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Recognition Day 2019

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

March 28-31 2019 

Here is an update ot the page on March 26, 2019

Field Assignments for Friday's Gauntlet are 1st and 2nd Battalions will be on Washington Light Infantry Field (the soccer field) and 3rd, 4th and 5th will be on the Summerall Field (Parade Field).

Also a reminder for the ceremony at Marion Square, keep in mind there will be no seats - we will be in the middle of a parade field - so if you are so inclined you may want to bring a chair.  I was told to think of it as if you were going to a youth soccer game! :) 

The schedule for the Leadership Symposium, Corps Day and Recognition will soon be published on The Citadel’s website.  This entry supplements that schedule with details we hope provides you a clear understanding of the parent engagement opportunities.

The Leadership Symposium – March 27-29 is an annual event sponsored and coordinated by the Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics at The Citadel.  It’s a two day event that takes place every year on the Thursday and Friday of Corps Day Weekend.  The events include guest speakers and panels for cadets and delegates from other colleges and universities.  This year will be the twelfth annual symposium and focus on the theme of “Empowering Others and Building Bridges”.  It’s a great opportunity for your cadet to take part in discussions on key issues faced by today’s leaders.  The Symposium’s last event will be the presentation of the prestigious Krause Leadership Award.  You can find more information as it becomes available on the Symposium’s Website.  Of note, there are some events open to the public, but require registration prior to the symposium.

Corps Day – March 29-31 is the birthday celebration of the founding of The Citadel’s South Carolina Corps of Cadets.  The State Legislature passed an act on December 20, 1842, 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.

Corps Day is a wonderful time to be at The Citadel and take part in the many activities of the day.  Festivities begin Friday afternoon with a welcome reception for members of the Gold Corps (those who graduated over 50 years ago) followed by dinner.  For more information visit the Alumni Association's Corps Day Website    .

Many of Saturday morning’s events are similar to what you may have experienced during Parents’ Weekend.  Saturday begins with Open Barracks from 0830-1030 during which the Pipe Band will make an appearance in each battalion.  At 0830 the Rifle Legion will perform on the Parade Field in front of 2nd Battalion, followed by the Summerall Guards at 0930.  This is a special performance by the Guards because the 2019 Guards will exchange rifles with those they have trained as their reliefs followed by the new Summerall Guards’ first performance.  Corps Day Parade will begin at 11AM which will be highlighted by a jeep review by General Walters and the Chair of our Board of Visitors, Mr. Fred Price.  The Palmetto Medal, the College’s second highest award (highest being an honorary degree) will also be presented.

Recognition Day – March 29-30.  OK Freshmen Parents, this is a day you have waited for since last August!  The big change this year is that the recognition ceremony will take place late Friday afternoon.  Parents who plan to attend should arrive and be in place by 5PM (they will form up at 5:15PM) to watch their cadet take part in the athletic activities which have become to be known as “The Gauntlet”. 

How did we get to where we are today with this special day?  The Senior Class of 2007 wanted to make Recognition Day a more meaningful  ceremony that would not only challenge the freshmen cadets physically, but reinforce our core values and lessons in leadership.  What they developed and executed is pretty much what we do today.  This program starts Friday afternoon in the classroom and culminates on Saturday with a march to the original Citadel campus downtown at Marion Square. 

The specifics:

Friday afternoon (29 March):

3PM to 5PM your cadets will meet in the classroom with their classmates 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, they will return to their barracks and prepare to take part in the physical fitness challenges of the ceremony known as The Gauntlet.  The Corps will be divided between the Parade Field (3rd, 4th and 5th Battalions)  and Washington Light Infantry Field (Soccer Field located behind the Mess Hall - 1st and 2nd Battalions).  Parents you can watch from the perimeter of the field and move around it as your cadet’s company moves to the different stations.   Yes, it’s ok to cheer them on and take pictures.  Just stay outside the lines marking the boundaries!  Once approved, we will publish the field assignments for each company.

Once complete with all stations, the entire freshman class will form up by companies and make a “Victory Run” around campus, finishing in their respective battalions.  When they start forming up for the run, head over to their battalion to watch them finish up.  Once they enter the barracks, Parents are not allow to follow them in.

Once in the barracks, the knobs will do a class set of pushups and wait for the Regimental Commander to say the magic words “The 4th Class System is no longer in effect!”  At that point the freshmen will line up to be congratulated and recognized by members of the Upperclass.  Parents can look through the gates, but are not allowed inside the barracks.

After being recognized the Battalions will have a cookout in the barracks after which they will have general leave until midnight. 

Saturday (30 March): 

After the Corps Day Parade (see above) the freshmen will attend lunch in the Mess Hall with a special guest of their choosing – an Upperclass cadet who they would like to recognize as having played a key role in their first year.  This is scheduled from 1230 to 1:30PM.     

At 2PM the Freshmen will form up to make their march to the Old Citadel on Marion Square (corner of Calhoun Street and King Street).  This march connects the current class to those who started back in 1843.  It’s pretty neat to watch these young men and women in uniform and full of pride march down the streets of Charleston – tourists, locals, parents and families love it!

The cadets will leave The Citadel via Lesesne Gate, go up Moultrie Street to King Street then down to Marion Square.  They will march by companies just like a normal parade.  Highlights include a reenactment of the exchange of keys between the cadets and members of the Washington Light Infantry followed by the Freshmen reciting the oath they took the first Monday of their Cadet Careers.

It’s just over 2.5 miles from Lesesne Gate to The Old Citadel (now the Embassy Suites).  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.

You can drive and, if lucky, you may find a spot on the street nearby.  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.

Finally, spectators will be on the parade field, so expect to be on bumpy, grassy areas.  There will be no seating, so bring a chair if you think you need one.

Since you won’t be able to spend much time with your cadet between parade and forming up for the march, you may want to head downtown for a nice lunch or eat on campus at the canteen.  We suggest doing a little planning with your cadet so you don’t get left waiting or in a position where you have to rush in order to make the next event.  In your planning, remember there will be plenty of visitors in Charleston this time of year.

Also as part of the pre-ceremony events, the Band will perform "The Citadel Story".  We did it last year as part of the 175th events and brought it back this year because of the overwhelming positive response received from those who were there.  It starts at 2:45PM which is before the Freshmen arrive.  

When complete with the ceremonies in the parade, the Freshmen will pass in review and head home!  Once back on campus they are free to leave campus until midnight – yes they are still freshmen!  If staying over Saturday night, you can pick them up early Sunday morning (as early as 5:30AM) and keep them until 7:50PM that night.

As you can tell this will be a very busy, challenging and exciting weekend for your cadet.  Once you pick them up they probably will want to eat then sleep then eat! 

Couple of reminders, this is a big weekend on campus and parking is tight.  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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