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Recognition Day 2018

Corps Day and Recognition Day

March 23-24 2018

The schedule for the Corps Day and Recognition Day has recently be released on The Citadel’s website. This entry supplements the schedule with many details of the weekend to provide you a clearer understanding of the parent engagement opportunities.  I apologize for being late withthe information, but I did not want to post information until I was sure it would not change.

We do have a commemorative T-Shirt for sale.  You can place an order by clicking here but you may want to read through this information first.

Corps Day 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. This year’s Corps Day will be our 175th! 

sg rifle exchangeSaturday morning begins with Open Barracks at 0800-0930 during which the Pipe Band will make an appearance in each battalion. At 0800 the Rifle Legion will perform on the Parade Field in front of 2nd Battalion, followed by the Summerall Guards at 0830. This is a special performance by the Guards because the 2018 Guards will exchange rifles with those they have trained as their reliefs, then watch the new Summerall Guards make their first performance. Corps Day Parade will begin at 10AM which will be highlighted by a jeep review by Lieutenant General Rosa and the Chair of our Board of Visitors, Mr. Fred Price. The Palmetto Medal, the second highest award the college can present (highest being an honorary degree), will also be presented.

Members of the Gold Corps (those classes who have celebrated their 50th reunion) will have a luncheon following parade at the HAC. 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. OK Freshmen Parents, this is a day you have waited for since last August! It will still be a challenging, butlog carry meaningful couple of days for members of the freshman class.   We do ask for patience on your part as events start times may slip +/- 30 minutes to allow for setting up of the fields or other events taking longer than plan. Also if you would like to order a commemorative t-shirt, please click here

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 will not only challenge the freshmen cadets physically, but 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, freshmen will have general leave until Midnight ***Changed to 1030PM***– don’t push it. It is fine to take their cadets out for dinner, but we would remind you that they (and you!) have a very busy day on Saturday beginning with making sure the battalions and company areas are ready for Open Barracks at 8AM. So lots of work for them in the next 24 hours and it is important that they be well rested and hydrated.

Saturday Morning:

After Parade ~11:30AM – 1PM: The Gauntlet – the physical portion of the day. This event will take place on both the Parade Field and Washington Light Infantry (WLI) Field (aka, the soccer field). Companies will be divided between the two fields. Parents 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! The field assignments for each company have not yet been approved, but once it is we will post it so you will know where to go to watch your cadets.

Once complete with all stations, the entire freshman class will form up by companies and make a “Victory Run” around campus which will finish inside their respective battalions. So when they start forming up for the run, head over to their battalion to watch them finish up.

shaking handsThe final events will take place in the barracks. After a class-set of pushups with their classmates by their company letters, the Regimental Commander will pronounce the magic words 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 upperclass. Parents can look through the gates, but are not allowed inside the barracks. After being recognized the cadets will be treated with an outdoor BBQ. No parents, just cadets, this is a chance for them to be with their fellow cadets.

Around 3PM the freshmen will form up for the March to Marion Square. This will be the last event of the day – a 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; so you may not see them until after they return from the ceremony at Marion Square.  march

Parents and Families have some decisions to make here once they finish the Gauntlet. First getting something to eat and second getting down to Marion Square.

Meal Options:

1.  The Canteen, which now houses a Chick-fil-A, will be open and plan on having quick grab stations to help with the lines. There is no pre-ordering

2. Last year we offered boxed lunches to help reduce the Canteen line. We will do that again this year in Buyer Auditorium in Mark Clark Hall. The day has an early start, so we found many parents came and picked up their lunches at noon. You can eat them in Buyer Hall or take them outside and enjoy what we hope will be wonderful weather! Boxed lunches will be pre-purchase only (really helps with keeping lines down so you get in and out fast). You can order and pay for your boxed lunches (and commemorative t-shirts) by clicking here.

3.There are a number of nice restaurants downtown that will be opened for lunch. We have a lot of visitors come to Charleston each weekend, so I don’t have an idea of how long of a wait you may have.

 Getting Downtown:

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.

2. 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.

The route for the march to Marion Square take the cadets 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 renew the oath they took the first Monday of their Cadet Careers.

wliAdditionally they will hear The Citadel Story which is highlighted by a re-enactment of the “key exchange” ceremony where the Commander of the Washington Light Infantry (WLI) will pass the key of the Old Citadel to the cadet-in charge. It is a pretty neat ceremony. You can find out more about the WLI by clicking here.

Pass-in-Review. The newly recognized will execute a Pass-in-Review before heading back to The Citadel. After returning to campus, they will be allowed general leave until midnight – yes, although they are no longer knobs, 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 and parking is tight. Good news is those who come for Corps Day usually leave shortly after parade. Also if you come early, you can get a cup of coffee and a bite to eat at the coffee shop in Daniel Library which will be open 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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