National Defense Cadet Corps

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The National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC) is similar to the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) except that it is fully funded by schools that choose to pursue a JROTC unit without financial assistance from the Department of Defense. The school incurs all costs to include instructor salaries, uniforms, and daily operational expenses.[1] As of 2012, there were three US Army NDCC units across the United States.[2] The US Navy began its program in April 2011.[3] The US Marine Corps and the US Air Force also operate NDCC programs.


The NDCC program provides schools that do not qualify for a JROTC unit an opportunity to provide a similar program. JROTC units are designed "to expand students’ opportunities to gain the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment."[3]

Like JROTC, the Army NDCC was founded following the National Defense Act of 1916. The National Defense Act of 1916 authorized Senior ROTC for colleges and Junior ROTC for high schools. The Army was to supply uniforms, equipment, and instructors (active duty members for colleges and active or retired members for high schools). At the time, JROTC graduates would earn certificates making them eligible for a reserve commission at the age of 21.

The National Defense Cadet Corps came into being as a rival to JROTC. Unlike JROTC, which is funded by the federal government, the individual schools pay most of the costs for the NDCC. Following World War II, when peacetime funding became tight, JROTC suffered from lack of support. In 1963, the Secretary of Defense cut JROTC funds and converted some units to the cheaper NDCC. Lawmakers, however, rose to defend JROTC, and Congress passed the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964. NDCC units then declined.

Until recently, Federal law authorized the Secretary of the Army to "issue arms, tentage, and equipment that he considers necessary for proper military training, to any educational institution at which no unit of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps is maintained, but which has a course in military training prescribed by the Secretary and which has at least 100 physically fit students over 14 years of age." Other laws gave the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of the Air Force similar authorization, but with different standards. As of 2012, the previous laws were rescinded and the requirements for all NDCC branches (Army, Marine, Navy, and Air Force) became standardized.[4]

The statute establishing the Navy NDCC (NNDCC) was enacted in 2008.


As with JROTC units, the military supplies the curriculum material for the instructors and the cadets, as well as supply forms and regulations that are required to successfully conduct the program. Schools hosting an NDCC unit must comply with statutory and regulatory guidance as regular JROTC units.[5][3] Unlike JROTC, instructors at NDCC programs may be retired or reserve (JROTC instructors must be active or retired).[6]


To be considered for an NDCC unit, the school must be accredited by a United States nationally-recognized accrediting agency or be accredited by a state, state educational agency, or state university. The Army NDCC program requires at least 150 students in grade 9 or higher (in the past, 100 students) and the Navy NDCC program requires at least 50 students over 14 years of age.[4]


  1. ^ "Organization, Administration, Operation, and Support".
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c "Navy National Defense Cadet Corps – Program". 29 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Committee Reports – 112th Congress (2011–2012) – Senate Report 112-173".
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Military Education".

External links

  • Army JROTC
  • Marine Corps JROTC
  • Navy JROTC
  • Air Force JROTC
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