Commandant announces change to unit of assignment policy

Photo: Col. Thomas Gordon, USMC (Ret.), ’91, addressing the Corps of Cadets in January 2021.

In accordance with the Blue Book, the Commandant of Cadets is responsible to the President for the “administration, training, housing, and the good order and discipline of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.” Encompassed within these responsibilities is the requirement to rebalance companies to ensure adequate manning for the efficient operations of the Corps. The Citadel’s Rebalancing Plan is first and foremost a force management tool necessary to balance the numbers of rising sophomores in each company to offset varying and uneven attrition and to ensure suitable leadership prospects and equitable opportunities in each company.

After consulting with Gen Walters, I believe we can achieve the objectives of the rebalance without moving the entire sophomore class each year. Rather than moving all rising sophomores, we will solicit volunteers to build up under-strength companies. This will provide greater leadership opportunities for some and a fresh start for others. Should shortfalls still exist, I will direct the Battalion TACs to move select cadets within their current battalions to even things out. Only if we still have gaps will I make involuntary moves outside of the battalions.

I intend to leave the current legacy policy in place. As with previous changes to this policy, this change will not be retroactive. Legacy cadets who made the decision to stay or move companies based on the previous policy, will abide by their decision.

As for leader development, our current policy of moving commanders and CSMs/1SGs has served us well in creating merit-based leadership opportunities while also spreading good ideas and good leaders across the Corps. This policy will remain in place. We will continue to allow individual cadets to request transfers to fill chain of command positions in companies that have openings. This cross-pollinization is good for individual cadets, units, and the Corps as a whole.

The official policy can be found at this link. If you have any other questions, please ask your chain of command, TAC, or me.

Very Respectfully,

Col. Tom Gordon, USMC (Ret), ‘91
Commandant of Cadets