• All military. All the time.

    Four Branches. One Corps.

Military Environment

VMI opened Nov. 11, 1839, on the site of a Virginia State Arsenal. The initial class consisted of 25 cadets who pursued a three-year college level course of studies. Graduates include the late General of the Army George C. Marshall and more than 270 generals and flag officers.

The Regimental System

Cadets live under a regimental system that is overseen by the commandant. The basic structure of the VMI Corps is that of an infantry unit. Cadets are appointed rank on the basis of  proficiency in leadership and military and academic studies.

The Class System

The class system is the basis of student government at VMI.
 Freshmen are called “rats” until they earn the right to become 4th Class cadets; sophomores are 3rd Class cadets; juniors are 2nd Class cadets; and seniors are called 1st Class cadets.

Don’t do ordinary.

Cadets live together in barracks, eat together in Crozet Hall, and wear the cadet uniform 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Battle of New Market

May 15, 1864

The VMI Corps of Cadets fought as a unit at the Battle of New Market, Va. Two hundred fifty seven cadets were on the field, organized into a battalion of four companies of infantry and one section of artillery.

Ten cadets were killed in battle or died later from the effects of their wounds; 45 were wounded. The youngest participating cadet was 15; the oldest, 25.

Everyone Enjoys a Good Parade

What I learned at VMI was self-control, discipline, so that it was ground in. I learned also the problem of managing men.

Gen. George C. Marshall ’01

Marshall’s achievements include a steady rise in the Army to the five-star rank of general of the Army and chief of staff during World War II, ambassador to China, secretary of state and father of the Marshall Plan, head of the American Red Cross, secretary of defense, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1953.