In the United States, a Military Junior College is a military-style junior college 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 is also a new Military Academy opening in Columbia, South Carolina as Gray Military Academy. It will be on the Will Lou Gray Opportunity School campus in West Columbia, South Carolina.
The Five Military Junior Colleges
There are five Military Junior Colleges in the United States.