The NROTC unit at The Citadel has an active duty contingent that is heavily involved in the battalion. STA-21, short for Seaman-to-Admiral-21 is just one of many ways one can obtain a commission in the United States Navy. The Citadel has produced many outstanding officers currently serving in the Navy. This is a fantastic program, filled with opportunities to further your education, develop leadership skills and work with cadets to effectively and efficiently command The Citadel NROTC unit. As an Officer Candidate, STEM programs that The Citadel provides are the only majors that can be selected. These include all engineering degrees, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science etc. When a participant successfully finishes this program, they will have obtained a 4-year degree in a technical major and have earned a commission in the United States Navy.
Corps of Cadets vs STA-21:
To dispel any confusion, Officer Candidates involved in the STA-21 program are not cadets nor are
they members of the Corps of Cadets. They are enrolled in classes at The Citadel only. Overlap of
Officer Candidate and cadet life occurs only during NROTC unit activities. Cadets involved in the Navy
unit either have an NROTC scholarship or are competing for one. These cadets as well as the Officer
Candidates make up the NROTC unit at The Citadel.
Roles of an Officer Candidates in the STA-21 Program:
Officer Candidates, OCs, attend classes full time during the regular fall and spring semesters. During
the summer, OCs are required to report to the NROTC unit as well as take summer courses. Most
Officer Candidates begin this program with previous college credits. Because participants take courses
every summer as well as having the transferred credits, they usually finish a 4-year degree in 3 years. OCs are required to go to NROTC labs twice a week. Unit fitness training is Wednesday
mornings beginning at 0530 and last approximately 1 hour. Unit activities, such as field-training exercises also require attendance.
Life as an OC and the Benefits STA-21 Offers:
This program will maintain participant’s active duty status, meaning they will receive all pay, allowances and benefits while enrolled in the program. When attending school at The Citadel, the time will be included as time-in service but not toward retirement. The Navy will provide $10,000 for tuition and books.
Anything else needed will be paid for by the sailor. Officer Candidates, because of their active duty status, wear a uniform every day; in-line with the Citadel uniform of the day. Areas surrounding The Citadel do not offer much housing for sailors and their families. Most Officer Candidates live in the North Charleston area, with a 30-minute commute. OC’s have the option to take night classes, which helps with avoiding Charleston traffic.
Student Loans and Grants:
Student loans and grants can be applied for by putting in a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If using any loans, regardless of the source, this must be completed. Officer candidates in the STA-21 program can also be eligible for grants and scholarships. Filling out the FAFSA form is essential to receiving these benefits. Any other information can be found by reaching out to The Citadel Financial Aid Office
(Financial Aid Information).
The Citadel has a V.A. coordinator in the Financial Aid Office that can answer all questions pertaining to the benefits the V.A. offers. Her name is Sally Levitt and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org