolie" is not captialized! ;)
     
  10. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    I was just curious. I see it referred too usually as 4th class system by parents. Not that it really matters :)
    I was basically told 4 classes in the system (Freshman 4, Sophmore 3, Junior 2 , Senior 1) and that is the notation they wear on their shirt collar. And I could have misinterpreted what I was told, after all I am just a cluelessparent :)
     
  11. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    University of North Georgia is also a Senior Military College that offers cadets a chance to earn a commission in the US Army. The Corps of Cadets on the Dahlonega campus comprises about 30% of the resident student population. Cadets live in the military village and are cadets 100% of the time. Once cadets have achieved a minimum GPA, they are considered "off quarters" and are granted privileges that mimic Army life. For example, when the duty day is done after 5 pm, cadets may be allowed to wear civilian clothes.

    UNG does not participate in the 4th Class System. A first year cadet is an MS1, or a freshman. 2nd year is an MS2, or a sophomore, etc. Some cadets participate in ROTC for the leadership minor and leadership experience. Those that WANT to earn a commission are guaranteed a commission in either the active duty Army, the National Guard or Reserve.

    UNG athletes compete in NCAA Division 2 in the Peach Belt Conference. Cadets that participate in NCAA athletics are members of the same cadet company, making it more likely that their company commanders are supportive of their extensive training schedules. (I wouldn't call UNG a big sports school. It's the Corps of Cadets that is the center of attention.)
     
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