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Recognition Day 2020!

Principled Leadership Symposium, Corps Day and Recognition Day 2020!


March 25-29 2020 

From 25 to 29 March the campus will be very busy putting on three major events - The Krause Leadership Center's Principled Leadership Symposium, Recognition Day, and Corps Day.  We hope you will use this page get a clearer understanding of the parent engagement opportunities.

The Principled Leadership Symposium – March 25-27 is an annual event sponsored by the Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics at The Citadel.  This two and a half day event takes place every year on the Wednesday through Friday of Corps Day Weekend.  The Symposium includes guest speakers and panels for cadets and delegates from other colleges and universities.  This is the 13th annual symposium and will focus on "Leadership in a Divided World."  It’s a great opportunity for your cadet to take part in discussions on key issues faced by today’s leaders.  The Symposium’s last event will be the presentation of the prestigious Krause Leadership Award.  You can find more information as it becomes available on the Symposium’s Website.  Of note, there are some events open to the public, but require registration prior to the symposium.

Corps Day – March 27-28 is the birthday citadel 170112071 1celebration 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.

Corps Day is a wonderful time to be at The Citadel and take part in the many activities of the day.  Festivities begin Friday afternoon with a welcome reception for members of the Gold Corps (those who graduated over 50 years ago) followed by a dinner.  For more information, visit the Alumni Association's Corps Day Website.

Many of Saturday morning’s events are similar to what you experienced during Parents’ Weekend.  Saturday begins early with Open Barracks from 0830-1030 during which the Pipe Band will make an appearance in each battalion.  At 0830 the Rifle Legion will perform on the Parade Field in front of 2nd Battalion, followed by the Summerall Guards at 0930.  This is a special performance by the Guards because the 2020 Guards will exchange rifles with those they have trained as their reliefs then watch the 2021 Guards make their first performance!  Corps Day Parade will begin at 1100, which will include a jeep review by General Walters and the Chair of our Board of Visitors, Mr. Fred Price.  Also, The Palmetto Medal, the College’s second highest award (highest being an honorary degree) will be presented.

Recognition Day – March 27-28.  OK Freshmen Parents, this is a event you and your cadets have waited for since last August!  Recognition Day is when the 4th Class system is no longer in effect.  I hope you can attend.  If you can, plan to arrive and be in place by 2PM (they will form up at 2:15PM) to watch your cadet take part in the athletic challenge which has become known as “The Gauntlet”. 

How did we get to where we are today with this special day?  The Senior Class of 2007 wanted to make Recognition Day a more meaningful ceremony that would not only challenge the freshmen cadets physically, but reinforce our core values and lessons in leadership.  What they developed and executed is pretty much what we do today.  The program begins Friday afternoon in the classroom and ends on Saturday with a march to the original Citadel campus at Marion Square. 

The specifics:

Friday afternoon (27 March):

There will not be a parade this day.  The knobs will spend their morning in the classrooms reflecting on their experience since reporting in August.  Note this is not open to Parents and Families. 

big tireOnce complete with their classoom time they will return to their barracks and prepare for the physical fitness challenge known as "The Gauntlet".  They should leave the barracks around 2:30PM for this event.  The Corps will be divided between the Parade Field and Washington Light Infantry Field (the soccer field located behind the Mess Hall).  I will update this page with the assignments once approved.  Parents you 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!  There are a lot of moving parts to this event, so if a staff or cadet asks you to move, please do so quickly because there is not a lot of time to accomplish all the events.

Once complete with all stations, the entire freshman class will form up by companies, take a “Victory Run” around campus, and end up in their respective battalions.  When they start forming up for the run, head over to their battalion to be in a position to watch them finish the run.  Once they enter the barracks, only cadets and staff are allowed in the barracks.  Parents are not allow to follow them in becuase this is only for the cadets. 

Once in the barracks, the knobs will do a class set of pushups and wait for the Regimental Commander to say the magic words “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, again, not allowed inside the barracks.

After being recognized the Battalions will have a cookout in the barracks after which they will have general leave until midnight. 

Saturday (28 March): 

After the Corps Day Parade (see above) the freshmen will eat lunch in the Mess Hall with a special guest of their choosing - someone the company picks who played a special role in their freshman year.  This is scheduled from 1230 to 1:30PM.    

Since you won’t be able to spend much time with your cadet between the Corps Day Parade and forming up for the march, you may want to head downtown for a nice lunch, eat on campus at the canteen or grab a sandwich at the Starbucks in Mark Clark Hall.  We suggest doing some planning with your cadet so you aren't left waiting, miss lunch or put in a position where you have to rush in order to make the next event.  In your planning, keep in mind there will be a lot of visitors in Charleston this time of year. 

At 2PM the Freshmen will form up to make their march to the Old Citadel on Marion Square (corner of Calhoun Street and King Street).  This march connects the current class to those who started back in 1843.  It’s neat to watch these young men and women in uniform, full of pride, make their march down the streets of Charleston – tourists, locals, parents and families love it!

The cadets will leave The Citadel via Lesesne citadel 170113227Gate, go up Moultrie Street to King Street then down to Marion Square.  They will march by companies just like a normal parade. Around 2:45, just before the Freshmen arrive at Marion Square, the Band will perform "The Citadel Story".  This is a nice presentation that we hope you can make.  

Highlights of the parade at Marion Square include "The Citadel Story" by the Band, a reenactment of the exchange of keys between the Regimental Commander and members of the Washington Light Infantry, and a reaffirmation of the oath they took the Monday of their first week by the Freshmen.

It’s just over 2.5 miles from Lesesne Gate to The Old Citadel (now the Embassy Suites).  The sidewalks are uneven in parts with cracks, so if you aren’t sure you can make it, drive or Uber.  Walking time will be anywhere from 30-45 minutes.

If you drive, 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.

Finally, spectators will be on the parade field, so expect bumpy, grassy areas.  No seating is provided, so bring a chair if you think you need one.  I was told to think of it as if you were going to a youth soccer game! :)  Also Marion Square is a public venue.  Minutes before the cadets arrive you will see members of the Staff asking people to clear off the area where the cadet formation will be.  For those who get there early, if you are asked to move, please support the staff by doing so quickly.

citadel 170113260At the end of the parade, the Freshmen will pass in review and march in formation back to The Citadel.  Once back on campus they are free to leave campus until midnight – yes they are still freshmen!  If staying over Saturday night, you can pick them up early Sunday morning (as early as 5:30AM) and keep them until 7:50PM that night.

As you can tell this will be a very busy, challenging and exciting weekend for your cadet.  Once you pick them up they probably will want to eat then sleep then eat! 

Couple of reminders, this is a big weekend on campus and parking is tight.  If you come early, you can get a bite to eat at the Canteen or the Starbucks in Mark Clark Hall.  Both will open at 7:30AM.  Also, there will be a lot of walking and sunshine, so don't forget your comfortable shoes and sunscreen!

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 them to

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