The Citadel

The Citadel was founded in 1842 and as early as 1846, cadets served as drill instructors for the recruits of South Carolina's Palmetto Regiment as they trained for battle during the Mexican War.

During the Civil War, the Corps of Cadets participated in eight engagements as a unit and countless other graduates served as military officers.  When the National Defense Act established the Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1916, it imparted Citadel Cadets and recent graduates a direct prospect to become officers in the U.S. Army.  All members of the Class of 1917 and 1918 entered military service upon graduation. The Citadel has continued to produce quality officers in a military environment with the mission of scholastic excellence and military distinction for its graduates.

The Citadel’s Army ROTC “Palmetto Battalion” is duly nicknamed for the palmetto tree and its importance in South Carolina history. Palmetto trees were used to fortify Fort Moultrie and on June 28, 1776 assisted in repelling the British fleet's attack on Sullivan's Island. It is featured on the South Carolina flag and the battle flag of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets at the Citadel.