Our 2014 Ring Weekend Adventure, Part 2

Bravo knobs and cadre prepare for the promotion ceremony.

Bravo knobs and cadre prepare for the promotion ceremony.

Saturday of Ring Weekend we were determined to make the best of our altered situation. Stanley had to stay in the hotel room and rest his foot. He couldn’t see an orthopedic doctor until we returned to Roswell on Monday anyway. After bringing him breakfast and a few other goodies to leave him the afternoon, Chelle and I headed to The Citadel. It was later than we had hoped but we did manage to get to campus before the barracks closed.

The knobs made a Johnny Bravo Banner to honor the seniors.

The knobs made a Johnny Bravo Banner to honor the seniors.

We made quick stops at 4th battalion and 2nd battalion to leave cookies for a few cadets. We arrived at 1st Battalion with just enough time before the knob promotion ceremony to walk up the stairs to 4th division (the fourth floor) to visit a few knobs. Our tradition for the four years my son was a cadet was to go to the 4th floor and bring candy to knobs. We missed quite a few of them but did manage to give candy to a few parents of knobs to pass along. It was fun to see the proud faces of family members as they visited with the knobs. For many it was the first time on campus since the August matriculation day. Chelle was busy taking photos and video of the vents that morning. I took a few photos of the Bravo Company banner and the promotion ceremony. It all brought back so many memories.

Once the barracks closed we walked to eh parade field near the jet named Annette. We hoped to meet a few of the 2018 families I have corresponded with through Facebook. The first friends we ran into were alumni, Paul Tamburrino and his 1989 classmate, Jim Watkins. Last March Chelle and I met them both at the fundraising event hosted by The Citadel Brigadier Foundation.

Good friends, Paul Tamburrino, Dorie and Jim Watkins visit before the parade.

Good friends, Paul Tamburrino, Dorie and Jim Watkins visit before the parade.

It was fun to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

It was fun to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

It wasn’t long before more parents began to arrive. Introductions were made and the visiting commenced. Of course we managed to get a group photo in too. I was surprised by a few moms who gave me gifts that day. One 2018 mom gave me a small silver cannon charm. She knew I was excited for my opportunity to shoot the cannon at the football game later that day. Another mom presented me with a tea towel with several South Carolina landmarks illustrated on it. During the parade a long time friend gave me two cookies with the Citadel “C” and a Bulldog on it. And a big surprise came when one 2018 mom sent a message that she had “my glass,” and she asked where to find me. By that time Chelle and I were eating BBQ at the Holliday Alumni Center. (The food was great and the AC on that 90+ degree day was heaven-sent!) It turns out this thoughtful mom had decorated a wine glass with a Bulldog on one side and on the other she wrote “Citadel Yoda” on it. A name the 2018 moms gave me on the Facebook group. I am overwhelmed with the generosity of these families.

It was time to go to the game. It was a bit sad that Stanley was stuck at the hotel. This was going to be the weekend that he finally met my Citadel friends. Where ever we went people asked about him. One very thoughtful father of a 2017 cadet, Michael Givens, asked what he could do to help. I asked him if he would take a few photos of me shooting the cannon at half-time. Michael is a very talented cinematographer and photographer. I was thrilled to hear he would meet us by the cannons before half-time.

I was instructed how to shoot the cannon by Cadet Goodwin.

I was instructed how to shoot the cannon by Cadet Goodwin.

As it turned out it was just too hot for us in the stands. We didn’t even make it to our seats. We made the best of it though and visited with cadets under the stands. By second quarter we headed to the cannons for me to receive my instructions on how to fire the cannon. The TAC officer there introduced me to a cadet officer who instructed me how to fire the cannon. A long cord was attached to the pin in the cannon. At the designated time I was to unwind the cord, and take several steps away from the cannon while holding the cord with the wooden handle. Once the cord was taught I was to wait for her signal to pull the cord to shoot the cannon.

I caught up with a Roswell High School graduate during the third quarter.

I caught up with a Roswell High School graduate during the third quarter.

Cadet Goodwin and Chelle discovered they both love Harry Potter.

Cadet Goodwin and Chelle discovered they both love Harry Potter.

I spent the time waiting for half-time talking to a few knobs and other cadets. I was surprised to meet a cadet from our hometown. Michael Givens arrived to shoot the photos. We waited for the end of the second quarter. When it was time things moved very quickly. I unrolled the cord, took a few steps until the cord was taut and waited for my signal. Six shots were fired then Cadet Goodwin dropped her arm to signify it was time to shoot the cannon. I held the wooden handle with both hands and also grasped my pants pocket. Taking a step away from the cannon while also turning away from the cannon I pulled the cord. The sound that followed felt like it went through my chest. The smoke billowed outward in a circle. I shot the cannon!! Chelle was right next to me and let out a little scream with the BOOM. How fun! A cadet came up and gave me the pin and the charge from the cannon to keep as a souvenir. I think I’ll put them in the frame with the series of photos Michael took.

Michael Givens got this terrific shot right when the cannon went off.

Michael Givens got this terrific shot right when the cannon went off.

While there was still two quarters to go in the game it felt like, at least to me, that the biggest event was over. Chelle and I stayed by the cannons and visited with a few friends during third quarter. I even got to meet the new commandant of cadets, Capt. Gene Paluso. It turns out he knows a high school friend who was also a Navy Seal. We left the cannon area and went up to a box to watch the end of an exciting game. It felt so good to be in air conditioning, but it had been a long day and we had not talked to Stanley at all. At the end of the second over time period we made our way back to the car and on to the hotel to check on Stanley.

Our fun day ended with a very good dinner at Coleman’s Public House in Mt. Pleasant. A good friend recommended we try it and it was definitely a great place to add to our favorites list.

Stanley’s foot was bothering him a bit so we went directly back to the hotel to rest. Once we got back to Roswell and to the doctor he gave Stanley a walking boot to wear. It was a huge relief to learn he would not require surgery.

The big weekends at The Citadel go by so quickly. I’m glad I too took some photos to remember everything we did over the weekend! You can see my photos from Saturday here.

 

Our 2014 Ring Weekend Adventure, Part 1

Senior cadets march into McAlister Field House as the knobs of the Class of 2018 cheer them on. Photo by Stanley Leary

Senior cadets march into McAlister Field House as the knobs of the Class of 2018 cheer them on.
Photo by Stanley Leary

Parents weekend 2014 was to be a little vacation for our family. We looked forward to seeing a few old friends and meeting new ones. This was our first trip to Charleston for Parents’s Weekend since my son was a senior in 2010.

We did get to Charleston as planned an hour before the seniors marched into the field house to receive their hard-earned rings. We joined the other families along Jones Avenue to get a glimpse of the knobs lining the street and the seniors marching down the road with huge grins on their faces.

Within in the first few minutes of snapping photos the plans for a restful weekend went out the window. I was across from second battalion snapping photos and my husband was stepping up onto a bench to get a better angle of the seniors. As I was snapping photos I heard our daughter scream. I turned to see my husband laying flat on his back in front of the bench. My heart sank as I ran the few feet to be by his side.

He said his ankle hurt, then exclaimed, “My lens!” My husband is a professional photographer. His 28-300 lens was shattered. While the crowd around him asked what hurt, he was more worried about the broken lens.

I’ve learned that while on the campus of The Citadel we run into the parents we were supposed to run into. Last Friday was no exception. Within minutes of arriving on campus. I ran i to my long time friend from high school in NJ, Gwen Lynch Christ. Right after Stanley fell off the bench a couple whom I had corresponded with via Facebook appeared. Terrie Lane said, “Dorie, this is Gene, have you two met in person before?” Gene Lane, a Citadel dad I met through Facebook who has a background in sports medicine, was next to Stanley asking if he could help.

I was able to see Cadet Lucas received his ring by standing at the top of the stairs in the field house.

I was able to see Cadet Lucas received his ring by standing at the top of the stairs in the field house.

Gene helped Stanley onto the bench and began to evaluate the situation. Stanley was in so much pain at the time it was hard for him to respond. Terrie ran to the battalion and asked the TAC officer for ice. Gene wrapped the right foot with the ice and a cadet with a gold cart arrived to take Stanley and our daughter to the car. At this point Stanley assumed he had a sprained ankle. He had stepped off the bench and rolled his ankle when he caught the edge of the concrete footing. We decided I would go to the field house to get photos of my “adopted” senior cadet. I’ve followed the career of Cadet Lucas since before matriculation day his knob year and wanted to be there to see him receive his ring. Stanley and Chelle went to the car and decided to meet us at 4th battalion.

Cadet Lucas and his ring. photo by Stanley Leary

Cadet Lucas and his ring.
photo by Stanley Leary

I watched from the top of an aisle in the field house then left to find Stanley and Chelle by 4th battalion. Stanley was still insisting his ankle was sprained. He took photos of the seniors sprinting back to the barracks. He took photos of the proud families celebrating with their cadets. He then took photos of Cadet Lucas with his ring, with his mom and friend and with us. At some point Stanley turned to me and said, “I need to get my foot x-rayed. Something doesn’t feel right.”

We loaded our van and went to the emergency room at Roper Hospital just over a mile from the campus. Sure enough the x-rays showed a bone was broken in his foot. We decided that while he waited for the doctor I would take Chelle and check into our hotel.

On the way to the hotel a call came in from Hotwire. The room I had booked through them a month before was overbooked. I pulled into a fast food parking lot to talk to the Hotwire representative. The customer service person who was on the line said she would find another hotel. She didn’t. After talking to three additional Hotwire representatives I was told there were no more hotels in their inventory and they would refund my money. That left us 6 hours from home, with a husband in the emergency room and no hotel.

I called AAA and the customer service rep found one hotel room at the Hampton Inn and Suites at the Isle of Palms Connector. While the cost for one night equaled what we were going to pay for three nights we took the room.

Once we returned to the hospital, Stanley was put into a splint and told not to put any pressure on his foot until he could see an orthopedic doctor at home. We left the hospital and went directly to the restaurant to meet Cadet Lucas, his mom and her friend. At least we enjoyed a wonderful celebratory dinner at the Charleston Crab House on James Island. We even had a little entertainment when a knob arrived with his family. The knob took one look at Cadet Lucas’ senior stripes on his shoulder boards and turned sheet white. The poor family requested a table farther away from ours. Cadet Lucas had no idea any of this was going on around him at the time. I spoke to the mom of the knob and told her about the Facebook group for 2018 parents and assured her Cadet Lucas was too busy enjoying dinner with his mom to remember her son the knob.

Our first six hours in Charleston did not spoil the whole weekend. We adjusted our plans, settled in for the night and had a good nights rest.

To be continued. . . .

Celebrating with cadet Lucas are his mother's friend Pat (in blue) and Dorothy Lucas. photo by Stanley Leary

Celebrating with cadet Lucas are his mother’s friend Pat (in blue) and Dorothy Lucas.
photo by Stanley Leary

 

Our extended family: Dorie Cadet Lucas, Dorothy Lucas, Chelle Leary photo by Stanley Leary

Our extended family: Dorie, Cadet Lucas, Dorothy Lucas, Chelle Leary
photo by Stanley Leary

Parents’ Weekend/Ring Weekend, 2014

The Class of 2011 wait to receive their rings. photo by Stanley Leary

The Class of 2011 wait to receive their rings.
photo by Stanley Leary

Each year at this time the searches for information on Parents’ Weekend light up my search stats for the blog. Since not much changes from year to year, I am posting the answers to the frequently asked questions and providing a link to previous blog posts on the topic.

The schedule for the weekend can be found on the home page of the school website, or by clicking HERE.

The schedule for the companies to go through the ring is on the weekly training schedule for October 6 – 12, click HERE, and scroll to the week’s schedule.

The dress for senior parents: for the afternoon ring presentation at 12:55, the cadets are in their most formal uniform. We decided to wear nice clothes for this event as well. You will see a little of everything.

The Ring Ceremony is when seniors traditionally escort their mother through the replica of the ring. It is really just an opportunity for a photo, but it is still a very meaningful event. Traditionally moms wear a long formal dress. You will see some in a cocktail type dress. Some cadets escort a girlfriend or other family member along with their mother.

other friends and family can watch from the stands. They do not have to wear formal attire.

Some cadets get a group together to eat before or after walking through the ring. The timing for dinner depends on when you go through the ring and the preference of the group. In 2010 Bravo company had an 8:30pm time so we went to dinner at 5:30 then went to campus. The cadets wore their blazers to dinner then changed. The moms wore their gowns to dinner.

The family and friends of the members of the Junior Sword Arch like to attend the beginning of the ceremony. Anyone can attend the event, but usually it is just the JSA families and friends, and the family and friends of seniors.

Saturday morning the barracks open and the four Kelly Cup squads compete. The knobs are promoted from cadet recruits to cadet privates in a ceremony in front of their company letter.

The parade is at 11:00, followed by lunch. The cadets only have 45 minutes so packing a picnic or eating in the mess hall are the best bet. You do need tickets to eat in the mess hall. See the calendar linked above for that information.  After knob year some families just opt to tailgate for lunch.

It tends to still be warm in Charleston in October. Keep an eye on the weather forecast so you’ll be prepared with the right clothes.

The Summerall Guards perform during halftime of the football game.

After the football game the cadets have general leave.

Sunday the cadets have general leave for most of the day.

I am looking forward to being on campus for the first time since 2010. Last Spring I had the winning bid at the Brigadier Foundation fundraiser to shoot the cannon at halftime of the football game. My husband will be on the sideline shooting the game (Stanley is a photographer). My daughter and I will shoot the cannon then head back to the stands.

I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting many of the people. I only know through Facebook.

A variety of photos from Friday night of Ring Weekend

My son invited a good friend to join us as we went through the ring. photo by Stanley Leary

My son invited a good friend to join us as we went through the ring.
photo by Stanley Leary

photo by Stanley Leary

photo by Stanley Leary

photo by Stanley Leary

photo by Stanley Leary

photo by Stanley Leary

photo by Stanley Leary

Saturday morning promotion ceremony photos:

Senior cadet and a member of the 2008 Summerall Guards, Mike Mason talks to his knob mentee, Nelson Lalli during the 4th Class promotion ceremony, October 2007. Both men are now graduates and officers int eh U.S. Army.

Senior cadet and a member of the 2008 Summerall Guards, Mike Mason talks to his knob mentee, Nelson Lalli during the 4th Class promotion ceremony, October 2007. Both men are now graduates and officers int eh U.S. Army.

Bravo '11 knobs do their push ups with the cadre after receiving their company letter.

Bravo ’11 knobs do their push ups with the cadre after receiving their company letter.

Bravo Company knobs face the Company Commander during the promotion ceremony, 2007.

Bravo Company knobs face the Company Commander during the promotion ceremony, 2007.

Bravo knobs prepare for the promotion ceremony on Parent's Weekend. photo by Seth Ruff

Bravo knobs prepare for the promotion ceremony on Parent’s Weekend.
photo by Seth Ruff

The promotion ceremony, 2010. photo by Stanley Leary

The promotion ceremony, 2010.
photo by Stanley Leary

The Citadel: Tradition and Change, A Guest Contribution

Each year about this time the cadets begin to complain about changes to their routines and the way it was when they were knobs. This year is no different. I wrote an entry about change and The Citadel in 2012.

The Citadel has a new commandant who is enforcing the rules that are on the books, or so I am told by alumni. Since I did not graduate from The Citadel and did not live through knob year, I asked 1989 alumnus, Paul Tamburrino, to contribute an entry about The Citadel: Tradition and Change.

Cadet Paul Tamburrino, '89

Cadet Paul Tamburrino Photo courtesy of Paul Tamburrino

By Paul Tamburrino

Talk to any Citadel alumnus or cadet, and you will hear the word “tradition” used in reference to policies, procedures, customs, rituals, and just about anything else pertaining to the school. In their minds, what happened during their tenure on campus is an enduring tradition. Books have even been written about traditions of The Citadel.

The Citadel traditions most commonly referenced are related to the 4th Class System, Cadre, Recognition Day, Ring Ceremony and Ring Night, the Junior Sword Drill/Arch, the Summerall Guards, specific Cadet Company practices, and barracks’ hi-jinks (Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner, Halloween, Senior Rip-Off, among many others).

“Change is the only constant in life” is a quote that is attributed to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher. It could have easily have been originated in 1842 with the opening of The Citadel. Isn’t it ironic that a school so steeped in “tradition” could be closely associated with a quote about change? Traditions at The Citadel change almost as frequently as the seasons.

It usually takes about two years for a practice to become a tradition at The Citadel. If a practice lasts a cadet’s entire four years on campus, it is considered an “eternal” tradition, meaning “it has always been like that”.

If you get to eavesdrop on conversation between alumni of different generations, you will hear them talk about shared traditions of Knob Year. The details of their experiences will always differ greatly. What is interesting to note is that the 4th Class System does NOT date back to the early years of The Citadel. In fact, it is a rather “new” tradition. To learn more about the evolution of the Freshman experience at The Citadel, a good read is from Alex Macaulay ’94, Assistant Professor of History, Western Carolina University: Building New Traditions: The Citadel in Post-World War II America.

A cadet rides the Cogburn Cow

A Cadet rides the Coburn Cow Image courtesy of Paul Tamburrino

Each year, cadets cling to what they consider “traditions” to explain why they may do something or to lament a change in the policies and procedures of the college. Alumni will do the same thing. Almost always, what they considered a “tradition” is either a bad habit or something that was relatively isolated to their tenure on campus.

Many traditions seem to be eternal, like The Citadel Honor Code. It is considered a foundation of The Citadel experience, but it also is not originated from 1842. While there has always been a concept of “honor” at The Citadel, the current Honor Code has only been in place since 1955. While the Code has remained the same, the interpretations of it have evolved over the decades since first instituted.

Tradition at The Citadel is very important for the fabric of The Citadel experience. It is what binds cadet to cadet, cadet to alumnus, and alumnus to alumnus. It is our shared experiences that make our network stronger than any other alumni group. But, dig deep down and you will find that these traditions are not as rooted in history as even we would like to think. The only enduring tradition at The Citadel is change.

Paul Tamburrino

Jason, Dorie and Paul visit during the parade Friday. Jason is reaching behind Dorie in this photo to tickle Paul. Too funny!

I visited with these two ’89 grads on Corps Day, ’14

 

Learning The Citadel Website

The Citadel

Each year about this time the stats for this blog go a bit nuts as anxious family and friends search for information on their Citadel knob, a first year cadet recruit at The Citadel. I am not a graduate of the school and cannot speak to what the 4th Class System is like from a cadet perspective. I can however tell you about what it is like to be a concerned parent.

On my personal Facebook page I will post the blog search terms of the day when something strikes me as particularly funny or unique. One term that makes me laugh is “Dorie Citadel,” especially since I was so anxious about the whole 4th Class System when my son was going through it in 2007. Some of the search terms make me wish I could reach out to the person searching for information to tell them it will be OK. My email address is in the About Dorie section if you would like to ask a questions to me directly.

This week, the first week knobs are on campus, I give new parent a few tips on navigating the school web site. For instance, everything they do is outlined on the Office of the Commandant page under the Operations and Training section, then click on Training Schedules. Just scroll down and look for the current week. This week the schedule is broken down by company. After this week you’ll know your knobs class schedule and will see the general schedule for the Corps of Cadets.

On the Facebook groups for parents, here is the link for the 2018 parent group, you can find previous posts and topics by entering a search term into the search window function. Look for the magnifying glass icon on the upper right side of a group page under the cover photo. Click on the icon and the search window appears. Enter your search term and press enter. Previous posts on that term will appear. A photo of the icon is on this page.

A caution about Facebook and social media for this first year, knobs want to keep a low profile. While as parents we are proud of the decision our son or daughter made in attending The Citadel, tagging them on public pages or using a hashtag to ID them as being a knob at The Citadel will raise the profile of a knob and therefore may bring more attention to a knob.

The Facebook group search window will appear when you click on the magnifying glass icon.

The Facebook group search window will appear when you click on the magnifying glass icon. to the right of the words Notification and Create Group.

A word of caution about the various YouTube videos out there. If you are struggling with not speaking to your student this first week, wait to view the videos. There are some really fun and inspiring videos, but there are also quite a few out there of the cadre yelling at the knobs. You will note in the recent ones that the TAC officers, staff who oversee the barracks, are seen observing the cadets. It is still hard to watch knowing your student will be the one getting yelled at this year. If you don’t mind seeing knobs get yelled at see this video of the knobs returning form the beach in 2011.

Each company determines when the knobs get their phone and computer privileges. Usually it is by the start of classes. Please know that knobs have no control over their time and cannot pick up the call or answer a text at will. This is hard on parents but really difficult for some girlfriends to understand. If a knob hangs up quickly it is because someone entered the room. Do not call them back. Wait for them to call you when they can.

Do send goodies to them each cadet has their own preference. My son preferred healthy food. Another Citadel Mom wrote a great blog post about care packages and how to save money on postage. You can read it here. You can order boxes through the US Post Office free online. The box #1096L is the largest small box that fits in their boxes. The box will fit in a flat rate envelope saving you postage. You can save money of postage by using the Click-N-Ship option.

Many parents ask when they can see their knob for the first time. This year August 31 is the day they will first be able to get off campus for the afternoon. If you can’t wait to see them until parents Weekend,  which is October 10 – 12, 2014, the best time to see them is on what is called an open weekend on the Yearly Planning Calendar. Open and Closed weekends don’t mean too much for knobs since they cannot have an overnight this first semester. On an Open weekend there are no mandatory Saturday Morning Inspections (SMI) and upperclass cadets can request leave for the weekend. For knobs it means they can go off campus Friday night, Saturday from about 7:00 am – 11:30 pm and Sunday from after chapel or Ethics seminar (10:00am) until 7:00pm or so.

Each year the Corps of Cadets participate in a few special events. You can read about them on the website by clicking here. Parents Weekend is a big occasion for knobs. It is during a ceremony Saturday of Parents Weekend that they are promoted from cadet recruits to cadet privates. During the ceremony the cadre and knobs do a class set of pushups and the knobs receive the company letter which is worn on their uniform. For more information on Parents Weekend schedule watch the school web site and the Cadet Activities page. You can also read previous posts by putting “Parents Weekend” in the search window of this site.

The Cadet Activities office has a program where they will quietly deliver cookies to cadets for special occasions. You can read about it here. They also handle the order forms for the school newspaper The Brigadier, a good way fro families to keep up with the happenings on campus.

The football games are fun to attend. For tickets and information on all the athletic events visit the web site Citadel Sports. They also have a Facebook page, The Citadel Sports. The Citadel Brigadier Foundation is another good page to follow. The foundation raises funds to support the athletic program and scholarships.

Professor Tiffany Silverman with Monuments Men author, Robert Edsel, and several cadets at the VIP reception before the lecture

Professor Tiffany Silverman with Monuments Men author, Robert Edsel, and several cadets at the VIP reception before the lecture

If you are more into the arts, you’ll be thrilled to learn about Fine Arts at The Citadel. A terrific program that last year brought in the author of the book Monuments Men to campus for a book signing and talk. The program is headed by Professor Tiffany Silverman and offers a variety of classes to cadets, including a Fine Arts minor.

I encourage each family to take time to learn about the school and what is available by exploring the web site. The A-Z Search option is a great tool and the People Search option is also very helpful. Both are located under the Info tab of the citadel.edu web site.

Survival Tips for Knob Parents

The Class of 2018 reports to 5th battalion. photo by David Hall

The Class of 2018 reports to 5th battalion.
photo by David Hall

Welcome to The Citadel parent family!
I am sure Matriculation Day was a mixed bag of emotions for you. The Citadel Family Association volunteers do a terrific job of helping ease what is usually a very stressful day for families. The real tough time for parents begins today.

I am not a graduate of The Citadel so I cannot speak to the cadet experience, but I can relate to how a parent feels when they send their student off to knob year. If you are a parent of a knob, please join the Facebook group I moderate, The Citadel: Parents of the Class of 2018. I will not accept requests to join from extended family members or friends. It is very time consuming volunteer work to keep the parent groups going. I cannot extend an invitation to extra people. Please send me an email before you request to join to verify you are the parent of a knob send me their name and company. My email can be found in the “About Dorie” section of this blog site.

5th Battalion photo by David Hall

5th Battalion
photo by David Hall

This first week without contact from your knob is tough. Each year parents find some measure of comfort by visiting the various school Facebook groups to find photos and videos of the week. I’ll post a few links to helpful Facebook groups at the end of this entry.

A note about Facebook and social media this first year. Facebook groups can be a great way to connect with other parents. It can also cause trouble among parents and cadets when too much is shared to a group wall, or when parents think they should know everything that is going on every minute of every day.

Please limit your posts to general questions. If you have specific questions pertaining to your cadet you send private messages to a trusted friend or CFA volunteer. Do not post specifics about your knob or any cadet to a Facebook group or page.

Know that the groups were established to answer general questions, not to give a full accounting of everything a cadet will do each day. The Citadel is a leadership school. The knobs will learn to take control of their process and learn to navigate the 4th Class System. You can be an encouraging presence. You cannot do this for them.

Related to Facebook is the tagging of your knob in photos. It is best not to tag photos you see on public sites. When you tag your knob the photo is then visible to their friends and family and they begin to post comments. The comments will be visible to the public. Most knobs want to keep a low profile. If you see a photo of your knob, download it and repost to your own page for your family and friends to see.

If at any time you have a concern, I encourage you to address the appropriate department on campus. If the question pertains to something in the company or barracks contact the TAC officer for the company or battalion. A confidential resource on campus is the ombudsperson’s office. They will take your calls or emails an answer your questions confidentially. You can find their contact information and other resources on the web page named H.E.L.P.

On Monday night the school will have a live stream presentation of the Oath Ceremony. You can find the details linked to the home page of the school web site or click here.

Starting this week and throughout the year you can see the schedule for the Corps of Cadets on the Office of the Commandant page. Once on the page click on Operations and Training, then Training Schedules , then look for the week you are interested in reading about. The schedule for this first week is titled, “August 16 – 24, 2014 (Company rotation schedule).” You will see the knobs are kept VERY busy in meetings all week.

Great Facebook pages to follow this year include:

The Citadel

Citadel Photography

The Citadel Bookstore

The Citadel Alumni Association

The Citadel Sports

The Citadel – Department of Cadet Activities

Count down for The Citadel Class of 2018

Knobs line up in 3rd battalion to get their pT clothes.

Knobs line up in 3rd battalion to get their PT clothes.

We are less than two weeks away from Matriculation Day for The Citadel Class of 2018. I thought I’d post a few helpful Facebook groups new parents may want to join or follow as well as a few links to helpful web pages on the school site.

By now your soon-to-be knob should have read through the Success Packet and have the items listed on the required list. Please note that there is a big change to the instructions for knobs this year. On page 7 of the Success packet the labeling instructions for clothes is listed. In past years all labeling was done once the knobs arrived.

The Class of 2014 reports in on Matriculation Day.

The Class of 2014 reports in on Matriculation Day.

The Citadel Family AssociationNice to Have List” is just suggested items to pack along too. The iron is a must. Some companies do not allow knobs to have full size ironing boards so to start off send along a travel size board. Cleaning supplies are also good to send along at the beginning and just a few school supplies to start with since each class has different requirements a notebook or two and pens, pencils and a stapler are a good idea to send too.

Charlie Company knobs report.

Charlie Company knobs report.

Regarding social media:If your son or daughter hasn’t already their privacy settings on social media should be set very high. They should not have any photos with them wearing Citadel clothing, or any branch of the military. They also should not post anything with a Citadel related hashtag unless they want the attention of all the cadets and alumni before they start.

Your family and friends, including girlfriends and boyfriends of knobs should be made aware they should not tag photos of your knob that appear on public pages. They should also understand that this year a knob will not be able to return calls or texts at will. Be patient and then be grateful for what ever communication you have.

Facebook groups for parents:

The Citadel: Parents of the Class of 2018 This group is only for parents of knobs in the class of 2018 or parents of cadets transferring into the school. Please send a private message to me on Facebook to verify you are a parent of a knob. You can also send me an email to verify you are the parent of a member of the class of 2018

Citadel Alumni Grad/Dad Advice - For parents of all cadets with some staff and administration. This group established by Paul Tamburrino offers information for parents in a straight forward manner, no sugar-coating here.

Facebook pages to follow (all family members may follow these pages):

The Citadel

Citadel Photography

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A knob gets special attention Sunday morning.

Once your knob gets involved with various activities and departments there are other groups to join as well. Each battalion has a group and many companies have Facebook groups for parents. I usually advise parents to join the groups the first year but wait until after knob year to post to groups with parents of all classes in them. I also advice all parents to use caution and not to post information particular to your cadet to any group page.

The Cadre lead the Class of 2016 from the mess hall to their first meeting. The first week this process is repeated over and again.

The Cadre lead the Class of 2016 from the mess hall to their first meeting. The first week this process is repeated over and again.

Tips for Matriculation Day:

Make a list of all items you have to bring. Include your knobs wallet and ID on the list. Each year someone leaves theirs at home

Print out the information on the Office of the Commandant Matriculation Day page, especially the schedule for the day, traffic diagram, and necessary forms to bring.

If you arrive ahead of time, make a dry run to the campus from your hotel so you will avoid wrong turns the morning of matriculation day.

Remember to say your good-byes at the hotel that morning. Once on campus things move pretty quickly. Do try to snap a few photos of your knob when they come out in their “knobbie” clothes. They are great photos to look at four years later.

Read through the link on the left hand side of this page titled Matriculation Day: Reporting in that first day for additional tips.

Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.

Bravo knobs meet the cadre right after the sallyport gates are closed, Matriculation Day, 2010

Bravo knobs meet the cadre right after the sallyport gates are closed, Matriculation Day, 2010

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