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The United States Army Cadet Corps (USAC) was founded under the name "Colonel Cody's Boy Scouts" by Captain James H. C. Smyth at the First Presbyterian Church, Manhattan, New York. Between its founding and the present, it underwent numerous name changes, and settled on its current name in 2007 when the Naval, Marine Corps, and Army Battalions of the American Cadet Alliance (ACA) merged to become the United States Army Cadet Corps. The USAC holds the distinction of being the oldest nationwide Cadet program in the United States. The United States Army Cadet Corps, Inc., is not a governmental agency and is not an official entity of the United States Army.
The United States Army Cadet Corps was founded as the Colonel Cody’s Boy Scouts by Captain James H. C. Smyth on April 10, 1909, at the First Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York. Shortly thereafter, the Colonel Cody’s Boy Scouts was reorganized as the American Naval and Marine Scouts. The American Naval and Marine Scouts continued to evolve and on August 16, 1927 the organization was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York as the New York Junior Naval Militia, Inc. Early in 1929, the organization split and its founder, as well as a number of senior officers, incorporated the Junior Naval Reserve, Inc., on February 19, 1929.
Early in 1938, during the heightening of World War II, the War Department instructed the Secretaries of State to require all organizations using the words Naval, Militia and Reserve as a part of their corporate name to rename their organizations so as not to cause public confusion regarding their relationship to the Armed Services. To comply with this request, the Junior Naval Reserve, Inc. reincorporated on June 14, 1938 as the American Nautical Cadets, Inc., and on November 2, 1938, the New York Junior Naval Militia, Inc. changed its name to the Maritime Brigade, Inc.
As a result of reorganization, due in part to a number of mergers with other, smaller, Cadet Organizations, the American Nautical Cadets, Inc., reincorporated on October 3, 1956 as the American Nautical Alliance, Inc. The organization came full circle on September 15, 1960 when the American Nautical Alliance, Inc. and the Maritime Brigade, Inc. merged to become the American Cadet Alliance, Inc.
The USAC (United States Army Cadet Corps) was created in 2000 and it was the fastest growing Brigade in the USAC, in comparison with the Naval Cadets and Marine Cadets.
Then in 2007, the decision to phase out all of the brigades except for the Army was made. This decision was made due to the high interest in the Army brigade and lack of interest in the Marine and Naval brigade. Along with the support from the US Army Reserve and Army National Guard, in April 2009 this transition was completed.
The USAC is headquartered at Forest Hill Station in Millersburg, Kentucky and organized into several districts, each district being made up of several battalions and these battalions being made up of several individual companies. As of mid–2006, the USAC's organizational model is largely nominal and has been established to accommodate an expected upswing in membership and unit activations.
A unit will be given a name reflecting its locality, as well as a unit designation indicating the company, battalion and district. For instance, the designation of the Military Cadets of Selfridge (Michigan) is B Co., 1/9 or Bravo Company, First Battalion, Ninth District.
Most units drill on military installations, military reserve centers or National Guard armories and most receive a great deal of cooperation and support from their host units. Drills are generally on the Guard/Reserve model, with one weekend drill per month.
Cadets are members who are between the ages of 12 and 18 (although 11 year olds can be accepted after 5th grade). They must be enrolled in school and receiving passing grades, be drug and crime free, must be proportional to his/her height. The applicant can not be overly obese. The prospective Cadet should be able to do basic exercises like push-ups, sit-ups etc., and be able to run. Also the applicant must be able to pass a "Sports type" Physical Exam by a Doctor and can not have any communicable diseases, chronic health problems or severe allergies.
One of the features of the Cadet application process for the USAC is that the Cadet himself or herself must volunteer and sign for themself. The parents still must sign the appropriate permission forms, but overall the Cadet applicant cannot be forced to sign up. The USAC is not a delinquency program and the organization has strict policies regarding this issue.
The Cadet rank system in the USAC is the U.S. Army enlisted system. Cadets enter at grade E-1 and work their way up to E-9. The title of each grade is based on the US Army, but all USAC Cadets begin their time in the program as 'recruits'. The new USAC Cadets remain 'recruits' until their first Summer Camp, where they are given the chance to earn the title 'Cadet'. They can promote to E-2 before that first Summer Camp, but that promotion is provisional. Once at Summer Camp, a provisional E-2 will remove his rank and again become an E-1 recruit. Only after graduating from their first Summer Camp can a Cadet be actually called 'Cadet' and be permanently promoted above the rank of E-1.They also hold company positions such as the company first sergeant, platoon sergeant, squad leaders and various other positions.
Membership in the USAC Officers’ Corps is a privilege reserved for those individuals who desire to promote the objectives and purposes of the USAC and who meet the appropritate eligibility requirements. Leadership and command of the USAC, at all levels, is provided by a dedicated corps of non-paid professional officers, adult noncommissioned officers (NCO) and instructors. Each Officers’ Corps applicant must complete a series of prerequisites and a thorough screening process prior to receiving a commission or appointment as an officer or NCO in the U.S. Army Cadet Corps (USAC).
There are several categories for the Officer Corps which are outlined below;
Appointment as an instructor may be granted to individuals who wish to participate in USAC activities in a non-military capacity. Instructors do not wear a Military uniform but are required to dress in appropriate USAC attire. This category of membership is extremely flexible and its requirements are not as high as a uniformed staff member; but a high level of professionalism and moral integrity is always required.
An appointment as an Adult Non-Commissioned Officer it open to those individuals who have served honorably in the U.S. Military in grades E-4 through E-9 who prefer to maintain their status as non-commissioned officers rather than to apply for a commission in the USAC Officers' Corps. Those individuals choosing to remain as Non-Commissioned Officers, will be appointed to a grade comparable to the highest enlisted grade held while in the military. Adult NCO are assigned a position within the unit, comparable with their rank and billet while on active duty or in the reserves. Adult NCO are always needed in a training capacity to work directly with the Cadets.
A commission as a Warrant Officer is open to those individuals who are specialists in a field of endeavor and who desire to instruct in technical skills, or perform a single function within the unit, causing them to be best suited to apply for commissioning as a Warrant Officer in the USAC Officer's Corps.
A commission as an USAC Officer is open to those individuals who have the Desire, Self-discipline, Self-confidence, critical judgment, and moral integrity to put on the uniform. The United States Army Cadet Corps take this uniform seriously and expect any prospective commissioned officer to as well. USAC Officers are held to a higher standard.
USAC has expanded upon its mission by opening Forest Hill Military Academy, a preparatory school for young men and women in 6th through 12th grades.
ITC Cadets are Cadet members of the organization that are not located near a drilling unit. These Cadets and Officer Corps members function largely on their own throughout the year, often coordinating through their local military recruiter for assistance tasks and training. The ITC members go to Annual Training in the summer with the rest of the USAC as a whole. ITC Cadets are invited after going to Military Adventure Camp. The ITC is invitation only.
In November 2012 the Kentucky State Police and the cabinet for Family Services began an investigation into the USAC for alleged inappropriate sexually oriented comments made to a cadet at the forest Hill Campus. Col. Joseph Land stated that "there was an allegation last week that a staff member had made inappropriate sexually oriented comments," and that "it was an adult to a cadet".
In March, 2013 a Pendleton County (KY) mother filed a lawsuit stating that her son and daughter were sexually molested while attending summer camps at the USAC campus in Millersburg. The suit described two separate cases of abuse starting in 2010. The suit alleged sexually advances by a camp instructor against the son, and misconduct against the girl by a fellow cadet. The suit filed March 5 2013 alleges negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring, training, and supervision by the corps.
In June 2013, a fire inspector from the Paris Fire Department ordered U.S. Army Cadet Corps to evacuate about 70 teen-age cadets and some adult staffers from two buildings at the corps' Millersburg campus in Bourbon County after finding wiring problems and other issues. The findings were discovered after an anonymous complaint was made about the conditions at the campus. The Millersburg Fire Department requested the help of the Paris Fire Department investigator since they do not have an investigator of their own. At the conclusion of the investigation, Paris Fire Department Inspector Battalion Chief Mike Duffy reported "bare walls down to the studs," "electrical wiring dangling from the ceiling," and "kids sleeping within inches of exposed electrical wiring sticking out of the wall." He cited other problems including missing fire extinguishers; extinguishers that were out of date or had not been refilled; inoperative fire alarm systems; missing smoke and heat detectors; and detectors that were inoperable. USAC spokesman Brian Lehnhardt said the situation involves the Rankin and McIntyre buildings, both more than 80 years old, where the cadets and adults had been living temporarily during summer camp. The buildings are being renovated, he said Despite the findings during the fire investigation, USAC stated that "at no time were any of our cadets, recruits or staff in any danger," According to Brian Lehnhardt, the USAC leadership believed that the building were up to code and safe. But the fire marshal says common sense should have told them that the buildings were not safe for the cadets. "I've been doing this job 17 years, and this is some of the worst conditions I've ever seen," said Batt. Chief Mike Duffy. Duffy also states that back in 2009 the state advised them not to occupy these buildings because of the unsafe conditions. "They were reiterated with that again three weeks prior to our arrival on our complaint and advised not to be in the structure," said the fire marshal. "They choose not to adhere to those warnings and decided to do what they did." In July 2013, after stating just one month before that the buildings at the heart of the investigation were safe, the Army Cadet Corps plans to tear down the Rankin Building on its Millersburg campus that a fire inspector shut down in late June. Brian Lehnhardt states "There's just been one issue after another finding more problems with the building than we expected" The adjoining McIntyre Building, also more than 80 years old and which also had been shut down by the fire inspector, will be renovated and brought up to modern fire codes, Lehnherdt said. "After careful re-evaluation by the state and county building inspectors, it was deemed that the only way to save the adjoining McIntyre building would be to demolish Rankin," school officials said in a news release.