Humanities & Social Sciences – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Mon, 21 Jun 2021 16:22:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.5 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Humanities & Social Sciences – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 SC National Guard trains with The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute https://today.citadel.edu/sc-national-guard-trains-with-the-citadel-department-of-defense-cyber-institute/ Mon, 21 Jun 2021 16:09:36 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24866 Members of the SC National Guard pose for a group photo with members of The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber InstuteMembers of the SC National Guard pose for a group photo with members of The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber Instute"The opportunity to partner in training our South Carolina National Guard soldiers builds the state's cyber workforce capacity."]]> Members of the SC National Guard pose for a group photo with members of The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber InstuteMembers of the SC National Guard pose for a group photo with members of The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber Instute

By Col. Linda Reidel, USA, deputy director of operations and outreach for The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber Institute

Members of the South Carolina National Guard are among the first groups outside to be trained by The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute.

The Institute launched its inaugural ten-day Cyber Boot Camp this summer, with 28 soldiers attending the grant-funded, cyber leadership development program.

“The Citadel has always been a part of the South Carolina National Guard family. The opportunity to partner in training our soldiers builds the state’s cyber workforce capacity,” said Col. Linda Riedel, USA, The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute deputy director of operations and outreach. “When you train a National Guard soldier, you are also training the civilian workforce and ultimately the community.”

Overseen and directed by The Citadel’s cyber programs’ founder and director of the Institute, Shankar Banik, Ph.D., the soldiers studied two primary subject areas: Security+ and cyber Penetration Testing+. The soldier-students learned intermediate security concepts and how to conduct cyber penetration tests to enhance an enterprise’s cybersecurity program. 

“The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute exists because there is a critical shortage of qualified cyber professionals within the Department of Defense, in both the military and civilian service areas,” said Banik. “Serving the South Carolina National Guard supports our three mission goals which include helping sustain a cyber-ready workforce, enhancing the nation’s cyber talent, and establishing a top talent management program.”

Banik hopes to work more with the state’s National Guard soldiers in the future.

“It was an exciting two weeks. There was a good exchange of knowledge connected to examples of real-world applications,” said Torry Crass, one of the instructors. Crass is the Chief Information Security Officer for the North Carolina Board of Elections.

A student in the boot camp, Maj. Latasha O’Neil, works fulltime for the South Carolina National Guard. She is an electronic maintenance supervisor at the McCrady Training Center which is located at Ft. Jackson near Columbia. O’Neil has a Master’s degree in Information Technology Management. “The training through in the Institute’s program is both rigorous and rewarding,” said O’Neil.

The soldiers also made use of The Citadel’s new Cyber Lab, equipped with NetLab+ and VMware vCloud Director program framework allowing training to enhance cyber-competency skills. Going forward, the Cyber Lab will be used to train Citadel cadets and students in Network+, Security+, Certified Ethical Hacking, Forensics, Palo Alto Firewall, and VMware vSphere.

South Carolina National Guardsmen take part in the National Guard Cyber Bootcamp hosted by The Citadel Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber institute (CDCI) in Thompson Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday June 17, 2021.

At the end of the training, the soldiers were able to test to qualify for certification from the CompTIA Sec+.  CompTIA Security+ certification is a global certification exam that validates the baseline skills you need to perform core security functions and pursue an IT security career.

“This training will make me more aware of what threats are out there and how to not become a victim,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew Butler. Butler works as a fraud investigator for Wells Fargo in his civilian capacity. 

The Citadel and the nation’s other five Senior Military Colleges received approximately $1.5 million of federal money each to establish cybersecurity institutes as pilot programs on their campus. The funds are part of a $10 million Dept. of Defense appropriation to the National Security Agency for these institutes included in the 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act .

The Citadel has been designated as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security since 2016.

South Carolina National Guardsmen pose for a group portrait during the National Guard Cyber Bootcamp hosted by The Citadel Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber institute (CDCI) in Thompson Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday June 17, 2021.

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Citadel begins demolishing historic Capers Hall and will construct a new academic building https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-begins-demolishing-historic-capers-hall-and-will-construct-a-new-academic-building/ Fri, 18 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24832 Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffDemolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffPhoto above: Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/Staff As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Novelly The Citadel started demolishing its]]> Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffDemolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/Staff

Photo above: Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/Staff

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Novelly

The Citadel started demolishing its largest and most historic academic buildings on campus to make space for a new, updated space to be used by cadets in 2023.

Capers Hall was built in 1949 and has housed classrooms and offices for the English, history and political science departments for generations of Citadel students. But on June 8, a demolition crane began to poke holes in the walls and rip plaster from the fortress-like white building, slowly removing it from campus one chunk at a time. 

Demolition will continue through the summer.

Citadel officials plan to build a 107,700-square-foot replacement in two years which will house classrooms, a 250-seat performing arts auditorium, an art gallery and a computer lab for the school’s Center for Cyber, Intelligence and Security Studies.

The project carries a $67 million price tag. About $15 million of that will be provided by the S.C. General Assembly, with the rest coming from state institution bonds and capital reserve funds. The Legislature also had to approve the renovation. The Citadel Foundation is also soliciting donations to offset some of the construction costs. 

Jeff Lamberson, vice president for The Citadel’s Office of Facilities and Engineering, said the seven- decade-old academic building lacked a lot of modern amenities needed for students and teachers. While he’s sad to see some of the campus history disappear, he said he’s eager for the school to provide more modern space.

“The classrooms will be much bigger and more flexible in nature,” Lamberson said. “You will be able to move around the furniture and you’ll have all types of audio and visual computer aids for students.”

Some historic elements from the old version will be repurposed for the new building. 

Concrete, masonry and stucco from demolition will be hauled off-site, crushed and recycled into the new building’s site foundation and parking area. And the distinctive iron-frame light fixtures will be used in the new offering. 

The Citadel originally sought approval from the state to do extensive renovations at Capers Hall but opted for a total rebuild after conducting a structural evaluation in 2014. Rather than spend an estimated $7 million to $8 million reinforcing those walls to meet modern international building codes, the school decided to start from scratch.

The construction of a new academic space puts a slight burden on faculty members for the upcoming school year.

Employees with Thompson Turner Construction and The Citadel watch as demolition begins on Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffLauren Petracca

Brian Jones, dean for The Citadel’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, said some classrooms will relocate to the library, other campus buildings and even mobile trailers while the renovation is taking place.

“We’ve already transitioned the faculty, and they’re already up and running in their new spaces,” Jones said.

Capers Hall was named for two brothers, Confederate Brig. Gen. Ellison Capers and Maj. Francis W. Capers, who was superintendent of The Citadel from 1853 to 1859.

The demolition comes amid a nationwide reckoning of Confederate imagery in public spaces and in the U.S. military. Retired Marine Corps Gen. Glenn M. Walters, president of The Citadel, said in a memo last year he was “establishing a committee to further study historical figures for whom structures are named.” 

The committee’s progress on researching and identifying buildings was sidelined by COVID-19, but they will resume their duties in the fall.

Presently, there are no plans to change the name of the hall when it is rebuilt. 

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Book excerpt: ‘The Other Face of Battle: America’s Forgotten Wars and the Experience of Combat’ https://today.citadel.edu/book-excerpt-the-other-face-of-battle-americas-forgotten-wars-and-the-experience-of-combat/ Wed, 16 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24801 David Preston, a coauthor of the book, is General Mark Clark Distinguished Professor of History at The Citadel.]]>

Photo: Cover of “The Other Face of Battle” by Wayne E. Lee, David L. Preston, Anthony E. Carlson, and David Silbey. (Oxford University Press)

Note: David Preston is General Mark Clark Distinguished Professor of History at The Citadel. He is the author of “Braddock’s Defeat,” which won the Gilder-Lerhman Prize in Military History and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.

As seen in Military Times

Taking its title from “The Face of Battle,” John Keegan’s canonical book on the nature of warfare, “The Other Face of Battle” illuminates the American experience of fighting in “irregular” and “intercultural” wars over the centuries. Sometimes known as “forgotten” wars, in part because they lacked triumphant clarity, they are the focus of the book. David Preston, David Silbey, and Anthony Carlson focus on, respectively, the Battle of Monongahela (1755), the Battle of Manila (1898), and the Battle of Makuan, Afghanistan (2010) — conflicts in which American soldiers were forced to engage in “irregular” warfare, confronting an enemy entirely alien to them. This enemy rejected the Western conventions of warfare and defined success and failure — victory and defeat — in entirely different ways. Symmetry of any kind is lost. Here was not ennobling engagement but atrocity, unanticipated insurgencies, and strategic stalemate.

War is always hell. These wars, however, profoundly undermined any sense of purpose or proportion. Nightmarish and existentially bewildering, they nonetheless characterize how Americans have experienced combat and what its effects have been. They are therefore worth comparing for what they hold in common as well as what they reveal about our attitude toward war itself. The Other Face of Battle reminds us that “irregular” or “asymmetrical” warfare is now not the exception but the rule. Understanding its roots seems more crucial than ever.

Lieutenant Williams’s Tough Box: Remembering and Forgetting the Other Face of Battle in Afghanistan

The Muslim call to prayer and the muffled sound of digging interrupted the night’s stillness, alerting Captain Brandon Prisock’s American soldiers of the famed 101st Airborne Division that Taliban insurgents were awake and busy planting mines around them. After the day-long fight on September 15, 2010, for control of the Afghan village of Makuan, strategically located in Kandahar province’s Zhari district, the American arsenal of tracked breaching vehicles, trucks, armored vehicles, bulldozers, helicopters, and A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack aircraft was now being matched by the enemy’s two most effective weapons: improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and darkness. To Staff Sergeant Joshua Reese, the sound of digging triggered “a really sickening feeling.”

Prisock, a 2004 West Point graduate from Louisiana, knew the sounds meant that the Taliban were reoccupying Makuan. He also knew that their dilapidated Soviet-era weapons and homemade bombs could neutralize his company’s firepower, even as his soldiers struggled under seventy pounds of gear in temperatures that topped 105 degrees Fahrenheit. More, the Taliban were fighting on familiar ground. The Americans weren’t. First Lieutenant Nicholas Williams, one of Prisock’s three rifle platoon leaders, summed up his feelings upon entering the alien, ominous world of Makuan: “We were strangers in a strange land fighting someone on their home turf. . . . The call to prayer was a constant reminder that this wasn’t our world.”

The battle for Makuan, which lasted for three days in mid-September 2010, was the opening thrust of Operation Dragon Strike, at the time the largest single U.S. Army operation of the decade-long war in Afghanistan. After trading blows with the Taliban for nearly nine years, U.S. commanders intended for Dragon Strike to finally deliver a knockout punch. The operation involved more than 8,000 American and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers fighting for control of the strategically-important Zhari district. Prisock’s Bravo Company, which consisted of 230 men, was given the campaign’s first mission: clearing insurgents from Makuan, a small village of some twenty acres, consisting of dirt streets and walled adobe compounds.

The Taliban welcomed the forthcoming offensive. “We are not scared of NATO, or of the Americans,” Taliban commander Mullawi Mohammadi boasted. “Whoever comes, we will kill them.” Taliban leaders dismissed the Americans as only “briefly emerg[ing] from the high walls behind which they barricaded themselves,” and unlike their old Russian opponents, as one Taliban fighter put it, “the Americans were afraid to fight on the ground and their bombing was indiscriminate.” In Makuan, Taliban fighters proved eager to pit their pressure-plate, trip-wire, and remote-control IED tactics against Bravo Company’s impressive assortment of firepower. As darkness settled in on the night of September 15, the Taliban sprang into action. Even as his soldiers heard the sound of digging in the distance, Prisock, who had only commanded the company for ten days, prepared to counter it.

* * * *

The Taliban’s resort to guerrilla tactics should not have surprised the U.S. Army. During its long war in Vietnam, the Army had struggled against exactly those techniques and exactly that blend of political and military actions. Like the Vietnamese, the Taliban, unable to match American firepower and control of the skies, attacked their opponents’ political will.

By September of 2010, Zhari district was an insurgent hotbed. IED assembly points, ammunition caches, concrete bunkers, and tunnels were scattered throughout the villages and dense agricultural terrain. But the Taliban did more than build defenses and ambush military patrols and convoys. They were fighting to rule the country, and they systematically built shadow governing institutions. Exploiting the corruption and dysfunction of the Afghan government, they instituted sharia courts to adjudicate disputes and dispense justice. Insurgent leaders also collected zakat taxes from farmers and formed committees to investigate complaints of abuse and corruption against heavy-handed commanders.

Although in many ways the U.S. military had been unprepared for the shift to guerrilla war in Afghanistan, one key lesson from earlier conflicts, whether “insurgencies,” “proxy wars,” or imperial wars, was not forgotten: the indispensability of local allies. In military doctrine, virtually the whole point of a counterinsurgency strategy is to train indigenous military, paramilitary, or police forces so that they could assume combat responsibilities. It was in this context that more than 3,000 soldiers from the newly minted Afghan National Army’s (ANA) 3rd Brigade, 205th Corps, joined Operation Dragon Strike. The plan was to pair U.S. and ANA units to conduct combined operations— shohna ba shohna, “shoulder to shoulder.”

Afghanistan provided not only enemies and allies, it also presented a uniquely challenging physical environment. Zhari’s agricultural landscape was ideal for the Taliban’s tactics of drawing U.S. forces into belts of IEDs. Captain Luke Rella, Prisock’s executive officer, marveled at how the district’s eight- to ten-foot tall earthen grape rows, which were separated by narrow irrigation waterways, created their “own climate bubble” intensifying the heat of the summer. Each morning, soldiers observed a thick haze rising from the rows. The humidity triggered extreme perspiration on men already loaded down with combat gear, and the moisture often ruined night vision goggles, radios, and IED frequency jammers. Soaking wet combat uniforms frequently tore at the crotch; as a result, soldiers were forced to patrol “commando,” with exposed undergarments and genitals. Since the Taliban’s preferred tactic was to bury pressure-plate IEDs at choke points, the Americans were forced to crawl methodically up and over every mound rather than walk on the fixed paths at the base of the rows. The resulting physical exhaustion and mental fatigue constricted the pace of operations and dramatically reduced opportunities to kill or capture insurgents.

Captain Prisock’s men advanced into this environment at sunrise on September 15. At 7:15 a.m., he radioed for howitzers to rain down smoke rounds to obscure the initial route into Makuan. In short order, Prisock’s lead Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) moved into position and fired its first Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC)—a 100 meter “rope” of explosives designed to detonate unseen IEDs. The rope uncoiled and snapped onto the dirt, prompting two insurgents armed with AK- 47 assault rifles to dart out from the maze of grape rows and investigate it. After a hurried look, they ran toward Prisock’s men and unleashed a hail of bullets. Seconds later, the MICLIC detonated, kicking up a thick pall of dust, fire, and smoke as it shook the earth. The blast all but incinerated the insurgents, hurtling one detached torso two hundred yards into the air.

By 10:00 a.m., after a little over two and a half hours of work, the ABVs had breached a lane just under a kilometer long and Prisock’s soldiers stalled at a bridge spanning a canal north of Makuan. Rocked by the titanic explosions, the insurgents hastily retreated to prepared firing positions and defenses inside of the village. They had no answer for the MICLICs, but the battle was only beginning.

At the canal, the Americans were forced to destroy the bridge, which was riddled with IEDs. Moments later, the area began to flood and the Americans and their Afghan allies became easy targets of sporadic AK-47 fire and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs). American wounded accumulated. Specialist Anthony Bower complained that Zhari insurgents were “ghosts on ‘banker’s hours,’ as they would attack us early in the morning, seemingly sleep in the heart of the day, and then hit us again just before darkness sat in.” He explained that in the daytime the insurgents typically cloaked their movements and hostile intent by using children as spotters, dressing as women, and “maneuvering with sheep.” Eventually, the Americans and Afghan compatriots secured two compounds on the northern edge of Makuan, setting up strongpoints from which to plan future operations. Nothing, however, got simpler.

At around 7:30 p.m on the assault’s second day, Prisock was ordered to complete the clearance of Makuan before noon the next day, September 17. Time was of the essence. The higher headquarters intended to pull critical assets that had supported Prisock’s initial attack. Resigned, Prisock prepared for the most daunting challenge of his young command: driving insurgents from a village littered with homemade bombs in the darkness.

As a cloak of darkness descended on the evening of September 16, Prisock ordered Lieutenant Williams to take fifteen Americans, six Afghans, and an Air Force bomb-sniffing German shepherd, named Blek, to search a series of compounds and grape huts (multi-storied, thick-walled buildings used for storing grapes). At the second compound, an American soldier waved his mine detector over a set of stairs, finding no metal signature. Blek’s handler directed him to walk up the staircase to sniff for IEDs in the upper story. The dog found nothing. With the staircase seemingly cleared, three ANA soldiers ascended it in a compact single-file line. The first two Afghans reached the top of the staircase just as the third triggered an IED buried in the fourth step. The gigantic blast punctuated Makuan’s unnerving silence, engulfing the ANA soldiers in a flash of flames and smoke. Temporarily blinded and deafened, Williams struggled to regain his bearings, composure, and vision. “As the blast hit me, [the Afghans] all disappeared in a wall of dust and smoke,” he recalled. “The ringing in my ears eventually gave way to the sound of my own voice repeating that nobody move. I would move to them.” Over the past months, Williams had learned the hard way that the enemy often grouped IEDs together: “Where there is one IED there is always another.” He feared that panicked, concussed soldiers would stumble onto other nearby IEDs.

Moving as best he could toward the blast site, Williams soon found a macabre, chaotic scene, demonstrating the devastating effectiveness of IEDs. Through his night vision goggles, he spotted a “crumpled heap of charred, bloody ANA uniforms and body armor a few meters from the stairs.” At that exact moment, the “crumpled heap”— a wounded ANA soldier— regained consciousness and in a desperate, shrieking tone called out for Allah. Moving closer, Williams discovered that the detonation had severed both of the Afghan’s legs above the knees; only eight- inch fragments of his fleshless, jagged femurs remained. Williams dragged him to a casualty collection point inside the compound his men had just searched, but they soon uncovered additional IEDs. He needed to find a new rally point.

As Williams dragged the ANA soldier’s scorched torso out of the first compound, the other Afghans’ poise and discipline vanished. They staggered toward the lieutenant, wildly pointing their M16s at him and each other. Williams attempted to restore order and assuage their fears, but his Afghan translator, wounded in the blast and frozen from fear or a concussion, had “forgotten every English word he knew.” Williams admonished the Afghans in broken Dari to remain calm and still, but they inched forward. When they were within feet of Williams and the heinously-wounded Afghan, they triggered another IED. The explosion mangled two more ANA soldiers and knocked the wind out of Williams. Struggling to regain his balance and gasping for air, he moved to the blast site, cut away the Afghans’ charred uniforms, and applied tourniquets. He now tallied eleven wounded.

Prisock, Williams, and the rest of Bravo Company would struggle on for hours more, evacuating the wounded, fending off Taliban attacks, enduring more casualties, and combating the confusion. They “held” the village, but could they keep it? And if they did, would it matter? At battalion headquarters, the commander and his staff, worried about the IED threat and the rapidly deteriorating situation, grappled with how to end the battle. After much deliberation, they reached the decision after midnight on September 17 to simply destroy much of the unpopulated village. At sunrise, a barrage of several dozen artillery rockets slammed into the village. In the words of one American sergeant, Makuan became a “parking lot.”

* * * *

Now a field-grade officer and a father, Nicholas Williams remains ambivalent about whether Makuan was worth the sacrifice. Tucked away in Williams’s basement is a tough box full of mementos and objects from Zhari: “I have a ‘tough box’ full of gear . . . that just smells like Afghanistan. Nine years later, Afghanistan feels like a lifetime ago, a story that happened to someone else, somewhere else, but that box always brings me back.”

That box in storage offers a metaphor for the experiences hauled home from war—the things that were carried. The box is there and it is real, whether it is opened or left untouched. That last choice—leaving it unopened—seems to dominate today’s military. Williams remembers. The institution he serves prefers not to. Retelling the story of Makuan, as well as the battles of Monongahela (1755) and Manila (1899) in our larger book, is to assemble a sort of tough box of experiences. And if we take the time to open the box and examine its contents, it may suggest some broader issues relevant to understanding our past and to dealing with the future of the U.S. military.

Our larger book examines three battles in American history: Monongahela, Manila, and Makuan. In each case we seek to explore the human experience of combat in fundamentally intercultural settings, in large part because the vast majority of American wars have in fact been against enemies from different cultures; enemies who often chose to fight in very different ways. Although each battle revealed experiences and issues specific to its historical context, we uncovered some general lessons that may help inform how our nation prepares for future wars.

The first lesson is about leaning too heavily on assumptions about who the next enemy will be. Civilians and professional soldiers alike have almost always prepared for the next war based not on the last war (despite the popular adage) but on the assumption that the next war will involve someone like themselves. Techniques, tactics, training, weapons acquisition programs, and, most crucially, expectations have all been built on assumptions of cultural and tactical symmetry. In the 1980s, for example, instead of learning and institutionalizing what it meant to fight an insurgent enemy in Vietnam while propping up an unpopular government, the American military prepared to meet the Soviets on the plains of Germany. We tend to prepare for the expected enemy, and we are too often surprised.

Second, in all of the many examples of intercultural warfare in American history, it has been necessary to work with allies from that other culture. At Monongahela, despite the myth that the British commander ignored his Indian allies, he made a real effort to enlist them, and that pattern held for virtually every Anglo-Indian war in American history. The important role of Indian Scouts in the plains wars of the late nineteenth century was no doubt one reason behind the eventual creation of the Filipino Scouts and then the Filipino constabulary, both of which played key roles in the American effort to control the Philippines. The outcome of the fight at Makuan was profoundly shaped by ANA soldiers, who in that instance proved brittle and unreliable under fire. Despite this, American strategic goals could not (and cannot!) be achieved without them.

Third, despite this historical dependence, American soldiers and American planners have often dismissed the value of local allies, but even worse, they have been dismissive of the combat capabilities of enemies they did not understand. The Americans at Makuan had enough experience with the Taliban to know what to expect. But they couldn’t let go of conventional thinking about warfare. They continued to scorn the Taliban as “cowards” who failed to fight traditionally and who insisted on blending in with civilians. The tendency to misjudge the enemy’s capabilities in intercultural combat is not a problem unique to Americans. In one sense it is simply a variation of a nearly universal ethnocentrism in war. China’s ruling dynasties long saw themselves as the center of the world and considered all outsiders to be barbarians. Japan famously based its strategy in 1941 on an assumption of American “softness” and lack of will, and they clung to that belief for almost the duration of the war, structuring their tactics and political aims accordingly.

Lastly, “more” is not always more. At the outset of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, American planners depended heavily on local factions already opposed to the Taliban. Even so, the distinct and not unreasonable preference has always been to rely on one’s own forces. When the environment proves challenging or shifts, however, Americans have tended to seek solutions in technological superiority, believing that more is better: heavier guns, more rounds per minute, more precise targeting, thicker armor, helicopter insertion, and so on. Those are things that can be measured, produced, delivered, and deployed. Very often they can indeed be decisive, especially in conventional warfare. In our view, however, the record has been decidedly mixed.

The current U.S. Army’s singular focus on “Large Scale Combat Operations”—anticipating that contingency with “peer threats” such as Russia, China, North Korea, or Iran—has prompted a host of modernization efforts and organizational changes—many no doubt necessary and even long overdue. In 2017, the Army prioritized six new conventional capabilities: long- range precision fires, the “next- generation combat vehicle,” future vertical lift, the Army network, air and missile defense, and soldier lethality. In short: “more.” The current Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General James C. McConville, tweeted on October 15, 2019, that “America’s Army will never be out-gunned, it will never be out-ranged, and it will never be over-matched.” This replicates precisely the spirit of Vietnam-era officers who claimed that the Americans had won all of the battles.

All of these developments suggest that today’s military, as in the past, may lack the introspective spirit necessary to study, apply, and codify its rich experiences with low-intensity, asymmetric, and all too often, intercultural conflict. Rather, it has aligned itself for a future of great power conflict that its own history suggests was the exception rather than the norm, and in which culture will somehow be less relevant. History suggests otherwise. The other face of battle will likely again be the face America sees.

“The Other Face of Battle: America’s Forgotten Wars and the Experience of Combat” is available for purchase.

Wayne E. Lee is the Bruce W. Carney Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, was the 2015-16 Harold K. Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College, and is author of many books including most recently, “Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History.”

David Preston is General Mark Clark Distinguished Professor of History at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He is the author of “Braddock’s Defeat,” which won the Gilder-Lerhman Prize in Military History and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.

Anthony E. Carlson is an associate professor of history at the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Having previously served as an historian and analyst at the U.S. Army’s Combat Studies Institute, Carlson has interviewed hundreds of soldiers who fought in Afghanistan.

David Silbey is the associate director of the Cornell in Washington program and an adjunct associate professor in the Cornell History Department. He has written books on the British Army in World War I, the Philippine-American War, and the Boxer Rebellion in China.

Editor’s note: This is an op-ed and as such, the opinions expressed are those of the author. If you would like to respond, or have an editorial of your own you would like to submit, please contact Military Times managing editor Howard Altman, haltman@militarytimes.com.

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Demolition portion of Capers Hall Replacement Project is underway at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/demolition-portion-of-capers-hall-replacement-project-is-underway-at-the-citadel/ Tue, 08 Jun 2021 20:10:17 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24656 The demolition portion of The Citadel’s $67 million Capers Hall Replacement Project is officially underway.]]>

Demolition kick-off marks Class of ’21 construction engineering grad’s first day on the job with firm

The demolition portion of The Citadel’s $67 million Capers Hall Replacement Project is underway. The college’s facilities and engineering team, and representatives from the primary contractor, Thompson Turner, gathered to watch as a “pulverizer” began chewing away at the south wall of the 1970s wing.

It is likely that every cadet passing through The Citadel for the last 69 years took classes in Capers Hall, as that is where many of the General Education courses were provided. The 75,116-square-foot building housed The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences, which includes seven departments.

The Dean for the SHSS, Brian Madison Jones, Ph.D., was at the construction site as demolition got underway.

Dr. Brian Madison Jones, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, watches as the first stage of Capers Hall’s demolition takes place at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

“It’s an extraordinary, important and exciting day not just for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, but for all cadets, students, faculty and staff at The Citadel,” said Jones. “Our new facility will be advancing our mission of educating principled leaders in a larger, technology-packed, contemporary building. It will also serve as a resource for the Charleston community.”

The architectural design, provided by Woolpert, will align with the iconic design elements of other campus structures, incorporating both traditional and transitional elements in a three-story, 107,700-square-foot facility.

Some of the new Capers Hall features will include:

  • Modern, flexible classrooms with advanced teaching technology
  • Two Active Learning classrooms
  • Center for Cyber, Intelligence, and Security Studies, with a Secure Work Area, a Cyber Lab and Cyber Range, and a National Security Classroom
  • Center for Inclusive Excellence
  • Center for International and Special Programs
  • 250-seat performing arts auditorium
  • Digital media lab
  • Art studio
  • Art gallery
  • Designated Legal Studies classroom 
  • Psychology lab interview rooms
  • Oral History interview and listening rooms
  • Collaborative work spaces
  • Computer classrooms
Jeff Lamberson, Vice President for The Citadel Department of Facilities and Engineering, oversees the first stage of Capers Hall’s demolition on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

The plan is to reuse, or recycle as many parts of the old building as possible, according to The Citadel Vice President of Facilities and Engineering, Jeff Lamberson.

“We are having the concrete, masonry and stucco material recovered from the demolition, crushed and recycled so that we can use it to build the new site foundation and parking area,” Lamberson said. “The metal from the old facility will also be recycled. There are also some distinctive lights and ironwork features that will be repurposed.”

Some of the benefits to the neighborhood outside of campus include the burying of utility lines and improvements to address road flooding.

The Departments of Criminal Justice; Intelligence and Security Studies; English, Fine Arts, and Communications; History; Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures; Political Science; and Psychology will all be housed in the new building when it is complete in approximately two years.

The South Carolina General Assembly provided $15 million to assist with the replacement project.

First day on the job for a 2021 grad; three other Citadel men also on the project

New Thompson Turner engineer, and Citadel Class of 2021 Construction Engineering graduate, Keegan Sherman, watches as the first stage of Capers Hall’s demolition takes place on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. He will be working on the project with two other Citadel alumni, and a current senior cadet who is interning with the firm.

Keegan Sherman was all smiles as he met with his new Thompson Turner colleagues to watch the beginning of the Capers Hall Replacement Project.

Sherman took a few classes inside the building known for its mid-century “government green” tile stairwells and hallways. The newly graduated engineer didn’t anticipate being a part of the construction firm that would construct the new one.

“This is a very interesting first day at work,” Sherman said.

(Left to right) Keegan Sherman, Class of 2021, and Rhett Garett Class of 2022 watch as the first stage of Capers Hall’s demolition takes place at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

Sherman stood next to Cadet Everette “Rhett” Garrett, who is doing his second internship with Thompson Turner and will graduate with a Construction Engineering degree in 2022.

Both men will work on the Thompson Turner, Capers Hall Replacement Project team, with two other Citadel alumni, Todd McElveen, ’05, and Jay Rye, ’14.

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All about The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 https://today.citadel.edu/all-about-the-citadel-graduate-college-class-of-2021/ Tue, 11 May 2021 21:25:40 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24183 The commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 takes place in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 takes place in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)More than 230 undergraduate transfer and graduate students participated in the spring commencement events. ]]> The commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 takes place in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 takes place in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

We celebrate the achievements of our extraordinary graduates of the Class of 2021. They stand strong sharing the common bonds of honor, duty and respect – the Core Values of a Citadel graduate.

Sally Selden, Ph.D., SMP
The Citadel Provost and Dean of the College
May 9, 2021

The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 celebrated commencement in McAlister Field House on campus during two ceremonies on May 9. More than 230 undergraduate transfer and graduate students participated in the spring commencement events.

Awards

The Citadel Graduate College kicked off commencement with an awards event. Students and faculty were celebrated for exceptional achievements on Thursday, May 6, with the following individuals being recognized:

Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Graduate College
Dr. Kevin Skenes

Graduate Student Award for Academic Excellence and Leadership
Addison Dame

College Transfer Program Award for Academic Excellence and Leadership
Catherine Brooks

The Veteran Student Success Center Award for Academic Excellence in Leadership
Ashley Towers

Hirshey Awards
Glenda Levine
Molly O’Reilly
Stephanie Fye
Elizabeth Ceccoli
Ferhana Shah

Aline Mahan Award
Department of Psychology, Ed.S., Class of 2021

J. Patrick Leverett Award
Shawnte Posley

Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Leadership Studies
Aliènne AJ Salleroli

Lindbergh Awards
Brianna C. Rice
Parker L. Bass

MBA Faculty Member of the Year
Dr. Jeremy Bennett

MBA Student of the Year
Timothy Jones

Business College Transfer Program Faculty of the Year
Theresa Strong

Business College Transfer Program Student of the Year
Steven Turano

P. Michael Politanto Graduate Research Award
Nathan Adams

Citadel Graduate College legacy students

The cherished tradition of legacy diploma presentations continued in 2021. There were eleven Citadel Graduate College graduates who were joined on stage by a grandparent, parent or a child who were alumni of The Citadel.

The special presenters included:

Dr. Mark A Bebensee, Honorary Member, ’83
Catherine Diane DeMers, ’04
Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Wegner Dyson Sr., USA (Ret.), ’69
James Steven Gaskins, ’05
Kimberly Joseph, ’12
Andres Eduardo Lorduy, ’18
EOD3 Nicholas J. McKenna, USN, ’17
Daniel J. “Jim” Rieker, ’99
Major J. Stephen Veyera, USA, (Ret.), ’13
William “Bill” Lewis Yaeger Jr., ’83

In addition, the CGC graduates were welcomed as alumni by the President of The Citadel Alumni Association, Cmdr. Drury C. “Chip” Nimmich, Jr., USN (Ret.).

Norman Seabrooks, ’73, presented with honorary degree; provides commencement speech on resilience

Mr. Norman Seabrooks provides the key address during the commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 on Sunday, May 9, 2021.

Norman Seabrooks graduated as a member of The South Carolina Corps of Cadets in 1973, eventually becoming a market president for the Fortune 500 company, Aetna.

During his time as a cadet, Seabrooks was a three-year starter at defensive tackle for the Bulldogs and the first African American co-captain of the football team.

Seabrooks was presented with an honorary degree from The Citadel, just prior to addressing the graduates.

Left to right: Col. Myron Harrington, Mr. Norman Seabrooks, and The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, on stage during the commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, May 9, 2021.

For his legacy of ethical leadership, sportsmanship, and service to his community, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to award Norman Seabrooks the honorary Doctor of Leadership and Ethics in Commerce degree.

Gen. Glenn M. Walters,
The Citadel President
May 9, 2020

Seabrooks shared some of his life story, including successes and failures, and provided sage guidance on building and sustaining a successful career and life.

Watch Norman Seabrook’s commencement speech below.

Norman Seabrook, Citadel Class of 1973, addressing The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 at McAlister Field House May 9, 2021.

Congratulations to all of The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 graduates

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
John Daniel Del Barrio
Sara Nicole Parris

Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies
Kenneth Powell Harwood

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Michael Carey Shirey
Willis Charles Smith
Darius Denzel Warren

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Katelyn Marie Arnold
Tommy Barfield Baker
Alan Leroy Barker Jr.
Jonathan Paul Boxx
David Franklin Braun Jr.
Carla Lynn Bryan
Jennifer Lynne Byrd
Michael James Fewell
Margaret Chandler Fowler
Olivia Bailey LaRoche
Jessica Ann Simmons
Brandon Allen Welch

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Joseph Peter Arnold
Bryan Robert Bocock
Matthew Bolick
Jose Victor Contreras
Joshua Thomas Leming
Colby Alexander Poplin
Brianna Cheree Rice
Jonathan Andrew-McCarty Strobel

Bachelor of science in Construction Engineering
Parker Lee Bass

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
Brittney Marie Deckard
Joseph Raymond Demelis
Travis Tremaine Eldell
Michael Ryan Greco
Emma Rae Bevins Hefner
Andrew Jacob Hinson
Matthew Shawn Mullinax II
Tyrone Malik Richardson Tanco
Eric Edward Smalls
Matthew James Stallings
Kenwell Richard Stoll Jr.
Lily Ann Wald

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Taylor Blanton
Steven Buckwalter
Stephen Jack Channell
Christopher Durphey Clifton
Luis Humberto Garcia
Cameron Thaddeus Jordan
Leinyuy Veradzem Laisin
Daniel James Ludwigsen
Denny Lamar Middleton
Benjamin Thomas Perry
Grant Sullivan Ritter
Stephen Sanada
Inez Gisela Shapiro
Sara Ann Chester Surrett

Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Melissa Anne Bell
Drexyl Blair
Vivian Marie Delgado
Ariel Domke
Jacqueline Shealy Gorrin
Courtney Huskey
Leah Ann Kibler
CheVonne Whitley Lindsey
Courtney Marsh
Addie Elizabeth McCracken
Allyson Suzanne McRae
Logan Ivy Nelson
Meghan Elizabeth Nyers
Kali Elizabeth Potes
Abby Rovick
Claire Seabrook
Catherine Brooks Sexton
Kathleen Durst Talbert
Hugh Davis Von Meding

Master of Arts in Biology
Elena Ann Burgess
Rian Derek Burris
Claudia Berry Sams
Marian Cristina Smith

Master of Arts in English
Olivia Anne Guillet

Master of Arts in History
Anthony John Kniffin Jr.
Betty Sterling Sadler

Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies
Craig Randall DuBose
Sarah Ann Fink
Cole Edward Huffman
Megan Elizabeth Kasprzak
John Christian Lines
Karl Erik Moe
Corey Alexander Neal

Master of Arts in International Political Science and Military Affairs
Brett Alastair Honeycutt
Cornelius Peeler
Anna Eloise Sandgren
Timothy Richard Vrastil

Master of Arts in Military History
Betty Sterling Sadler
Martin Gregory Valles

Master of Arts in Sport Management
Bradley Tejohn Frasier

Master of Arts in Psychology
Ricco Gabriel
Ashley Nicole Harris
David Edward Johnsen
Clyde Talmadge Padgett Kahn
Emilio Jose Lopez-Powers
Kelsey Lynn Mazzocco
Gabrielle Mooneyham
Lesley Pena
Emily Dawn Sizemore
Virginia Blake Stallings
Caroline Beth Whitlock

Master of Arts in Social Science
Eramis Nicole Gethers

Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education Biology
Katherine Lee Dumont
Connor Elexander Macko

Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education Social Studies
Katherine Lee Dumont
William Alexander Kay
Jessie Elana Mintz
Ferhana Shah

Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education English
Elizabeth Grey Thomas

Master of Business Administration
Arne Albin Anderson
Katrina Elaine Billie
John Alexander Castleberry
Jonathan Chang
Christian Edward Cochran
Alexander Stephen Cosper
Bradley Diggins Costello
Kenneth Tyler Denison
Gregory Wegner Dyson Jr.
Zari Ebadeh Ahvazi
David Haynie Fant Jr.
John Alfred Fludd Jr.
Marion Terrell Foxworth Jr.
Ryan Farrell Graham
Daniel Jonathan Harrison
Nicholas Dillon Heffner
Hayden Gordon Hollinger
Stephen Matthew Holton
Samantha Mary Kolpak
Jin Ju Lee
Kelly Diane Linderman
Adriana Belen Lorduy
Seth William Malek
Katherine Anne Malloy
Michelle Love McDonald
Christopher George Melonas
Christine Anne Miller
Latoya Montgomery
Brandon James Mulier
Kavin Samy Panneerselvam
Coleman James Parler
William Bradley Pond
Jon-Paul McKinnon Ramsing
Elizabeth Devoll Rogers
Trevor Raymond Speelman
James R. Thompson
Jennifer Anne Veyera
Sean Ward
Brandon Matthew Watt
Benjamin Eugene Womick
Quintin Fitzgerald Wright Jr.
Lauraie Ann Zealy

Master of Education in Counselor Education
Elizabeth Ann Bassetti
Lorraine Marie Bebensee
Laurel Clark
Addison Dame
Caitlin Elizabeth DeMers
Vanessa Yvonne Kopp
Kileigh Michelle O’Brien
Molly O’Reilly
Elsie Cassandra Schloegl
Kimberly Nettles Sfreddo
Nicole Gabrielle Snow
Patricia Szczygiel

Master of Education in Educational Leadership School Administration
Kayla Paige Baker

Master of Education in Literacy Education
Elizabeth Ceccoli
Lauren Elizabeth Roche
Katherine Marie Warren

Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Jonathan Eric Pinto

Master of Science in Health Exercise Sport Science
Ramsha Shams

Master of Science in Leadership
Carey Dawn Gorden
Christopher Micah Peyton
Alienne Ashley Jessica Salleroli
Albert Wayne Walling Jr.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Michael William Scullin

Master of Science in Project Management
Emily Morgan Peters
Matthew Edward Rushing
Suzanne Virginia Tully

Specialist in Education in Education Leadership School Superintendent
Deitra Lynn Clegg
Ashley Dominique Grech
Glenda Gibson Levine

  • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Daniel Patrick Ryan
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership – Stephanie Anne Fye, Rochelle Roper Johnson, Ryan Jeffrey McGill, Jacob Christopher Pilarski, Wayne Anthony Wright
  • Graduate Certificate in Intelligence Analysis – Jeffrey Scott Hoel, Joseph Netzel, Clark Alexander Roberts
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership – Alexis Camille Bradfieldm Charles Robert Forsythe, Carey Dawn Gorden, Zachary Jones, Christopher Micah Peyton, Tara Jane Spencer
  • Graduate Certificate in Literacy Education – Elizabeth Ceccoli, Lauren Elizabeth Roche, Katherine Marie Warren
  • Graduate Certificate in Sport Management – Bradley Tejohn Frasier
  • Graduate Certificate in Student Affairs – Jamie Samantha Cannady, Jessie Colleen Cannon, Andrew Robert Nyser, Joshua Luke Simon
  • Graduate Certificate in Technical Project Management – Jonathan MJ Cain, Melissa Delaney Nenninger, Emily Morgan Peters, Matthew Edward Rushing, Suzanne Virginia Tully

Watch a brief recap of The Citadel Class of 2021 commencement ceremonies below.

The Citadel Graduate College students from December 2020


The names of the people from all sections of The Citadel Graduate College who graduated in December 2020 are as follows:

Abigail Stevens Best                                        
Adam C. Raynor                                              
Adrienne Louise Busch                                       
Alden Moinet Hathaway III                                   
Alexandria Marie English                                    
Alexis Noel Ayoub                                           
Alison Katherine Milz                                       
Allyson Elaine Burrell                                      
Alyssa Muraoka                                              
Amy Marie Baldwin                                           
Amy Michelle Paparozzi                                      
Andrea Gaskins Carlton                                      
Andrew B. Phelan                                            
Andrew Lewis Dolan                                          
Anna Rose Nelson                                            
Annalise Joy Boisvert                                       
Ashley Elizabeth Rutherford                                 
Aubrey Carson                                               
Aveus Cierra Johnson                                        
Benjamin Manuel Dacoba                                      
Blake Cody Mallett-Fuina                                    
Braiden Leigh Burdette                                      
Brandon Lee Rainey                                          
Brenna Rene Prince                                          
Brian Joseph Monk                                           
Brian Paul Scarborough                                      
Carolyn Claire Gutshall                                     
Chandler Marie Dodds                                        
Charles Wood Benton                                         
Chase Edward Hyland                                         
Chelsea Scott Keyes                                         
Clarence Ray Bocook Jr.                                     
Crystal Lashay Cochran                                      
Curtis Jerome Capers Jr.                                    
Dana Morales Kozak                                          
Dean Stanley Haggerty III                                   
Dimitra Michalaka                                           
DiplomaName                                                 
Donald Charles Buzanowski II                                
Douglas Henry Gudenburr                                     
Edmund Jevon Gilchrist                                      
Elizabeth McLaurin Uptegrove                                
Emanuele Giogli                                             
Emanuele Giogli                                             
Gregory Richard Djoboulian                                  
Gregory Richard Djoboulian                                  
Harley Lauren Murphy                                        
Heather Lauren Studer                                       
Holly Thompson                                              
Hunter Cassidy Helms                                        
Ian James McCormack                                         
Ian Quin Russick                                            
James Caleb Robinson                                        
James Curtis Tingle                                         
Jason Alan Scott                                            
Jason Alan Scott                                            
Jason Alan Scott                                            
Jason Marc David                                            
Javonna Michelle Perry-Moultrie                             
Jeremy Joseph Carrick                                       
Jessica Baynes                                              
Jessie Montel Townsend III                                  
John Michael Ray                                            
John Patrick McKenna                                        
John Paul Semones                                           
John Thomas Welch                                           
Jonathan Meyer Workman                                      
Jordan Joseph Bradway                                       
Joshua Davidson Trac                                          
Julia Mae Luzon                                             
Kaila Xiomara Smith                                         
Kenneth Abram Wright Jr.                                    
Kevin Christopher Swain                                     
Kevin Joseph Dougherty                                      
Kimberly Ellis Waters                                       
Kimberly Larissa Palomo                                     
Kyle Robert Dickerman                                       
Leslie Arlen Cotter III                                     
Linnea McAnaw Parker                                        
Lisa Marie Calhoun                                          
Marei Martin Draper                                         
Matthew Douglas Brock                                       
Matthew Stephen Bonham                                      
Megan Elizabeth Yaeger                                      
Michael Sharpe                                              
Nathan Adams                                                
Nathan Jamar Haggwood                                       
Nicholas Edward Paramore                                    
Nicholas Erickson                                           
Nicholas Kollias                                            
Norris Aubrey Moore                                         
N’taallyah Wilder                                           
Orianna Isabella Baham                                      
Phillip T. Sexton                                           
Rebecca Leah Marazita                                       
Robert Gasque Howe II                                       
Ross Ian Caterino                                           
Russell Hunter Griffith Louis Jr.                           
Salondra Marie Griggs                                       
Shannon Nicole Turner                                       
Shasta Marie Rieker                                         
Sims Brooks Dozier                                          
Stephanie Darian Childers                                   
Stephanie Rose Clinevell                                    
Sumerlyn Cate Carruthers                                    
Thomas Scott Tezera                                         
Timothy Bryan Beckham                                       
Timothy Douglas Jones                                       
Victoria Rodriguez                                          
William Henderson Arnette                                   
William Jasper Lucas                                        
Zachary Andrew Hanchin                                      

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A dad, a grad, a daughter and a knob: The Citadel tradition for the Banzon family https://today.citadel.edu/a-dad-a-grad-a-daughter-and-a-knob-the-citadel-tradition-for-the-banzon-family/ Tue, 04 May 2021 17:26:29 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=23893 The South Carolina Corps of Cadets Class of 2021 receives their class rings during a presentation ceremony adjusted for COVID-19 conditions in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, September 25, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The South Carolina Corps of Cadets Class of 2021 receives their class rings during a presentation ceremony adjusted for COVID-19 conditions in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, September 25, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)"I listened to my dad who said to enjoy the small things at The Citadel because when we look back those are going to be the big things. The past four years will be hard to beat."]]> The South Carolina Corps of Cadets Class of 2021 receives their class rings during a presentation ceremony adjusted for COVID-19 conditions in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, September 25, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The South Carolina Corps of Cadets Class of 2021 receives their class rings during a presentation ceremony adjusted for COVID-19 conditions in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, September 25, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Plus: 70 Class of 2021 legacy cadets

Photo above: Cadet Michelle Banzon, seen third from the left, running across Summerall Field with classmates in September, 2020 after receiving their Citadel bands of gold.

Michelle Banzon, graduating as a member of The Citadel Class of 2021, isn’t the first, nor the last, member of her family to be a part of the college’s Long Gray Line.

Her father, Col. Roy Banzon, USA, preceded her in 1991, her older brother, Romar, graduated in 2020, and her younger brother, Nicasio (Nic), follows as a member of The Citadel Class of 2024.

Banzon family photo
Left to right: Nic, Roy, Rumar and Michelle Banzon at The Citadel vs. University of South Carolina football game in Columbia, South Carolina.

Michelle was so happy about following in her dad’s footsteps as a cadet that, during her knob year, she took some of her favorite photos of her dad as a cadet and restaged them with her classmates.

Top: Roy Banzon on left with Class of 1991 cadets in front of the Echo Company “E” in the barracks. Bottom: Michelle Banzon on left with Class of 2021 cadets mimicking the older photo.

Michelle is a high achiever, attending The Citadel on a U.S. Army scholarship and earning Dean’s List and President’s List awards, while keeping a watchful eye on Nic.

“I only helped my little brother if he asked. I did not want him to feel like he was in my shadow because he has always been very independent,” Michelle said. “I watched him from a distance and gave him tips, much like my dad did for me.”

Left: Roy Banzon and his freshman year roommate, Rob Bohm. Right: Michelle and her brother Nic reenacting their dad’s photo.

“The most compelling thing was probably getting the opportunity to go through a similar experience as my father. It may not be exactly the same because of the time periods, but we could share stories and have that understanding with the same emotions and feelings about it,” Michelle said. “It is hard to start fresh/new if you have a dad that has accomplish so much in his life, I wanted to make him proud during my time at the Citadel.”

Left to right: Nic, Roy and Michelle Banzon “Army rucking.”

The Criminal Justice major spent part of her childhood living in South Korea where her father was stationed as an officer in the U.S. Army and where she has fond family memories. Roy, who was born in the Philippines and became a U.S. Citizen almost 40 years ago, is now stationed at Shaw Airforce Base in South Carolina, less than two hours from his children at The Citadel in Charleston. He is the executive officer for U.S. Army Central’s oversight, regulatory, issue resolution, and continuous improvement functions. 

“It is truly amazing how much I enjoy seeing the success my children are experiencing at The Citadel,” Col. Roy Banzon, ’91, said. “I went to The Citadel 30 years ago, in 1987-1991, when there were different challenges. The academic success my children had, where I struggled as a cadet, is truly a testimonial to my late wife Marlyn’s focus on academics when they were in elementary and high school.”

When Michelle was a young teen, Marlyn and Roy expanded their family of four to eight, adopting four siblings from the Philippines, including Romar.

The Banzon family in the Philippines
The expanded Banzon family in the Philippines, with Michelle seen far right.

And then after an extended illness in 2018, during Michelle’s knob year, Marlyn died. Though the pain of the loss of her mother lingers, Michelle says her father keeps them strong and focused.

The Banzon family
Roy, Michelle, and Marlyn Banzon

“The advice I gave Michelle is to enjoy the moment and always put in 100% effort when it comes to being a cadet. I would always tell them at dinner time that the way to success is not meeting the standard, but exceeding it. If you want to reach the moon, you have to aim for the stars. Because if you aim for the moon, you may come short and miss. Always strive higher than your goal and you will never be disappointed in yourself.”

Col. Roy Banzon, USA, The Citadel Class of 1991
Cadet Nicasio Banzon, The Citadel Class of 2024.

In considering his son, Nic’s recent recognition as a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, Col. Banzon continued, saying:

“The Citadel was my first introduction to a military way of life, besides being a U.S. Navy dependent. I still recall the anxiety and challenges of being a “knob” placed on my shoulders straight out of high school. It was intense, but it taught me that I was not alone in my journey. And I could not accomplish anything by myself. The friends I made in Echo Company Class of 1991 were my brothers forged by shared hardships. The things we endured, we did it together. Being a Citadel graduate allowed me to understand that challenges and failure aren’t negative. It only means that we took a road less travelled and it has made all the difference in our lives, to include the success I have today with my U.S. Army career and my family.

Nic, a business administration major, is already achieving Dean’s List grades.

“To be honest I considered everything else but The Citadel…that was until I saw my dad’s face when we received the acceptance letter,” Nic said. “Having a sister at The Citadel, especially as a senior, has pushed me to work harder for what I want in my cadet career, to live in the moment, and enjoy making and sharing memories.”

Michelle orders her brother Nic to do pushups “for calling me sir” and does them with him in 2020.

Michelle leaves The Citadel as an Army 2nd Lieutenant, soon beginning her training as Quartermaster before leaving for her first duty station in South Korea.

cadet Michelle Banzon class of 2021

“I have made so friends and many memories that I would not trade for the world. I know for a fact that wherever I go in life, my classmates and I will have each others backs. I listened to my dad who said to enjoy the small things at The Citadel because when we look back those are going to be the big things. The past four years are going to be a chapter of my life that will be hard to beat.”

Michelle Banzon, The Citadel Class of 2021

Announcing the Class of 2021 cadet legacies

All of the cadets listed below will accept their diplomas from their alumni fathers or in some cases grandfathers and uncles named below in the righthand column.

Graduate NameAlumni Name on Program
Barnes, WilliamMr. James Timothy Barnes, ’84
Crawford, BraxtonCOL Cardon Brice Crawford, USA, Retired, ’83
Crook, JesseMr. Jimmy Byrnes Crook, ’88
Crosby, JonahMr. Joe Michael Crosby, ’91
Curtis, WilliamCOL Garth Thomas Bloxham, USA, Retired, ’74
Fortner, RayMr. Robert Ray Fortner Jr., ’85
Freeman, RobertMr. Robert Dane Freeman Jr., ’90
Hammerstone, ThomasMr. Todd Hammerstone, ’93
Harrington, BryceMr. Edward Jackson Harrington Jr., ’86
Heidt, CalahanDr. Harold Mitchell Heidt, ’75
Herring, Buddy Garrett IIDr. Robert Eugene Herring ’90
James, WarnerMr. Gregory Kendrick James, ’94
Jenkins, CliffordMr. Clifford Abbott Jenkins, ’88
Kreisler, JohnMr. John Christoper Kreisler, ’89
Massey, AidanMr. Scott Derek Massey, ’92
Mills, HunterLTC Harry Lewis Mills Sr., USA, ’58
Moorman, WilliamMr. William Talley Moorman Sr., ’86
Pappas, NicholasMr. Paul Arthur Pappas, ’92
Rathke, WilliamMr. Eric Thomas Rathke, ’93
LTC Daniel Arthur Raymond Jr., USA, Retired, ’65
Robards, FrankMr. Frank Benjamin Robards III, ’81
Shealy, CharlesMr. Gregory Gerald Shealy, ’90
Starnes, MylesMr. William David Starnes, ’76
Thomas, SethCOL Scott David Thomas, USA, Retired, ’82
Walker, JohnnyDr. Robert Hasselle Bowles, Sr. 
Webster, ColtonMr. David Richard Webster, ’90
Adams, CarsonMr. Brock Christopher Adams, ’85
Bachelor, BrentMr. Donald Hall Bachelor, ’90
Bailey, NathanMr. Donal Charles Bailey, ’83
Baker, HeathMr. Thomas Randall Baker, ’82
Banzon, MichelleCOL Roy Dominquez Banzon, USA, ’91
Bennett, CadeMr. Robert Gordon Bennett III, ’93
Brown, DrewMr. Coy Brown, ’92
Chapman, CharlesMr. Lee Chapman, ’86
Chastain, CareyPastor C. Michael Chastain, ’74
Cherry, CodyMr. Frank Thornton Cherry, ’92
Mr. Jim Marion Cherry Jr., ’61
Conrad, GraysonMr. Frederick Marshall Conrad, ’90
Curtis, MichaelMr. Joseph Curtis Sr., ’95
Diggs, TaylorMr. Lenny Diggs, ’87
Dunne, OwenCOL Charles Michael Dunne, USMC, Retired, ’90
Elmore, JacksonMr. Fred Wendell Elmore, ’84
Esteban, DanielMr. Daniel Anthony Esteban, ’93
Fuhrman, DavisMr. Michael Thomas Fuhrman, ’91
Goodwin, MichaelMr. Michael David Goodwin Sr., ’89
Hanna, JohnMr. Joseph Harrison Hanna Jr., ’79
Hill, CatherineLTC Ruston LeBarre Hill, USA, ’90
Hooks, MichaelMr. Michael David Hooks, ’88
Houser, Charles DavisMr. Shaler Philips Houser, ’91
Hudson, WilliamMr. David Knox Hudson, ’84
Johnson, DillonMr. David Douglas Johnson, ’87
Kress, PatrickMr. Adrian Christopher Kress, ’89
Mr. James Dawson Smith Jr., ’59
Maddray, James (Ian)Mr. Justin Bryce Maddray, ’94
Mr. John Thomas Maddray, ’69
Mrs. Aindrea Bree Maddray ’05
Moore, Brysyn K. Mr. Derek Moore, ’92
Moseley, CalebMr. Robert Daniel Moseley Jr., ’88
Nuttall, RyanMr. Edward Hucks Nuttall, ’91
O’Brien, John B., Jr.Mr. John Brice O’Brien, ’90
Oliver, JeraldLTC Jerald Gordon Oliver Sr., USAF, Retired, ’86
Pantsari, AnsleyCOL Matthew William Pantsari, USA, Retired, ’96
Price, CampbellMr. J. Scott Price, ’88
Rogers, ThomasHon. Thomas Edward Rogers III, ’87
Rowe, WilliamMr. Howard Hampton Wright Jr., ’84
Russell, AdamMr. William Stephen Russell, ’92
Sands, AnthonyMr. Anthony Bernard Sands Sr., ’97
Saulnier, GeorgeMr. George Irwin Saulnier Jr., ’89
Skole, AnthonyMr. Tony Skole, ’91
Smithdeal, ThomasMr. Joseph Collins Smithdeal, ’89
Swain, MatthewDr. Christopher Curtis Swain, ’81
Thompson, JasonMr. Jason Randall Thompson, ’93
Wilson, KevinCOL Thomas Graham Wilson Sr., USA, Retired, ’68
COL Thomas Graham Wilson Jr., USA, ’96
Young, GreysonMr. William Jeffrey Young, ’77
Left: Cadets Michelle Banzon, ’21, and Michael Brunet, ’22. Right side: Michelle and Michael together as young children with their fathers, Roy Banzon and Will Burnet, Class of 1991.
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From The Citadel to University of Cambridge: a cadet’s future on the rise https://today.citadel.edu/from-the-citadel-to-university-of-cambridge-a-cadets-future-on-the-rise/ Tue, 27 Apr 2021 10:00:12 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=23062 Cadet Najjar working in a labCadet Najjar working in a lab"Christian views criticism as an opportunity for improvement and always strives for perfection. He may be one of the most outstanding cadets I have ever met."]]> Cadet Najjar working in a labCadet Najjar working in a lab

Photo above: Cadet Christian Najjar doing research work at a lab at the University of Heidelberg in 2019

It is one of the oldest universities in the world, with origins dating back to 1209. Some of it’s most famous alumni include Charles Darwin, Oliver Cromwell, Stephen Rajiv Gandhi and Stephen Hawking.

University of Cambridge is commonly regarded as one of the most desired, but difficult to enter undergraduate and post-graduate institutions in the world. But that is exactly where Cadet Christian Najjar will head to continue his education after gradating from The Citadel in May 2021.

Najjar will work toward a one-year Masters in Population Health Science at Cambridge, then he will come back to the U.S. to begin his studies with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, where he has already been accepted.

Cadet Chistian Najjar during a German study abroad program with The Citadel.

Najjar has two majors: Biology and German. He’s earned a 4.0 grade point average in all but one of his semesters at The Citadel, according to one of the college’s associate provosts for Academic Affairs.

“Using his fluency in German coupled with his extensive science background, Cadet Najjar has participated in research projects to include designing research protocols, interpreting findings for published work, and applying information for future studies, all of which provide a strong foundation for his continued studies in mental health and illness,” said Chris Fudge, associate provost for Academic Affairs and director of The Citadel Success Institute. “One of these studies took place in Germany where he worked hand-in-hand with German scientists creating and discovering new protocols for Zika virus research.” 

Cadet life comes with a bit of an extra challenge for Najjar, who was born with only one arm. He never let’s that get in the way, becoming known for his one-handed pushups and personal drive.

“Cadet Najjar is a self-starter who creates and develops research independent of others, but his collaborative nature matches well with his independence,” Fudge says. “Christian views criticism as an opportunity for improvement and always strives for perfection. He may be one of the most outstanding cadets I have ever met.”

Cadet Christian Najjar with his mother, Elizabeth Najjar

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“Triumphant Failure” takes first place in The Citadel’s Corps-Wide Speaking Contest https://today.citadel.edu/triumphant-failure-takes-first-place-in-the-citadels-corps-wide-speaking-contest/ Fri, 09 Apr 2021 17:57:02 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=23297 Adam Walker ’21 takes first place during the corps-wide speaking competition in Buyer Auditorium at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Adam Walker ’21 takes first place during the corps-wide speaking competition in Buyer Auditorium at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)"Basically I was asking everyone else why they were failing me when I should have been asking why am I failing myself."]]> Adam Walker ’21 takes first place during the corps-wide speaking competition in Buyer Auditorium at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Adam Walker ’21 takes first place during the corps-wide speaking competition in Buyer Auditorium at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

The Annual Henry Dale Smith Corps-Wide Speaking Competition delights and inspires its audience each year, as cadets take the stage to deliver their messages and earn prizes. But it is the communications skills the participants gain, the ability to evoke emotion and influence an audience, that may be the biggest prizes.

“This competition asks cadets to speak to an audience about their passions, values, and the stories that brought them to The Citadel,” said Sean Fourney, Ph.D., director of the Patricia McCarver Public Speaking Lab which orchestrates the contest. “While each speech is unique, it is the meaning that comes from it that the audience identifies with and craves. The most successful speakers learn how to beguile their audiences.”

The contest, in its 11th year, consists of three rounds with the speakers eventually narrowed down to a group of finalists for the last event. It is open to all cadets. The winner receives the Henry Dale Smith Public Speaking Award, the title of Best Public Speaker in the Corps, and a $500 prize.

1st Place, $500

“Basically I was asking everyone else why they were failing me when I should have been asking why am I failing myself.”

Cadet Adam Walker, winner of the 2021 Henry Dale Smith Corps-wide Speaking Contest
Cadet Adam Walker, ’21, speaks during the corps-wide speaking competition in Buyer Auditorium at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

Cadet James “Adam” Walker, Class of 2021
“Triumphant Failure”
Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Cumming, Georgia
U.S. Air Force scholarship cadet

Watch Walker’s speech at this link: https://mediasite.citadel.edu/Mediasite/Play/500a53d464074635984496ccc5ebfe681d?catalog=0dfd21aa99e54ab6891a37c9b809828221

2nd Place, $200

“I’m not talking about the facial masks we’ve grown to know and love. I’m talking about something a little more personal: I’m talking about the social masks that autistic people have to wear everyday of their lives”

Cadet Shiloh Smiles, 2nd Place, 2021 Henry Dale Smith Corps-wide Speaking Contest
Cadet Shiloh Smiles, ’22, speaks during the corps-wide speaking competition in Buyer Auditorium at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.


Cadet Shiloh Smiles, Class of 2022
“The Mask I Wear”
Majors: Cyber Operations; Computer Science
Hometown: Gardenia, Georgia
Citadel CyberCorps Scholar contracted with Department of Defense
The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute cadet
Cybersecurity cadet tutor; Cadet Ambassador

3rd Place $100

“If you put forth the effort and the altruism that Charlie Brown exudes every single time we see him, then eventually you will be told what he is told: ‘you’re a good man, Charlie Brown.’ And that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.”

Cadet Daniel Wilkes, 3rd Place, 2021 Henry Dale Smith Corps-wide Speaking Contest
Cadet Daniel Wilkes ’21, speaks during the Corps-wide speaking competition in Buyer Auditorium at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.


Cadet Daniel Wilkes, Class of 2021
“An Ode to Charlie Brown”
Majors: Political Science (pre-Law); History
Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina
Battalion Academic Officer

Finalists $50
Each of the four finalists, Ashley Coplo, Nicholas Fricchione, John Morris, and Desmond Sigler, all received a $50 gift card courtesy of Pat Kinard, recording secretary of The Citadel Board of Visitors, contest judge, and long-time supporter of the competition.

“These speakers moved the judges, and it goes to show the power of public speaking and its ability to influence,” said Fourney.

Fourney would like thank those who judged the final round:

  • Carter Coyle, Investigative reporter, Live 5 WCSC-TV
  • Scott Curtis, Ph.D., director, Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., USAF, ’77, Center for Climate Studies
  • Col. Charleston Dunne, USMC (Ret.), Citadel Class of ’90
  • Erik Hund, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management; Toastmasters Division Director
  • Patricia McArver, former director and namesake for the Patricia McArver Public Speaking Lab; former vice president for The Citadel Office of Communications and Marketing
  • Deirdre Ragan, Ph.D., director, The Citadel Honors Program


The Patricia McArver Public Speaking Lab provides a multitude of services and is available to all cadets, students, faculty and staff. It is located in Bond Hall, 365. For more information or to arrange an appointment, email psl@citadel.edu.

Adam Walker ’21, Shiloh Smiles ’22, and Daniel Wilkes ’21 placed first, second and third respectively during the corps-wide speaking competition in Buyer Auditorium at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)
Cadets Adam Walker, ’21, Shiloh Smiles, ’22, and Daniel Wilkes, ’21, came out in the top three positions the Henry Dale Smith Corps-wide speaking competition in Buyer Auditorium at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

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Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter follows up with 2020 Scholarship Awardees at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/women-in-defense-palmetto-chapter-follows-up-with-2020-scholarship-awardees-at-the-citadel/ Wed, 17 Mar 2021 18:16:11 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22741 Provided by Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter (WID) Pictured above (left to right): Cadets Lillian Layden and Catherine Guenther, 2020 Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math]]>

Provided by Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter (WID)

Pictured above (left to right): Cadets Lillian Layden and Catherine Guenther, 2020 Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Scholarship awardees

On a beautiful February day, representatives from the Women in Defense (WID) Palmetto Chapter headed to The Citadel to follow up with Cadets Lillian Layden and Catherine Guenther, the awardees of the WID 2020 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Scholarship.

Layden is a senior and double majoring in Computer Science and German with minors in Cybersecurity and Fine Arts, and a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at The Citadel. Guenther is a sophomore and is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is also a member of AFROTC.

This academic year has been far from typical for the students. We asked Layden and Guenther whether they were on track with their goals, what unique challenges they faced this year, and what advice they would offer to other women pursuing STEM majors.

Both are on track with their ambitious goals despite restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Layden plans to commission with the USAF as a cybersecurity officer upon her graduation in May from The Citadel. She was on the dean’s list in the fall semester and is the vice commander of her AFROTC wing. Guenther has continued with her internship at the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic, where she has been able to apply fundamentals of engineering.

Campus life has new challenges such as students can’t go into each other’s rooms, and they can’t hang out with friends like they did previously. Classes have shifted to a hybrid format, adding to an already demanding year. Guenther said, “Online learning has been a major challenge. It’s difficult to sit behind a screen to learn. One day you are online, the next day you are in person.” Since many clubs have stopped meeting, Layden is no longer able to participate in Judo and choir.

Both women had advice for other females pursuing STEM majors. Guenther said, “You shouldn’t focus on what anyone says you can or can’t do.” Layden said, “A lot of times, you’re going to be the only woman in the room, and you have to own that and be proud of that. It’s going to be really intimidating at times. Remind yourself that you are here for yourself. You’re doing great things, you’re going to do a great job. Stay on track, set realistic goals, and work towards them.”

The WID Palmetto Chapter’s STEM Scholarship is an annual award for women attending South Carolina colleges or universities pursuing degrees in STEM fields. Two annual scholarships of up to $2,500 are available, one of which is reserved for a veteran/member of the military/ROTC participant. Scholarship awards are made according to financial need, academic achievement, faculty recommendation, recognition and honors, activities, and personal essay.

The WID Palmetto Chapter, based in Charleston, South Carolina, was founded March 13, 2009. Their goal is to provide networking and professional development opportunities to promote advancement and recognition of women in national defense and security, to support military service members, and to encourage partnerships between the local contractor community and Department of Defense agencies.

For more information, please email chapter officers at https://widpalmettochapter.org/contact-us/.

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Lu Parker, ’94: Citadel Graduate College alumna, journalist, former Miss USA, and kindness entrepreneur https://today.citadel.edu/lu-parker-94-citadel-graduate-college-alumna-journalist-former-miss-usa-and-kindness-entrepreneur/ Thu, 11 Mar 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22573 We strive to help all people better understand and embrace the power of kindness.]]>

“Never underestimate the power of a kind woman.” Lu Parker

Lu Parker doesn’t dawdle in the slow lane. She’s flying along numerous professional pathways, and while she’s navigating, she’s deliberate about conveying one key message: Be kind.

“The best is when someone sees my t-shirt or hoodie while I’m wearing it and stops me to say “I love your shirt!” or “What a great message!”  When that happens, it makes me realize that I am doing the right thing. It’s working,” Parker shared with The Citadel.

As a journalist with two decades of experience (including with WCSC-TV in Charleston, South Carolina) and multiple Emmy awards, Parker anchors four hours of news daily for KTLA in Los Angeles. Additionally, she is an inspirational speaker, an author, and the founder of Be Kind & Co. which recently launched a line of apparel.

Lu Parker in the studio at WCSC-TV, Live 5, in Charleston in the late 1990s.
Lu Parker in the studio at WCSC-TV, Live 5, in Charleston in the late 1990s.

Prior to her career in broadcasting, Parker was a ninth-grade English Literature teacher. In 1994, while she was a teacher, Parker captured both the Miss South Carolina USA, and Miss USA titles, going on to place fourth in the Miss Universe Pageant.

But, before all of that, Parker graduated from The Citadel Graduate College in 1993 with a Master of Arts in Education, after earning a BA in English Literature from the College of Charleston.

After seeing the launch of the Be Kind & Co. apparel line, The Citadel Graduate College reached out to Parker to ask her to share some reflections.

This is what she said.

An interview with Lu Parker, The Citadel Graduate College Class of 1994 and founder of Be Kind & Co.

What is your goal for Be Kind & Co.?

We strive to help all people better understand and embrace the power of kindness. My goal is to use Be Kind & Co. as a way to share content, experiences, and merchandise that inspires all of us to be a bit more kind each day. I truly believe that each kind act, even if small, helps to collectively heal the world.  

In 2021, we launched our BKC Apparel line and we are thrilled to be seeing so many people wearing our merchandise around the country, including in South Carolina. We like to say it’s “Merchandise with a Message.” We share small sayings like, “Be a Kind Human” – “Born Kind” – Be Kind Y’all – “Never Underestimate the Power of a Kind Woman.” 

 Why did you create Be Kind & Co.?

The original concept of Be Kind & Co. was created after I experienced an unfortunate situation where I was attempting to be kind to someone and it backfired on me. At the time, the experience made me seriously question kindness. I questioned my urge to help people and literally almost gave up on being kind ever again.  But eventually, I came to my senses and realized that kindness is a gift that I cherish. Be Kind & Co. was originally a blog but now it’s more of life-style media company that shares content, offers merchandise with messaging, and creates a space where people can share insights into the power of kindness.  

I am also in the early stages of writing a book about my experiences and how I handled it.  I am also looking forward to traveling again to speak around the country at conventions and venues on “How Kindness Creates Success.”

Lu Parker accepting her diploma for a Master of Arts in Education
from The Citadel Graduate College in 1993.

Why did you pursue a Masters of Education and why did you select The Citadel Graduate College?

I was already interested in English Literature and hoped to one day teach on a college level. My Mom suggested that I apply to The Citadel because I was living in Charleston at the time and she said the program had a great reputation. 

I have fond memories of attending the Citadel Graduate College.  My professors were helpful and the process was a smooth experience. I believe that anytime you set a goal in life, personally or professionally, you must complete each small task while staying focused on the future goal. Studying at The Citadel allowed me to further my education so I could eventually teach high school. I did teach high school at North Charleston High School after graduating from The Citadel. 

What do you miss most about Charleston?

Ahhhh, Charleston. The city has my heart in so many ways. I spent over two decades there growing up, going to college and graduate school. I also taught in the city, and eventually returned to work in tv news there at WCSC. I often say I have a memory on every corner of the city.  I love the beaches, the Southern accents, the people and the style. I even miss the heat, humidity and rain.   

What is your greatest achievement to date?

To answer your question about my greatest achievement to date, I would say I have been very fortunate in my life and had the opportunity to experience a lot of wonderful moments including attending college, winning Miss USA, winning Emmys, traveling the world, working in TV news, meeting celebrities, going to Hollywood events, and even writing a book….But I still don’t consider those accomplishments. They were all wonderful experiences. To answer you question about my greatest achievement to date, I would say it’s the fact that I have never given up on the belief that kindness can create huge change. Kindness can save a life.  Kindness can shift the world. Kindness is strength. It’s a daily practice that I hope I can continue to share through my writings, my company and my voice. 

What would you say to young women considering various careers about innovating their own pathways or even multiple careers?

I am a huge believer that life is better when you love what you do. I always suggest to young women and men to find a career or a path to that career that lights a fire inside of you. I love my job as a tv news anchor because I am able to combine my love of writing, reading, and interacting with people.  It’s the same with my company Be Kind & Co. Creating a company takes a lot of behind the scenes work. It’s challenging and can be overwhelming, but when you feel good about what you are doing, then it’s worth it. I also totally believe that it’s never too late to change your profession or start a company, non-profit or passion project. It may require you to work after your “real” job, but again, when the passion is there, it won’t always feel like work. It’s a joy.  

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I want to add that I 100% believe that when women support each other’s success, we all succeed.  There is so much success available out in the world, let’s help each other along the path and celebrate each other!  That’s true kindness!

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