United States Army Command and General Staff College
The United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is a graduate school for United States Army and sister service officers, interagency representatives, international military officers. The college was established in 1881 by William Tecumseh Sherman as the School of Application for Infantry and Cavalry, a training school for infantry and cavalry officers. In 1907 it changed its title to the School of the Line; the curriculum expanded throughout World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and continues to adapt to include lessons learned from current conflicts. In addition to the main campus at Fort Leavenworth, the college has satellite campuses at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; the satellite campuses provide non-residential distance learning opportunities. The United States Army Command and General Staff College educates and develops leaders for full spectrum joint and multinational operations; the college consists of four schools: Command and General Staff School provides Intermediate Level Education for United States Army and sister service officers, interagency representatives, international military officers.
ILE is a ten-month graduate-level program. There is one ILE class per year. About 1,200 US military and international officers make up the class. In addition to the ILE curriculum, a graduate masters program exists for students who may qualify to complete a thesis-level research paper and receive a Master of Military Arts and Sciences degree at the School of Advanced Military Studies; the Masters program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting body for collegiate institutions in the midwestern United States. ILE students are mid-career field-grade officers preparing for battalion command or staff positions at the division, brigade, or battalion level. In addition to CGSS at Fort Leavenworth, the school operates satellite campuses at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Students at the satellite campuses complete the ILE Common Core, a condensed ninety-day program without the MMAS option, in lieu of the traditional ten-month program. School of Advanced Military Studies provides post-ILE instruction on complex military issues at the strategic and operational levels.
Students who complete the curriculum receive a Master of Military Arts and Sciences and are assigned as high-level military planners. The Masters program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting body for collegiate institutions in the midwestern United States. School for Command Preparation provides instruction for colonels, lieutenant colonels, command sergeants major who have been selected for brigade or battalion command. Courses are three to four weeks and focus on special topics unique to assumption of command at the levels indicated. School of Advanced Leadership and Tactics provides officer continuing education towards developing the Scholar-Warrior-Leader from first lieutenant to selection for major; the result is mastery of branch-specific technical and tactical skills, staff processes in battalions and brigades, direct leadership and command competencies, initial broadening opportunities. During World War I, the CGSC at Ft. Leavenworth was closed, from 1916 until 1920.
Most of the school staff was sent to Langres, France, to open and conduct the Army General Staff College, which operated from November 1917 to December 1918. This compressed-curriculum school was needed to provide command and staff officers for the exponentially growing number of Army units; the college reports that 7,000 international students representing 155 countries have attended CGSC since 1894 and that more than 50 percent of CGSC International Military Student graduates attain the rank of general. Prime Minister and General Kriangsak Chomanan of Thailand General Alfredo M. Santos of the Philippines Lieutenant General Rafael Ileto of the Philippines Major General Edmund E. Dillon of Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Prime Minister and General Tran Thien Khiem of South Vietnam General Do Cao Tri of South Vietnam Colonel Le Huy Luyen of South Vietnam General Hau Pei-tsun of the Republic of China President Paul Kagame of Rwanda General Katumba Wamala of Uganda Brigadier General Muhoozi Kainerugaba son of Ugandan president, 2007–08.
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan General Rahimuddin Khan of Pakistan General Jehangir Karamat of Pakistan General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani of Pakistan Brigadier Abdul Shakur Malik, Force Commander for the Northern Areas, Acting Director-General Military Training, of Pakistan General Eiji Kimizuka of Japan General Hisham Jaber of Lebanon General Krishnaswamy Sundarji of Indian Army Prime Minister and Brigadier-General Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore General Dieudonné Kayembe Mbandakulu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo President Gaafar Nimeiry of Sudan Lt. Col Anastasio Somoza Portocarrero of the Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua General Nguyễn Hợp Đoàn of South Vietnam General Nguyễn Khánh of South Vietnam General Phạm Văn Đồng of South Vietnam Ministry/Chief of Army General Staff and General Ahmad Yani of Indonesia President and General Susilo
Deep operation known as Soviet Deep Battle, was a military theory developed by the Soviet Union for its armed forces during the 1920s and 1930s. It was a tenet that emphasized destroying, suppressing or disorganizing enemy forces not only at the line of contact, but throughout the depth of the battlefield; the term comes from Vladimir Triandafillov, an influential military writer, who worked with others to create a military strategy with its own specialized operational art and tactics. The concept of deep operations was a national strategy, tailored to the economic and geopolitical position of the Soviet Union. In the aftermath of several failures or defeats in the Russo-Japanese War, First World War and Polish–Soviet War, the Soviet High Command focused on developing new methods for the conduct of war; this new approach considered military strategy and tactics, but introduced a new intermediate level of military art: operations. The Soviet Union was the first country to distinguish the third level of military thinking which occupied the position between strategy and tactics.
Using these templates, the Soviets developed the concept of deep battle and by 1936 it had become part of the Red Army Field Regulations. Deep operations had two phases. Deep battle envisaged the breaking of the enemy's forward defenses, or tactical zones, through combined arms assaults, which would be followed up by fresh uncommitted mobile operational reserves sent to exploit the strategic depth of an enemy front; the goal of a deep operation was to inflict a decisive strategic defeat on the enemy's logistical abilities and render the defence of their front more difficult, impossible—or, irrelevant. Unlike most other doctrines, deep battle stressed combined arms cooperation at all levels: strategic and tactical. Russian military thinking had changed little over the course of three centuries prior to the 1920s; the Russian Empire had kept pace with its enemies and allies and performed well in its major conflicts in the run-up to the 19th century. However, despite some notable victories in the Napoleonic Wars and in various Russo-Turkish Wars, Russian defeats in the Crimean War, Russo-Japanese War and First World War, together with a series of Soviet defeats at the hands of Poland in the Polish–Soviet War, highlighted the inferiority of Russian methodology in organisation and training.
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the new Bolshevik regime sought to establish an new military system that reflected the Bolshevik revolutionary spirit. The new Red Army combined the new methods, it still relied on the country's enormous manpower reserves. Once this had been achieved, the Soviets turned their attention to solving the problem of military operational mobility. Primary advocates of this development included Alexander Svechin, Mikhail Frunze, Mikhail Tukhachevsky, they promoted the development of military scientific societies and they identified groups of talented officers. Many of these officers entered the Soviet Military Academy during Tukhachevsky's tenure as its commandant in 1921–1922. Others came particularly Nikolai Varfolomeev and Vladimir Triandafillov, who made significant contributions to the use of technology in deep offensive operations. In the aftermath of the wars with Japan and Poland several senior Soviet Commanders called for a unified military doctrine; the most prominent was Mikhail Frunze.
The call prompted opposition by Leon Trotsky. Frunze' position found favour with the officer elements that had experienced the poor command and control of Soviet forces in the conflict with Poland during the Polish-Soviet War; this turn of events prompted Trotsky's replacement by Frunze in January 1925. The nature of this new doctrine was to be political; the Soviets were to fuse the military with the Bolshevik ideal. This would define the nature of war for the Soviet Union; the Soviets believed their most enemy would be the capitalist states of the west they had to defend themselves against before and that such a conflict was unavoidable. The nature of this war raised four major questions: Would the next war be won in one decisive campaign or would it be a long struggle of attrition? Should the Red Army be offensive or defensive? Would the nature of battle be fluid or static? Would mechanized or infantry forces be more important? The discussion evolved into debate between those, like Alexander Svechin, who advocated a strategy of attrition, others, like Tukhachevsky, who thought that a strategy of decisive destruction of the enemy forces was needed.
The latter opinion was motivated in part by the condition of the Soviet Union's economy: the country was still not industrialized and thus was economically too weak to fight a long war of attrition. By 1928 Tukhachevsky's ideas had changed: he considered that, given the nature and lessons of the First World War, the next major war would certainly be one of attrition, he determined, that the vast size of the Soviet Union ensured that some mobility was still possible. Svechin allowed for the first offensives to be fast and fluid; this would require a strong economy and a loyal and politically indoctrinated population in order to outlast the enemy. The
The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina
The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina referred to as The Citadel, is a state-supported, comprehensive college located in Charleston, South Carolina, United States. Established in 1842, it is one of six United States senior military colleges, it has 18 academic departments divided into five schools offering 38 minors. The military program is made up of cadets pursuing bachelor's degrees; the non-military programs offer 10 undergraduate degrees, 24 graduate degrees, as well as online/distance programs with 7 online graduate degrees, 3 online undergraduate degrees and 3 certificate programs. The South Carolina Corps of Cadets numbers 2,350 and is one of the largest uniformed bodies in the U. S. while 1,200 non-cadet students are enrolled in the evening Citadel Graduate College pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Women comprise 9% of the Corps and 22% of the overall enrollment while minorities comprise 15% of the Corps and 23% of the total enrollment. Half of The Citadel's cadet enrollment is from the state of South Carolina.
South Carolina residents receive a discount in tuition. The Citadel receives 8% of its operating budget from the state. In 2018, the school's ROTC program commissioned 163 officers; the Corps of Cadets combines physical challenges and military discipline. The academic program is divided into five schools – Engineering and Mathematics, Humanities and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Education; the Citadel Graduate College offers 26 master's degrees with 41 different concentrations, 25 graduate certificates and 2 educational specialist courses. 94 % of the faculty hold the majority are full-time professors. While all programs make use of the Citadel campus and professors, only cadets live on campus; the veterans program, reinstated in the fall of 2007, allows veterans to attend classes with cadets and complete their degrees if certain criteria are met. Enlisted members from the Marine Corps and Navy attend cadet classes as part of a program to commission qualified NCOs; the Citadel Bulldogs compete at the NCAA Division I level in 16 sports within the Southern Conference.
The Citadel traces its origins to a series of arsenals constructed by the state of South Carolina in the 1820s. The Arsenal was never reopened; the Citadel Academy was occupied by Union troops in 1865 and reopened as an educational institution in 1882. During the Civil War, the SCMA Corps of Cadets was organized into a military unit known as the Battalion of State Cadets which took part in nine engagements. In January 1861, Citadel Academy cadets manning a battery on Morris Island fired the first shots of the conflict when they shelled the Union steamship Star of the West, attempting to resupply Fort Sumter. In December 1864, the cadet battalion made up more than a third of a Confederate force that defended a strategic rail line during the Battle of Tulifinny, the only occasion when the entire student body of a U. S. college fought in combat. In 1922, the school moved from its original location on Marion Square in downtown Charleston to a new campus on the banks of the Ashley River on the northwest side of the city.
The Citadel has grown from an enrollment of 460 to its present 3,500. During World War II, The Citadel had the highest percentage of any American college student body serving in the military and all but 46 of its living graduates were members of the armed forces. Alumni served as members of the Flying Doolittle Raiders; the first black cadet enrolled in 1966. The first woman admitted was Shannon Faulkner, who after a successful ruling in 1995, in the U. S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reaffirmed the District Court's ruling, paved the way for her admission as a cadet, she matriculated into The Citadel with an otherwise all-male corps of cadets on August 15, 1995 under the escort of United States Marshals. A graduate program was started in 1968. A major capital improvement campaign started in 1989 saw the replacement or extensive renovation of a majority of the buildings on campus, academic offerings have been continuously expanded to offer in demand courses and degrees in fields such as Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Criminal Justice and Nursing.
Citadel cadets and alumni have served in every United States military action from the Mexican War to the current Global War on Terrorism. In 2018 for the eighth consecutive year, U. S. News & World Report ranked The Citadel highest among Master's degree offering public institutions in the "Regional Universities – South" category and third out of all 94 universities in the same category.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill known as UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, or Carolina is a public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is the flagship of the 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina system. After being chartered in 1789, the university first began enrolling students in 1795, which allows it to be one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States. Among the claimants, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the only one to have held classes and graduated students as a public university in the eighteenth century; the first public institution of higher education in North Carolina, the school opened its doors to students on February 12, 1795. The university offers degrees in over 70 courses of study through fourteen colleges and the College of Arts and Sciences. All undergraduates receive a liberal arts education and have the option to pursue a major within the professional schools of the university or within the College of Arts and Sciences from the time they obtain junior status.
Under the leadership of President Kemp Plummer Battle, in 1877 North Carolina became coeducational and began the process of desegregation in 1951 when African-American graduate students were admitted under Chancellor Robert Burton House. In 1952, North Carolina opened its own hospital, UNC Health Care, for research and treatment, has since specialized in cancer care; the school's students and sports teams are known as "Tar Heels". UNC's faculty and alumni include 9 Nobel Prize laureates, 23 Pulitzer Prize winners, 49 Rhodes Scholars. Additional notable alumni include a U. S. President, a U. S. Vice President, 38 Governors of U. S. States, 98 members of the United States Congress, 9 Cabinet members, 39 Henry Luce Scholars, 9 World Cup winners and 3 astronauts as well as founders and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies; the campus covers 729 acres of Chapel Hill's downtown area, encompassing the Morehead Planetarium and the many stores and shops located on Franklin Street. Students can participate in over 550 recognized student organizations.
The student-run newspaper The Daily Tar Heel has won national awards for collegiate media, while the student radio station WXYC provided the world's first internet radio broadcast. In 2018, UNC was ranked amongst the top 30 universities in the United States according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Washington Monthly, U. S. News & World Report. Internationally, UNC is ranked 33rd and 34th in the world by Academic Ranking of World Universities and U. S. News and World Report, respectively. UNC is regarded as a Public Ivy, an institution which provides an Ivy League collegiate experience at a public school price. North Carolina is one of the charter members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, founded on June 14, 1953. Competing athletically as the Tar Heels, North Carolina has achieved great success in sports, most notably in men's basketball, women's soccer, women's field hockey. Chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly on December 11, 1789, the university's cornerstone was laid on October 12, 1793, near the ruins of a chapel, chosen because of its central location within the state.
The first public university chartered under the US Constitution, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of three universities that claims to be the oldest public university in the United States and the only such institution to confer degrees in the eighteenth century as a public institution. During the Civil War, North Carolina Governor David Lowry Swain persuaded Confederate President Jefferson Davis to exempt some students from the draft, so the university was one of the few in the Confederacy that managed to stay open. However, Chapel Hill suffered the loss of more of its population during the war than any village in the South, when student numbers did not recover, the university was forced to close during Reconstruction from December 1, 1870 until September 6, 1875. Despite initial skepticism from university President Frank Porter Graham, on March 27, 1931, legislation was passed to group the University of North Carolina with the State College of Agriculture and Engineering and Woman's College of the University of North Carolina to form the Consolidated University of North Carolina.
In 1963, the consolidated university was made coeducational, although most women still attended Woman's College for their first two years, transferring to Chapel Hill as juniors, since freshmen were required to live on campus and there was only one women's residence hall. As a result, Woman's College was renamed the "University of North Carolina at Greensboro", the University of North Carolina became the "University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill." In 1955, UNC Chapel Hill desegregated its undergraduate divisions. During World War II, UNC Chapel Hill was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission. During the 1960s, the campus was the location of significant political protest. Prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protests about local racial segregation which began in Franklin Street restaurants led to mass demonstrations and disturbance; the climate of civil unrest prompted the 1963 Speaker Ban Law prohibiting speeches by communists on state campuses in North Carolina.
The law was criticized by university Chancellor William Brantley Aycock and university President William Friday, but was not reviewed by the North Carolina General Assembly until 1965. Small amendments to allow "infrequent" visits failed to placate the student body when the university's board of trustees overruled new Chancellor Paul Frederick Sh
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, its impact on the societies and economies thereof, as well as the resulting changes to local and international relationships. Professional historians focus on military affairs that had a major impact on the societies involved as well as the aftermath of conflicts, while amateur historians and hobbyists take a larger interest in the details of battles and uniforms in use; the essential subjects of military history study are the causes of war, the social and cultural foundations, military doctrine on each side, the logistics, technology and tactics used, how these changed over time. On the other hand, Just War Theory explores the moral dimensions of warfare, to better limit the destructive reality caused by war, seeks to establish a doctrine of military ethics; as an applied field, military history has been studied at academies and service schools because the military command seeks to not repeat past mistakes, improve upon its current performance by instilling an ability in commanders to perceive historical parallels during a battle, so as to capitalize on the lessons learned from the past.
When certifying military history instructors the Combat Studies Institute deemphasizes rote detail memorization and focuses on themes and context in relation to current and future conflict, using the motto "Past is Prologue."The discipline of military history is dynamic, changing with development as much of the subject area as the societies and organisations that make use of it. The dynamic nature of the discipline of military history is related to the rapidity of change the military forces, the art and science of managing them, as well as the frenetic pace of technological development that had taken place during the period known as the Industrial Revolution, more in the nuclear and information ages. An important recent concept is the Revolution in Military Affairs which attempts to explain how warfare has been shaped by emerging technologies, such as gunpowder, it highlights the short outbursts of rapid change followed by periods of relative stability. In terms of the history profession in major countries, military history is an orphan, despite its enormous popularity with the general public.
William H. McNeill points out: This branch of our discipline flourishes in an intellectual ghetto; the 144 books in question fall into two distinct classes: works aimed at a popular readership, written by journalists and men of letters outside academic circles, professional work nearly always produced within the military establishment.... The study of military history in universities remains underdeveloped. Indeed, lack of interest in and disdain for military history constitute one of the strangest prejudices of the profession. Historiography is the study of the history and method of the discipline of history or the study of a specialised topic. In this case, military history with an eye to gaining an accurate assessment of conflicts using all available sources. For this reason military history is periodised, creating overlaying boundaries of study and analysis in which descriptions of battles by leaders may be unreliable due to the inclination to minimize mention of failure and exaggerate success.
Military historians use Historiographical analysis in an effort to allow an unbiased, contemporary view of records. One military historian, Jeremy Black, outlined problems 21st-century military historians face as an inheritance of their predecessors: Eurocentricity, a technological bias, a focus on leading military powers and dominant military systems, the separation of land from sea and air conflicts, the focus on state-to-state conflict, a lack of focus on political "tasking" in how forces are used. If these challenges were not sufficient for the military historians, the limits of method are complicated by the lack of records, either destroyed or never recorded for its value as a military secret that may prevent some salient facts from being reported at all. Researching Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, for example, have presented unique challenges to historians due to records that were destroyed to protect classified military information, among other reasons. Historians utilize their knowledge of government regulation and military organization, employing a targeted and systematic research strategy to piece together war histories.
Despite these limits, wars are some of the most studied and detailed periods of human history. Military historians have compared organization and strategic ideas and national support of the militaries of different nations. In the early 1980s, historian Jeffrey Kimball studied the influence of a historian's political position on current events on interpretive disagreement regarding the causes of 20th century wars, he surveyed the ideological preferences of 109 active diplomatic historians in the United States as well as 54 active military historians. He finds that their current political views are moderately correlated with their historiographical interpretations. A clear position on the left-right continuum regarding capitalism was apparent in most cases. All groups agreed with the proposition, "historically, Americans have tended to view questions of their national security in terms of such extremes as good vs. evil." Though the Socialists were split, the other groups agreed that "miscalculation and/or misunderstanding of the situation" had caused U.
S. interventionism." Kimball reports that: Of historians in the field of diplomatic history, 7% are Socialist, 19% are O
The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War, in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union and other communist allies; the war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U. S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. American military advisors began arriving in what was French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U. S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state.
The Việt Cộng known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U. S. involvement escalated in 1960, continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. By 1964, there were 23,000 U. S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U. S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U. S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam known as the North Vietnamese Army engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces; every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966.
U. S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces and airstrikes. The U. S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; the Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders. S. forces. Gradual withdrawal of U. S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U. S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.
S. Congress; the capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, 58,220 U. S. service members died in the conflict, a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War; the end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea.
Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s. Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam War is the most used name in English, it has been called the Second Indochina War and the Vietnam Conflict. As there have been several conflicts in Indochina, this particular conflict is known by the names of its primary protagonists to distinguish it from others. In Vietnamese, the war is known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ, but less formally as'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ', it is called Chiến tranh Việt Nam. The primary military organizations involved in the war were as follows: One side consisted of th
Virginia Military Institute
Founded 11 November 1839 in Lexington, the Virginia Military Institute is the oldest state-supported military college and the first public Senior Military College in the United States. In keeping with its founding principles and unlike any other Senior Military College in the United States, VMI enrolls cadets only and awards baccalaureate degrees exclusively. VMI offers its students, all of whom are cadets, strict military discipline combined with a physically and academically demanding environment; the Institute grants degrees in 14 disciplines in engineering, the sciences and liberal arts, all VMI students are required to participate in one of the four ROTC programs. While VMI has been called "The West Point of the South", it differs from the federal military service academies; as of 2019, VMI had a total enrollment of 1,722 cadets. All cadets must participate in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps of the United States Armed Forces programs, but are afforded the flexibility of pursuing civilian endeavors or accepting an officer's commission in any of the active or reserve components of any of the U.
S. military branches upon graduation. VMI's alumni include a Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, 7 Medal of Honor recipients, 13 Rhodes Scholars, Pulitzer Prize winners, an Academy Award winner, an Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner, a martyr recognized by the Episcopal Church and Representatives, including the current Governor of Virginia, Lieutenant Governors, a Supreme Court Justice, numerous college and university presidents, many business leaders and over 285 general and flag officers across all US service branches and several other countries; the Board of Visitors is the supervisory board of the Virginia Military Institute. Although the Governor is ex officio the commander-in-chief of the Institute, no one may be declared a graduate without his signature, he delegates to the Board the responsibility for developing the Institute's policy; the Board appoints the Superintendent and approves appointment of members of the faculty and staff on the recommendation of the Superintendent.
The Board may make bylaws and regulations for their own government and the management of the affairs of the Institute, while the Institute is exempt from the Administrative Process Act in accordance with Va. Code § 2.2-4002, some of its regulations are codified at 8VAC 100. The Executive Committee conducts the business of the Board during recesses; the Board has 17 members, including ex officio the Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Regular members may be reappointed once. Of the sixteen appointed members, twelve must be alumni of the Institute, eight of whom must be residents of Virginia and four must be non-residents; the Executive Committee consists of the Board's President, three Vice Presidents, one non-alumnus at large, is appointed by the Board at each annual meeting. Under the militia bill officers of the Institute were recognized as part of the military establishment of the state, the Governor had authority to issue commissions to them in accordance with Institute regulations.
Current law makes provision for officers of the Virginia Militia to be subject to orders of the Governor. The cadets are a military corps under the command of the Superintendent and under the administration of the Commandant of Cadets, constitute the guard of the Institute. In the years after the War of 1812, the Commonwealth of Virginia built and maintained several arsenals to store weapons intended for use by the state militia in the event of invasion or slave revolt. In the 1830s Lexington attorney John Thomas Lewis Preston belonged to a debate club known as the Franklin Society. In 1836 he made the case to the society that the arsenal in Lexington could be put to better use as a normal school for providing education on practical subjects, as well as military training to individuals who could be expected to serve as officers in the militia if needed. After debate and revision of the original proposal, the Franklin Society voted in favor of Preston's concept. After a public relations campaign that included Preston meeting in person with influential business and political figures, letters to editors of prominent news sources from Preston writing under a pen name, many other open letters from prominent supporters, in 1836 the Virginia legislature passed a bill authorizing creation of a school at the Lexington arsenal, the Governor signed the measure into law.
The organizers of the planned school formed a board of visitors, which included Preston, the board selected Claudius Crozet, a prominent officer and engineer under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte, to serve as their President. Crozet was the Chief Engineer of Virginia and someone whom Thomas Jefferson referred to as, "the smartest mathematician in the United States." The board delegated to Preston the task of deciding what to call the new school, he created the name Virginia Military Institute. Preston was tasked with hiring VMI's first Superintendent, he was persuaded that West Point graduate and Army officer Francis Henney Smith on the faculty at Hampden–Sydney College, was the most suitable candidate. Preston recruited Smith, convinced him to become the first Superintendent and Professor of Tactics. In an endeavor unique to the United States, Preston and Smith founded VMI intending to create a hybrid of the best characteristics