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Corps of Cadets

Cadets in formation

In 1872, when Virginia Tech was founded, it was a state-supported land-grant military institution called Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. Back in the day, the entire school was what is now known as the Corps of Cadets. Coming from a strong military background, it is no surprise that Virginia Tech’s motto is Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Today, this group of 1,100+ students live together in corps residence halls and participate in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets’ 24/7 leader development program. Cadets choose one of two tracks: Military-Leader Track (Air Force ROTC, Army ROTC, or Naval ROTC) or Citizen-Leader Track, for students who aren't seeking a military career. All cadets, regardless of track, prepare to be leaders of character for the nation and the world.

Cadets outside

Are you looking for a challenge for your college experience? Are you interested in leadership development and lifelong camaraderie? Consider joining the Corps of Cadets! Incoming students can join the corps as late as Summer Orientation. To learn more, contact

You will see cadets in your classes and all over campus dressed in one of four different uniforms specific to the corps, as well as their ROTC uniform! Their uniforms are pressed, their covers (hats) are on, and their grommets are shined. They are respected and admired on our campus. The Corps of Cadets works hard.

Cadet marching in a parade

More than 70 percent of cadets in the Military-Leader Track will commission as an officer in the armed forced. More than 90 percent of cadets in the Citizen-Leader Track will have a career-starting job or acceptance into graduate school before they graduate.