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The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina
PT Barracks.JPG
Padgett Thomas Barracks and Summerall Field
Established 1842
Type Public university
Endowment $166.8 million[1]
President Lt Gen. John W. Rosa, Jr., USAF
Students 3,300
Undergraduates 2,100 cadets, 100 non-cadets (active duty, veteran and evening students)
Postgraduates 1,120 civilians
Location Charleston, SC, USA
32°47′50″N 79°57′40″W / 32.79722°N 79.96111°W / 32.79722; -79.96111Coordinates: 32°47′50″N 79°57′40″W / 32.79722°N 79.96111°W / 32.79722; -79.96111
Campus Urban, 300 acres (1.2 km²)
Colors Blue and White         
Nickname Bulldogs
Mascot Spike and live mascots General and Boo V,
The Citadel presidents
Capt William F. Graham, USA 1843–1844
Maj Richard W. Colcock, USA 1844–1852
BG Francis W. Capers, CSA 1852–1859
Major Peters F. Stevens, SCM 1859–1861
Maj James B. White, SCM 1861–1865
Col John P. Thomas, CSA 1882–1985
BG George D. Johnston, CSA 1885–1890
Col Asbury Coward, CSA 1890–1908
Col Oliver J. Bond, SCM 1908-1931
Gen Charles P. Summerall, USA 1931–1953
Gen Mark W. Clark, USA 1954–1965
Gen Hugh P. Harris, USA 1965–1970
MG James A. Duckett, SCM 1970–1974
LTG George M. Siegnious, USA 1974–1979
VADM James A. Stockdale, USN 1979–1980
MG James Grimsley, Jr., USA 1980–1989
Lt Gen Cladius E. Watts, USAF 1989–1996
MG Roger C. Poole, SCM 1996–1997
MajGen John S. Grinalds, USMC 1997–2005
Lt Gen John W. Rosa, Jr., USAF 2006–present

The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, also known simply as The Citadel, is a state-supported, comprehensive college located in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. It is one of the six senior military colleges in the United States, and has 14 academic departments divided into five schools offering 20 majors and 25 minors.


College overview

Cadets in full dress uniform.

The Citadel is best known for its undergraduate Corps of Cadets military program for men and women, which combines academics, physical challenges and military discipline.[2] In addition to the cadet program, civilian programs are offered through the Citadel Graduate College with its evening undergraduate and graduate programs. In a partnership with the local community college, Trident Technical College, Citadel bachelor's degrees are offered to evening civilian students in Business, Civil Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. Students must complete two years at the community college level and two years at the Citadel. This program is known as the 2 + 2 program.[3]

The Citadel enrolls almost 2,000 undergraduate cadets in its residential military program and 1,200 civilian students in the evening programs. While all programs make use of the Citadel campus and professors, cadets and civilian students do not share classes and only cadets live on campus.[2][3][4] The exception to this is the veterans program, reinstated in the fall of 2007, which allows cadets who left The Citadel for active military duty to return as civilians, attend classes with cadets, and complete their degrees if certain criteria are met.[5]

Cadets also share classes with active-duty enlisted Marine Corps and Navy personnel, who are not required to live on campus or wear cadet uniforms.[6][7]


On December 20, 1842, the South Carolina Legislature passed an Act "to convert the Arsenal at Columbia, and The Citadel and Magazine in and near Charleston, into Military Schools" thereby transforming the two State Arsenals into the South Carolina Military Academy. The act specified:

That the students when admitted, shall be formed into a military corps, and shall constitute the public guard of the Arsenal at Columbia, and of the Citadel and Magazine in and near guard effectually, the public arms and other property at the places aforsaid...[8]

Marion Square, Charleston in 1940.

The first 20 cadets reported to The Academy, then located at Marion Square in downtown Charleston, on March 20, 1843. The name of the college was officially changed in 1910 to "The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina". The word "Academy" had become synonymous with secondary schools, and the public had the misconception that the South Carolina Military Academy was a preparatory school.[9] When South Carolina seceded from the Union in December 1860, Major Robert Anderson moved his garrison of U.S. troops to Fort Sumter and requested reinforcements from the federal government. On January 9, 1861, SC Academy cadets George Edward Haynsworth and Samuel Bonneau Pickens were present when their unit fired two large cannon from their Morris Island station at the U.S. steamer, the Star of the West, preventing it from reaching Fort Sumter with troops and supplies. This action is considered by Citadel supporters to be the "first shot fired" in the American Civil War. Most Civil War historians, however, consider the "first shot" to be a mortar fired on Fort Sumter from Fort Johnson on April 12, 1861.

On January 28, 1861, the Corps of Cadets of The SC Academy was made part of the military organization of the state and named the Battalion of State Cadets. The Academy continued to operate as a military academy, but classes were often disrupted when the governor called the cadets into military service. Mounting and manning heavy guns, performing guard duty, providing security and escorting prisoners were among the services performed by the cadets. They were known as the Battalion of State Cadets and participated in the following engagements from 1861 to 1865. As a result of these services, The Citadel is authorized to carry nine Confederate battle streamers:

  1. Confederate States Army (larger gray)
  2. Star of the West, January 9, 1861
  3. Wappoo Cut, November 1861
  4. James Island, June 1862
  5. Charleston and Vicinity, July-October 1863
  6. James Island, June 1864
  7. Tulifinny, December 1864
  8. James Island, December 1864-February 1865
  9. Williamston, May 1865

In early December 1864, Governor Bonham ordered the Battalion of State Cadets to Tulifinny Creek to join a small Confederate force defending the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. On December 7 and December 9, the cadets fought Union forces, successfully defending the rail line and forcing Union forces to withdraw. The cadets suffered eight casualties at Tulifinny Creek. The battalion was commended for its display of discipline and gallantry under fire and won the admiration of the troops who fought with them. The flag of the Corps of Cadets includes eight battle streamers, representing these engagements, and one streamer representing the Confederate States Army.

On February 18, 1865, the school ceased operation as a college when Union troops entered Charleston and occupied the site.

Following the war, the Board of Visitors eventually regained possession of The Citadel campus, and the South Carolina Legislature passed an act to reopen the college. The 1882 session began with an enrollment of 185 cadets.

The Citadel Bulldog Mascot

In the war with Spain in 1898, more Citadel alumni volunteered for service than were needed. In World War I, Citadel graduates were among the first contingents of American troops to fight with the English and French divisions. By that time, The Citadel had outgrown its campus on Marion Square, despite numerous building additions. In 1918, the city of Charleston offered the state of South Carolina 176 acres (0.7 km²) on the banks of the Ashley River for a new campus on the condition that the state fund the construction of a new Citadel campus there.[10] The state accepted the offer on February 26, 1919, and alloted $300,000 towards the construction of a new campus.[11] The college moved to its current location in 1922.

The title of the head of The Citadel was changed from Superintendent to President in 1921, when The Citadel moved to its present location. Oliver Bond was the last Superintendent and the first President of The Citadel.

Citadel graduates have performed military service for their country in major conflicts. These include World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The entire class of 1944 was inducted into the U.S. armed forces during World War II, and only two members graduated. This may be the only instance where an entire class of students was inducted into military service at once.[12]


Replica of the Citadel flag flown by Cadets between 1861 to 1865

In 2008, The Citadel was listed among the "Best Values in the South" by the U.S. News & World Report annual publication, earning rankings of: No. 2 for "Best master's degree granting public institution in the South", No. 5 for "All (public and private) master's degree granting colleges and universities in the South", and No. 7 for "Best value among all institutions in the South".[13]

Engineering students are among the most highly-recruited students from The Citadel, and its School of Engineering is ranked 34th among all undergraduate engineering programs in the United States. The civil engineering program is ranked No. 8 in undergraduate engineering specialty programs.[14]

Newsweek magazine also included The Citadel in its 2006 list of “America's 25 Hot Schools” as the “Hottest Military School”.[15]

Kiplinger's magazine, in its ranking of the "Best Values in Public Colleges" for 2006, made mention of The Citadel as a "great value" although the military nature of its program excluded it from consideration as a "traditional" four-year college in its rankings.[16]

The Citadel ranks first nationally among its peers for the percentage of students who graduate on time, and Citadel cadets are twice as likely as their peers in other colleges to graduate in four years. The Citadel's top ranking comes from a comparison of all public colleges whose entering students have average SAT scores between 1000 and 1200. The Citadel's four-year graduation rate is 59.7%, and its six-year rate is 71.9%.[17]

The Citadel is behind many colleges and universities in tackling environmental issues. The Citadel received a D+ on The 2009 College Sustainability Report Card.[18]

Student life

Cadet folding the US flag

Undergraduate cadets at The Citadel are members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. Cadets must meet physical fitness and SAT/ACT testing standards for acceptance into the Corps of Cadets.[19] On occasion , waivers to height/weight standards can be granted upon successful completion of the physical training test. On most days, cadets have both morning and afternoon physical (fitness) training, called "PT", military instruction on leadership, weapons, drill, and discipline, in addition to their regular college classes.

Most weekdays start with a formal muster and inspection of all personnel and their rooms. Cadets then march to structured military meals. After a day spent in classes, sports and other activities, the day usually ends with an evening muster formation and mandatory evening study period. Cadets are usually allowed to go out on weekends but must sleep overnight in the barracks unless they have a special pass.

Because The Citadel emphasizes corps unity and discipline, cadets may not be married and must live on campus in the barracks with their assigned company. The Citadel emphasizes an extremely strict disciplinary and physical fitness indoctrination for first-year cadets, who are called knobs because of the shaved heads they must maintain until the end of their first year when they are then recognized as upperclassmen.

Cadets who accumulate too many demerits or breach regulations can be punished by serving confinements or tours. A tour is one hour spent marching in the barracks with a rifle at shoulder arms and is normally performed when a cadet would otherwise be permitted to leave campus. A confinement is one hour spent in a cadet's room when they would normally be permitted to leave campus.

First class cadets, those in their senior year, receive their class rings at a special ring presentation ceremony, which was previously held in the college's chapel, but which now takes place in the school's gym. The Citadel ring is 10 karat gold with no gem stone and is one of the heaviest all-precious/semi-precious metal college rings in the United States. The design is common to all cadets and the design does not change with each class with the exception of the class year. Active-duty and evening undergraduate students receive a ring which is the same size, but with a different design.[20]

Included in The Citadel Graduate College student body are numerous active duty Marine and Navy enlisted personnel attending The Citadel under the Seaman To Admiral program (STA-21)[21] and the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP).[22]

The Citadel Regimental Pipe Band is one of the two all-student college pipe bands in the country, and it regularly performs at the weekly parade at The Citadel as well as at other events. The pipe band was started by General Mark Clark in 1955.


The Citadel is a NCAA Division I school and a member of the Southern Conference. The college's mascot is the Bulldog. Those cadets who participate in NCAA fall athletics (football, cross country, women's soccer and volleyball) are required to report a month earlier prior to their freshman year for "athletic cadre," so that they can participate in their sport practices when normal cadre starts. During the athletic cadre, the military athletes are initiated into the Corps while completing first-week experiences, such as "Hell Week". Civilian students also participate in the athletic program.

The Citadel Bulldogs baseball team has won seven regular season Southern Conference championships. The 1990 Citadel baseball team won the Atlantic Regional, earning the school its first trip to the College World Series and finishing the season ranked sixth in the final Collegiate Baseball poll with a record of 46–14.

Minority and female students

Charles Foster became the first African-American cadet to graduate from the Citadel in 1970 and he was well known for his success in ROTC.

Norman Seabrooks became the first African American cadet to captain a Football team.

Norman Doucet of the Class of 1994 was the first African American Cadet Regimental Commander of The Citadel.[23]

The Corps of Cadets at The Citadel was all-male until August 1996, although women had attended civilian graduate and undergraduate evening programs at the school for many years.

On January 20, 1994, Shannon Faulkner became the first female student to enroll in day classes at The Citadel. After additional legal battles, Faulkner won the right to enroll in the residential Corps of Cadets program. She joined an otherwise all-male class on August 15, 1995. However, after only four hours of military indoctrination training, she spent the majority of the first week in the medical infirmary and then voluntarily resigned citing emotional and psychological abuse and physical exhaustion. After her departure, male cadets openly celebrated on the campus.[24]

In the fall of 1996, four more women enrolled at the Citadel. While two dropped out after four months citing harassment, Nancy Mace, whose father was the Commandant of Cadets at the time, became the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel on May 8, 1999. Utilizing credits earned from a two-year community college, Mace graduated in three years. The first international female cadet was Petra Lovetinska who graduated May 2000. The first African-American women graduated on May 11, 2002. The Citadel, like the United States military, has adopted gender norming for physical fitness tests.


Checkerboard Quadrangle of Padgett Thomas Barracks

The Citadel sits on a 300-acre (120 ha) tract of land on the Ashley River. There are 27 buildings grouped around a 10-acre (4.0 ha) grass parade ground. The buildings around the parade ground include ten classroom buildings, an administrative building, five barracks, a student activities building, infirmary, chapel, stadium, a yacht club, a marksmanship center, a field house, and library. The campus is bounded on the west by the Ashley River, to the north by the Wagener Terrace neighborhood, and to the east by Hampton Park and the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood. Just off the main campus are the football stadium, baseball stadium, and alumni center. Additionally, there is a large beach house facility located on the north end of the Isle of Palms.



The Citadel has a few different outlets that focus on environmental sustainability. One is the Citadel Energy News Letter that gives brief informational articles and green lifestyle tips. The school also has a website devoted to recycling on campus that includes all locations students can recycle items on campus. This recycling site probably helped The Citadel receive a C in the food/recycling category of the College Sustainability Report Card, when the school’s overall grade was a D+. [18][25]

The Citadel Graduate College

The Citadel’s evening graduate program serves the Lowcountry by offering regionally and professionally accredited bachelors, masters and specialist degrees scheduled around the student’s profession, family and lifestyle. CGC offers 19 graduate programs with concentrations in education, psychology, computer science and business.[26] The Masters of Business Administration program is the only nationally accredited MBA program in the Low Country region of South Carolina. CGC also offers undergraduate evening programs in business and engineering. The Citadel is also the only college in South Carolina that offers an undergraduate civil and electrical engineering degree in an evening program.

Core values

In its Vision Statement, the Citadel Board of Visitors identifies the following as the school's "core values:"

Academics: We produce graduates who have insight into the issues, ideas and values that are important to society and possess the skills necessary to deal with them successfully. Duty: We emphasize the importance of individual accountability and the moral obligation of responsibility for the welfare of others. Honor: We adhere to a code which teaches that uncompromising personal integrity is the primary guide in all situations. "A cadet does not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those that do." Morality: We believe that an individual's character is of utmost importance and, therefore, we provide training which emphasizes ethical principles and core values. Discipline: We operate a leadership laboratory which emphasizes a structured environment, acceptance of responsibility, self-confidence and service to others. Diversity: We promote diversity in all segments of our campus community and college life.

No lock tradition

Since its founding, male cadets at the Citadel have not had locks on their barracks doors. Every cadet has a lockbox, however, that can be used to house valuables. The tradition had evolved in keeping with the spareness of military life and with the school's honor code, which mandates that cadets do not steal. Since 1997, female cadets have been able to lock their doors from the inside. In 2007, all barracks doors were fitted with working locks.[citation needed] As of 2009 all knobs are required to lock their rooms after Taps.

This decision in no way compromises the honor system. The personal standards that a cadet does not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do, remains the centerpiece of The Citadel experience.
Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, USAF (Ret) [27]


Citadel Class Ring

Eligibility is not restricted to South Carolina residents (although it is more difficult to gain an appointment for non-residents). The Citadel has graduated students from across the U.S. and from many other countries. South Carolina residents do receive a discount in tuition, as is common at most state-sponsored schools.

Total first year expenses (tuition, fees, uniforms, housing, meals, etc.) for the 2006-2007 school year was $18,458 for South Carolina residents and $28,777 for all others.[28]

Military service

All cadets are required to undergo four years of ROTC training in one of the four branches of the armed services, but they are not required to enter military service after graduation. Civilian students may opt to attend. Currently, just over forty percent of graduates go into military service, and less than ten percent make the military a career. The others go on to graduate, law, or medical school programs or enter the civilian workforce. Over the years, 249 Citadel alumni have reached the top ranks in the military by becoming flag officers (generals, rear admirals or commodores)[29]. Alumni of the Citadel have served their country in all wars involving the United States since the school's establishment. Citadel alumni have been killed in action during the Civil War (67), World War I (15), World War II (280), Korean War (32), Vietnam War (68), Lebanon (1), Grenada (1), the Gulf War (1), and the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan (12).[30]

Summer camp

Knobs on the quad

"The Citadel Summer Camp", a summer camp for boys and girls ages 10 to 15, was held at The Citadel every summer from 1957 until 2006. Founded by General Mark Wayne Clark, its purpose was to develop and strengthen the physical, mental, ethical, spiritual, patriotic and social characteristics of campers.[31] The Citadel Summer Camp ceased operation in 2006 because of financial issues space limitations and pressure from several pending lawsuits [32].

Cadet Officer Leadership School

Selected members of Air Force JROTC units from the Southeastern United States cadets are eligible to spend a week at the Citadel for officer training for their home JROTC units. A routine day attending Cadet Officer Leadership School (COLS) begins with waking up to Reveille for morning PT. This includes aerobic stretches, push ups, sit ups, and then a mile run. The remainder of the day is uniform wear and inspection, two classes and constant regulation drill. On the day of graduation from the school, cadets participate in a "pass in review" ceremony where awards and decorations are given to certain cadets who have gone above the normal standards. A PT ribbon and a Leadership School ribbon are given to all cadets who graduate from COLS back at their home unit. A Leadership ribbon is given to all Cadre, or cadet leaders, who graduate from the program, also back at their home unit at the beginning of the school year. Units that have a 100% PT(physical training) pass rate also receive a Colonel Sercer award, which includes a plaque and a certificate for the unit to display wherever they see fit.

Notable graduates

Fictional depictions

  • Pat Conroy's 1980 novel The Lords of Discipline was based in part on Conroy's experience as a cadet at The Citadel during the 1960s and on his research of other military schools. This book is a fictitious account of the first African American cadet at The Citadel and the class struggle that ensued to both keep and reject the cadet. The novel outraged many of his fellow graduates of The Citadel, who felt that the book was a thinly-veiled portrayal of campus life that was highly unflattering. The rift was not healed until 2000, when Conroy was awarded an honorary degree and asked to deliver the commencement address the following year. That year Conroy spearheaded fundraising to renovate the banquet hall in the old armory, now occupied by The Citadel Alumni Association. The Lords of Discipline was made into a movie of the same name starring David Keith and Robert Prosky in 1983.
  • Sword Drill, a novel by David Epps (Citadel Class of 1980), presents a fictional version of the Citadel’s now defunct Junior Sword Drill program.[1]
  • A thinly-veiled depiction of the Citadel provides the background for Calder Willingham's novel End as a Man, and the film adaptation, the Strange One
  • The Citadel was also used as the location for shooting the episode Columbo: By Dawn's Early Light, guest starring Patrick McGoohan.
  • Major Ben Marco, Denzel Washington's character in the movie The Manchurian Candidate, was a graduate of the Citadel.
  • In the film For the Boys, Bette Midler's son graduates as Regimental Commander of the Corps of Cadets. His commencement speech is filmed in front of 2nd Battalion Barracks.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Quick Facts from the Citadel web site.
  3. ^ a b CPGS Overview from the Citadel web site.
  4. ^ America's Best Colleges 2008: The Citadel
  5. ^ Citadel reinstates veterans program The Citadel Public Affairs Office
  6. ^ MECEP The Citadel website.
  7. ^ STA 21 The Citadel website.
  8. ^ John P. Thomas, History of the South Carolina Military Academy 1783-1892(Charleston, SC, Walker, Evans & Cogswell Co., 1893)p.5-6
  9. ^ Oliver J. Bond, The Story of The Citadel (Richmond, VA, Garrett and Massie) pp 168-170
  10. ^ "195 Acres land Donated by City", The Charleston (S.C.) Evening Post: 10, December 11, 1918 
  11. ^ "Citadel Bill Is Safely Passed", The Charleston (S.C.) Evening Post: 6, February 27, 1919 
  12. ^ Classes that did not graduate The Citadel website.
  13. ^ America's Best Colleges 2009, U.S. News & World Report web site.
  14. ^ The Citadel remains top ranked by U.S.News for both quality, value The Citadel website.
  15. ^ America's 25 Hot Schools, Newsweek, 2006.
  16. ^ Lankford, Kimberly (2006). Best Values in Public Colleges. Kiplinger's.
  17. ^ Graduation rates Citadel Press Release.
  18. ^ a b "The College Sustainability Report Card". Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  19. ^ Admissions policy The Citadel website.
  20. ^ The Ring The Buoniconti Fund website.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Citadel names 1st Black student as commander
  24. ^ Case Study Harvard Law,
  25. ^ "Recycling at the Citadel". Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  26. ^ In 2007 The Citadel changed its graduate program's name from the College of Graduate and Professional Studies (CGPS) to The Citadel Graduate College (CGC).
  27. ^
  28. ^ Tution fees 2007-2007 Citadel press release (10 June 2006).
  29. ^
  30. ^ The Citadel Alumni Association
  31. ^ The Citadel Summer Camp
  32. ^

External links


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