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Matriculation Day: Reporting in that first day.

***2/10/2019 Please note: I am no longer updating the blog posts for Citadel parents. See the official school website for the most up to date information***

Updated 6/4/2018

Once you’ve purchased all the items on the Success Packet list and you are packed up and ready to report.  Here a few tips and a description of what will happen Matriculation Day morning. Remember to make hotel reservations in advance.  The hotels in the area book up quickly.

Matriculation Morning:

One good tip is to say our real good-byes at the hotel before getting to campus.  The upperclassmen do watch the final good-byes.  A quick hug is OK but try not to make a big scene, your cadet will be grateful.

The school publishes a map and directions of how to drive onto campus. You will find that information on the  Matriculation Headquarters page posted in May or June. When you drive  to the Holliday Alumni Center on campus the cadet will ask your name and give you your company assignment. Drive to the appropriate barracks and park as close as you can.

The Citadel Family Association members (parents of cadets) will be there to help.  The volunteers wear Blue shirts.  They have been where you are now. Follow their instructions on unloading and where to move the car.

First year cadets are called “Cadet Recruits” until Parents weekend. Cadet recruits should report on Matriculation day in nondescript clothing.  A plain t-shirt or shirt, plain dark athletic shorts or regular shorts, white ankle socks (new for 2016) and their running shoes is best. NO CITADEL logo wear – “They haven’t earned the right to wear them yet.”  Cadet recruits will be given the PT (physical training) clothes to change into right away. If the cadet recruit is already wearing the white ankle socks and athletic shoes it is one less thing to have to go digging for right away. The PT clothes include a dark blue t-shirt, shorts and ball cap. They will receive a lanyard for information and a Camelbak for water to keep hydrated. This process can take a while.  Parents/Family should be very patient. Once the cadet recruit enters the barracks their time is not their own. They are expected to do what they are told once inside.

Knobs stand online ready to report. Note the socks are pulled up, shoes tied neatly, shirts tucked in.


The cadet recruits (without their parents) will sign in at the table and be told what to do next.  They should have all the paperwork printed out and completed. They can find the forms on the Matriculation Headquarters page (which will be posted to the school website sometime in the months leading up to Matriculation Day) prior to reporting. When they report to the company letter the cadet recruit will be asked to turn in their cell phone. Be sure to turn off your cell phone before walking into the battalion. If you don’t, when your phone is returned in a week or so the battery will be dead. The cadet recruits will be given their dark blue t-shirt, shorts, ball cap (PT’s or physical training clothes) and camelbak and other items.

Knob checks in with the Bravo Cadre then directed to the PT issue area.

Moms are technically allowed in the barracks. The Citadel Family Association volunteers are there to help carry things in, answer questions, and be of support. Moms, if you must go see the barracks, go in, take a look, take a few photos, and leave. Don’t spend a lot of time in the room. They will be told when to unpack and where to put everything. Do not unpack for them. My role was to watch the boxes while my son and his dad carried everything in. Do what your cadet recruit is most comfortable with. In my case I did not go into the barracks on Matriculation Day.

Knobs pick up their new PT clothes (AKA Knobbie clothes). Note the cadet in the navy blue to the right

Make sure your cadet is in the barracks about 10 minutes before the stated time.  An announcement will be made when parents should leave the barracks. Once the announcement is made for family and friends to leave the barracks the upperclass cadets close the gates at the entrance, or sallyport as they are called. Parents should go to the information fair in the fieldhouse.

Notes for Parents:

The upperclass cadets are there to help direct traffic and answer questions on Matriculation Day.  If you meet the Academic officer or Human Affairs officer they are there to help. If a cadet introduces themselves to you try not give the upper classmen any information about your cadet.  Talk to the cadet about their major, their hometown, etc.

Plan to stay on the campus for the information fair and the address to the parents by the president.  You’ll have an opportunity to get more information on various organizations too.

If you can stay for another day or so you can attend chapel on Sunday and maybe get a glimpse of your cadet – but not talk to them.  They also have an oath ceremony usually on Monday evening. You won’t be able to talk to your cadet, but can watch from a distance. The past several years the school has broadcast the event online. Check the school web site to see if they will provide a live stream.

The parents have a support network via Facebook Groups for each Battalion.  See the list of groups in this entry. These parent group pages are a great resource for new parents, BUT if you have a question about your cadet, it is best not to post it to the group, but rather ask an individual parent from the CFA list of volunteers. The Citadel  page also is a great group to join on Facebook. They post photos and updates on campus activities.

Waiting outside 1st Battalion.

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

The Bravo Co. cadre lead the Class of 2014 to lunch on Matriculation Day 2010.

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