Special Weekends: Parents Weekend, Homecoming, Corps Day, Recognition Day

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, Parents Weekend, October 2007. Both men are now graduates and officers in the U.S. Army. photo by Stanley Leary

Parents weekend:

The full weekend schedule is usually posted to the school website weeks ahead of time.  This is the weekend the knobs cease being cadet recruits and become part of the Corps of Cadets. They are still Knobs, however.

The qualified seniors get their rings this weekend. If you can arrive on campus Friday before 12 noon you can see the knobs line the street and chant for the graduating class as the seniors process into the field house to receive their rings.  After the seniors enter the field house the knobs are usually encouraged to leave the barracks with their families.

There won’t be a parade Friday. Usually they have a time to visit academic depts. during an Open House. Your cadet’s cadre will have to tell them when they can leave. It can vary by company.

Knobs have to be back by about 11:30 for all in at 12M Friday night. Some times the knobs go back earlier because they have to prepare their rooms for Saturday morning. They also make a banner for the company – a big deal for knobs. Make sure to notice their banner.

Saturday the barracks are open to visitors around 8:30. There is a ceremony that morning for each company in the quad of the barracks when they get the company pin for their uniform. Band members have a different schedule that includes a morning concert.

There is a parade on Saturday.  After the parade the cadets usually have lunch with their families either in the Mess Hall or a boxed lunch, or bring your own picnic– your choice. (the schedule and details will be posted to the web site.)  They have to march with their company and sit in the cadet section at the game. You cannot sit with your cadet during the game.

After the game they are usually free to go with you. Remember they will not have had much sleep the night before and will most likely want to go to the hotel to sleep.

Note: To find out when Parents Weekend and homecoming is each year, check the football schedule on the Athletic Department website, under Schedules, then Football. It is usually posted in the early spring. The Yearly Planning schedule usually isn’t published until early summer before the academic year. Tip: put “Yearly Planning Calendar” then the dates of the academic year you are looking for ex. 2012-2013, you may find the calendar. In a recent search I found a PowerPoint with the outline of the calendar.

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

Homecoming:

A big weekend for the alumni. The barracks are open Saturday morning.  You can attend the football game.  Friday night Saturday after the game and Sunday morning and afternoon can be spent with your cadet

Second Semester Notes and days of interest:

The beginning of second semester can be a tougher time for a knob (and all the cadets) than any other during the year.  It’s cold and damp in Charleston.  Morning PT is even tougher in the cold.  They will return after a month away.  Over the break they will have spent time with friends who attend other schools, or are enjoying the freedom of being employed and doing whatever they want to do.  The second semester is when sophomores are able to interact with the knobs as well as the other upper class cadets. Some first year cadets will decide not to return. That can be a difficult if your cadet built friendships with the cadets who decided to leave.

The beginning of second semester is the first time many 4th Class cadets find themselves questioning their decision to attend a military school.  If this happens to your cadet just remind them it was their decision to take this path and assure them they can get through the year.

Corps Day:

Bravo knobs pose on 4th division (4th Floor) in their dress whites, March 2008

Corps Day is the annual celebration of the founding of The Citadel. The Office of Communication and Marketing states this about Corps Day: “The Citadel Corps Day tradition began with the college’s inception in 1843 when the first 20 cadets reported for class at the old Citadel on Marion Square in downtown Charleston.”

Like parents weekend, you can go into the barracks Saturday morning.  The Summerall Guards change over from the current seniors to the rising seniors, or “Bond Volunteers.” Several awards are given during the dress parade.

You may be interested in reading about the Summerall Guards history on the web site. 

Recognition Day:

This is most important day of the year for knobs.  This is the day usually a couple of weeks before the end of the year when they cease being knobs. You can find the exact date on the Yearly Planning calendar on the Office of the Commandant page of the school website.

The day begins around 5:30 AM with intense physical training.  It ends near lunch time with the knobs being recognized by the upperclassmen by being addressed by their first names and hearing the upperclassmen speak their first names for the first time.  They share a BBQ lunch in the barracks, have a couple of hours to shower and change, and then get ready for the march to Marion Square to renew their oath.  The day ends with a special banquet.  The local families do go and watch the activities from a distance.  We went to Charleston to watch the march to Marion Square.  We arrived just before lunch time and on time to hear the announcement that the 4th Class system is no longer in effect.  We peered through the gates of the barracks to catch a glimpse of our cadet and his buddies. Over the years more and more parents attend Recognition Day. I felt that I wanted to be there since in a way I too survived the year.  I was very surprised when our son wanted to come back to hotel and just rest that night.  Most other cadets went out with friends into Charleston or went to the homes of local cadets.  If you do decide to go, know that you may not spend time with your cadet on Saturday. Sunday mid morning brunch may be an option.

Previous blog post about Ring Weekend and Recognition day.

Blog post about Corps Day Weekend, BVA’s and Summerall Guards

4th Class Recognition

More photos of Rec Day 2008

The 4th Class cadets march into Marion Square in Charleston to retake the cadet oath. April 2008

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