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Corps and Recognition Day 2017

Dear Parents,
Due to conflicting events downtown this year’s freshman class oath ceremony will take place on the parade ground here at The Citadel. It will take place at 3p.m. Our plan will be to return to Marion Square next year.
Thanks for your understanding –
The Office of the Commandant


Leadership Symposium, Corps Day and Recognition Day (whew!)

March 16-19 2017

The schedule for the Leadership Symposium, Corps Day and Recognition Day has recently been released on The Citadel’s website.  This entry supplements the schedule with additional details which we hope will provide you with a clearer understanding of the parent engagement opportunities.

leadershipsymposium mayor rileyThe Leadership Symposium – March 16-17 is an annual event sponsored and coordinated by the The Citadel's Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics.  It’s a two day event that takes place the Thursday and Friday of Corps Day Weekend.  This year’s theme, “Resilience in a Changing World,” will provide your cadet (and delegates from other colleges and universities) with a wonderful opportunity to hear from guest speakers and take part in panel discussions on key issues facing today’s leaders in both government and corporate America.  The Symposium’s last event will be the presentation of the prestigious Krause Leadership Award.  You can find more information on the symposium at the following website: .

Corps Day – March 17-18 - also known as the Corps' Birthday, is the celebration of the founding of The Citadel’s South Carolina Corps of Cadets.  On December 20, 1842 the State Legislature passed an act establishing The Citadel, but it wasn’t until March 20, 1843 that the first cadets reported to The Citadel which at that time was located downtown on Marion Square.  blue white 1

Festivities begin Friday afternoon with a welcome reception for members of the Gold Corps (those who graduated over 50 years ago) and the Annual Blue-White Game at 6PM that showcases next year’s football team.  Parents and families are welcomed to attend the game at Johnson Hagood Football Stadium . . . and the Gold Corps reception if you graduated from The Citadel over 50 years ago!

Saturday morning begins with Open Barracks from 0800-0930.  If you are in the barracks, listen up for our world famous Pipe Band which will be making appearances in each battalion.  Also at 0800, the Rifle Legion will perform on the Parade Field in front of 2nd Battalion, followed by a performance by the 2017 Summerall Guards at 0830.  This special performance by the Guards is highlighted by the passing of rifles to their reliefs, the 2018 Summerall Guards!  Corps Day Parade begins at 10AM which includes a jeep review of the Corps by Lieutenantsg rifle exchange General Rosa and the Chair of our Board of Visitors, Lieutenant General Sams, and the presentation of The Palmetto Medal, the College's second highest award (highest being an honorary degree).

Members of the Gold Corps will have a luncheon at noon, but parents and families of freshmen will want to make way to the areas where your cadets will begin the next phase of their Recognition Day events.

Recognition Day – March 17-18.  OK Freshmen Parents, this is a day you (and your cadet!) have waited for since last August!  What is different about this year?  We have moved the date to coincide with both the Leadership Symposium and Corps Day events to add more meaning to the ceremony for the freshmen.   Has anything else changed from the previous years?  No, only scheduling of some events.  It will still be a challenging, but meaningful couple of days for members of the freshman class.   We do ask for patience on your part.  The times may slip +/- 30 minutes to allow for setting up of the fields or other events taking longer than planned.

How did we get to where we are today with this special day?  When General Rosa returned to The Citadel as President, he challenged the senior class to develop and execute a meaningful ceremony that would challenge the freshmen cadets physically and reinforce our core values and lessons in leadership.  The seniors responded by creating – then executing - a program that exceeded the General’s expectations.  This program continues today with freshmen starting Friday afternoon in the classroom and culminating on Saturday with a march to the original Citadel campus downtown at Marion Square. 

The specifics:

Friday afternoon:

3PM to 6PM classroom time with their classmates, TACs and Cadet Chain of Command to reflect on the leadership lessons over the past year.  Note this is not open to Parents and Families.  

Once complete, at this point we are not sure what the general leave policy will be yet because they have a very busy day on Saturday beginning with making sure the battalions and company areas are ready for Open Barracks at 8AM Saturday morning.  So they have lots of work that night, an early start Saturday morning and need to be well rested for Saturday's events.  In the past, general leave has not been granted the night before Recognition Day.

Saturday Morning: 

big tire11:30AM – 1PM:  The Gauntlet – the physically challenging event of the day.  This event will take place on both the Parade Field as well at Washington Light Infantry (WLI) Field (aka, the soccer field).  Companies will be divided between the two fields.  Parents you can watch from the perimeter of the field and stay with your cadet's company as it moves to the different stations.   Yes, it’s ok to cheer them on and take pictures.  Just stay outside the lines marking the boundaries!  When determined, we will publish the field assignments for each company.

Once complete with all stations, the entire freshman class will form up by company and make a “Victory Run” around campus that ends in their respective battalions.  So when they start to form up for the run, head over to their battalion to watch them finish this portion of the day. 

The final event will be a class set of pushups with their classmates byshaking hands their company letters.  When complete, the magic words will be announced by the Regimental Commander that “the 4th Class System is no longer in effect!”  At that point the freshmen will line up and be congratulated and recognized by members of the upperclasses.  Parents can look through the gates, but are not allowed inside the barracks.

Around 2PM:  March to Marion Square: (remember, exact time may vary due to delays on other events) The last event of Recognition Day will be the march to the Old Citadel grounds at Marion Square (corner of Calhoun Street and King Street).  As you can tell the newly recognized cadets will have a quick turnaround to get something to eat (burgers in the battalions), take a shower, change their uniform and form up on the Quad for the march around 2PM; so you may not see them until after they return from the ceremony at Marion Square.   

Parents and Families have some decisions to make here.  First getting something to eat and second getting down to Marion Square. 

Food: The Canteen will be open and have their normal menu of food items.  You can also stop along the way to Marion Square, but a word of caution, Saturdays are busy downtown. 

We recommend ordering a pre-made boxed lunch that will be ready for pickup in Mark Clark Hall right after the Recognition events.  This is will save you time and allow you to catch your breath between events!  CLICK HERE to pre-order and pay for your boxed lunch(es).  After you have made your payment, make sure you email us at with your selections.

Getting to Marion Square:  As far as getting downtown, remember it will be a crowded day in Charleston, so leave in plenty of time to park and make your way to Marion Square.  You have a few options:

1. It’s just over 2.5 miles from Lesesne Gate to The Old Citadel (now the Embassy Suites) at Marion Square. The sidewalks are uneven in parts with cracks, so if you aren’t sure you can make it, drive. Walking time will be anywhere from 30-45 minutes.  If it's a nice day, it will be enjoyable.

 2. You can drive and, if lucky, you may find a spot on the street.  If not, there are several parking garages downtown.  You can find a map with their locations by clicking here.  Good news is the ceremony doesn’t last that long, so you shouldn’t have to pay for more than a couple of hours.

march to marion squareAround 2PM the Freshmen will form up for the march.  The route will take them out Lesesne Gate, up Moultrie Street to King Street, then down to Marion Square which is located on the corner of King and Calhoun Streets.  They will march by companies just like a normal parade.  Highlight of the parade is when the Freshmen Class recite the oath they took the first Monday of their Cadet Careers.

Pass-in-Review.  The last event before heading back to The Citadel will be a Pass-in-Review.  After returning to campus they will be allowed general leave until midnight – yes, they are still freshmen!

As you can see this will be a very busy and challenging day for your cadet.  Once you pick them up they probably will want to eat then sleep.  On Sunday you can pick them up early in the morning and spend the day with them until 7:50PM when they have to be back for Evening Study Period.  

Couple of reminders, this is a big weekend on campus so parking will be tight.  For a map of the parking areas on campus, please click here.  Also if you come early, you can get a bite to eat at the Canteen located to the left of Mark Clark Hall or the Starbucks coffee shop in Daniel Library.  Both will open at 7:30AM.

This is a special weekend for all of us.  We hope it will be especially enjoyable for you.  Should have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email mail them to

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