FAQ for Cadets

How is Norwich different from other military academies such as West Point?

Norwich is the oldest private military college in the country. Capt. Alden Partridge, a former superintendent at West Point, founded it in 1819. Partridge felt the United States had a strong need for citizen soldiers – those who would join a military effort in times of need but also contribute to the economy in peacetime. He implemented that concept at Norwich and it became the basis for the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

In contrast, the federal academies, such as West Point and Annapolis, train professional soldiers. Only half of our cadets seek a commission in the armed services following graduation. The remaining graduates enter business, public service or continue their education in graduate school.

Norwich is also different from all other collegiate military programs in that our Corps of Cadets is self-governing.

What does it mean that The Corps of Cadets is “self-governing?”

At Norwich, The Corps serves as its own regulating body. The upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) are taught leadership skills and they, in turn, teach those skills to underclass students (freshmen and sophomores). All training is overseen by the Commandant’s Office.

Will my child have to join the military when he or she graduates?

No. Unless your child has an ROTC scholarship, there is no military obligation following graduation. Students have until their junior year to determine whether or not they will seek a commission in the service.

How do I know if my son or daughter is a good candidate for the Corps of Cadets?

The Corps is for young men and women who seek an intellectual and physical challenge. We specifically look for students who have excelled academically, exhibit a sense of responsibility and discipline and have developed leadership abilities as a participant in clubs and extracurricular activities outside of the classroom.

How can I support my son or daughter’s decision to participate in The Corps?

Consistently, cadets have told us that parental support, especially during the initial stage of Rookdom, has been key to their success at Norwich. Respecting their decision to be a cadet and encouraging them to meet the challenge during difficult times are ways parents can actively support their student. In addition to providing encouragement, parents can direct their son or daughter to either the Commandant’s Office or the Admissions Office. Staff members in those offices will assist during the adjustment period, reminding Rooks of their reasons for choosing The Corps.

Is there hazing at Norwich?

The state of Vermont has some of the strictest hazing laws in the country. There is no place at Norwich for any student who would commit an act of hazing, or any other crime, against another student. The University has a strong written policy against hazing, which includes taking swift action to investigate any allegations.

Can my son/daughter attend off-campus religious services? If so, is there transportation provided?

Yes and yes. The house of worship is contacted and the religious leader, staff or congregation is queried to determine who is available to provide rides. NOTE: If a particular group does NOT provide transportation, the student may ride with another student going to the same place AFTER SUCH IS APPROVED THROUGH APPROPRIATE CHANNELS – i.e. the Chaplain or Commandant’s Office. We cannot as a university provide transportation for all who may ask, but we do work with the faith group of a student’s choice to arrange a ride.

My son/daughter wants to be a varsity athlete for a fall season sport,is there an earlier date to arrive for preseason camp?

If your athlete has been invited to attend a preseason camp for a varsity sport,he/she will be notified by the coach of the arrival date. All varsity teams do offer tryouts and the date/time of the tryouts will be published.

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