Students – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Mon, 18 Oct 2021 15:58:46 +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 Students – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 Citadel cadet takes oath before taking the field https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-cadet-takes-oath-before-taking-the-field/ Mon, 18 Oct 2021 15:58:42 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27857 Cadet -- and Bulldog soccer player -- Ryleigh Jenkins is joining a long family line of serving our country.]]>

Cadet — and Bulldog soccer player — Ryleigh Jenkins is joining a long family line of serving our country. Her grandfather was a Navy Seal; her dad, a Marine.

Before her nine-win Citadel soccer team hit the road for Mercer, she had her own ceremony as part of her process of becoming a Navy Midshipman.

As seen on WCIV – ABC News 4, by Scott Eisberg

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My Ring Story: Remember your “why” https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-remember-your-why/ Fri, 15 Oct 2021 20:11:21 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27854 Meet Jerry Eugene Higgins III, Class of 2022 Jerry Higgins is a cadet-athlete from Cleveland, Ohio, who is majoring in Biology. He is a basketball player and has received gold]]>

Meet Jerry Eugene Higgins III, Class of 2022

Jerry Higgins is a cadet-athlete from Cleveland, Ohio, who is majoring in Biology. He is a basketball player and has received gold stars for academic achievement. After graduation Higgens plans to attend medical school and become a physician.

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

A. I put two phrases inside my ring. The first is “Remember Your Why.” That will be a constant reminder to strive for greatness in everything I do. Your “why” is the reason you get out of bed in the morning and do all that you do. Your “why” is what you believe you are meant to do here. Some of us know our “why.” Some of us do not. And, for some of us it changes over the course of a lifetime. Knowing your purpose is crucial because it gives you direction. My “why” is focused on my family and the people close to me that have made me the man I am today; I truly don’t know where I would be without them.

The second engraving is “God’s Speed.” This will remind me that things will happen when they are meant to occur. Like being in the wonderful place right now of getting my band of gold. Through the journey of life, having God by my side eases my worries because I know In the end I will be alright.

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

A. My father has definitely inspired me to not only make the choice to come here, but to push through the hard times to success. When deciding to attend as a cadet-athlete, I was skeptical about whether I could handle sports plus the military requirements, on top of academics. I did my best to set an example of how an athlete at The Citadel should balance academics, athletics and our military requirements – all of them – like everyone else.

Left to right: Me, my father, Jerry Higgins Jr., my brother Cameron, my stepmother Svetlana, and my sister Sasha, in July when we all attended my brother’s preschool graduation.

My father assured me that he raised me to be able to endure any environment, and this was very true. His strength powers me through every day!

Q. Do you feel that you will have any special obligations now that you wear the ring?

A. Yes. Many. The ring represents everyone that has come before my class and that will come after. The same principles that I learned here will be with me as I wear the ring.

For me, wearing the ring is also showing appreciation for the people who were here in the Corps of Cadets before me. I know there have been many African American cadets that have attended this college that have paved the way for minorities to be accepted here.

Additionally, I think that it’s important that people realize that our ring isn’t your typical class ring. The ring bonds everyone that has successfully come through the gates of this school and represents sacrifices they made to be here.

Q. What are three specific things The Citadel taught you?

A. 1. Be grateful for everything. 2. Struggle is necessary for growth. 3. The importance of accountability.

Cadets Jerry Higgins and Douglas Karam, accompanied by Dr. John Weinstein, Biology, deploy an experiment to measure how face masks, rubber gloves and hand wipes decompose in the salt marsh behind Inouye Hall on Thursday, October 14, 2021.  Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel
Cadet Jerry Higgins III in the marsh near The Citadel campus, setting up a biology research project to measure the environmental impacts of discarded facemasks, gloves and anti-bacterial wipes in coastal areas.

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Citadel cadets, professor launch investigation into impacts of PPE on Charleston marshes https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-cadets-professor-launch-investigation-into-impacts-of-ppe-on-charleston-marshes/ Fri, 15 Oct 2021 13:37:16 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27792 Photograph credit: Forrest Tucker WCBD TVPhotograph credit: Forrest Tucker WCBD TV“It feels like you can have an impact on something you’re going through right now."]]> Photograph credit: Forrest Tucker WCBD TVPhotograph credit: Forrest Tucker WCBD TV

As seen on WCBD-TV, by Forrest Tucker

Photo above by Forrest Tucker, News 2, WCBD-TV

Armed with boots to trench through muddy banks near the Citadel’s campus, senior cadets Douglas Karam and Jerry Higgins installed a project that the pair have been working on for much of the semester.

“The planning and the process of putting it together actually took about six to seven weeks,” said Karam.

The goal of their experiment is to see how face masks, rubber gloves and hand wipes decompose in a salt marsh environment over the next eight months. The personal protective equipment, or PPE, is screwed down on boards that will become submerged during high tides.

“It feels like you can have an impact on something you’re going through right now,” said Karam.

Photograph by Forrest Tucker, News 2, WCBD-TV

The COVID-19 pandemic created a large need for items like masks and wipes and not all of them have been disposed of properly.

According to research from Ocean Asia, an estimated 1.5 billion facemasks may have entered the ocean as plastic litter in 2020.

“There’s a myth that plastic items take decades to centuries to degrade. What we’re finding in the salt marsh environment is that it’s happening a lot quicker,” said Citadel Professor of Biology Dr. John Weinstein.

With the Lowcountry’s environment mostly made up of saltwater marshes, Dr. Weinstein and the cadets think that the PPE will start to degrade into thousands of microplastics in a much shorter amount of time.

“We believe that it will degrade in four weeks. But over time we are going to check it out at four weeks, eight weeks, sixteen weeks, and thirty-two weeks,” said Higgins. “So we will see how it degrades over time, the rate of how it degrades, and how much each product degrades.”

The research will help them gauge the impact PPE pollution has on aquatic life, including seafood caught to be served in restaurants, and humans.

“As far as their life processes and what they ingest (the aquatic life) are surrounded in water. Not only does it affect the aquatic animals, but also the people who are living in this environment,” said Higgins.

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My Ring Story: a lifelong dream https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-a-lifelong-dream/ Wed, 13 Oct 2021 16:28:51 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27710 picture-with-the-cadets-from-left-to-right-is-Avery-Canady-me-Porter-Beal-Tim-Toomer-Marie-Le-Gallo-Blake-Durden-Evan-Lambrecht-George-Mock-and-Colby-Bennett.-scaled.jpegpicture-with-the-cadets-from-left-to-right-is-Avery-Canady-me-Porter-Beal-Tim-Toomer-Marie-Le-Gallo-Blake-Durden-Evan-Lambrecht-George-Mock-and-Colby-Bennett.-scaled.jpeg"I have honestly envisioned this moment all my life."]]> picture-with-the-cadets-from-left-to-right-is-Avery-Canady-me-Porter-Beal-Tim-Toomer-Marie-Le-Gallo-Blake-Durden-Evan-Lambrecht-George-Mock-and-Colby-Bennett.-scaled.jpegpicture-with-the-cadets-from-left-to-right-is-Avery-Canady-me-Porter-Beal-Tim-Toomer-Marie-Le-Gallo-Blake-Durden-Evan-Lambrecht-George-Mock-and-Colby-Bennett.-scaled.jpeg

Meet Jacob Lane Rush, Class of 2022

Photo above from left to right: Avery Canady, Jacob, Porter Beal, Tim Toomer, Marie Le Gallo, Blake Durden, Evan Lambrecht, George Mock and Colby Bennett.

MSG Jacob Lane Rush is from Concord, North Carolina, is majoring in Business Administration. and has earned gold stars for academic achievement. After graduation he plans to attend law school to eventually become a corporate attorney.

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

A. Inside my ring I have the Bible verse Colossians 3:23 which says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” This is a hugely significant verse to me because I believe that everything we do must be done to the best of our ability to glorify God, and my Citadel experience was no different.

Q. Did you ever envision the day you’d earn your ring?

A. I have honestly envisioned this moment all my life. I have dreamt about earning the ring since I was very young, and it has always been a goal of mine.

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

A. I would definitely say that my parents were a huge inspiration to me. They were the ones that introduced me to the school from a very young age, and they always said I had what it took to make it at The Citadel. My mom was especially inspirational. She always told me that she thought I was “born to go to The Citadel,” and that simple statement carried me through many ups and downs during my experience.

“This is my family on my first Parents Weekend, Oct 4, 2019. From left to right you’ll see my brother, Jackson, mom, Tamara and dad, Jeff.”

Q. What is a song that describes your emotions leading up to this time in your college career?

A. The song that runs through my head the most often is Country Roads by John Denver. Not only does this song make me think about my late grandfather, who serves as an inspiration and role model, but it also makes me think about the journey that I’ve been on.

Q. What are three things The Citadel taught you that you wouldn’t have learned at another college?

A. One of the main things that I have learned is how much I have to be thankful for. Knob year was a huge eye opener about how lucky I am, and it has seriously changed my views when I return home. Additionally, I’ve learned that you always have a little more to give than what your mind tells you. More times than I can count I have been in situations here when I thought I was was giving 100 percent, but then when needing to dig even deeper, The Citadel taught me how to summon the energy I needed to get through the challenge. Finally, and most importantly, The Citadel taught me how to let go and trust God in my life. It goes without saying that every day is filled with challenges, and I learned that I couldn’t deal with all these on my own and that I needed to tell my troubles to God and he would get me through them.

Q. What will you miss most about your time here?

A. I am already beginning to realize that what I will miss the most is the friendships. It hit me recently that while we will be lifelong friends, in a few short months, we will never be able to joke around on the galleries or go to mess together again. There will be no more marching in parades or staying up all night to clean for an inspection. I think I will miss that more than anything in the world.

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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The Citadel, VMI Corps of Cadets led by women https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-vmi-corps-of-cadets-led-by-women/ Thu, 07 Oct 2021 13:50:21 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27634 Attendees of The Citadel’s military review parade on Saturday were witnesses to tradition and a history-making moment.]]>

As seen on WCSC – Live 5 News, by Emilie Zuhowski

Attendees of The Citadel’s military review parade on Saturday were witnesses to tradition and a history-making moment.

For the first time in history, the regimental commanders of the Corps of Cadets from both The Citadel and the Virginia Military Institute are women.

Cadet Colonel Kathryn Christmas is the second woman to command the South Carolina Corps of Cadets at the Citadel.

Christmas was greeted at the parade by Cadet First Captain Kasey Meredith, the first woman in VMI’s history to serve as regimental commander. The two exchanged hats.

“You kinda feel a special bond between each other,” Christmas said.

The regimental commanders are responsible for the success and well-being of all cadets in their Corps. The Citadel has approximately 2,300 cadets, while VMI has about 1,700.

“For all the young ladies out there, when they see two regimental commanders, they can now view themself with that success,” The Citadel President Gen. Glenn Walters said.

Olivia Hime, Citadel Regimental Public Affairs NCO, called the moment inspiring.

“I think it’s a big jump for both of the schools being that most are predominately male,” Hime said. “So, I think it’s a big step forward and it’s really inspiring to other females like myself and the classes to come.”

Christmas says she thinks she can help Meredith and her school become acquainted with women in leadership positions.

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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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The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute mark historic year with both Corps of Cadets being commanded by women https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-and-virginia-military-institute-mark-historic-year-with-both-corps-of-cadets-being-commanded-by-women/ Sat, 02 Oct 2021 20:01:06 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27311 This year marks the first time both Corps of Cadets from The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) are led by regimental commanders who are women. ]]>

Photo above: The Citadel Regimental Commanding Officer, Cadet Col. Kathryn Christmas, ’22, front left, and VMI’s Regimental Commanding Officer, Cadet First Captain Kasey Meredith, ’22, front right, leading their respective Corps of Cadets in a salute on the football field during a military fly over at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina, when the two Senior Military Colleges played the Military Classic of the South football game, Oct. 2, 2021.

This year marks the first time both Corps of Cadets from The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) are led by regimental commanders who are women.

The Senior Military Colleges took time to recognize this moment in history on Oct. 2 at two events held on The Citadel campus in Charleston, South Carolina. During Parents’ Weekend at The Citadel the college also hosted VMI for the annual Military Classic of the South football game. The confluence of events provided the opportunity for the regimental commanders of both institutions to meet in person.

“As the nation’s military culture continues to evolve with more and more women in commanding roles, so to should the country’s Senior Military Colleges,” said The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.), ’79. “We are pleased to welcome Cadet First Captain Kasey Meredith, Virginia Military Institute’s first female regimental commander, to The Citadel as she joins Cadet Col. Kathryn Christmas for this historic moment when for the first time, the Corps of Cadets of both colleges are being commanded by women.”

The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.), ’79, and the Superintendent of Virginia Military Institute, Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, USA (Ret.) VMI Class of 1985, pause on Summerall Field after the Parents’ Weekend military dress parade at The Citadel to discuss the fact that this year marks the first time both Corps of Cadets are led by regimental commanders who are women. Wins and VMI cadets were visiting to watch the Military Classic of the South football game between the two Senior Military College’s in Charleston, South Carolina on Oct. 2, 2021.

The second woman to command the South Carolina Corps of Cadets at The Citadel is Cadet Col. Kathryn Christmas. Christmas is from Easley, South Carolina and is a Mechanical Engineering major attending with a U.S. Air Force contract. The Citadel’s first woman regimental commander was Cadet Col. Sarah Zorn in 2018. VMI’s Cadet First Captain, Kasey Meredith, is that institution’s first woman commander. The Johnstown, Pennsylvania native is majoring in International Studies and will accept a commission into the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduating in May.

“I am honored to serve alongside the first female Regimental Commander of VMI. We do not compete as rivals; we are equals, facing a common challenge,” said the Christmas, ’22.


The Citadel Regimental Commanding Officer, Cadet Col. Kathryn Christmas, ’22, left, and VMI’s Regimental Commanding Officer, Cadet First Captain Kasey Meredith, ’22 are introduced on Summerall Field during the South Carolina Corps of Cadets’ military dress parade on Parents’ Weekend when the two women commanders met for the first time, just before the two Senior Military Colleges played the Military Classic of the South football game on Oct. 2, 2021.

The regimental commanders at both colleges are responsible for the success and well-being of all cadets in their Corps, most of whom are 18 – 21 years old, and all are undergraduate students. The commanders are supported by regimental staffs, cadet officers and cadet non-commissioned officers. The Citadel has approximately 2,300 cadets. VMI’s Corps is comprised of about 1,700 cadets.

The regimental commanders were formally introduced to the audience watching the Parents’ Weekend military review parade on Summerall Field by the parade announcer. The women greeted each other and exchanged uniform covers (hats).

“Today was another historic day in the history of the Virginia Military Institute. The meeting between the two regimental commanders, Ms. Meredith and Ms. Christmas, is one that many believed would never be possible,” said the VMI Superintendent, Maj. Gen, Cedric T. Wins, USA (Ret.), ’85. “I am proud of these two young leaders and look forward to being amazed at what they are able to accomplish in the future.”

The Citadel Regimental Commanding Officer, Cadet Col. Kathryn Christmas, ’22, left, and VMI’s Regimental Commanding Officer, Cadet First Captain Kasey Meredith, ’22, right, exchanging mementos on the football field during a military fly over at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina, when the two Senior Military Colleges played the Military Classic of the South football game, Oct. 2, 2021.

Additionally, the two commanders were introduced to people in the stands at Johnson Hagood Stadium watching the football game. After the first quarter, the women were called onto the field to be recognized by the cadets they lead, many of whom were in attendance.

“It was a pleasure meeting The Citadel’s Regimental Commander, Ms. Christmas.  We are alike in a noticeable way, being both females,” said Meredith, ‘22. “However, what is truly important and pivotal is the relationship we are growing with each other as leaders, not as rivals. We are both leading our respective corps and through our successes and failures and we have each other to lean on and to learn from.”

The U.S. has six, federally designated Senior Military Colleges providing a combination of higher education and military training. Unlike the service academies, however, the cadets attending Senior Military Colleges are not required to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, though many do, graduating as military officers.

The Citadel Regimental Commanding Officer, Cadet Col. Kathryn Christmas, ’22, left, and VMI’s Regimental Commanding Officer, Cadet First Captain Kasey Meredith, ’22 during a candid moment in Padgett Thomas Barrack on The Citadel campus in Charleston, South Carolina, on October 2, 2021 during Parents Weekend when the two Senior Military Colleges play the Military Classic of the South football game.


FINALLY TODAY, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, AS THE REGIMENTAL STAFF COMPLETES THE PARADE WE WOULD LIKE TO RECOGNIZE A HISTORIC MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF SENIOR MILITARY COLLEGES.

THIS YEAR IS THE FIRST TIME BOTH CORPS’ OF CADETS FROM THE CITADEL AND VIRGINIA MILITARY INSISTUTE ARE LED BY REGIMENTAL COMMANDERS WHO ARE WOMEN. 

CADET FIRST CAPTAIN MEREDITH, THE REGIMENAL COMMANDER FOR THE VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE NOW MOVES TO THE REVIEWIING AREA TO MEET WITH CADET COLONEL CHRISTMAS AND EXCHANGE COLLEGE MEMENTOS.

The Citadel Parents’ Weekend dress parade announcer, Cadet Shiloh Smiles
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Bands of Gold for the Class of 2022 https://today.citadel.edu/bands-of-gold-for-the-class-of-2022/ Fri, 01 Oct 2021 22:18:48 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27374 More than 550 cadets, active duty and veteran students, members of the Class of 2022, now proudly wear The Citadel class ring.]]>

More than 550 cadets, active duty and veteran students now proudly wear The Citadel class ring.

The Class of 2022 marched across Summerall Field, directly into Summerall Chapel, where the rings were presented to the members of the senior class on Friday, Oct. 1.

“The presentation of the rings represents our commitment to The Citadel and our accomplishments as a class. Rings of alumni have been melted and reforged to create our rings. The Class of 2022 has been waiting patiently for this day. We will wear them proudly.”

Cadet Kathryn Christmas, Regimental Commander of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets

One of the very first acts the cadets performed after receiving their rings was to salute The Citadel War Memorial — marching by in rows of four — as they left the Chapel.

After, the cadets sprinted back to their barracks before beginning their first weekend with a Band of Gold on their hands.

Ring Presentation is something we have all dreamed about from our early days as knobs. Then, it seemed like an eternity away — yet here we are, getting to join the brother and sisterhood of those who wear the ring. For the Class of ’22, our rings symbolize the culmination of our efforts here at The Citadel and the efforts of those who helped us along the way. From this day forward, we have the privilege and responsibility of wearing the Band of Gold.

Cadet Grayson Gasque, Deputy Regimental Commander of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets

During the ceremony, the Class of 2022 took a moment to honor the alumni, and their families, who chose to donate their class rings to The Citadel Alumni Association’s Band of Gold program. Those alumni are:

  • Col. Frank R. Poole Jr., USA (Ret.), ’42
  • Maj. Gen. James A. Grimsley, USA (Ret.), ’42
  • Dr. Carl L. Riehm, ’52
  • Frank C. Easterby, ’52
  • Curtis C. Whittington, ’62
  • Hydrick H. Smith Jr., ’62
  • Lt. Col. Louis C. Walsh, USAF (Ret.), ’62
  • Lt. Col. Carl J. Ohall Jr., USA (Ret.), ’62
  • Cecil M. Dye, ’62
  • Kurt L. Kuhns, ’62
  • Lt. Col. Roy A. Collar Sr., USA (Ret.), ’62
  • Charles E. (Ned) Montgomery, ’55
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My Ring Story: setting the example https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-setting-the-example/ Fri, 01 Oct 2021 16:22:49 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27327 Cadet Chia-Feng Chiang is a Finance major from Changhua, Taiwan. A member of the Summerall Guards, he has earned gold stars multiple semesters.]]>

Meet Cadet Chia-Feng Chiang, Class of 2022

Cadet Chia-Feng Chiang is a Finance major from Changhua, Taiwan. Chiang is a member of the Summerall Guards; he has earned gold stars, and been named to the President’s List, for multiple semesters.

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

A. “Embrace the suck, keep your head up.”

There has been no easy day since I came to The Citadel. I want to remind myself, that no matter how hard life will be, to remember the days I gave my all to make myself and my family proud.

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

A. My parents both work in a welding factory, and they have worked there for almost half of their lives. Watching them work day and night, and even on the weekends, to make sure their children get a good education really motivates me to put my best effort into studying.

Chiang, front right, at a family reunion with grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and siblings

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

A. The Citadel gives me lots of opportunities to prove myself and let me understand that nothing is impossible.

I had never thought of becoming a rank-holder when I was a knob, because I was afraid that the language barrier would be the biggest problem for me. However, throughout my four-year cadet career at The Citadel, I have experienced multiple leadership positions.

Most importantly, I was able to go through the rigorous training and competitive process among other excellent classmates, and I was selected to become a member of the most prestigious club at The Citadel, the Summerall Guards.

I am grateful for all the opportunities that The Citadel has given me to grow and shape me into a leader.

Taiwanese cadets at The Citadel

Q. When you get the opportunity to look down at your ring, what memories will you remember about your experience?

A. One of the memories will likely be of the time I was preparing for international cadet selection. Since the international cadet program is a government-sponsored unit, I had to go through multiple tests and training in order to qualify as a candidate before coming to The Citadel. Apart from the requirements to become a candidate, I also had to perform cadet duties as a freshman in the Taiwanese Army Academy.

Whenever I look down at the ring on my hand, at some point in the future, it will certainly remind me of the countless efforts and commitments that helped me become one of the members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.

Chiang, right, and his brother when after reaching the summit of Hehuan Mountain in Taiwan

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

A. I will bring a new meaning to the ring by being a good officer in the Taiwanese Army.

I will utilize the leadership skills that I learn at The Citadel to lead the Taiwanese soldiers with humility and develop them into becoming principled leaders.

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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