P Company returns to campus with the Corps
With the return of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets on Aug. 19, came the return of P Company.
P Company will be housed in Stevens Barracks and will share responsibility with Palmetto Battery for the off-campus color guard details. Since these two companies have responsibilities and duties that are different from the regular rifle companies they are assigned to the Regimental Support Battalion (RSB). Technically the Regimental Band would also be assigned to, but not necessarily billeted with the RSB.
P Company History
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 offier, 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.
Braxton W. Collins, Class of 1951, former commander of Company P lives in Florence. He will be invited to participate in the activation ceremony scheduled for August 31 parade where the company guidon will be uncased and Collins will pass it to the new company commander Cadet Capt. Kyle Williams. The Regimental Support Battalion colors will also be uncased at this time.
Collins’ grandson is a knob football player in Charlie this year.