4th Class ready for next step in the leadership development journey
It is just around the corner now and is one of the most anticipated days of the academic year for freshmen.
Recognition Day signifies the end of the 4th Class System and the next step in The Citadel leadership development experience for the Class of 2013. Yes, the strict regimented knob lifestyle - short haircuts and walking fast paced in single file - will end but what will remain is the expectation that members of the class adhere to the values of integrity, respect and accountability as there are recognized as upperclass members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadet.
“Recognition Day does not signify and end of cadet development,” said Commandant of Cadets Col. Leo Mercado. “It is a transition point in The Citadel’s leadership development program as Fourth Class cadets assume their roles as leaders and mentors for the Class of 2014.”
Recognition Day is Saturday, April 24, 2010 and includes early-morning physical training for the entire 2,100-member Corps of Cadets, leadership instruction for the freshman and the recognition ceremony itself. Outdoor activities can be observed by family and friends, however access to Summerall Field and the barracks is restricted.
The Gauntlet, which begins at 10:30 a.m., brings full circle the first-year experience that began in August 2009 and culminates Saturday in a physically and mentally challenging way. The Gauntlet is a rigorous team-building event consisting of a series of timed tasks. The Gauntlet is followed by a victory lap around campus before the cadets and their upperclass mentors return to their companies for the traditional class set of pushups and the recognition ceremony.
"The events associated with Recognition Day reinforce the concept of teamwork and overcoming adversity through physical challenges and the tenacity to succeed in the face of hardship,” Mercado said. “Preparation for this day began when the knobs arrived on campus. With the leadership and mentoring of their cadet leaders and Tactical Officers, the Class of 2013 was instilled with the values of integrity, respect and accountability, which are essential to their continued development as principled leaders.”
The Citadel has a tough and challenging eight-month-long Fourth Class System. Its purpose is to lay the foundation early in a cadet’s career for the development character and discipline implied in the college’s mission. The first year is, for many, an abrupt change from the life normally experienced at home.
“Recognition Day is an important milestone for the Fourth Class and their cadre for their efforts over the last eight months and for all that they have accomplished this year,” said Cadet Col. Zach Holliday, the regimental commander. “But it is also intended to be a day that the entire Corps of Cadets take pride in.”
Following the recognition ceremony, the Class of 2013 will march through downtown Charleston to Marion Square, the site of the original Citadel campus, for the “Oath Renewal on The Citadel Green.” The class leaves the campus on Moultrie Street at 3 p.m. The oath ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m. It is open to the public.
The march to Marion Square provides an opportunity for the local community and Citadel families to support the Class of 2013. But it is intended as a reminder to the cadets of those who came before them, about the history they are now a part of and the expectation that they will become principled leaders.
The Class of 2013 will march through downtown Charleston led by their current cadet commanders. They will march back to the campus under the leadership of next year's commanders.
As the freshmen cadets move on from Recognition Day their focus will turn to final exams and the summer furlough. When they return in the fall as sophomores, they will have before them the opportunity to take on new responsibilities as leaders in the platoons, companies and the Corps.
Recognition Day is just another milestone on the cadet leadership journey to graduation day.
Highlights of Recognition Day
Outdoor events in bold are open to spectators. Access on Summerall Field is restricted to cadets and Citadel staff. Spectators may observe from the perimeter of the parade field.
6 a.m. -- Reveille and physical training, including a regimental run
10:30 a.m. -- The Gauntlet, Summerall Field
11:50 a.m. -- Class set and recognition ceremony
12:30 a.m. -- Regimental BBQ
3 p.m. -- March to Marion Square
3:30 p.m. -- "Oath Renewal on The Citadel Green"
6 p.m. -- Class of 2013 Recognition Day dinner