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Citadel News Service
20 Aug 2008

Knobs get advice from president, commandant

WATCH video of the Aug. 18 freshman cadet oath.

Class of 2012 breaks 32-year-old record

Just days into their military training, the Class of 2012 received words of wisdom and advice from The Citadel’s top two leaders.

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Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, president, encourages cadet rercruits to depend on each other and help one another through the rigors of the military college's freshman year.
In separate addresses to the fourth class this week Commandant of Cadets Col. Greg Stone and President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa shared their different educational and military backgrounds but echoed each other with encouraging words about the rigors of military training.

“This is going to be tough. This is going to be hard, no doubt about it. But the fact that you are here says a lot about you, your character and your family. You want to make a difference in your life,” Rosa said during his first meeting with the more than 700 freshmen who had gathered in McAlister Field House on Aug. 20.

Stone on Aug. 18 said not a day will go by that one of the freshmen will be homesick or will want to quit. When that feeling hits, he said “remember why you came here.”

“You made the right choice to come here and don’t forget that,” he said. “You’re going to be challenged each and every day but this is an incredible journey you are about to take into the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. There is virtually nothing else like it anywhere you go.” 

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Commandant of Cadets Col. Greg Stone talks to the Class of 2012.

The freshmen arrived on Aug. 16 with 49 women and 662 men from nearly every state and several international locales. Military training continues until the start of classes Aug. 27. Upper class cadets return Aug. 24.

Stone, who spoke to the freshman after lunch mess on their first day of military training, asked the Class of 2012 for five things:

  • Be a team player
  • Don’t forget why you came here
  • Don’t sacrifice integrity
  • Keep a sense of humor
  • Commit

Similarly, Rosa, a 1973 graduate of The Citadel, told the freshman, now known as knobs for their very short haircuts, to depend on their classmates and use their strengths and weaknesses to help one another because “you can’t get through here by yourself.” Rosa’s three tips to the class:

  • Do what’s right and be honorable in everything you do.
  • Respect yourself and respect others.
  • Be accountable

Take credit when things go well and be willing to take responsibility when they do not, he said.

"If you do all those things, you will graduate from here on May 5, 2012” and join the 33,000 plus other graduates around the world who are part of The Citadel family, Rosa said.

Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
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