Military junior college
A military junior college is a military-style junior college in the United States that allows cadets to become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army reserve in two years, instead of the usual four, through the Early Commissioning Program. The students must still go on to complete a bachelor's degree before serving as regular officers on active duty. Begun in 1966, the Early Commissioning Program (ECP) plays a major role in officer production. In some years, ECP officers have accounted for over 60 percent of all ROTC second lieutenants in the United States. The program is a major financial incentive for students who receive their commissions early and serve as officers while still attending college and gaining service time for promotions and retirement. In 1984, the California Guard received 95 percent (74 of 78) of its ROTC lieutenants from the ECP program. The Army Reserve has had similar experiences. With the United States’ involvement in continuing military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of ECP slots is again being increased.
There are five Military Junior Colleges in the United States:
- Wentworth Military Academy, Lexington, Missouri. Wentworth Military Academy and College, founded in 1880, is a military junior college and private four-year college preparatory high school in Lexington, Missouri. Wentworth is the oldest military academy west of the Mississippi River, and the campus is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Valley Forge Military Academy and College, Wayne, Pennsylvania. Valley Forge Military Academy, founded in 1928, is a boarding school for young men grades seven through twelve, and additionally offers a coeducational two-year junior college under Valley Forge Military College.
- Marion Military Institute, Marion, Alabama. Marion Military Institute is the state military college of Alabama; it was founded in 1842 as Howard English and Classical School by the Alabama Baptist Convention. In 1887, when Howard College's operations (now Samford University) were moved to Birmingham, local leaders and school faculty reorganized the school as Marion Military Institute.
- New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell, New Mexico. Founded in 1891 by Col. Robert S. Goss as the Goss Military Institute and inspired by Virginia Military Institute, NMMI includes a four-year high school and a two-year junior college.
- Georgia Military College, Milledgeville, Georgia. Georgia Military College, founded in 1879, includes a liberal arts junior college, a high school, and a middle school.