Frequently Asked Questions

Who is allowed to join Squadron 18?

A:

Squadron 18 is the Corps of Cadets' first "transfer unit."  That means current Texas A&M students with one semester completed, transfer students from another university, and any person with 30+ credit hours may join Squadron 18.  Each new fish in Squadron 18 must be able to commit at least 2 years to the Corps of Cadets. We do not accept traditional freshmen, unless they are joining in the Spring of their freshman year.


How is the "transfer unit" expeience different from other outfits in the Corps of Cadets?

A:

Where most fish in the Corps get an entire year to master basic-level cadet skills and transition to an upperclassmen, our fish only get one semester.  Each fish that comes through our program will spend one semester as a fish and receive specialized instruction on being an upperclassmen. After the first semester, each fish "leap frogs" to their respective academic class year.


Can transfer cadets join special units?

A:

Yes! In fact, we've had several cadets end up in leadership positions within these special units.

Special units include, but are not limited to: Recon Company, SEAL Platoon, Rudder's Rangers, Special Tactics Squadron, O.R. Simpson Honor Society, Parson's Mounted Cavalry, Ross Volunteers, and Darling Recruiting Company.


What kind of academic help is available to Cadets?

A:

The Commandant’s staff includes two full-time Scholastic Performance Specialists that provide a wide variety of academic support to all cadets. Computer labs and study rooms are available for cadets in the Leadership Learning Centers. The Commandant provides additional academic support (supplemental instruction and test reviews) in a variety of subjects at no cost to the cadets.


Do Cadets have sufficient time to study?

A:

Yes. The Corps conducts Evening Study Time beginning after supper and lasting until morning. An appropriate scholastic environment is maintained in the dorm during this time. Quiet Hour conditions in the dormitory hallways, rooms, as well as on the quad, are in effect for all cadets. EST provides cadets an opportunity to study when and where they desire (within reason) to achieve the best personal results possible. Cadets have the Academic Day (7:30 am – 4:30 pm) to focus on classes. They can also use this time to conduct personal business or visit with friends.


Do Cadets have required events every weekend?

A:

No, but there are many weekends that have scheduled activities requiring Cadet participation. All Cadets are required to attend all home football games and march-ins. Once the game is completed, they are usually free until Sunday evening. The Corps is occasionally expected to participate in activities such as parades, Corps trips, unit functions, or community service projects on the weekend. The Corps will have two Open Weekends during the Fall Semester where cadets are free to leave campus after classes on Friday and not required to return until Sunday evening.


Can Cadets have part-time jobs while taking classes?

A:

The Commandant’s staff does not recommend cadets pursue employment until they have adjusted to the college level requirements and their academic responsibilities. There are many student worker positions available on campus for those students who want to work and who have adjusted to cadet/academic life.


What furniture items can freshmen Cadets bring for their rooms?

A:

The university will provide furniture for the dorm rooms. Freshman cadets are not allowed to bring any additional furniture items. See packing list for desirable and not-authorized items.


Are Cadets authorized to have a computer/printer?

A:

Yes to both. The maximum size for computer monitors to fit on the desks is 30.75” wide, 21” tall, 37” diagonal, and 13” deep.


When are the Corps dorms open for visitors?

A:

The dorms are open for visitors every weekend during specified hours. Cadets are also permitted to stay with visiting family members on weekends in local hotels if they choose.


Do Cadets wear their uniform every day?

A:

Yes. All cadets are required to wear a uniform to class every day and in any building on campus other than residence halls or the A&M recreation center. Cadets are permitted to wear civilian clothing when they are not in class or participating in Corps activities. They also can wear civilian clothing at night when studying in the library and anytime they go off campus.


Additional information regarding the “white socks, running shoes, and athletic shorts.”

A:

Freshman cadets will participate in physical training (PT). Cadets will need a good pair of running shoes that have been broken in. The Corps of Cadets Association (CCA) will issue one Corps PT uniform to each Fish during FOW/SOW Check-in. All fish must also bring 4 pairs of black (no logo) athletic shorts. An in-seam of 5-9” on the shorts is preferred. When participating in unit PT, fish wear white tube socks that come to the mid-calf. At least 6 pair are needed. Any brand is acceptable but logos are to be avoided. Hanes is an example of a brand that sells plain, white, mid-calf socks.


Can cadets wear sunglasses when in uniform?

A:

All cadets are authorized to wear conservative sunglasses in uniform when outside. Lenses or frames with conspicuous initials, designs, or colors, as well as reflective lenses, are prohibited. Prescription transition sunglasses are authorized.


What is the policy for religious wear?

A:

In general, the Corps follows the military services’ guidelines regarding the wearing of religious items in uniform. Specifically, religious items and headgear can be worn as long as it is completely covered by the uniform and/or does not detract / interfere with the wearing of the cadet uniform, to include the uniform cover. Additional items or grooming exceptions will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Commandant only after an exception to uniform regulations has been submitted by the cadet.


What is are the policies for tattoos and body piercings?

A:

The Corps follows the guidelines set forth by the military services in regards to tattoos. Generally, the Corps’ tattoo policy allows most tattoos as long the acceptable tattoos cannot be seen when wearing the Class A Uniform.

(a)  Tattoos prejudicial to good order and discipline, or of a nature to bring discredit upon the Corps of Cadets, regardless of the location, are prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to: tattoos that are drug-related, gang-related, extremist, obscene or indecent, sexist, racist, etc.

(b)  As a result of the placement and visibility rules, tattoos and brands are not allowed on the: head, face, mouth and lips, eyelids, ears, neck above the t-shirt line, wrists, hands, or elbows (an area 2 inches above and one inch below the elbow must be clear of tattoos).

(c)  Tattooing for cosmetic purposes is authorized when directed by licensed, qualified medical personnel to correct a medical condition, illness or injury for both men and women. Additionally, cosmetic tattooing is permitted for women if done to apply permanent facial makeup (i.e. eyebrows, eye liner). The cosmetic tattooing must have a natural appearance and be conservative, moderate, within reasonable limits, not excessive or extreme, not distinctly contrast with their complexion, and in good taste.

A single ring tattoo of no greater than 3/8 inch in width is allowed as long as the tattoo does not extend beyond where a ring would normally rest on the finger (between the lowest knuckle and the hand).


Are donations tax-deductible?

A:

The Squadron 18 Alumni Association is currently under review by the IRS for status as a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization.  If status is granted before April 15, 2014, any donations made before that time will become tax-deductible.


How much of my donation goes toward administrative expenses?

A:

We are an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff.  That means your donation won't be used to pay for salaries, benefits, office space, or other staff costs.  At this time, our regular operation expenses include website hosting, our post office box, donation transaction fees, and document filing fees for the state and IRS.  All of our expenses other than filing fees are currently paid directly by donors.  As close to 100% as possible of the money you donate will go back to Squadron 18 through direct support.


How is donating to the Squadron 18 Alumni Association different than other organizations?

Other organizations like the Texas A&M Foundation and Aggie Corps of Cadets Association also support the Corps.  How is donating to the Squadron 18 Alumni Association different than donating to them?

A:

We aren't here to compete with other organizations that support the Corps.  What we can do, though, is offer a more direct line for financial support to reach Squadron 18 without a lot of strings or bureaucracy attached.   Currently, financial support that flows through other organizations has to be handled through a payment-approval-reimbursement method that places the financial burden on cadets up front with a risk that an expenditure may not be approved for reimbursement.  Our goal is to pay those expenses for cadets or find ways ways to allow expenditures to go through the Alumni Association without current cadets bearing the burden on the front end.


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