Recognition Day and the iconic march to Marion Square
Three weeks of Recognition Day training lead up to April 12 event
Recognition Day is a monumental event in the life of a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. For freshmen, known as knobs, it means the end of the highly regimented way of life that is The Citadel's Fourth-Class System: the toughest college military training system in the country. The day includes rigorous physical training tests and other activities which are crowned by one of the iconic sites of Charleston – the Recognition Day March to Marion Square.
Hundreds of people line the streets to cheer for the knobs as they march, dressed in their brilliant, white uniforms, to attend "The Oath Renewal on The Citadel Green." The oath marks their transition to officially becoming members of the Corps. The green at Marion Square was the original parade ground for the college, when it was founded in 1842 in the structure that is now the Embassy Suites.
The march follows three weeks of Transition to Recognition Training during which the knobs take classes examining student ethics and leadership skills and the honor code. They also undergo inspections and drills training.
At 3p.m., on April 12, the marchers depart from The Citadel's main gate, down Moultrie St. and then turning right on King St. to Marion Square. The public is invited to cheer on the cadets and view the oath ceremony – which has been carried out in some fashion for more than 100 years.