Corps of Cadets & ROTC

Corps of Cadets

For two centuries, Norwich University has prepared its graduates, America's leaders, for roles as “citizen soldiers.”

When Captain Alden Partridge founded the university at Norwich, Vermont in 1819, he established the first private military college in the United States.  Today, the U.S. Army officially credits Captain Partridge’s “citizen soldier” concept as the forerunner of Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

The Norwich University Corps of Cadets is a leadership laboratory.  The program transforms high school graduates into adaptive leaders of character for the nation through a Four Year Progressive Leadership Experience which prepares them to live honorable lives and assume the most challenging roles in the military, government, industry, and business.  During the first year, through an intensive military model, cadets develop the basic skills of time management, organization, and attention to detail while building confidence, courage and mental toughness. During the second year they learn all the fundamental principles of leadership required to assume an actual leadership role during their third and fourth years.  During the last two years, the cadets lead their own under the close supervision, coaching and mentorship of military professionals who provide essential feedback and counseling on their performance and leader development.  All cadets are required to take four progressive semesters of ROTC in either Army, Naval or Air Force ROTC to maintain membership in the Corps. To be eligible to receive a Military College of Vermont (MCV) diploma at graduation, a Cadet must have:

  • completed all Rook training required for recognition as a first year Cadet
  • successfully complete, or receive credit for 4 progressive semesters (2 years) of ROTC courses and participated in the ROTC PT and leadership laboratory to the maximum allowed by the ROTC Unit
  • lived on campus for 8 semesters (4 years), the last 6 semesters must be as a Cadet
  • passed the Norwich Corps of Cadets Physical Fitness test each year or received an accommodation or waiver
  • completed all disciplinary sanctions prior to Reading Day preceding the graduation term and be in good standing (not on disciplinary hold).

Cadets seeking a commission in the military are required to complete a third and fourth year of ROTC and meet all other requirements established by the commissioning service.

The ROTC programs exist to commission well-educated officers into the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps in sufficient numbers to meet the requirements of these services. The general objectives of the programs are to provide understanding of the principles of military, aerospace, and naval science; to develop comprehension of associated professional knowledge; to build attitudes of integrity, honor, and individual responsibility; and to encourage appreciation of national security requirements.   The Norwich Corps of Cadets supports and enhances the respective ROTC's mission and better prepares Cadets for service to the Nation.

ROTC Requirement

Corps students have priority for enrollment in ROTC courses.  Civilian students who wish to enroll on a space-available basis may do so with instructor permission.  Participation in ROTC physical training and military labs will be at the discretion of the applicable ROTC unit.  To pursue a commission through ROTC at Norwich University, a student must be a member of the Corps, unless he or she meets the veteran exemption as delineated in the following paragraph.

Student veterans who have honorably and faithfully served our nation as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, as evidenced by either the award of an honorable discharge certificate (DD214), or the completion of three years of honorable service in the active component, the reserve component (drilling member), or a combination of both as evidenced by a letter from the individual's commanding officer, and has achieved the age of at least 22 years as of 1 September of the year of matriculation, may apply for enrollment in the Norwich University ROTC program of their choice with the intent of pursuing a commission as a civilian student. The applicable ROTC Department Chair the Dean of College of National Services, and the Commandant of Cadets will review the applicant’s file to ensure all eligibility criteria are met.

Cadets contracted for Commission
The Norwich University Board of Trustees has directed that all members of the Corps, who are contracted for commission, be required to take four years of ROTC courses; one course per semester. The ROTC courses must include each of the two courses offered at each of the four levels (100, 200, 300, 400). Branch of service transfers will be allowed (prerequisites permitting) during the first two years of the requirement.

Non-contracted Cadets
Non-contracted Cadets are required to complete four semesters of ROTC courses and participate in physical training and military lab to the extent allowed by the ROTC unit.  The ROTC courses must be progressive. Students remain responsible for all established degree requirements.

Students transferring into the Corps are required to meet the ROTC requirement for membership in the Corps.