Corps Day and Recognition Day Tips

UPDATED 03/16/2017

The Citadel is combining two big events for cadets the weekend of March 17 – 19, Corps Day and Recognition Day. The school website mentions three events which includes the Leadership Symposium. Since most families who come to town do so to see the Summerall Guards ceremony on Saturday morning, and this year for Recognition Day, I’ll focus on those two events.

The schedules are available online for the weekend. For a more detailed schedule for activities parents will want to attend, go to the parents page of the school website and read through the Corps and Recognition Day 2017 page.

Rifle exchange

the 2015 Bond Volunteers prepare to take their rifles and become the 2015 Summerall Guards.

Tips for parents of Bond Volunteers and Summerall Guards:

The crowd begins to form on the parade field about 30 minutes before the scheduled ceremony. The schedule lists the time as 8:45 – 9:45am. So arriving  by 8:15am to find your preferred spot along the roped off area is a good idea.

Be sure to ask your cadet where they will be as they march onto the field to know if you should be on the side closest to the barracks or the other side closer to Chapel side of the field. For instance my son was the 5th squad back on the end closest to the barracks side of the field. We stood at the roped off area closest to the 2nd battalion across the walk way from where General and Mrs. Rosa sit for parades. (Of course cadets and grads will refer to theses areas and line up for the Summerall Guards by their proper terms. Since I’m a mom and not a grad I’ve developed my own way to describe the areas to help other parents know where to stand.)

Another must is insect repellant for the morning. The entire ceremony only lasts about 20 minutes or so but after it is over you’ll want to snap photos with your cadet. It is a bit of a scramble after it ends. Ask your cadet the best way to find them after the ceremony ends. Many of them will be talking with the Summerall Guard whose rifle they now carry and receiving their Summerall Guard patch.

Most years they’ve had a luncheon for the Summerall Guards after the parade. It is at the luncheon where we purchased out Summerall Guards parent t-shirt. It is a fundraiser for them to help with expenses. Check with your cadet for the plans for this year.

12998512_10154088297949747_4491709384161171359_n

Members of the Class of 2019 begin their march to Marion Square on Recognition Day for the Class of 2019.

Tips for parents of the Class of 2020:

The schedule this year is completely different from previous years since Recognition Day has been moved from April to the same weekend as Corps Day. Stories from parents of upperclass cadets of what they did on Recognition Day won’t really apply to your experience this year.

This weekend is not like Parents Weekend where the emphasis is on spending time together. The Recognition Day part of the weekend is really about the Class of 2020 and their time together, parents while welcome to watch are not the focus. If you are planning to be in town, remember you may not see your cadet Friday afternoon and evening. They have meetings and will need to get their rooms in inspection order for the open barracks Saturday morning. If they do have time off to see you for dinner consider it a bonus visit.

Saturday will be jam-packed with activities. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for the day. Look over the schedule to see just how busy you’ll be and make your plans for lunch based on your family.

The barracks open at 8:00am. Check with your son or daughter to see if they want any food brought to them. They will have a VERY strenuous workout after the parade so they may not want anything too heavy.

The Rifle Legion and the Summerall Guards will perform on the parade field that morning. Check with your cadet to see if they will be attending both or either of those events. My son’s senior mentor was a Summerall Guard so he wanted to see that ceremony.

After the Summerall Guards exchange rifles the Corps of Cadets must prepare for the 10:00 parade. This would be a good time to have a light snack. The Canteen will be open but to avoid lines you may want to pack your own snacks or lunch. You’ll also have time after the parade and before the Gauntlet begins to grab something to eat or sit in the reception room in Mark Clark Hall between events.

12718109_10154088293589747_3069962893038650434_n

Members of the Class of 2019 participate in the gauntlet as upperclass cadets guide the activities.

The Gauntlet begins at 11:30. It is a series of physical challenges the 4th Class cadets go through together by company. They will be either on the parade field or the WLI field. Some years the school posts a map. I haven’t seen it posted yet. To get an idea of how Recognition Day was handled in the past I’ve found the PowerPoint from 2015 on the website.

The past several years after the gauntlet is over and the 4th class cadets are in the barracks and hear the announcement “The 4th Class System is no longer in effect.” The newly recognized cadets would come out to give a hug to their family members. The timing is very tight this year and the cadets may not have time to come out. The training schedule has the cookout in the barracks beginning at 1320 and the hygiene time to get ready for the retaking of the oath on the parade ground at 3:00. The March is on the schedule for 1500.

If you haven’t ordered a meal through the school (the ordering time frame has past), pack a lunch or eat in the Canteen the school.

12973400_10154088934349747_5157265410484094043_o

General Rosa and Provost Dr. Connie Book visit with class of 2019 family members at a lunch held last year after the gauntlet. This year boxed lunches will be available to purchase.

Cadets who saved an overnight and followed the protocol can take one Saturday night. Most of the cadets are too exhausted to want to do much Saturday night. If you want to go out for a nice meal Sunday is the better day to do that.

I’ll be helping my youngest daughter at her high school musical that weekend so I’ll have to miss the excitement. I look forward to seeing everyone’s photos. Next year I’ll have my own college freshman, just not a knob at The Citadel.

12967976_10154088921674747_1233429602902147338_o

L-R Provost, Dr. Connie Book, Dorie Griggs, Mrs. Donna Rosa, General John Rosa

 

Advertisements

Recognition Day for the Class of 2020

Recognition Day, March 18, is the day The Citadel Class of 2020 will hear the words, “The 4th Class system is no longer in effect.” The knobs have worked very hard to get to this point in the year.

Many parents have asked if there is a traditional gift to mark this milestone. While there isn’t one “have to get” item, over the years many families have given their 4th Class cadet a company t-shirt  from the campus bookstore to mark the occasion.

In the past few years an alumnus has offered a special Recognition Day t-Shirt. The sales benefit the Col Harvey M. Dick, ’53 Memorial Ring Endowment. A photo of the shirt is below and it is available on the Senior Private Etsy site. Sunday, February 20 is the last day to order this shirt.

il_570xn-1180624955_j0h0

The decision what to give a 4th Class cadet, if anything, is up to each family. What is really important is the pride they will feel in accomplishing the toughest goal they have faced to date.

Hotels That Offer Discounts to Citadel Families

The Boat Center at The Citadel.

The picnic tables by the boat house. My favorite place on campus.

Each year I am asked about the best hotels to stay in when parents visit the school. The city is a very popular tourist destination and there are a wide variety of properties to choose from that range from luxury hotels to discount properties. Some families prefer to rent a home or condo and stay at Folly Beach or Isle of Palms. Vacation Rental Buy Owner vrbo.com is one good resource or check out any number of realtors in the area.

The following are a list of properties that offer discounts to Citadel families.

The Citadel has a link on their website to a page with hotels that offer a discount use this link to access discounts to eight hotels.

I’ve called each of the following hotels. They all have a special rate, but you need to book early and call the hotel directly to get a hotel room in the discounted block. Discount sites like hotels.com and using your AAA card can help too.

Charleston Marriott Use the link for a discounted rate. (click on the highlighted hotel name) Their phone number, 843-723 3000

Hampton Inn Airport 843-554-7154 ask for “The Citadel Rate”

Hawthorn Suites call 843-225-4411 ask for “The Citadel Rate”

Home2Suites call 843-744-4202 ask for “The Citadel Rate”

LaQuinta Inn & Suites Charleston Riverview 843-556-5200 ask for “The Citadel Rate”

Red Roof Inn Plus 843-884-1411 select the Front Desk option ask for “The Citadel Rate”

Wingate by Wyndham 843-553-4444 ask for “The Citadel Rate”

If you have a favorite property you stay at during visits, leave a comment on this post.

As The Citadel Turns

The Class of 2018 marched into Marion Square and affirmed their oath. Photo by Stacy Carter Photography Studios

The Class of 2018 marched into Marion Square and affirmed their oath.
Photo by Stacy Carter Photography Studios

It was a busy weekend for Citadel cadets. Recognition Day for the first year knobs happened Saturday. It’s the most anticipated day of the year for knobs. They cease being knobs and become full member of the Corps of Cadets when at the end of a morning filled with physical challenges they stand with their classmates to hear an address by the Regimental Commander that ends with the sweet words, “The 4th Class System in no longer in effect.” After the announcement the upperclass cadets in the company recognize the 4th Class cadets by using their first names for the first time all year.

A 4th Class cadet carries and upperclass cadet at one of the stations during the "Gauntlet."

A 4th Class cadet carries and upperclass cadet at one of the stations during the “Gauntlet. photo by Stacy Carter Photography Studios

I heard some grumbling from parents of upperclass cadets and alumni that the changes instituted this year for Recognition Day would undermine the bond the classes formed. I also read several comments by alumni who said that the day has changed so much from their time at The Citadel it doesn’t seem like it has the same significance. Once the day came and went I heard from scores of people who attended and talked of the espirt de corps they witnessed and what a terrific day it was for all cadets.

Before I continue I must acknowledge that I never went through a 4th class system, my son did. It also needs to be brought to everyones attention that recognition day used to be at the very end of the year. The grads from the ’60’s wonder why it is so early before final exams. Others point out that parents would never have witnessed their recognition day. There was no gauntlet, or march to  Marion Square in years past. Those activities started in 2007.

Knobs crawl during one of the exercises as part of the "Gauntlet." photo by Stacy Carter Photography Studios

Knobs crawl during one of the exercises as part of the “Gauntlet.”
photo by Stacy Carter Photography Studios

Carl Carraway, the father of a 2018 cadet and a 1983 graduate of The Citadel wrote a very good review of this past Saturday’s events and posted it to the 2018 parent group. He gave me permission to post his thoughts here:

We all know things change over time. The system moves up, down, left, right, here, there, back and forth, but it is still an intense and demanding system. Recognition Day is different than the one we experienced in ’80. Yesterday our son was recognized along with the rest of the Class of 2018. Prior to yesterday, I had the same opinion (as many alumni) about parents watching the Gauntlet on the parade ground – it should be a closed, private event – based ONLY on my experience in ’80. I initially decided to not attend, but fortunately I changed my mind on Friday. Even though the event is held in public view, it it still a very private event for the cadets – knobs and upperclassmen. Their focus is still just as ours was during our own respective Recognition Days.

Recognition Day started with a PT run at 0530 hrs, leadership classes (yes, leadership – imagine that), followed by the Gauntlet on the Parade Ground at 1030 hrs, a “running tour” of the campus, and finally the class set of pushups. As one who had joked about the Gauntlet in the past, I was very impressed with the intensity, demands, and duration of the Gauntlet and how professionally The Citadel now handles Recognition Day. From the prospective of an alumus, I was proud to watch the Class of 2018 going through the paces. The social media world in which we live allows parents to hover over their cadets during their knob year… and their upperclass years. Yesterday the knobs took the scissors away from the doctor and cut the social media umbilical cords. Many parents witnessed their sons and daughters facing physical and mental challenges they could never image – the cadets proving to themselves and not the world that they are on a road less traveled. That is one of the many outstanding outcomes of The Citadel.

The icing on the cake was the freshmen marching to Marion Square in their dress whites at 1500 hrs to reaffirm their cadet oath. The 2 mile march (each way) was an impressive exclamation mark for the day’s events! In case you are wondering, yes, I walked the entire march down and back on the sidewalk along with a handful of other parents.

If I had not observed the Recognition Day activities, I would have missed an outstanding opportunity to watch The Citadel at its best. Next year I plan to be on campus to watch the Class of 2019 go through their paces and take another “walking tour” down and back from Marion Square. 

Cadets work together to flip a tire during the "Gauntlet." photo by Stacy Carter Photography Studios

Cadets work together to flip a tire during the “Gauntlet.”
photo by Stacy Carter Photography Studios

As I wrote in an entry a while back, the only constant is change. Some will resist change, others adapt and move on. The cadets at The Citadel are being given the tools to succeed in business and in life. The Class of 2018 was recognized yesterday after a full day of physical activities.

Before you know it August will be here and the Class of 2019 will matriculate. I guarantee you someone in the class of 2018 will complain that the class of 2019 is getting off easy. The cycle will continue. I’ve volunteered to help parents of cadets for eight years now and I’ve seen it happen each year. Parents need to remember, your cadets are going to vent to you out of frustration, the key is not to join them in their laments. Allow them to vent, offer them support and encouragement. You can even steer them to the place to work out their issues, but don’t join them in their complaining and don’t try to fix their problems. Paul Tamburrino, the VP of the Citadel Alumni Association wrote a blog post for me in September of 2014 about change and The Citadel when the cadets began to complain about the changes the new commandant was instituting. today is a good time to review that entry: The Citadel: Tradition and Change, A Guest Contribution.

4 class cadets crawl toward the company guidon while upperclass cadet try to keep them from the guidon. photo by Stacy Carter Photography Studios

4th class cadets crawl toward the company guidon while upperclass cadet try to keep them from the guidon.
photo by Stacy Carter Photography Studios

Dining in Charleston: A Wish List

photo by Stanley Leary

The bar area of Coleman Public House photo by Stanley Leary

Each time we visit Charleston we try to find a new place to eat. On a recent trip we enjoyed dinner at The Coleman Public House in Mt. Pleasant. A good friend recommended it and we were not disappointed. You can read about a few other restaurants we enjoy in this previous blog post: Where We Dine When We Visit The Citadel

Traveling with a 16-year-old who is fairly picky means there are some restaurants I’ll just have to try when my husband and I visit. On that same weekend visit I hoped to eat at S.N.O.B. but one look at the menu, which looked fantastic to me, and my daughter asked if we could go somewhere else to eat. The manager was very nice and offered some kid friendly options, but she decided she really wanted a more casual meal. I was so impressed with the manager and staff that I wrote to their main office. They sent me information on all three of their restaurants. They are all on my list to visit on future trips to the city. Gift cards to these restaurants and others would make a terrific thank you gift to host families, cadets or friends.

High Cotton, Maverick Bar & Grill, 199 East Bay St., Charleston, SC 29401; 843.724.3815

High Cotton Charleston is high steppin’ Lowcountry living. It’s a feeling of warmth and celebration that begins the moment you step inside. You’ll find it in our gracious, knowledgeable servers, expertly paired dishes and a remarkable wine and cocktail program. Brunch served Saturday & Sunday. Dinner is available seven nights a week.

Slightly North of Broad, 192 East Bay St., Charleston, SC 29401; 843.723.3424

Slightly North of Broad, an eclectic Lowcountry bistro that brings together local ingredients and thoughtful, expert presentation with a contagious energy. The dining room, an extension of the kitchen, where culinary skill, considered wine program and warm service meld together. Lunch served Monday-Friday. Dinner is available seven nights a week.

OVPH exterior Shot Old Village Post House, 101 Pitt St., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464; 843.388.8935

Old Village Post House is a neighborhood tavern and inn nestled in Mount Pleasant’s historic Old Village. In feel and décor, it’s as comfortable as your best friend’s home – from the original worn pine floors to our lively tavern. Brunch served on Sunday. Dinner available seven nights a week.

Gifts for Citadel Cadets and Graduates

Wearables

Each year around this time I am asked about gift ideas for cadets. While each cadet and graduate will have different likes and needs, I’ll post a list of suggestions. I have not purchased from all these companies and this post is not an endorsement of their company, just a listing of companies who offer Citadel related products. These ideas also hold for graduation gifts, and appreciation gifts for senior mentors, classmates and recent graduates. The Citadel Bookstore is a great place to start for gift giving. The photos in this entry of the bookstore were taken over parents weekend, 2014.

Here is the list in no particular order:

The Citadel Bookstore – Diploma Frames, gift frames, glassware, jewelry, etc.

Citadel Alumni Association Merchandise – Alumni gifts of all types Including the Big Red Flag

The Citadel Miniature ring and pendant

For junior and senior cadets: Citadel Alumni Association Lifetime Membership

LaHart – jewelry, crystal and glassware

Football Fanatics – wearables

Original Collegiate Art by Brenda Harris Tustian

Summerall Guard merchadise

Philanthropic giving – various cadet related funds. Give in honor or memory of someone. See this previous blog post for links.

Citadel Bulldog apparel by CBSSports

Citadel Sports gifts by Planet Sports Team

Citadel Golf Accessories

SoCon Gear

Bulldog embroidered pants, shorts, shirts and skirts by Pennington and Bailes

Palmetto Boards ‘n Bags – Customized corn hole boards are a popular gift for any Citadel fan.

Bottle Breacher – A fun gift for a graduate in the military

Spirited Signs – A company owned and operated by a Citadel alum.

A decal by Spirited Signs.

A decal by Spirited Signs.

Historic Nutcrackers – Citadel Cadet Nutcracker to be available after January 2015. Contact the company for more information.

Combat Humidor a great gift for a deployed alum.

Through Their Eyes – a new book by George Steffner

I have learned that Carolina Cadets is not currently stocked with their full range of nutcrackers and ornaments, but she does have the 48″ Cadet Nutcrackers. You can contact her through the Facebook page for her cake decorating business.

Diploma frame Diploma Frames Citadel Book F-Troop Book Citadel/Military related books Gift items Jewelry watches License plate frames Artwork Sketches Stuffed Bulldog mascot Photo frames

 

Recognition Day, Graduation, and Summer Plans

Dorie, Nelson and Chelle. Recognition Day 2008

Dorie, Nelson and Chelle. Recognition Day 2008

In less than two weeks the class of 2017 will go through Recognition Day. In 40 days the class of 2014 will join the long gray line of graduates.  The parent Facebook groups are lighting up with posts related to these two huge events in the life of a Citadel cadet.

I get the most questions from parents of freshman and seniors each year. The first year parents are entering a year full of foreign words and rituals. The senior parents are excited about Ring Weekend then graduation. Sophomore and junior year are just not that busy for parents. The cadets slowly become more like other college students. On their time off they aren’t as focused on spending time with family. They begin to develop a social life in Charleston and spend their time off with their buddies.

Sophomore year is referred to as knobmore year for a good reason. They are no longer knobs, but they are the lowest officers in the cadet chain of command, or have no real status among the upperclass cadets. It can be a tough year for many. I have even heard cadets say that they miss knob year when they didn’t have to think about how to order their day. It was done for them that first year. I don’t believe any cadet would really want to go through another knob year. The best thing to do this year is keep your grades up.

Junior year the cadet officers are carrying higher rank and responsibilities. Over 100 juniors each year decide to be Bond Volunteer Aspirants (BVA’s) in the hope of being a member of the Summerall Guards. That process is all-consuming. Parents of BVA’s should expect them to be busy most of the time with either school work, officer duties or BVA duties. Let them contact you. If you don’t hear from them in a while, just know they really are that busy.

The 2015 Summerall Guards during their first performance of The Citadel Series.

The 2015 Summerall Guards during their first performance of The Citadel Series.

Juniors in general, BVA or not, are busy. They are fully into their college years. The social life continues to pick up. For many of the Army ROTC cadets they are preparing to attend the Leader Development and Assessment Course held in the summer. Cadets who will enter the various military branches participate in summer programs. The non-military cadets are looking for internships in the field they hope to work win when the graduate.

Since we are toward the end of the year I’ll mention a few end of year tips for each class:

For the 4th Class cadets two questions I get each year at this time is, What type of gift should I get my cadet? and Do they really have to be out of the barracks before 7 am on graduation day?

The answer to the first question is, a gift is not necessary, but is always appreciated. A company T-Shirt from the bookstore is the most welcomed gift as it is a sign they are a full member of the Corps of Cadets. Any gift reflecting their status as a full member of the Corps of Cadets is welcomed.

The Class of 2008 joins the Long Gray Line of graduates.

The Class of 2008 joins the Long Gray Line of graduates.

The answer to the graduation day question is, yes, unless your cadet has duties at graduation, they have to be out of the barracks by 7 am graduation morning. The Corps of Cadets marches in the Long Gray Line parade Friday afternoon. After the parade they turn in their dress gray uniform and get their rooms cleaned up. If your cadet can’t leave before 7 am, they have to wait with their things on the quad of the barracks. Most cadets will find a local family to go to if they have a late flight out that day. Parents, if you can, try to arrive early Friday afternoon to see the Long Gray Line parade.

For many sophomores cadets it is the last summer they will have where they aren’t focused on post graduation activities. Making, and saving, money is the primary focus. Of course each cadet is different. Some end up taking advantage of the summer abroad programs or other school related offerings.

For Army ROTC cadets heading to LDAC:

This year LDAC will be held at Ft. Knox instead of Joint Base Lewis McChord. Much of the information online has not been updated to reflect the new location. The Ft. Knox Public Affairs Office has confirmed that they will post a LDAC 2014 Facebook group sometime in May. They will also post to the WarriorForge blog site in May. The WarriorForge Twitter account has not been updated since August of 2013, but I assume that, too, will start-up again in May. Family members can check these sites once they are active for updates and information on various aspects of LDAC. I did find a Reddit thread about LDAC 2014 too.

Each branch of the service has their own process. My son was Army so I do not have first hand experience with the other branches and their requirements.

For the Class of 2014 and your parents, Congratulations!!

My son was a senior your knob year. I was on campus for your Matriculation Day in 2010. The time has just flown by. Parents be sure to take lots of photos and video of the weekend.

The cycle for next year has already started. The Facebook group for the Parents of the Class of 2018 has over 70 members already. If you are the parent of a soon to be knob be sure to send me an email to request to join the group. My email address is located in the “About Dorie” section of this blog.

%d bloggers like this: