Looking out the library window today, and accidently stumbling across a pile of admissions materials while on watch, I am thinking back to my first visit to the Academy in the spring of 2011 as a high school sophomore. I remember peering into the new quad looking at the cadets in formation, and I wondered why they were all standing there in the hot sun in complete silence.
Since I am standing Library Duty Officer today, which is infamously long, I thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss how the Corps of Cadets is organized now that I understand it.
At the bottom, the 4/c are the lowest of the low. 4/c have just come out of Swab Summer and are learning how to adapt to the demands and excitement of Academy life. 4/c spend much of their time studying for their indoctrination board, which is the examination of one year of Coast Guard and Academy knowledge. 4/c stand regimental duty as orderlies, meaning they do the cleaning in Chase Hall and message carrying from the Commandant of Cadets, Company Officers and everyone in between. They stand in the back of formation, and they have no stripes on their shoulder boards. They are the unsung heroes of Chase Hall.
Next up are the 3/c who are responsible for ensuring the development of the 4/c and are also assigned many other collateral responsibilities. 3/c stand watches as the Library Duty Officer, Junior Cadet Duty Officer in the watch office answering phones, and make “pipes” or announcements over the Chase Hall intercom. They are responsible for signing 4/c up for duty and take accountability of the company’s 4/c. 3/c also stand a rotating watch of their respective companies during meals along with a rotating 2/c cadet. 3/c cadets have one diagonal stripe.
2/c cadets mark the divide between underclass (3/c and 4/c) and the 1/c. 2/c cadets stand duty as Admissions Duty Officer, Assistant Commander’s Duty Officer in the watch office, company night watch on weekends, and Leamy Hall Duty Officer. 2/c also stand watch as Cadet in Charge for morning and evening colors. There are eight designated company Guidons, who carry the Company Guidon at formation and ensure the proper indoctrination of each company’s 4/c. Working for them are three masters-at-arms (MAAs), who act as assistants to the Guidons and who are also responsible for 4/c development. Guidons and MAAs are not part of divisions but are accountable to department heads and their respective Company Commanders. There are also two Regimental Executive Assistants, one for the Regimental Commander and the other for the Regimental Chief of Staff.
1/c are the highest ranking cadets in the corps. They range from having one stripe to the lone six stripes at the top, the Regimental Commander. One and two stripers stand duty as Company Officers of the Day, meaning they take accountability for their respective company. The Regimental Commander oversees the whole of the corps and acts as the corps’ representative at official functions.
Under the Regimental Commander is the Regimental Chief of Staff, who is responsible for the planning and oversight of the Regimental Staff Officer who has five stripes and works with the Regimental Executive Officer who oversees the eight company commanders. The Regimental Executive officer also has five stripes.
Each of the eight companies is headed by a four striper Company Commander, who writes standing orders for company watch standing and works with their company officer, a Lieutenant or Lieutenant Commander, who coaches cadets in their development. A three striped Company Executive Officer assists the Company Commander with running the companies.
Two striped department heads lead up their department. There are 24 departments in the regiment, for a total of three in each company. Each company is responsible for different things, e.g. Hotel is responsible for morale and community service and Delta is responsible for drill and ceremonies. There are approximately six divisions in each department, headed up by a 1/c cadet with one stripe.
The division is the fundamental unit of the Corps of Cadets. Division officers ensure that the work gets done by their subordinates and also stand watch along with department heads as Company Officer of the Day, ensuring each company’s order is maintained.
So, that’s how it’s all organized.
More about Will.