Humanities & Social Sciences – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Thu, 14 Oct 2021 12:02:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 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 A 1,000-year-old battle sparks a fresh war among academics, amateurs https://today.citadel.edu/a-1000-year-old-battle-sparks-a-fresh-war-among-academics-amateurs/ Thu, 14 Oct 2021 12:02:32 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27759 Battle recommenced this year when Mr. Livingston, a professor at The Citadel, South Carolina’s military college, released a book pinpointing Brunanburh as happening on the Wirral Peninsula, near Liverpool.]]>

Brunanburh is ancient history. Yet fighting has intensified about where, exactly, it happened

Note: Michael Livingston, Ph.D., holds degrees in history, medieval studies and English. Two of his books have won Distinguished Book Prizes from the Society for Military History. He is also a novelist. Livingston serves as the Secretary General to the U.S. Commission on Military History. He joined The Citadel as a professor in 2006.

As seen in the Wall Street Journal, by Alistair MacDonald

BARNSDALE, England—Over 1,000 years ago, vast armies from what are now Scotland and Ireland swept into a field here to be defeated by soldiers from the emerging nation of England.

No they didn’t, says Michael Livingston, an American historian, who argues that the battle known as Brunanburh happened some 100 miles west, near Liverpool. Mr. Livingston, though, is flat out wrong, says Damo Bullen, a British music festival organizer turned bookseller, who like many others says the battle happened somewhere else entirely.

In Britain, historians love to fight over battle sites, but few elicit such stridence and obsession as Brunanburh. There are more than 30 proposed locations for the battle, which took place in 937, and helped shape what would become England.

Brunanburh’s important historic role, and a dearth of contemporary sources describing where it happened, have led people to war over its location for centuries, making it one of the fiercest battle battles.

Traditionally the realm of bickering academics, the issue has grown more heated as the internet and social media give a platform for amateur archaeologists and have-a-go historians.

Michael Livingston

Battle recommenced this year when Mr. Livingston, a professor at The Citadel, South Carolina’s military college, released a book pinpointing Brunanburh as happening on the Wirral Peninsula, near Liverpool. Mr. Livingston started delving into Brunanburh over a decade ago and has suffered vitriol for his views ever since, he said, including receiving a death threat.

“I started getting these communications that were strident and extremely angry,” he said. “It was: How dare you Yank, get involved in ‘our history,’ ” he said.

Tensions are clear in polarized online reviews of the book, “Never Greater Slaughter,” where those critical talk of “shoddy research” and a “so-called historian.”

“It’s simple to say that social media and the internet have changed everything, but it’s also simply true,” said Mr. Livingston, who believes the opening up of academic debate is overall a good thing, even if he could do without the nastiness.

His website asks that if people need to contact him: “Please send him a friendly email.”

One non-abusive adversary is Michael Wood. The lauded British historian and TV presenter thinks Mr. Livingston and others arguing for the same battle location are absolutely wrong, and says he’s been subject to hostility from “the Wirral lot” for saying that.

“The whole thing is based on the interpretation of a single place name,” said Mr. Wood, referring to the town of Bromborough in the Wirral.

Mr. Wood first got interested in Brunanburh over 50 years ago, when as a teenager he read a book on the battle. He has a long list of reasons why he believes it most likely happened in the area around Barnsdale, near the northern English town of Doncaster, including its location on a north-to-south thoroughfare and a nearby fort and spring, two things referenced in an account from the time.

Nonsense, says Mr. Livingston. The Wirral fits the logistics and politics of the battle, and is backed up by old sources and artifacts.

Those artifacts are being dug up by Wirral Archaeology, a group of local history enthusiasts, who have found the remains of a belt-strap, weapons and other treasures on what they reckon is the Brunanburh battlefield. These have been sent to a university for testing that could show their age and where they originated.

One member, Peter Jenkins, blames “keyboard warriors” for the attacks against Mr. Livingston and others.

Historians, amateurs and professionals alike, largely agree on this much: The battle happened when Ireland-based Vikings and two kingdoms from around what is now northwest England and Scotland came to destroy Æthelstan, a king who had consolidated his control of much of what became England. They were routed in a blood-drenched fight in which there were “never yet as many people killed before this with sword’s edge,” according to one contemporary account.

But where?

Mr. Bullen, the former music-festival organizer who now runs a bookstore in Scotland, says he often contacts supporters of the Wirral argument. “I said, ‘guys, I am sorry, but you are wrong,’ ” he said of heated discussions. The 45-year-old accuses his adversaries of arrogance.

Mr. Bullen’s interest in archaeology was inspired by watching Mr. Wood’s TV programs as a child. But he dismisses the historian’s theory on Brunanburh as having no depth. “He is a good historian, but he is not a detective,” he said.

Mr. Bullen believes the battle happened near the northern English town of Burnley, pointing to a local hill fort and grave from that era among other evidence. He has written a poem to highlight his claims.

Fathers & princes, kings & sons,

All mingled for the fray,

Death dips & darts, for many hearts

This was their final day.

Britain is pockmarked with battle sites given its long, violent history but pinpointing where any fight happened hundreds of years ago is hard because accounts don’t dwell on location. Place names and topographies can also change, while battlefields were stripped of abandoned weaponry at the time.

Historic England, a government-financed heritage body, has just 47 battlefields in its national register, which requires a site’s provenance to be “securely established.” Brunanburh is not one of them.

For decades historians were convinced where the Battle of Bosworth Field settled a bloody dynastic struggle in 1485, and a large heritage center was built at the site in England’s Midlands region. A recent, more comprehensive study suggests it took place elsewhere.

Mr. Wood says that local pride and the potential for tourism means everyone wants a battle to happen near them.

At Barnsdale, Ashley Tabor was cleaning the gas station he works at when he learned that thousands may have fought and died nearby.

“I’d love it to be local, yes,” he said, looking out across the area, where a busy highway, deserted motel and adult video store now stand.

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My Ring Story: “through adversity to the stars” https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-through-adversity-to-the-stars/ Tue, 05 Oct 2021 21:09:32 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27579 Cadet Ashley Ruiz is from Taylor, Michigan. She is a double major in both Intelligence and Security Studies and Political Science.]]>

Meet Cadet Ashley Ruiz, Class of 2022

Cadet Ashley Ruiz is from Taylor, Michigan. She is a double major in both Intelligence and Security Studies and Political Science, with a minor in Cybersecurity. This year, Ruiz serves as the 5th Battalion Academic Officer.

Q. What is engraved inside your ring and what is its significance?

A. The Latin phrase “per aspera ad astra.”

Its translation is “through adversity to the stars.” It’s a reminder to be resilient. Success isn’t possible without failure and shortcomings, but failure is not futile. It’s your ability to remain steadfast in pursuit of your dreams, even when you meet obstacles, that defines who you are.

Q. Why do you think the ring symbolizes?

The symbolism is not that of your own achievement, but of the bond that it establishes between those who came before you, those who will graduate with you and those who will come after you. The ring’s worth is made greater by the family, mentors, educators and, most importantly, classmates who pushed you along the harder path. Its weight is made up of each late night and early morning, every sweaty parade and PT session, and all the good and bad times that you experience throughout your cadet career.

5th Battalion Staff before the first dress parade of 2021

Q. Did you ever envision this moment?

No, I did not. After graduating high school in 2017, I was in an unstable living situation where I often had to live out of my car. Meanwhile, I had to work 40 hours a week just to pay my bills and afford to take courses at my local community college. I wasn’t sure what direction my life was headed in. However, one day I decided that I wanted to add structure to my life, get a four-year college education and challenge myself to do something meaningful. I decided a military college would be the best option to achieve these things and I ultimately stumbled across The Citadel.

Luckily, I was accepted on a nearly full-ride academic scholarship. I never imagined how transformative this experience would be for me, nor how much the personal adversity I faced before matriculating would translate into the hard-work mentality which has allowed me to be successful at The Citadel. Seeing the ring on my finger makes the journey feel like it has come full circle and I cannot be more grateful.

Q. Who inspired you throughout your journey here at The Citadel?

My mom. Resilience is an integral value to me, and my mom is the embodiment of resilience. As a single parent, she sacrificed so much to make sure that I was successful and had the opportunity to go to college. She often put her dreams to the side to make sure that my dreams were actualized, and that is truly inspiring to me.

Cadet Ashley Ruiz, center, with Cadets Reanna Wrecsics and Jack Simone at the first home football game of the 2021 season

Q. When you look down at your ring, what will you remember about your experience?

Ordinary and mundane moments. Things like laughing in the mess hall, sitting out on the dock with friends, barracks shenanigans, pulling all-nighters for SMIs or tests, and much more.

What are three things The Citadel taught you?

  1. Hard work is the greatest key to success. Whatever your aim is (good grades, a high PT score, etc.), it all depends on the effort you are willing to put into it.
  2. Your days depend on your mindset. You have the choice to make the best or worst of your experience at The Citadel.
  3. Practice empathetic leadership. You can solve a lot of problems by understanding why people react positively or negatively to something. Empathetic leadership gives you the ability to give everyone a fair shot at telling their story, rather than making rash judgments based on rumors. Furthermore, it forges a greater foundation of trust.

About The Citadel Class of 2022 Ring Stories

Left to right: MSG Olivia Hime, Regimental Public Affairs NCO, and MAJ Samantha Walton, Regimental Public Affairs Officer, Class of 2022

The Class of 2022 Ring Presentation Ceremony was held on Friday, Oct. 1. The stories presented here are the result of the leadership of Regimental Public Affairs officer, Major Samantha Walton, and Regimental Public Affairs Non Commissioned Officer, Cadet Olivia Hime. Both women will also receive their rings and will graduate in May.

Walton, who is from Macon, Georgia, attends The Citadel on an U.S. Army scholarship and will accept a commission to become an officer upon graduating. She is majoring in Political Science and holds the Charles Foster Scholarship.

Hime, who is from Holly Springs, North Carolina, is a junior and a member of The Citadel Honors Program. She is majoring in Biology, has repeatedly earned gold stars and President’s List positions for academic excellence. Hime will graduate in May, a year early, and plans to attend medical school to become a physician.

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My Ring Story: working together to build on the legacy of those who came before https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-working-together-to-build-on-the-legacy-of-those-who-came-before/ Mon, 04 Oct 2021 23:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27500 Cadet Tyler Mitchell, from Columbia, SC, is a Political Science major. He serves as president of The Citadel College Democrats.]]>

Photo: Tyler Mitchell, second from left, with fellow members of The Citadel College Democrats leadership team (Jalen Singleton, Keyshawn Gascey and Ronald “Deuce” Prince) at The South Carolina State House on April 21, 2021

Meet Cadet Tyler Mitchell, Class of 2022

Cadet Tyler Mitchell, from Columbia, SC, is a Political Science major. He serves as president of The Citadel College Democrats and is a member of The Citadel Gospel Choir and The Citadel African American Society.

Q. What quote is inside your ring, and what is its significance?

A. 1 Kings 2:2, “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man.”

This scripture pertains to embarking on an odyssey where you have no other option but to press forward when tribulations come along. In doing that, you grow in mind, body and spirit and develop into a more sophisticated person. Never put your faith in feelings because your emotions can change like the weather. You have to control your feelings and allow God to direct you to the right path.

Q. Did you ever envision this moment?

I did. But I knew I had to take care of my responsibilities in the classroom and in the Corps if I wanted to make this moment a reality. If you don’t have a blueprint to coincide with your vision, then it is nothing except a dream. No matter the challenges, I told myself I wasn’t going to quit.

Q. What was the most difficult obstacle that you conquered to earn the ring?

A. In the Fall 2020 semester, I took 19 credits, and had an internship and a work-study job — all while recovering from COVID-19. To motivate myself to push through, I had my pictures that I took with Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from when I went to the debate in Charleston pinned to the bulletin board on my desk in my dorm. That way I got to look at great leaders every morning and know, if I applied my God-given talents to everything I did, that I would soon be in the position they’re in. Wearing the ring is proof that I embraced the challenges before me and made it through the trials and tribulations.

Tyler Mitchell with now-President Joe Biden at The 2020 Presidential Debate at The Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina on February 25, 2020

Q. Does wearing the ring make you feel like you have special obligations?

A. The obligation I have is to be true to who I am and what God has planned for my life. I want to secure my legacy by building positive engagements with the next generation of Citadel cadets. We must pay it forward as we continue to grow in every aspect of our lives. I want to make sure that important issues are addressed and solutions are provided.

Q. In what way has this institution impacted your life?

A. The Citadel taught me the value of teamwork. In order to accomplish a set goal to benefit everyone, you must be willing to put aside any personal discord you have with a teammate and come to a common understanding. Pride and egos have to be checked, and it requires a sense of humbleness on all accounts.

Q. How will you bring a new meaning to the ring?

A. I am hoping to graduate from The Citadel to continue my leadership development. When I matriculated, I made a promise to myself: that I would build upon the legacy of the first black men who joined the Corps of Cadets and made my attendance possible.

Q. What is your next step after you leave The Citadel?

A. I plan to attend law school, become a JAG in the United States Air Force and be a public servant in the state of South Carolina.

Tyler Mitchell on the first day of his senior year, August 25, 2021

About The Citadel Class of 2022 Ring Stories

Left to right: MSG Olivia Hime, Regimental Public Affairs NCO, and MAJ Samantha Walton, Regimental Public Affairs Officer, Class of 2022

The Class of 2022 Ring Presentation Ceremony was held on Friday, Oct. 1. The stories presented here are the result of the leadership of Regimental Public Affairs officer, Major Samantha Walton, and Regimental Public Affairs Non Commissioned Officer, Cadet Olivia Hime. Both women will also receive their rings and will graduate in May.

Walton, who is from Macon, Georgia, attends The Citadel on an U.S. Army scholarship and will accept a commission to become an officer upon graduating. She is majoring in Political Science and holds the Charles Foster Scholarship.

Hime, who is from Holly Springs, North Carolina, is a junior and a member of The Citadel Honors Program. She is majoring in Biology, has repeatedly earned gold stars and President’s List positions for academic excellence. Hime will graduate in May, a year early, and plans to attend medical school to become a physician.

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My Ring Story: becoming a cyber warrior https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-becoming-a-cyber-warrior/ Mon, 27 Sep 2021 21:50:53 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27128 Cadet Trey Stevens spring 2021Cadet Trey Stevens spring 2021"After my time here at The Citadel I will be working with the Department of Defense within the cyber domain for at least two years."]]> Cadet Trey Stevens spring 2021Cadet Trey Stevens spring 2021

Meet Trey Stevens, Class of 2022

Cadet Trey Stevens is a quadruple major: Computer Science, Cyber Operations; Intelligence and Security Studies, and Criminal Justice. Stevens is studying as part of the first group of cadets with The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute. Additionally, the Blythewood, South Carolina native was also recently awarded an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Cyber Security Scholarship. AFCEA is a professional association for those engaged in defense, security and all related technology disciplines.

This award is proven testimony of how valuable The Citadel’s cybersecurity curriculum really is as it prepares a cadet to be equipped with the high in-demand cyber skillset and experiences generated from our South Carolina Corps of Cadets military leadership laboratory. I would like to thank all of my family, friends, classmates, professors, and mentors who have guided me on my path here at The Citadel as I conclude my senior year. 

Cadet Trey Stevens, The Citadel Class of 2022
“This was taken on our first day of our last year as cadets, August 25. Bottom left, Cadet Ronald “Deuce” Prince, Cadet Mackenzie Battle, and me at the top,” said Cadet Trey Stevens describing this photo.

Q. What quote is engraved inside your ring?

A. The phrase I put in on the inside my ring reads, “Time never forgets. Now go make your mark.” This serves as a constant reminder that time doesn’t stop for anyone. It does not matter if you are the most powerful person in the world or if you believe yourself to not be significant. Time will never forget what you did or didn’t do, so it is up to you as to what you choose to do.

Q. How did you envision the day you’d receive your Citadel band of gold?

A. I personally did not envision this moment ever before. I didn’t know much about The Citadel before coming here. As someone who has experienced being homeless for a bit it was a miracle I was able to pull off going to any college. After being here for a few years I’ve been so busy trying to do as much as I can that it doesn’t feel real. I’m waiting for the moment when I wake up from this crazy dream!

Q. What are three things The Citadel taught you that you couldn’t have learned anywhere else?

A. The top thing The Citadel teaches us is to take care of ourselves, from fitness to emotional well being. You cannot be there for others if you are not able to operate yourself. Next I’d say that communication is essential to everything and anything you do, especially during your times of need. And finally, always be aware of your surroundings and those who occupy it. The people around you have lives of their own and you have no idea whether they need help or can be a friend unless you talk to them.

Q. Who inspired you to being your journey here at The Citadel?

A. Mr. William Epps, Citadel Class of 2016, my cross country and track coach at Blythewood High encouraged me to put in an application to The Citadel because he thought it would be a great thing for me. Turns out he was right. After I was admitted, Mr. Tony Dillion, the father of my successor as the captain of our high school cybersecurity team, contacted Dr. Jennifer Albert at The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence about me. Dr. Albert allowed me to stay with her during the summer to work in the STEM Center while I adjusted to the area. Ms. Christine Vargas in the Financial Aid office was very understanding and cooperative with me visiting many days in a row and sometimes multiple times during a day until I secured funds to matriculate. Dr. Shankar Banik, the founder of our program, and many other professors have provided persistent support. Without out these wonderful people I’m not sure how I would have turned out.

Q. What is your next step after you leave The Citadel?

A. After my time here at The Citadel I will be working with the Department of Defense within the cyber domain for at least two years. After this I will more than likely stick with my agency while I pursue higher education and hopefully return back to The Citadel some day to teach. While I will not be a cadet anymore I don’t plan on ever leaving The Citadel completely.

Cadet Trey Stevens and friends in Charlie Company
Cadet Trey Stevens, on right, with his mentor, Jeff Thomas Godwin (center) and fellow mentee, Ian Kaiser, on Recognition Day after successfully completing the Gauntlet in 2018. “My senior mentor, Jeff, never gave up on us, nor did he make life easy. He made me determined to always finish what I start. This is essentially what has become the basis of the work that I do today,” Stevens said.

About The Citadel Class of 2022 Ring Stories

Left to right: MSG Olivia Hime, Regimental Public Affairs NCO, and MAJ Samantha Walton, Regimental Public Affairs Officer, Class of 2022.

The Class of 2022 Ring Presentation Ceremony is Friday, Oct. 1. The stories presented here are the result of the leadership of Regimental Public Affairs officer, Major Samantha Walton, and Regimental Public Affairs Non Commissioned Officer, Cadet Olivia Hime. Both women will also receive their rings and will graduate in May.

Walton, who is from Macon, Georgia, attends The Citadel on an U.S. Army scholarship and will accept a commission to become an officer upon graduating. She is majoring in Political Science.

Hime, who is from Holly Springs, North Carolina, is a junior and a member of The Citadel Honors Program. She is majoring in Biology, has repeatedly earned gold stars and President’s List positions for academic excellence. Hime will graduate in May, a year early, and plans to attend medical school to become a physician.

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Voices from Afghanistan: A serviceman and veterans reflect on the 20-year war https://today.citadel.edu/voices-from-afghanistan-a-serviceman-and-veterans-reflect-on-the-20-year-war/ Mon, 27 Sep 2021 18:25:59 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27112 Jacob Hagstrom, Ph.D., interviewed in this article, is a professor with The Citadel's Department of History. ]]>

Note: Jacob Hagstrom, Ph.D., interviewed in this article, is a professor with The Citadel’s Department of History. Hagstrom, a graduate of the United States Military Academy West Point, joined The Citadel in 2020 and teaches Leadership in Military History and History of the U.S. Military.

As heard on South Carolina Public Radio, by Victoria Hansen

Excitement mixes with exhaustion as Major Phil Compton wraps up a mission in New Jersey. The operations flight commander with the 628th Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base Charleston has been busy, very busy.

“It’s a personal mission to go to Afghanistan and do what we do,” says Maj. Compton. “A lot of us embrace that.”

A Mission of Hope – A Serviceman’s Story

Compton was deployed in 2011 he says to teach Afghans in Kabul how to build a sustainable model for their bases. He returned in 2018 as part of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands program learning valuable cultural and language skills to bridge the efforts between the military and Afghans.

That’s when he worked closely with interpreter Zamzama Safi.

“When I met her, it was very clear she had gone through some trauma,” says Maj. Compton.

Safi was kidnapped for three days, tortured and raped by the Taliban when she was 15 years-old. Compton and his colleagues feared for her life when Kabul fell to the Taliban in August shortly after U.S. forces pulled out. He was one of the first she contacted after safely evacuating.

“In my heart and mind, she represents like the resiliency of most Afghans that I’ve worked with,” says Maj. Compton.

“They can go through some tremendous trauma and turn around and smile at you and hope for a better future.”

Compton sees that same hope on the faces of Afghan refugees arriving in New Jersey.

The 35-year-old grandson of Mexican immigrants tells them in Dari, “Day by Day a new life will be made.”

As Compton focuses on hope, many Americans struggle to understand the 20-year war in Afghanistan. What did it accomplish if the Taliban could quickly regain control, and at what cost?

Nearly 2,500 American service members and 4,000 U.S. contractors were killed. The monetary price tag is estimated at more than $2.3 trillion.

Another Mistake – A Veteran’s View

“All those years of money and sacrifice by the American people were literally in vain,” says Gerald Mahle of Beaufort.

The 77-year-old was deployed in 2002 as a civil affairs Sergeant in the Army.

“If you want to explain Afghanistan, just look at Vietnam,” says Mahle. “It’s just a mirror image. We did the exact things wrong 30 years later.”

Mahle believes the U.S. should have left when Osama Bin Laden was killed, arguing what he saw of Afghanistan wasn’t really a country, but fragmented tribes in conflict with one another. He says America has no business imposing its values on others.

“Who are we to tell them they need to have Democracy,” he says. “They were fighting and killing each other for the last thousand years.”

“I think everyone has an individual story to tell and it’s based on these local things that aren’t necessarily replicated elsewhere,” says Citadel professor Dr. Jacob Hagstrom.

Hagstrom was deployed too, in 2011 as an Army field artillery officer with the 25th Infantry Division.

He’s learning much of politics is local as he pieces together the stories of other veterans and former leaders in Afghanistan as part of an oral history project.

What Can We Learn – A Professor’s Project

Dr. Hagstrom says Americans there after 2014 were likely aware deals were being made between the Taliban and Afghan elders, but they weren’t privy to those agreements.

That’s why, he says partnership are critical. They help overcome barriers in language, culture and history.

“If people in the United States had understood the history of Afghanistan from the beginning, I think we would have been a lot more wary about committing to a long-term military engagement there.”

For us, the mission to find those responsible for September 11th and prevent future terrorist attacks was the beginning of a 20-year war. But for Afghanistan, it was another battle in an ongoing, generational, civil war.

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My ring story: Desire breeds discipline, work ethic and effort https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-desire-breeds-discipline-work-ethic-and-effort/ Fri, 24 Sep 2021 20:40:04 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27031 Photo of Cadet Sam Wendt The Citadel Class of 2022Photo of Cadet Sam Wendt The Citadel Class of 2022 I would like to add positively to the long-standing legacy of The Citadel band of gold through the way that I interact with others as a law enforcement officer.]]> Photo of Cadet Sam Wendt The Citadel Class of 2022Photo of Cadet Sam Wendt The Citadel Class of 2022

Meet Cadet Sam Wendt, Class of 2022, Criminal Justice

Q. What quote is engraved inside your ring?

A. The inside of my ring says “Nothing Beats Desire.” It is something my grandpa said to my dad, and my dad says to my brothers and I.

It means that we may not be the smartest, we may not be the biggest, we may not be the fastest, and we may not be the most gifted or talented, but that desire and work ethic can outweigh those things. Those things can take you far in life. 

My brother Ethan’s high school graduation, May of 2021. Left to right, my dad Chip, brother Kelly, Aunt Meg, my mom Colleen, Ethan, my Grandmother and Grandfather, and me.

Q. How did you envision the day you’d receive your Citadel band of gold?

A. I didn’t think I would see this day. I didn’t think that I would get kicked out or quit, I just did not think that so much time would go by so fast. When we got here, the big ring statue said 18 on it. It was still in the teens. No way it would ever say 22 on it. It has just absolutely flown by so fast.

Q. What was the most difficult obstacle that you conquered that made you feel you had the honor to wear the ring?

A. The most difficult thing for me was getting here. I found out in high school that I am medically disqualified from military service due to a life threatening allergy. The military was all I ever wanted to do, so it hit me pretty hard. That is when I found The Citadel. It may not be all fun all the time, but it is where I need to be to keep myself on track.

Q. Who inspired you to begin/continue your journey here at The Citadel?

A. I have so many role models here and at home, I don’t even know where to begin. I have been extremely blessed to have so many different positive examples of what a good man is supposed to be. From Col. Chuck Dunne’s people skills, to my grandfather’s discipline, my father’s work ethic, 1SG Webster’s dedication, Captain Ferguson’s professionalism, and my roommate Chia-Feng (Mike) Chiang’s grit, I am surrounded by so many great men who remind me every day what it is to strive for greatness.


Christmas Day, 2019 at Cadet Sam Wendt’s Home in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Left to right according to Wendt,: My brother Kelly, my dad Chip, Cadet Mike Chiang, me, my mom Colleen, and my brother Ethan.

Q. How will you add positively to the long-standing legacy of The Citadel band of gold?

A. I would like to add positively to the long-standing legacy of The Citadel band of gold through the way that I interact with others as a law enforcement officer. I plan to work for the Charleston Police Department upon graduation. The field needs individuals with the values taught here are The Citadel. The field needs prepared leaders are fit, professional, competent, confident and just.

My dream would be to have a kid see how I act as a police officer and see that I came from The Citadel and want to come here as well.

Cadet Sam Wendt, The Citadel Class of 2022

About The Citadel Class of 2022 Ring Stories

Left to right: MSG Olivia Hime, Regimental Public Affairs NCO, and MAJ Samantha Walton, Regimental Public Affairs Officer, Class of 2022.

The Class of 2022 Ring Presentation Ceremony is Friday, Oct. 1. The stories presented here are the result of the leadership of Regimental Public Affairs officer, Major Samantha Walton, and Regimental Public Affairs Non Commissioned Officer, Cadet Olivia Hime. Both women will also receive their rings and will graduate in May.

Walton, who is from Macon, Georgia, attends The Citadel on an U.S. Army scholarship and will accept a commission to become an officer upon graduating. She is majoring in Political Science.

Hime, who is from Holly Springs, North Carolina, is a junior and a member of The Citadel Honors Program. She is majoring in Biology, has repeatedly earned gold stars and President’s List positions for academic excellence. Hime will graduate in May, a year early, and plans to attend medical school to become a physician.

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Riley’s “Making of the International African American Museum” course airing on C-SPAN https://today.citadel.edu/rileys-making-of-the-international-african-american-museum-course-airing-on-c-span/ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 15:00:19 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26724 Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The course featured leading global figures Riley engaged to contribute what Riley calls "the under-told stories of African American experiences."]]> Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Photo above: Citadel cadets and students enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum” tour the site of the museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on February 2, 2021.

First recorded class session airing Sept. 18

The International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston is expected to open in 2022. The founder and champion of the IAAM, former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., is a professor at The Citadel and a member of The Citadel Class of 1964.

Class segments from one of Riley’s courses, co-designed and taught by Kerry Taylor, Ph.D., a professor in The Citadel Department of History, are being broadcast by the C-SPAN American History TV channel, beginning on Sept. 18. “The why and the how: The making of the International African American Museum” recorded class sessions will also be available on the C-SPAN American History TV website.

Riley was mayor for 40 years and a career-long civil rights activist, serving as one of the most important figures in American municipal government. After retiring from public office, he assumed the position at The Citadel as the first person to serve in a professorship named for him: the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Endowed Chair of American Government and Public Policy Professor.

Here is a description from C-SPAN.org:

The International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina is slated to open its doors in the summer of 2022. We sat in on a course at the The Citadel looking at how and why the museum came into existence. Former Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley — who first proposed the idea for the museum more than 20 years ago — co-taught the course with history professor Kerry Taylor. Their guest speaker for this class session was Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch, who shared his experiences as the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Citadel provided this video.

C-SPAN.org

The course, taught mostly remotely in the spring of 2021, featured leading global figures Riley engaged to contribute what Riley calls “the under-told stories of African American experiences.”

The cadets and students in Riley’s class also toured the IAAM construction site, led by Riley.

“The International African American Museum site is sacred ground. The location was crucial because every day it is painfully evident that America continues to be fractured by our structural defect resulting from the days of enslaved Africans. This fissure exists because we Americans do not know this important part of our country’s history,” Riley said in response to being asked a about why he developed the course.

For Riley, an IAAM board member, the museum represents an extension of his political commitments, dating back at least to the time of his first mayoral election in 1975.

A clip of the first class shown, featuring the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie Bunch III, is below.

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The Citadel part of collaborative team receiving $2M cybersecurity grant https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-part-of-collaborative-team-receiving-2m-cybersecurity-grant/ Mon, 06 Sep 2021 20:29:25 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26386 The Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/ProvidedThe Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/Provided"Cyber attacks in South Carolina are becoming more and more common, just as they are across the country."]]> The Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/ProvidedThe Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/Provided

“America’s critical infrastructure must be protected”

Photo above: Citadel cadets competing in cybersecurity simulations challenge on campus in 2021

The Citadel — as a Department of Defense National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense (NCAE-C), recently re-designated through 2028 — is working with a collaborative group to improve the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security, critical infrastructure control systems such as water, electricity, gas and traffic systems have become key targets for adversarial attacks from organized threat actors. This project is intended to help address that.

The University of Memphis Center for Information Assurance (CfIA) is leading the effort, having formed a consortium of NCAE-C institutions including The Citadel, North Carolina A&T State University and the University of West Florida to apply for and secure the grant. The overall goal is to design and develop a multi-disciplinary critical infrastructure cybersecurity program addressing the technical needs of public utility operations and emergency decision-makers. 

“Cyber attacks in South Carolina are becoming more and more common, just as they are across the country,” said Shanknar Banik, Ph.D., the founder of The Citadel’s cyber initiatives and head of all related entities. “America’s critical infrastructure must be protected.”

For example, in 2020 news outlets report that Greenville Water and the Bluffton Township Fire District were attacked, and Georgetown County was hit with a ransomware attack in 2021. A company called Seculore Solutions lists a state-by-state archive of infrastructure related cybersecurity attacks for each state, including South Carolina, here.

Banik, and Melissa Graves, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies, are The Citadel’s primary investigators on the CfIA led project.

The consortium intends to create a strong southeast regional coalition, leveraging the group’s expertise in cybersecurity to assist NCAE-C cadets and students, state and local governments, and critical infrastructure industry partners in contending with evolving threats. 

The matrix of cybersecurity and intelligence programs at The Citadel

The first cohort of cadets studying as part of The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute pose for a portrait on campus in Charleston, South Carolina, in March 2021.

The matrix of elements that are part of The Citadel’s Cyber and Computer Sciences programs include The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute (CDCI). It is funded by DoD grants, the last one in the amount of $1.46 million, provided through legislation that created a similar entity at each of the nation’s six Senior Military Institutes. Thus far 19 cadets are studying under the umbrella of the CDCI.

“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,” added Banik.

Additionally, The Citadel’s CyberCorps program — funded through a $2.8 million National Science Foundation grant — provides tuition, living expenses and dedicated training for cadets who will immediately go into cybersecurity government roles after graduation.

The Citadel offers undergraduate degrees in Cyber Operations, Computer Science, and Intelligence and Security Studies, plus two related master’s degrees and several graduate certificates. For more information email admissions@Citadel.edu.

Former Director of National IntelliCyber Security Conference, Department of National Intelligence, Daniel Coat having lunch with cadets during The Citadel intelligence and Cyber Security Conference in 2018
Former Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coast having lunch with cadets on campus during The Citadel Intelligence and Cybersecurity Conference in 2018

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New cadets added to Distinguished Scholars Program, inaugural class readying to graduate https://today.citadel.edu/new-cadets-added-to-distinguished-scholars-program-inaugural-class-readying-to-graduate/ Wed, 01 Sep 2021 14:52:39 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26156 Three members of The Citadel Distinguished Scholars program in a portrait at Bond HallThree members of The Citadel Distinguished Scholars program in a portrait at Bond Hall"Aim high and go big are the hallmarks of The Citadel Distinguished Scholars Program."]]> Three members of The Citadel Distinguished Scholars program in a portrait at Bond HallThree members of The Citadel Distinguished Scholars program in a portrait at Bond Hall

Photo above: Three new members of The Citadel Distinguished Scholars Program, Cadets Joseph Stilwell, Mary Coast Watson and Joshua Howell, pose for a portrait in front of Bond Hall on The Citadel campus.

The Citadel Distinguished Scholars Program is proud to announce its third group of cadets.

Nine additional cadets are now in the program. All but one will graduate in 2024. The eight sophomores and one junior were recently selected following their successful applications and interviews.

The new Distinguished Scholars are:

Leo Ernesto Bachir Eckhardt
Major: Intelligence and Security Studies; Social Studies Education; Criminal Justice.
Hometown: Vienna, Austria

Joshua Howell
Major: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Holly Lake Ranch, Texas

Thomas Grealy (Marine scholarship)
Major: Finance
Hometown: South Boston, Massachusetts

Richard Milling
Major: Civil Engineering
Hometown: Florence, South Carolina

Riley Neiders (Air Force scholarship, Rifle Team)
Majors: Political Science and Business Management
Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Rohan Shah (Basketball team)
Major: Finance
Hometown: Burr Ridge, Illinois

Ben Stemmet (Wrestling team)
Major: Finance
Hometown: Yorkville, Illinois

Joseph Stilwell (Army scholarship)
Major: English
Hometown: Greer, South Carolina

Mary Coastal Watkins
Major: Civil Engineering
Hometown: Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina

The Citadel Distinguished Scholars Program began in 2019 to provide preparation for select cadets that should improve their chances for acceptance to elite graduate schools or selection for the highest level of scholarships.

“The Citadel Distinguished Scholars Program attracts strikingly motivated students who already have a highly developed sense of personal mission and purpose,” said Earl Walker, Ph.D., a professor of management and leadership at The Citadel who created the program. 

More about The Citadel Distinguished Scholars Program

There are 20 cadets in the program with the three cohorts of scholars. Four cadets from the inaugural group are preparing to graduate in May 2022.

“Our scholars are pursuing multiple majors and minors, some hold rank and added responsibility in the Corps, some are planning to commission into the armed forces, while others have a passion driving their ambition to seek greater challenges,” Walker added. “All are benefiting from our training them to be leaders in their field and giving them an edge to compete for life-changing, graduate-level educational opportunities.”

Walker explained that the scholars are inspired and encouraged to “up their game” and set their ambitions high. “By their senior year, they will have their sights set on applying for the most important and most highly sought after scholarships, like the Rhodes or Fulbright,” he said.

The scholars sign a contract agreeing to maintain a 3.75 GPA, are assigned faculty mentors and take one-on-one tutorials. The main structural element of the program are the tutorials in classical disciplines including Economics, English and Political Science. A new fourth class focuses on self-assessment and personal development to help scholars create compelling personal narratives that will make their applications stand out. In the tutorials, scholars read leading works and meet one-on-one with professors to discuss and interpret, then write and defend, persuasive papers. 

“To compete successfully, our scholars must possess spotless academic transcripts, demonstrate leadership, research and innovation in their field, civic awareness and social responsibility, and valuable skills gained through internships, service and employment experiences,” said Walker. “Our scholars have full access to five professors and 20 advisory board members to help them find the intersection of their interests, their passions and their skills.”

For more information about the program please email earl.walker@citadel.edu, or vperez@citadel.edu. The office phone number is (843) 953-9507. 

Aim high and go big are the hallmarks of The Citadel Distinguished Scholars Program. 

Dr. Earl Walker, program founder
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Two ways to advance your knowledge about the U.S. Constitution https://today.citadel.edu/two-ways-to-advance-your-knowledge-about-about-the-u-s-constitution/ Fri, 27 Aug 2021 16:36:33 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26161 Wide photograph of PT Barracks at The CitadelWide photograph of PT Barracks at The Citadel"Our concern is preparing cadets for future leadership roles..."]]> Wide photograph of PT Barracks at The CitadelWide photograph of PT Barracks at The Citadel

Constitution Day recognition events scheduled at The Citadel Sept. 21 and 23, open to public

Every cadet at The Citadel is required to take a course to learn more about America’s founding documents. They take it during their sophomore year, and it is an element of the Corps of Cadets’ requisite four years of leadership training that complements their academic and military training.

The chair of The Citadel Leadership Studies program, Faith Rivers James, JD, developed the course that began in the spring of 2020.

“Our concern is preparing cadets for future leadership roles by providing them with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision about their role in Democracy,” said Rivers James. “We examine the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, of course. We also study advocacy pieces about the documents like the Federalist Papers.”

With national Constitution Day approaching (Sept. 17), the college continues to reinforce the importance of constitutional learning. The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences is sponsoring two events. Both are free and open to everyone, facemasks required.

The first is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21. It will be a public reading of the Constitution involving volunteers from across campus and the community. Those wishing to volunteer should contact Professor Scott Segrest at ssegrest@citadel.edu. It will be followed by a discussion led by a professor of Political Science.

The event will take place in Bond Hall, 165. There is free parking on campus. A virtual campus map is here.

The second event, from 7- 9 p.m. on Sept. 23, will feature a constitutional expert, Prof. Richard Garnett, JD. He is the Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law and Concurrent Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, where he is also the founding director of the Program on Church, State & Society. 

“We can all learn from Prof. Garnett’s expertise on First Amendment issues, especially on the freedoms of speech, association and religion. Additionally, he is a leading authority on questions of religion in politics and society,” said Scott Segrest, Ph.D., assistant professor of Political Science at The Citadel. “Professor Garnett earned his J.D. from Yale Law School and clerked for the late Chief Justice of the United States, William H. Rehnquist, and also for the late Chief Judge of the S.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Richard S. Arnold.”

The event on Sept. 23 will be held in the Altman Center, which is the building at the end of the football stadium facing Fishburne St. The address is 68C Hagood Ave., and there is complimentary parking just outside of the building.

Both of the events are sponsored by the School of Humanities with generous support from the Henry and Jenny Johnson Endowment for Historical Studies.

Below: Prof. Faith Rivers James, chair for The Citadel Leadership Studies program, being interviewed by Fox News about the college’s requirement for cadets to study America’s founding documents when the course began being taught in 2020.

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