The Citadel's Class of 2016 'recognized'
Recognition Day is the first step in a cadet's leadership journey
The 672 young men and women who comprise The Citadel's Class of 2016 were recognized today, culminating their eight-month experience as "knobs" and marking the next step on the journey toward becoming principled leaders in the Corps of Cadets.
Band Company Cadet Robert Robinson (in navy) of Columbia, S.C., introduces himself to freshman Cadet Wesley Roberson of Simpsonville, S.C., during Recognition Day 2013 activities.
Recognition Day is a milestone in each freshman cadet's leadership development at the Military College of South Carolina. Recognition Day also is the first step in their journey of learning to be leaders. The strict regimented lifestyle – short haircuts and walking fast paced in single file – will end now. Ahead is the expectation that members of the Class of 2016 will adhere to the core values of honor, duty and respect as they become upper class members and leaders in the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.
"Preparation for this day began when the knobs arrived on campus in August 2012," said Commandant of Cadets Col. Leo Mercado, USMC retired. "With the leadership and mentoring of their cadet leaders and Tactical Officers, the Class of 2016 was instilled with the values of honor, duty and respect. I congratulate the Class of 2016 for working together to reach this milestone on the journey to becoming principled leaders."
The events associated with Recognition Day reinforce the concept of teamwork and overcoming adversity through physical challenges and the tenacity to succeed.
The day began at 5:30 a.m. with morning PT (physical training) and was followed leadership instruction and "The Gauntlet," a rigorous team-building event consisting of a series of timed tasks designed to foster camaraderie and pride in achievement. After a victory lap around campus the knobs and their cadet leaders returned to their respective companies for the traditional class set of pushups (116 for the Class of 2016) and the long-awaited Recognition Ceremony.
During the Recognition Ceremony, the upper class cadets introduce themselves by name and recognize the freshmen by their first and last names, dropping the "Knob" designation.
The day culminated with the entire Class of 2016 and their cadet leaders marching through downtown Charleston to Marion Square where the freshmen renewed their cadet oath. Marion Square is the site of the original Citadel campus. The college moved to its current site on Moultrie Street on the banks of the Ashley River in 1922.