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Citadel News Service
11 Apr 2012

Class of 2015 arrives at Recognition Day

First step in freshmen leadership journey now complete

On Saturday, 630 freshmen will be recognized, culminating their eight-month journey as Citadel knobs.

Recognition Day is a milestone in each cadet’s leadership development at the Military College of South Carolina. The events associated with Recognition Day reinforce the concept of teamwork and overcoming adversity through physical challenges and the tenacity to succeed.


While Recognition Day marks the end of the eight-month Fourth Class System, it is the first step in the freshmen cadets’ journey of learning to be leaders. The strict regimented lifestyle – short haircuts and walking fast paced in single file – will end. What is ahead is the expectation that members of the Class of 2015 adhere to the values of integrity, respect, duty, and accountability as they become upper class members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.

“Recognition Day is a significant event in The Citadel’s leadership development model. It is more than a transition from knob to third class cadet; it acknowledges the fourth class cadets are prepared to assume their roles to serve and to lead the Class of 2016 next fall,” said Commandant of Cadets Col. Leo Mercado, USMC (Ret.)

Recognition Day is a very personal event shared by the cadets in each company. The day begins early with physical training at 5:30 a.m. and will continue for the next 11 hours, concluding after the march to Marion Square and the Oath Renwal. There are some opportunities for families to observe select recognition activities.

Recognition Day is not a public event, but some outdoor activities can be observed. These are marked in bold.

Schedule Highlights 
8-10 a.m. Leadership Reflection: The Citadel Experience and What I Learned About Leadership (cadets only)
10:30 a.m. – The Gauntlet
Spectators are asked to remain on the perimeter of Summerall and Washington Light Infantry fields . Please do not walk onto the fields while activities are under way.
11:50 a.m. – Victory Lap
12:10 – Class set of pushups and upper class recognition (barracks not open to the public)
3 p.m. – Oath Renewal on The Citadel Green 
Cadets will depart campus, march down Moultrie to King Street to Marion Square, site of the original  Citadel campus.
3:30 p.m. Estimated time of arrival on Marion Square 
3:45 p.m. – Oath ceremony followed by a Pass in Review
4 p.m. – Return march to campus
15 minutes after return to campus -- General Leave

The Gauntlet is a rigorous team-building event consisting of a series of timed tasks designed to foster camaraderie and pride in achievement. It brings full circle the first-year experience that began with matriculation day in August 2011 and culminates Saturday in a physically and mentally challenging way After the victory lap around campus the knobs and their cadet leaders will return to their companies for the traditional class set of pushups and the Recognition Ceremony. During the ceremony, the upper class cadets introduce themselves by name and recognize the freshmen by their first and last names, dropping the "Knob" designation.

The knob year’s purpose is to lay the foundation early in a cadet’s career for the development character and discipline implied in the college’s mission.

Recognition Day-related events culminate at Monday’s (April 16) dinner mess. Each company of knobs will invite one upperclass cadet that has inspired them most to have dinner with them.

“Preparation for this day began when the knobs arrived on campus," Mercado said. "With the leadership and mentoring of their cadet leaders and Tactical Officers, the Class of 2015 was instilled with the values of honor, duty, and respect, which are essential foundation of their continued development as principled leaders. I congratulate the Class of 2015 for working together to reach this milestone on the journey to becoming principled leaders.”

Last year's Recognition Day events:


Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Kim Keelor-Parker
(843) 953-2155

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