Hello, I wanted to give the people on this forum the full view of The Citadel. Like many of you I applied to service academies in high school and frequented this site. To give a very brief background, I received a Senator's nomination to West Point, but was not selected. I instead took a 4-year Army scholarship to The Citadel. A former JROTC cadet, I was very motivated towards the goal of commissioning and wanted nothing more than to be a successful officer with a quality education. I do not mean to bash any Citadel cadets; I met plenty of quality individuals after reporting as a knob with the class of 2016. Individuals. After Hell Week I learned the system was the opposite of how they advertised it, and I will outline this below. Academics: The Citadel boasts one of the best tutoring centers in the nation. While this is great, the attitude of the upperclassmen who will be controlling you is extremely un-academic. I took 19 credits as a first semester knob, but quickly learned I would have extremely little time to study due to the random, time-wasting assignments we were given by the sophomore class. We would spend close to an hour a day shining brass buckles and shoes, and would have to complete 'writing assignments' if we failed to meet the standard. Most of us got close to five hours of sleep a night, myself probably less because I was contracted and had PT at 0500 most mornings. 5 weekends a semester were SMI, which was an inspection we were forced to spend the entire night cleaning for. They would check. The sleep deprivation was so bad I hallucinated and collapsed. We could not use the barracks for studying without being sent on 'errands' or 'knob missions' by upperclassmen, and yet we were punished for using the library. Unofficially, of course. Athletics: If you are an athlete, you will be hated. The upperclassmen do not like the idea of anyone having special privileges, even if earned. They will teach your class to look down on you. Training: The ROTC unit was great. I learned a lot and enjoyed training with them. As to Cadet life, this is where it gets strange. Since the school came under scrutiny for hazing, the upperclassmen have been officially unable to haze the knobs as a class. I recognize that in the past, certain practices were done to the class as a whole, in order to strengthen them and bring them together. Nothing like that happened in my company. We were divided into cliques and made to hate the weakest of the group. The upperclassmen selected the cadets who would not tell if hazed, and hazed them privately. They would be punished when one of us screwed up (i.e. not having uniform perfect at the three-per-day inspections). Eventually someone walked in on a hazing situation and two sophomores in my company got expelled. To give a sample of what they did do: Each Friday we would march in parade for an hour. Add the half hour of uniform prep before and the three hours of scrubbing the floor we did after. Before dinner we would have to sprint back and forth in the barracks or up the steps for twenty minutes. After dinner we once spun in place for half an hour, and I still have no idea why. We typically had weekend leave, except those with tours. A tour is a fifty minute period of walking back and forth on the quad, with a rifle. They usually give them ten at a time. I missed a guard shift and got ten. Ten hours of life, wasted. For drinking in the barracks, you would get 120. Yes. Close to 120 hours gone. The Future: Much change is currently taking place within the Citadel. But old habits die hard. The upperclassmen in my company still resented women, the religious, and (in other companies) certain races. You will likely face warring factions: the one is insane and will encourage/force you to sacrifice grades in order to have a better looking uniform. The other (TACs, the official rules, Human Affairs cadets) will be very friendly, but you will be hated by your class for following them. Conclusion: I finished knob year and was recognized. Note that even after recognition you will still have very little respect. Sophomores are despised within the corps. Luckily I avoided this as I transferred to the University of South Carolina, where I am continuing ROTC. I had to forfeit the ROTC Scholarship, however. I am now an SMP Cadet (ROTC and National Guard) and will still commission in 2016. Again, I had the pleasure of meeting some truly helpful people at The Citadel, both cadets and TACS, whom I could not have made it through without. I just want prospective cadets to know what it is like first so they do not end up giving away a full scholarship like I did. More info: I encourage prospective cadets to visit the Broken Gray Line on tumblr. I have written for them in the past.