Virginia Tech - any insight or experiences with the Corp of Cadets?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by damascus, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. damascus

    damascus New Member

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    My son is considering VT (NROTC). Does anyone have any insight or experiences with the Corp? I understand the the program at Virginia Tech and Texas A&M is unlike all of the other programs.

    *Do the Navy Midshipmen at VT wear a Navy uniform? Or a common Corp of Cadets uniform? I'm guessing that each branch wears their own uniform, however many photos indicate that the Corp may wear a common uniform.

    Seeking information...thanks!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    vamom has a cadet there now (AFROTC) and nick4060 graduated last May (AFROTC), so if they don't chime in pm them. You may also want to have this thread moved to the SMC forum (right below this forum) because VT is an SMC, and you could get more info there.
     
  3. BlindROTC

    BlindROTC Member

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    Spend the Night with the Corps

    Highly recommended: http://www.vtcc.vt.edu/Prospect/Visit.php

    VT and TAMU both have a Corps of Cadets resident on a large civilian campus; that's how they differ from other ROTC units and other SMCs. My son did Spend the Night at TAMU and visited Virginia Tech twice. He would have been thrilled to matriculate at either one; the choice came down to finances.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    They do have a very sharp common uniform than they wear at least 5 days a week (unless the football team wins in which case they can wear an orange sweater instead of the jacket). Mandatory study hours for freshman (don't know about upper classes). Up for formation at 0'dark:30. My son did an overnight at VT and loved the Corps and the kids he stayed with, but at same time recognized it wasn't for him. I don't know if the incoming freshman couldn't make left turns or couldn't make right turns but it made getting to class or even to the mens room in the dorm rather tedious. They also couldn't leave the room without being in full uniform. Fortunately, at least the guys he was with, had a sink in their room which made some of the trips to the men's room unnecessary. One of my golfing buddies was a member of the Corps of Cadets over 50 years ago and still swears by it. :biggrin:

    It's a great school, beautiful campus, and the lifestyle can be great for the right kind of person. You have to like a rather monastic environment because Blacksburg is pretty isolated. I would say it's a typical college town though with plenty of student "hang-outs". I would have liked my son to attend there if only because of the mandatory study hours, as I was worried about him academically. Fortunately my concerns were unfounded. Who knew my kid was smarter than me? :smile:
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    kinnem,

    LMAO off at your comment.

    DD is at VT.

    She has a tee shirt that says:

    VT a college town with a football issue!

    My DD loves VT. She belongs to a sorority, and will stay at their house until ROTC commissions are over because she has been invited to the AROTC commissioning for 3 of her sisters. Thus, it is not monastic environment as you may believe. They can be in Corps, in ROTC AND in the greek life.

    kinnem is correct if your child doesn't like what the avg person would call the boonies, it might not be the place for you.

    However, if you love FB and BB, and a town that loves/supports the college you can't find a better college.

    This weekend VT will be doing the Big Event. This is how close they are to Blacksburg/Christianburg residents. Check out the aerial picture...VT Thanks you!
     
  6. vamom

    vamom Member

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    As Pima stated, our DS is attends VT. He is in AFROTC, is an Engineering major and a 2nd year. His experience at VT has been nothing less than outstanding. (same with us parents!). I can provide a much more substantial response to your questions when I return this evening.

    Damascus, I'm not sure if you live in Virginia, but if so, we are holding a New/Prospective Cadet Social at the Virginia State Capitol this weekend, on Sunday. In attendance will be General and Mrs. Fullhart, VTCC Alumni, current cadets, and Parents of the VTCC. It will be from 1-3 in House Room 3. Plenty of parking. If you are interested in attending, please visit our Facebook page, "like" us and then under "events", add your name. Regardless, I will provide a more in-depth answer to our question on this forum this evening. However, if there is any way that you might attend the meeting on Sunday, it would answer all of our questions and then some!

    email invite:

    The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Parents Club of Central Virginia extends a warm congratulations to the new cadets' acceptance to Virginia Tech and to the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets!

    We cordially invite you (student and family) to attend our New Cadet Social on Sunday, April 7th from 1-3 pm.

    There will be a brief presentation by Commandant Fullhart followed by a Q&A session (for both parents and students!) and of course, the chance to meet and mingle with current VTCC cadets and their parents.

    Representatives from the VTCC Alumni Association will also be joining us. Light refreshments will be served.

    For more information about our group, please visit us (and "like" us!) on Facebook: VTCC Parents Club - Central Virginia.

    Again, congratulations and we hope to see you on April 7th!

    What: VTCC Parents Club of Central Virginia New/Prospective Cadet Social
    Where: The Virginia State Capital, House Room 3
    Time: 1-3 pm
    Date: Sunday, April 7th
    Parking: For information about parking and how to locate the public entrance, please visit http://www.virginiacapitol.gov/visitors.php.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    :smile: Pima, I meant monastic in the sense that Blacksburg isn't just down the road from "your favorite major metropolis". I certainly don't think anyone at VT will get bored, although the beautiful countryside could induce a state of tranquil meditation.
     
  8. damascus

    damascus New Member

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    wow! thank you, all, for the fantastic response. your information is very helpful. we have signed up for the 'spend-the-night' program and will make the trip in a few weeks. my son received an NROTC scholarship for VT and will make his decision after his visit. we are very excited for him..

    we have a bunch of nieces and nephews who have attended VT or are students there now (5 of them!). they all have nothing but positive things to say about the college.

    thanks again for the insight.
     
  9. damascus

    damascus New Member

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    car?

    ...are the cadets allowed to have a car on campus first semester?
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I don't know the answer to that but aside from trips home there wouldn't be a need for a car on campus. Everything, and I mean everything, is within walking distance. Might be a long walk but it's still walking distance.

    EDIT: I should have googled first. From here: http://www.admiss.vt.edu/frequently-asked-questions/

     
  11. hokiesfan

    hokiesfan Member

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    As kinnem said, yes they can. However, my son's roommate found having his car on campus to be a real pain. The lot that resident students have to use is all the way across campus from Upper Quad where the cadets live, so it was quite a hike even to get to the car. The lot also has to be cleared for home football games, so he had to find the time to deal with moving his car and finding alternate parking five or six weekends during the first semester (which is already very busy for new cadets).

    It's a much better idea to hold off and bring a car second semester if your son decides he really needs it.
     
  12. vamom

    vamom Member

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    Damascus, do your or your son need additional feedback after his stay-the-night experience? If so, please reply and I can provide you with the info!
     
  13. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Yes they are. But as an alum I'd recommend leaving the car at home at least for the first semester if not all of freshman year. It usually ends up being more of a hassle than anything else.

    But as an upperclassman, there will be A LOT more free time and things to do. At that point I'd recommend having a car on campus for sure.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I remember doing the spring admitted open house tour back in 10 with DD, she is not ROTC, and ROTC dorms were further away than the traditional students. I remember thinking to myself...Dang that lot is way out there!

    Her roommate had a car, but she went home at least 2x a month.

    Let someone else bring their car, whatever you need to do the campus bus can take you...including the popular off campus apptmts or Krogers.

    This is especially true for fall semester. One of DD's VT shirts sums it up.

    Play off of the college town with a drinking problem.

    Blacksburg is a drinking town with a FOOTBALL problem.
     
  15. vamom

    vamom Member

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    I'm sure that Damascus will have many questions answered during the VTCC "stay the night" program, but as the mom of a sophomore, here is a "quick and dirty" rundown of some elements of our experience at VT and with the VTCC: Nick, please gently correct any errors! :)
    1. No car necessary nor advised
    2. VTCC is the "fraternity , the sports team , the friend group etc.". They are a very tight-knit group and these friendships are for a lifetime.
    3. 20% of the VTCC is Citizen-Leader track. The rest are in an ROTC.
    4. Our son had never EVER wanted to return home other than on university holidays. They stay VERY busy and there is a LOT going on.
    5. As a freshman, your son will have no free time to speak of. They are up for formation/PT at o dark thirty. They go to class all day. They must be in their rooms for MANDATORY STUDY from 7-11. Lights out at 11. No TV/Radio etc. Extensive tutoring network/upperclassmen help out with underclassmen needs. VTCC has a higher GPA than the VT average. HUGE focus on academics. High percentage of Engineering majors in the VTCC. Our son is ENG. If you are not organized and focused, it will be a rough experience.
    6. Our son fell in love with Vt , VTCC and his AFROTC DET 875. He was encouraged and "quietly assured" a prin nom to the AFA if he applied after freshman year and he had no interest.
    7. Cadets all live on the Upper Quad. It is a lifestyle..one that is a WELL RESPECTED TRADITION at VT. Cadets and what they stand for is revered. They play a huge role in Hokie Football (freshmen form the tunnel for every home game, etc.) and in all traditions and events at VT.
    8. After freshman year cadets will have time to do things outside of the Corps. Sports, clubs etc. Freshman year is very Corps-centric.
    9. The VTCC is growing exponentially. It is at its largest number since the 1970's. New dorms have been approved ,architect selected and groundbreaking to begin within months.
    10. Follow the Facebook page "Commandant Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets" for great updates from Major General Fullhart (USAFA '79).
    11. There are many videos on YouTube (key words Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets) which portray many of the aspects of Corps life, from traditions to the various ROTC detachments.
    11. Please let me know what else you may have questions about and I will answer to the best of my knowledge. I hope your son joins The Hokie Nation!
    12. If your son plans to join an ROTC, they each have distinctive personalities and I would encourage your son to visit the DET as well.
    13. VTCC Parent Groups have formed across the country and this has been a great way to support our cadets. General Fullhart is involved and acts as "advisor" so we can ensure that we focus on the right things. One event that we have started as a VTCC Tradition is the "VTCC Epic Tailgage", which we parents plan and execute after the VT Corps of Cadets Homecoming game. Things like that.
    14. I will mention that the three MAJOR intolerances are (in no particular order) hazing, alcohol violations and poor academic performance. So whether Blacksburg is a "party town" or whether it is as dry as a bone, the VTCC cadets operate on their own set of rules and regs. They know what the zero-tolerance items are. Their oath includes the others (lie/cheat or tolerate those who do etc.).
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Just for clarification. ALL DORMS are dry. I don't want people thinking VT has alcohol/partying issues.

    The comment was a play on how big Football is at VT. They are rabid when it comes to football. Freshman have to be in a lottery for tickets...or at least they use to be back in 10.

    Hence...Blacksburg and the FOOTBALL comment. They have a football problem :shake:

    Our DD this past fall cried at the end of the last home game because she realized she had only 1 more season left! In Auf 2010 I am pretty sure the girl didn't even know what a field goal was or how many points it was worth. Now she calls her Dad and complains about a bad call because their foot was inbounds when he caught the ball!
     
  17. vamom

    vamom Member

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    Pima, I knew what you meant! Any large university will have its "party crowd". I just wanted to point out that I was just at a meeting a few weeks ago where General Fullhart was speaking and he made that comment about the three "major intolerances" so I wanted to emphasize that for those reading this thread because it is really ZERO TOLERANCE.

    Yes, VT football is sold-out when the schedule comes out. The lottery for students still exists. BUT! The VTCC attend every home game and of course, march in to the stadium and sit together. Freshmen do pushups when the Hokies score!:thumb:
     
  18. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    I'd say that's a very accurate rundown as far as my four years went there. The school in general and all three ROTC units are absolutely outstanding. The VTCC on its own has plenty of positives and negatives going for it. In my opinion it really is what the individual makes of it. There are definitely some good lessons to be learned there that can apply to active duty life. However, they are still college students in the end and shouldn't take the VTCC too seriously.

    There are two extremely valuable things the Corps offers in my opinion. The first is the emphasis on academics for freshmen cadets. Vamom's description above is very accurate. Freshman cadets have a much easier time keeping their grades up than their non-cadet counterparts. This really is simply because of the fact that they're secluded from the distractions that other freshmen fall into. A lot of non-cadet VT students I knew dug themselves into deep holes freshman year by letting their grades drop or getting in trouble with the law. Those are dumb mistakes that are common for 17/18 year olds, but ROTC cadets looking for commissions these days don't have much room for error.

    The other thing I found valuable was the great friends I made there. You develop some very strong relationships there that last well beyond graduation. And for a future officer it can be beneficial having lived with cadets from the other services through four years. Just from my time in the VTCC and the friends I made there, I've learned more about Army and Navy culture than most other AF lieutenants I know. In general, this is a benefit unique to SMCs as far as I know.

    The only issue I'd take with Vamom's above post is regarding the last point. Whereas the ROTC units do have VERY little tolerance for violations, I'd say the VTCC is a different matter. The Commandant's staff is very small compared to the number of cadets overall. Its not like the service academies where there are active duty officers overseeing every company or squadron. In the VTCC, the upperclassman cadets are really the ones responsible for running things day to day. So even though things like alcohol in the dorms may not be tolerated officially...it is no secret that drinking goes on there. Especially among the younger cadets who arent yet 21 and can't experience the Blacksburg bar scene. That's not to say there's a drinking "problem" there. Just remember they are still college kids in the end. And they'll find ways to do a lot of the same things their non-cadet friends will do.

    Looking back I have no regrets whatsoever going to VT and doing ROTC there. Its the place where I made lifelong friends, started my professional career, and met my soon-to-be wife. I'm not a parent myself, so I'm sure Vamom or Pima would be much better at giving that perspective. But I don't think there is any reason for parents on this board to be hesitant in sending their son/daughter to VT.
     
  19. vamom

    vamom Member

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    Nick, thanks for the feedback! I will say that General Fullhart has a much different approach and tolerance than perhaps existed in the past. This is his second year as Commandant and the culture change around certain key areas that are high on his radar is significant. And you are correct...since DS is ROTC, I am probably adding the two together (VTCC and ROTC). I hope that you are living your dream!!!
     
  20. damascus

    damascus New Member

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    ALL IN!

    Thanks, VA Mom & all, for your information and insight. We spent 3 days in Blacksburg last weekend and we LOVED it. My last visit to VT was almost 30 years ago...I had no appreciation then for how beautiful the entire area truly is - to include Blacksburg and the campus. But most importantly, my son felt the same way. He had a great experience with the spend-the-night program. He was paired up with a Navy freshman...they had a lot in common (Lacrosse, similar personality, etc.) and his host took the time to answer all of his questions, toured the campus (again), got a game of Frisbee in on the drill field, etc. My son officially accepted while we were still in town. All good and all in!

    My wife and I really enjoyed the parents brief presented by Major Mariger. We were very impressed with her complete understanding of what makes our kids 'tick'. I would recommend that anyone considering the VTCC should really make the trip and complete the spend-the-night program.

    For those of you commenting on the location of the Corps 'Upper Quad' (residence, etc.) - our opinion is that it is in a fantastic location on the campus. It's closest to town, the library, and most of the engineering classes. The only downside is that the Upper Quad is a long walk from the fitness center at McComas (wow! super impressed with McComas too). The Upper Quad is almost next door to the new (new!) 'Turner Place' dining building. I absolutely could not believe that college kids have a dining plan that includes the choices (and quality) that is offered in Turner. This is not college as I remember it!

    Turner is also the home of the Corps new dining room. If I remember correctly, the Corps eats in Turner together twice-per-week. At least the freshman do (?).

    google: Virginia Tech Turner Place dining to see the photos and more:

    "Community Room -

    Shultz Hall traditionally provided a large dining center for the corps of cadets' formation meals. With Shultz Hall undergoing renovations to become the new Center for the Arts, the corps needed another space to conduct formation meals, a key element to their training program. Turner Place will provide the space and dining necessities that the corps of cadets needs to prepare students for military leadership in a 256–seat community room. Located on the first floor of Turner Place the community room will be the regimental dining room for the corps of cadets formation dinners and will be open to the general public when not in use by the corps."

    Thanks again. We look forward to New Cadet Week on August 17th.
     

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