Papa Company reactivated
After 56 years away, Papa Company was re-activated Friday, Aug. 31, during a military dress parade.
Increased enrollment in the South Carolina Corps of Cadets led to the reactivation of P Company, also called Papa Company. The company was deactivated in 1951. Today there are 96 cadets assigned to P Company.
P Company History
Braxton W. Collins, Class of 1951 of Florence, the last cadet commander of P Company, took part in the reactivation ceremony. Before that he had lunch with the entire company in Mark Clark Hall. Collins' grandson Michael R. Collins of Florence, is a freshmen football player this year. He is in Charlie Company.
During the reactivation ceremony, the P Company guidon and Regimental Support Battalion colors were uncased and presented to the 2007 commander of P Company, Cadet Capt. Kyle Williams of Pensacola, Fla.
Throughout The Citadel’s history, fluctuations in enrollment have caused the constitution, inactivation and reactivation of companies.
During the 1942-1943 academic year with “New Barracks” (Stevens) on line and increased enrollment to about 1,980 cadets, The Citadel activated 4th Battalion consisting of Company N, O, P and R. These companies would likely have continued except for the drafting of the classes of 1944, ‘45, and ’46. At the time the Corps of Cadets was reduced to a single battalion consisting of companies A, B, C and Band. In 1949-50, enrollment increased prompting the reactivation of 4th Battalion with companies N and O followed in the 1950-51 academic year when companies P and R were reactivated. The entire 4th Battalion was deactivated in 1951-52 and then reactivated in 1956-57 with companies N, O, R, and T.
“By reactivating Company P - of Papa Company - rather than constituting another lettered company in the sequence, we would be following the practice The Citadel has followed since 1843,” said Maj. Steve Smith, Palmetto Battery tactical officer and campus history buff. “For the first time in the history of The Citadel and the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, all companies that have existed at one time or another will be active.”
Cadets who have shown an interest in the new company prefer Company P to other naming conventions such as “Arsenal” or “Victor” primarily because there is an existing history for Company P, Smith said.
There are 96 cadets assigned to Company P. The chain of command was interviewed and selected by Smith and Col. Jim Dorton, tactical officer, from across the corps. In addition, the company was populated with volunteers who transferred from other companies, readmits and 40 knobs that matriculated this year.