Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Our trip to The Virginia Military Institute in Lexington Virginia

Welcome to the oldest state supported military college in America.

VMI has graduated more army generals than any other ROTC program.

Believe me, no one goes to VMI for the creature comforts.  The accommodations, if we can call them that, are sparse.  Cadets sleep on cots which they roll up every morning and "air out" every Monday.  "Rats", or freshman, are allowed no t.v., no music, and no unsupervised phone calls.

VMI and Washington and Lee University are very close neighbors, if you've ever been to Lexington you know what I mean by that.  The term for new cadets, "rats", was actually first used by W&L students to describe the marching cadets in their gray uniforms.  In turn the cadets referred to W&L students as "minks" because most came from wealthy families.

Unlike all other service colleges, VMI graduates are free to pursue civilian careers or join any military branch.

The Virginia Military Institute was the last military college in the U.S. to accept women, in fact they didn't accept females until the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional for a state supported institution to discriminate against women.  VMI briefly considered becoming a private college in order to avoid having to accept females, they wisely changed their minds and the first female cadets entered the school in 1997.  Trust me, this was a  big deal in Virginia at the time!

VMI has a strict single sanction honor code: "a cadet does not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do."  A violation mean immediate expulsion. Period.

And on a lighter note, this is my sad attempt at a selfie.  This is how it's done right?  Send help if you must.

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