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What Military Branch is the Citadel? – Answered

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

what military branch is the citadel

What military branch is the citadel? The Citadel is a renowned educational institution with a strong affiliation with the United States Army.

This institution boasts a fascinating and extensive history and holds great significance as a hub for military education. Read on for more details about the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.

History and Significance of the Citadel


Established in 1842, it has since been committed to providing top-notch education to cadets.

For over 175 years, The Citadel has been shaping military leaders through its rigorous training and education programs.

Through its rigorous academic and military training programs, The Citadel instills discipline, cultivates leadership skills, and fosters character development in its cadets. Its unwavering commitment to excellence has produced some of the finest military leaders in our country’s history.

What Branch of the Military Does the Citadel Belong to?


The Citadel is not a military branch nor owned by a particular military branch. As we established above, it is a public military college located in Charleston, South Carolina, in the United States.

The Citadel, officially known as The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, is an institution of higher education that offers undergraduate programs in various fields. It is known for its military education and training programs, which are designed to develop disciplined and principled leaders.

The Citadel’s Affiliation With the Army

Since The Citadel offers programs for all military branches, some may still ask, is The Citadel Army or Navy?

To reiterate, The Citadel has deep ties to one particular branch of the military: The Army. The Citadel’s strong ties with the Army stem from its classification as a Senior Military College (SMC) by the United States Congress.

Here are the indications of the Citadel’s close connections to the Army:

1. ROTC Program


Citadel cadets can join the military and earn a degree at the same time through the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. The curriculum in all Citadel ROTC branches prepares students to become commissioned officers in the United States Army when they graduate.

2. Army-affiliated Units


In addition to the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 178th Field Artillery Regiment, the Citadel is home to the Army ROTC Palmetto Battalion. The addition of these troops solidifies already strong relationships between the Army and The Citadel.

3. A Shared History of Service

The Citadel has a strong tradition of preparing its students for service to their country, whether it be in the military or civilian capacities.

The ROTC Programs Offered by the Citadel

The Citadel offers a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. This college-based program prepares students to become commissioned officers in the United States Armed Forces.

All branches of the United States armed forces are represented in The Citadel military academy’s ROTC programs.

1. Air Force ROTC


ROTC Detachment 765 has a long and illustrious history of preparing outstanding cadets for positions of leadership in the military and civilian sectors of business and government.

2. Army ROTC

Among the 275 battalions in the U.S. Army Cadet Command, The Citadel’s Palmetto Battalion is the second largest. The Battalion trains and develops highly motivated cadets who will one day lead the United States Army, National Guard, and Reserves.

3. Navy and Marines ROTC


Midshipmen at The Citadel can join the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) to prepare for careers as Navy officers. Meanwhile, the goal of the Marine Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) detachment is to train Citadel cadets to become commissioned Marine second lieutenants

Benefits and Challenges of Attending the Citadel

Like any other school, there are pros and cons to studying at The Citadel. Some of the main benefits and potential challenges of attending school at The Citadel are as follows:

1. Benefits

  • Leadership Development:Cadets can hone their leadership skills in the military because of the disciplined environment, leadership training programs, and command roles.
  • Disciplined Environment: The Citadel’s military system provides its cadets with a firm grounding in discipline and a profound appreciation for personal accountability.
  • Networking and Alumni Connections: The Citadel has an extensive alumni network consisting of people who have achieved success in a wide variety of industries, including the armed forces, business, politics, and other areas.

2. Challenges

  • Rigorous Academic Demands: Academics at The Citadel are rigorous and difficult.The workload might be heavy. Therefore, good time management and determination to succeed in school are essential.
  • Strict Military Structure: The military atmosphere of The Citadel, with its stringent rules and regulations and rigorous physical training, can be taxing on the body and mind of some students.
  • Limited Personal Freedom:The rigors of cadet life, including uniform requirements, curfews, and restrictions on personal items, may take some getting used to.


The Southern Carolina institution’s deep roots in the American military easily highlight what military branch is The Citadel affiliated with. Its academic and military training programs have a long history of producing army commanders due to the college’s status as a Senior Military College.

The Citadel’s long standing partnership with the Army demonstrates its dedication to developing disciplined leaders with strong moral fiber. Students who accept The Citadel’s challenges and take advantage of the opportunities it provides forge a path to success in the military and beyond.

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