The Virginia Military Institute was compelled to open its doors to females beginning in 1997. The first females were met with
hostility; it seemed that no one wanted them there. While this is not necessarily true today, a large portion of the VMI
community still feels that females should never have been allowed into the school.VMI, unlike other military colleges, has only one physical fitness standard. All cadets regardless of gender, race, or creed
are held to the same standard. Like their male colleagues, current female cadets must retain crew cuts or shave their heads as
rats, but are allowed to grow their hair as long as they wish as upperclassmen, as long as it is pulled back in a knot or bun
during the duty day, and are forbidden to wear makeup or jewelry as rats (also allowed to wear them as upperclasmen), and must go
through the same strict physical courses and technical training. The cadets at VMI believe firmly in "One Corps, One Standard".
They expect the same from every cadet.