Veterans – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Wed, 30 Jun 2021 18:54:04 +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 Veterans – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 The Citadel Board of Visitors welcomes new member, Bill Connor https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-board-of-visitors-welcomes-new-member-bill-connor/ Wed, 30 Jun 2021 18:53:59 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=25034 Colonel William M. (Bill) Connor, V, USA (Ret), ’90Colonel William M. (Bill) Connor, V, USA (Ret), ’90Colonel William M. (Bill) Connor, V, USA (Ret.), ’90, will join The Citadel Board of Visitors as its newest member on July 1, 2021.]]> Colonel William M. (Bill) Connor, V, USA (Ret), ’90Colonel William M. (Bill) Connor, V, USA (Ret), ’90

Colonel William M. (Bill) Connor, V, USA (Ret.), ’90, will join The Citadel Board of Visitors as its newest member on July 1, 2021. Connor is a retired Army officer, an attorney and the owner/founder of Bill Connor Law Firm, LLC, headquartered in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

For over 30 years, Connor served as an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army, then South Carolina National Guard, and then Army Reserve, beginning after graduating from The Citadel in 1990. He deployed to the Central Command Area multiple times, including service as the Senior U.S. Military advisor to Afghan National Security Forces in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Connor’s decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Ranger tab and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Connor currently serves as Chairman of the South Carolina Floodwater Commission’s National Security Task Force. He has also served as Chairman of the Board for Orangeburg Christian Academy and Chairman of the Republican Party’s 6th Congressional District, among multiple club presidencies and board memberships. In addition to a B.A. in History from The Citadel, Connor graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 2018 as a Distinguished Graduate with a Master of Science in Strategic Studies. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina in 2005.

Connor lives in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. He is married to his Citadel sweetheart, Dr. Susan Connor, and is the father of three and grandfather of two; his son Will is a rising junior at The Citadel.

Connor’s term on the Board of Visitors runs from July 1, 2021-June 30, 2027.

The Citadel Board of Visitors as of July 1, 2021

(Listed in order of seniority)

  • Colonel Dylan W. Goff, ’02, Chair
  • Colonel Peter M. McCoy, Sr., ’74, Vice Chair
  • Colonel Allison Dean Love, CGC, ’93
  • Colonel L. E. “Gene” Pinson, ’72
  • Colonel Stanley L. Myers, Sr., ’98
  • Colonel John C. Dominick, USAF (Ret.), ’71
  • Colonel James E. Nicholson, Jr., ’85
  • Colonel F. G. “Greg” Delleney, Jr., ’74
  • Colonel Robert E. Lyon, Jr., ’71
  • Colonel William M. (Bill) Connor, V, USA (Ret.), ’90
  • Vacant – Governor’s Appointee

Ex-Officio Voting Members

  • The Honorable Henry D. McMaster, Governor of the State of South Carolina
  • Major General R. Van McCarty, SCNG, ’82, Adjutant General of South Carolina
  • The Honorable Molly M. Spearman, State Superintendent of Education

Emeritus Members

  • Colonel Leonard C. Fulghum Jr., ’51, Chairman Emeritus
  • Colonel William E. Jenkinson III, ’68
  • Colonel Douglas A. Snyder, ’82

Non-Voting Representatives

  • Dr. Christopher C. Swain, ’81, Chairman, The Citadel Foundation
  • Commander Drury C. “Chip” Nimmich Jr., USN (Ret.), ’76, President, The Citadel Alumni Association
  • Colonel John A. Olshefski, USA (Ret.), ’80, President, The Citadel Brigadier Foundation

The Citadel BOV has 14 voting members. Ex-officio members include the governor, the adjutant general and the state superintendent of education; the other 11 members are graduates of The Citadel. Members serve six-year terms. There is no limit to the number of terms that a board member may serve and no age limit. Board members have the honorary rank of colonel in the Unorganized Militia of South Carolina. (If members have earned a higher rank in U.S. military service, they may retain that rank.)

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Spokesman for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, NATO Resolute Support to join The Citadel as Vice President for Communications and Marketing https://today.citadel.edu/spokesman-for-operation-freedoms-sentinel-nato-resolute-support-to-join-the-citadel-as-vice-president-for-communications-and-marketing/ Mon, 28 Jun 2021 21:01:59 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=25057 It is exciting to welcome Col. Sonny Leggett to The Citadel’s leadership team as Vice President for Communications and Marketing.]]>

The communications strategist working on behalf of the United States and more than 50 countries will join his alma matter as vice president for Communications and Marketing. Col. William (Sonny) Leggett, USA, Citadel Class of 1996, will join the college after he retires from 25 years of military service later this summer.

Currently, Leggett is the director of strategic communications for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and the NATO Resolute Support Mission, Afghanistan. In the position since 2019, Leggett synchronizes all communications, communications assets and capabilities across the theater while serving as principal advisor to the operational commander. He also serves as theater spokesperson engaging 1.9 million people daily across the social media platforms in support of campaign objectives.

“It is exciting to welcome Col. Sonny Leggett to The Citadel’s leadership team,” said The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret). “His experiences and accomplishments as a strategic communicator in numerous high-level positions for the United States Armed Forces will greatly benefit our mission to educate and develop principled leaders.”

Before his deployment to Afghanistan, Leggett served as director of strategic communications for the National Security Council for three years. In that role he provided direct counsel to the President of the United States on efforts to counter terrorist and state-actor communications. Leggett also led the White House engagements with Silicon Valley enterprises, informing tech companies on how their platforms were being exploited by terrorists, including ISIS.

From 2009-2014, Leggett was the principal public affairs advisor to the Commander of Joint Special Operations Command. There he developed comprehensive, inter-agency strategic communications plans in support of military operations producing global interest and directly impacting U.S. Foreign Policy.

Earlier in his Army career, Leggett was the director of public affairs for Joint Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan, and for the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. He also served in The Citadel Army ROTC detachment as a recruiting officer, an assistant professor of military science and an active-duty cadet company tactical officer.

Leggett earned a B.A. in Political Science from The Citadel, an M.A. in Public Relations/Corporate Communications from Georgetown University and an M.S. in National Security Strategy with a concentration in Emerging Technologies from the National War College. Additionally, he completed U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, as well as the Defense Information School’s Public Affairs Officers Course.

Leggett replaces Col. John Dorrian, ’90, who left the college in May after accepting a position with Lockheed Martin.

Col. William (Sonny) Leggett, USA, Citadel Class of 1996, to join The Citadel as Vice President of Marketing and Communications
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Congratulations to The Citadel’s 2021 veteran student graduates https://today.citadel.edu/congratulations-to-the-citadels-2021-veteran-student-graduates/ Sun, 20 Jun 2021 10:00:42 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24843 First, to all of The Citadel’s veteran students, thank you for your service to the United States of America. The college would also like to congratulate our veteran students who]]>

First, to all of The Citadel’s veteran students, thank you for your service to the United States of America.

The college would also like to congratulate our veteran students who graduated as part of The Citadel Class of 2021.

Veteran students at The Citadel (named one of the Top Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report, and other ranking sources), can study at the undergraduate and graduate levels, either on campus, or online depending on the degree.

The veteran student Class of 2021 graduates studied in the programs and settings that best fit their career goals and personal needs, including as cadet veterans, day veterans attending with the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, evening undergraduate veterans, graduate school veterans, or as active duty students.

The Citadel Class of 2021 veteran students are as follows (day program):

Ian Earl Adams
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Joseph Peter Arnold
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Katelyn Marie Arnold
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Wayland Ray Baker
Master of Business Administration

Curtis Michael Baynes
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Matthew Stephen Bonham
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Steven Buckwalter
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Corey Matthew Byrd
Master of Business Administration

Jennifer Lynne Byrd
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Stephanie Rose Clinevell
Master of Business Administration

Christian Edward Cochran
Master of Business Administration

Brittney Marie Deckard
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Joseph Raymond Demelis
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Nicholas Erickson
Master of Business Administration

Margaret Chandler Fowler
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Jose Daniel Garcia
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Luis Humberto Garcia
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Nathan Jamar Haggwood
Master of Business Administration

Alden Moinet Hathaway III
Master of Business Administration

Carlo Michael Hodil
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Timothy Douglas Jones
Master of Business Administration

Blake Cody Mallett-Fuina
Master of Science Project Management

Matthew Shawn Mullinax II
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Andrew Robert Nyser
Master of Science Project Management

Dennis Brian O’Connor
Master of Science Project Management

William Bradley Pond
Master of Business Administration

Matthew Edward Rushing
Master of Science Project Management

John Paul Semones
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Michael Sharpe
Master of Business Administration

Trevor Raymond Speelman
Master of Business Administration

Jonathan Meyer Workman
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Evening program graduates

Christian Edward Cochran
Master of Business Administration

Brittney Marie Deckard
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Joseph Raymond Demelis
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Nicholas Erickson
Master of Business Administration

Margaret Chandler Fowler
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Jose Daniel Garcia
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Luis Humberto Garcia
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Nathan Jamar Haggwood
Master of Business Administration

Alden Moinet Hathaway III
Master of Business Administration

Carlo Michael Hodil
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Timothy Douglas Jones
Master of Business Administration

Blake Cody Mallett-Fuina
Master of Science

Matthew Shawn Mullinax II
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Andrew Robert Nyser
Master of Science

Dennis Brian O’Connor
Master of Science

William Bradley Pond
Master of Business Administration

Matthew Edward Rushing
Master of Science

John Paul Semones
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Michael Sharpe
Master of Business Administration

Trevor Raymond Speelman
Master of Business Administration

Jonathan Meyer Workman
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Support for veterans studying with The Citadel

Veteran Student Success Center

The Citadel proudly offers veterans the opportunity to complete or advance their education in an environment that understands and appreciates military service. There is a special building on campus dedicated to veteran students for their use only. Read more here about the Veteran Student Success Center , how to apply to The Citadel and how to get assistance with your G.I. Bill funding.

The Citadel Student Veterans Association

The Citadel Student Veterans Association Chapter is a direct portal from the U.S. Armed Forces to the proud and respected traditions of the higher education our country is known for. It is run by the college’s veteran students with the help of The Citadel’s Veterans Services Coordinator.

“At The Citadel we find the likeminded brotherhood that drew us each to our respective branches of service.” 

The Citadel Student Veterans Association

For more information, please email citadelveterans@citadel.edu.

The Tommy Baker Veteran Fellowship Program

The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.) congratulating a veteran student who earned an award in January of 2020
The Baker Veteran Fellowship Awards Ceremony and Veteran Student Gold Star Certificate Presentations take place at Johnson Hagood Stadium at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.

The Tommy Baker Veteran Fellowship is a unique and rewarding experience for veteran students intended to help meet the immediate set of needs of veteran students at The Citadel, while positioning the fellows for future success. With the support from Tommy Baker, (namesake for the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business), selected Citadel veterans studying in all areas are given a significant advantage over students at other institutions.

The program includes 10 fellowships each academic year and includes a $5,000 stipend for tuition and educational expenses and an individualized internship experience overseen by The Citadel Career Services division, which offers academic credit as well as a customized educational experience. One component of the internship experience is a research project, where students complete an assessment of an organizational issue with recommended strategies and solutions.  To learn more, or to apply, please visit this webpage.

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Hicks: CAPT Geno Paluso made The Citadel, and the Corps of Cadets, better https://today.citadel.edu/hicks-capt-geno-paluso-made-the-citadel-and-the-corps-of-cadets-better/ Wed, 02 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24551 CAPT Geno Paluso speaking to Citadel cadets during a training session on Folly Beach in 2018CAPT Geno Paluso speaking to Citadel cadets during a training session on Folly Beach in 2018"This place has to constantly change and get better. That’s what I wanted to do, giving back what I learned in 25 years with the Navy."]]> CAPT Geno Paluso speaking to Citadel cadets during a training session on Folly Beach in 2018CAPT Geno Paluso speaking to Citadel cadets during a training session on Folly Beach in 2018

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Brian Hicks

Capt. Geno Paluso is touring The Citadel campus where he’s served as commandant of cadets since 2014, and he’s amazed by all the changes.

The new Swain Boating Center is a far cry from the shed the school had when he was a cadet. Capers Hall is about to be demolished and rebuilt — the first academic building replaced in more than 20 years.

And the new Bastin Hall is an architectural wonder that perfectly blends into the historic campus. The school is evolving, in part due to generous alumni.

But perhaps the most significant change at The Citadel in recent years has come from Paluso.

The retired Navy SEAL walked through Lesesne Gate seven years ago with a mission to steer his alma mater into modern times, cut down on hazing and focus on the military college’s core mission — creating leaders. When he retires as commandant next month, he can justifiably say mission accomplished.

“It’s a special place,” Paluso says. “But if you had told me in 1989 that I would come back and lead the Corps, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. This place has to constantly change and get better. That’s what I wanted to do, giving back what I learned in 25 years with the Navy.”

Paluso is an easygoing, friendly man, which means it’s easy to miss the fact that he’s also an elite soldier. The veteran SEAL led special forces operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other places, earning a Bronze Star and a list of service awards as long as your arm.

He brought that experience to The Citadel, setting up a program to teach professional leadership to cadets. Citadel President Gen. Glenn Walters, who’s also done much to eliminate hazing, says Paluso’s courses and training refined the college’s ability to create new leaders and improved cadet operations.

“Capt. Paluso’s innovations give our cadets additional tools to be strong, professional and effective leaders,” President Walters says.

Such change couldn’t have come at a better time. In his first year, Paluso surveyed cadets and was troubled by the volume of hazing reported. He changed that through training, leading by example… and explaining to the Corps that all those old stories, those traditions they felt obligated to uphold, no longer work in the military, or the world.

“One of the first things I tried to do was flip the switch on negative leadership,” he says. “It’s a tough system, and by definition some of it is negative. That’s supposed to make you a better person, but it never does. I knew it was wrong.”

That doesn’t mean the Corps has gone soft or bowed to political correctness. It remains a tough system and isn’t for everyone. Still, a vocal minority of alumni complained about Paluso’s methods. They protested when he changed haircuts to current military standards, and when he allowed cadets to wear camouflage uniforms to football games.

They even groused that cadets didn’t eat family style in the mess hall. Paluso jokes that some alumni wanted the Corps to do things the modern military doesn’t even do, just because … tradition.

Yes, El Cid alum historically resist change.

But in seven years, Paluso has made a difference. On his watch, The Citadel saw its first female regimental commander. When Sarah Zorn was selected to lead the Corps of Cadets in 2018, Paluso told The New York Times he got only one angry call. He diplomatically called the guy a Neanderthal.

“Then I educated him on how there’s no all-male military institutions, there’s no all-male corporations in America — I mean, come on. It’s 2018,” Paluso said at the time. “She’s the best qualified cadet. So get over it.”

Standing outside Mark Clark Hall last week, Paluso mentions running into a recent graduate. He’d gone from regimental commander to being accepted as an ensign in the Navy — the same path Paluso took. He’s full of similar success stories, and his pride is palpable.

This past month, people have lined up to show their appreciation of Paluso’s leadership. Gov. Henry McMaster awarded him the Order of the Palmetto, and he was asked to give the commencement address at graduation. He calls it the hardest, and easiest, speech he ever had to give.

“All you have to do is look at the class of 2021,” Paluso told me. “To watch them step up and lead under these circumstances, in a pandemic. These classes just keep getting better, and I’m so proud of them.”

Paluso explained to graduates that they’ll have other knob years — in the armed forces, in their jobs, even becoming spouses and parents — but they’ll be better prepared for it because of their experience at The Citadel.

And, honestly, they’ll be better prepared because of Geno Paluso.

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New chief has outdoor roots https://today.citadel.edu/new-chief-has-outdoor-roots/ Tue, 01 Jun 2021 14:12:10 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24542 "I am thrilled, humbled and excited to lead the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission as director to ensure the national treasure in our backyard."]]>

Scott native, veteran tapped to be Game and Fish director

Note: Austin Booth is a ’08 Citadel, Baker School of Business alumnus. Upon learning of his new position, the college asked him to send a brief reflection on the value of his Citadel education.

“I am humbled and thrilled to serve Arkansans and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission as the next director.

Anyone who knows The Citadel, knows that it is built on foundations of service, perseverance, and selflessness. By these virtues, The Citadel–especially Bravo Beach–prepared me tremendously well to serve our nation in the Marine Corps and now in my home state.

I will always have a deep sense of gratitude for The Citadel’s commitment to growing leaders and citizens of character.”

Austin Booth, The Citadel Class of 2008, Director, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

As seen in Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, by Bryan Hendricks

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission named Austin Booth as the agency’s 19th director Thursday, succeeding Director Pat Fitts, who will retire June 30.

Booth, 34, is a Scott native and most recently served as chief of staff and chief financial officer for the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. His starting salary as the Game and Fish director will be about $138,000 annually.

As chief financial officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Booth managed a budget of nearly $36 million. His primary responsibilities included supervising the agency’s assistant directors in managing two veterans cemeteries and two veterans homes. Booth’s resume cites reversing a $1.2 million annual loss at one veterans home to an annual profit exceeding $400,000.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s annual budget is about $92 million.

Booth served as a captain in the Marine Corps in several capacities from 2011-19, including a 2015-16 deployment to Afghanistan. He said his military service made him appreciate the influence hunting and fishing exerts on the Arkansas character.

“The catalyst for me applying to be next director was, ironically, a lousy duck hunt,” Booth said.

He described a morning in a duck blind when a flock of mallards landed among decoys about one minute before legal shooting time.

“A young man, high school age, reached for his gun, but he hesitated because he knew what time it was,” Booth said. “His dad reached over, put his hand on the young man’s gun and said, ‘Son, have some self-respect.’

“I don’t know whether that young man reflected on what his dad told him, but I have,” Booth said. “Arkansans have a humble and quiet grit about them. The things we learn in the outdoors — perseverance, community, selflessness and managing disappointment — all things that contribute to a good hunt, are things I see in the people of our state. I draw a direct line from our appreciation for the outdoors to the cultural attributes of Arkansans. It sets us apart from every other state.

“That’s something I’m willing to fight for. I am thrilled, humbled and excited to lead the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission as director to ensure the national treasure in our backyard, that we leave it better than we found it not only for the current Arkansans, but for the future crop of outdoorsmen that follow in our footsteps.”

At least three members of the seven-person commission cited Booth’s leadership and relationship-building skills as his most valuable attributes.

Commissioner Stan Jones of Walnut Ridge said those skills are essential for repairing and strengthening ties with the Arkansas Legislature. The Game and Fish Commission’s relationship with the Legislature was strained in March and April when three bills to increase the agency’s funding failed to get out of committee.

In 2018-19, Booth served as a Marine Corps judge advocate. His resume describes the position as being responsible for “creating and maintaining effective relationships with members and staff of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committees for … procurement and research and development, a portfolio of more than $11 billion.” Booth also prepared and advised senior Marine and Navy leaders for “testimony and engagements” with House and Senate members and staff.

From 2016-18, Booth served as a defense fellow for U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark. Booth’s resume says he advised Womack and his staff on national security policy. He also served as legislative assistant for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittee.

“This is a huge agency that is doing a tremendous amount of good for our state,” Booth said. “I want to understand the budget and the infrastructure needs to a degree where I can ensure as director that we can continue to do the good that we do in perpetuity.”

Booth said his lifelong dream was to serve in the Marine Corps and said he regretted going to law school instead of entering the Corps directly after college.

“At Catholic, I watched 9/11 happen on live TV,” Booth said. “The turning point for me was when I was gone from The Citadel, a ton of my buddies served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I realized I didn’t get along with lawyers very well. I should have gone straight in from college.”

Booth entered active duty in 2011 and served as a judge advocate trial counsel at Quantico, Va. A benefit to his duty station was being allowed to hunt and fish on the facility grounds. Some of the finest deer and turkey hunting on the East Coast was within 10 minutes of his home.

“The Marine Corps brought a diversity of people that I had never been around before and exposed me to a lot of people that never hunted or fished before,” Booth said. “I started teaching people how to hunt and fish. That highlighted for me how special our state is, and how unique people from Arkansas are.”

Upon returning to Arkansas in 2019, Booth said he was astonished at the high price of duck hunting leases. His alternative was dealing with the crowds on public hunting areas. He said that is an unacceptable choice that confronts all Arkansas duck hunters.

He said the key to attracting and retaining new hunters is to provide abundant access to high-quality hunting opportunities.

“As we try to breathe life into Arkansas’ outdoors, we have to do it in a way that does not disenfranchise our current outdoors people,” Booth said. “If we sell a million new hunting licenses next year, but there’s no place on public land for them to hunt, then we’ve shot ourselves in the foot. If we sell a million hunting licenses and don’t have the launching ramps or the water control infrastructure, and if we’re not managing all that in a way that can sustain it long term, then we’ve shot ourselves in the foot.

“We have to bring new blood into the sport and do it in way that keeps faith with existing Arkansas hunters and anglers.”

From 2015-16, Booth served as an operational law attorney, advising on the legality and strategic implications of dynamic, lethal targeting.

Booth acknowledged that with his experience, he could earn considerably more money as a lobbyist or a consultant. He said that serving as director of the Game and Fish Commission is a more natural fit for him.

“I left the state for a long time to serve my country, and I brought my family back because I believe it’s one of the best places in the country to raise your family,” Booth said. “I want to make my state a better place.

“When I look at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the reach that it has, and the very real impact that it has on the left, the right, the well-to-do and those of modest means, I can’t think of a better way to serve for the better good of Arkansans than with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.”

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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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Celebrating The South Carolina Corps of Cadets Class of 2021 https://today.citadel.edu/celebrating-the-south-carolina-corps-of-cadets-class-of-2021/ Mon, 03 May 2021 13:57:07 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=23801 Class of 21 cadets on The Citadel's Summerall Field forming the number 21Class of 21 cadets on The Citadel's Summerall Field forming the number 21More than 560 cadets will graduate as members of The Citadel Class of at McAlister Field House. ]]> Class of 21 cadets on The Citadel's Summerall Field forming the number 21Class of 21 cadets on The Citadel's Summerall Field forming the number 21

Instructions for accessing all livestreamed commencement-related ceremonies

More than 560 cadets will graduate as members of The Citadel Class of 2021 at McAlister Field House on Saturday, May 8. They will be joined by 25 veteran and active duty student graduates.

Cadets and veteran student graduates will attend either a 9 a.m. or a 2:30 p.m. ceremony, as assigned.

The ceremonies, including commencement and the other graduation week events, will be available to view live on The Citadel Facebook page and The Citadel YouTube channel.

There are numerous ceremonies taking place graduation week, recognizing top achieving cadets and students, and the approximately 165 cadets earning commissions as officers in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

Awards Convocation

10 a.m., Thursday, May 6. Recipients allowed two guests who will arrive and sit together in a pod of 3 floor seats.

Baccalaureate Service

2 p.m. Thursday, May 6, Summerall Chapel. Limited on-site access due to COVID.

Nurse Pinning Ceremony

3:30 p.m., Thursday, May 6, Summerall Chapel. Graduating nurses and ticketed guests only.

This event will not be live streamed.

Military Joint Commissioning Ceremony

9 a.m., Friday, May 7, McAlister Field House; 8 a.m. arrival suggested.

Long Gray Line Military Dress Parade

3:45 p.m., May 7, Summerall Field.

Viewing of the parade is only open to the immediate family members of graduating cadets, faculty and staff. During the parade, Cadet. Col. Nicholas Piacentini, Regimental Commander, ’21, will formally turn command of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets over to the incoming regimental commander, Kathryn Christmas, ’22.

Kathryn Christmas, the 2022 Regimental Commander, and Nick Piacentini, the 2021 Regimental Commander, pose for a portrait outside Lesesne Gate at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday, April 5, 2021.

Corps of Cadets Commencement Ceremonies

9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., May 8, McAlister Field House.


The Citadel Graduate College Commencement Ceremonies

9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., May 9, McAlister Field House.


Make-up ring walk-through photos

For cadets and their guests who were not able to get a ring walk-through photo taken in the fall, a make-up session is being held by The Citadel Alumni Association at the Holliday Alumni Center near the stadium from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 8. Please email tskardon@citadel.edu to attend.

For more on legacy cadet events, restrictions on photography, accessible seating and other commencement related directives, please click here.

Class of 2021 by the numbers

(Estimated figures could change after final calculations)

Cadets
562

Cadets earning commissions into U.S. Military Service
Army 116
Air Force 28
Marines 12
Navy TBD

Legacy cadets
70

Top 5 states
South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas

Instructions for guests

  • Tickets
    Each graduate has e-tickets for up to three guests for commencement. Those without a ticket will not be permitted into McAlister Field House.
  • Facemasks
    Every person must wear a facemask while indoors anywhere on The Citadel campus. Per the CDC guidelines, facemasks are required outdoors in spaces where sizable groups of people are present, or for people who are not vaccinated.
  • Parking
    Parking on campus is first-come, first-served, and is expected to be more than sufficient with graduates and guests divided between two ceremonies
  • McAllister Field House opens for guests
    Guests will be permitted into the venue one hour before each event, but not before.
  • Security
    Every guest must pass through a security checkpoint.
    • No bottles or beverages, other than one bottle of water per guest, will be permitted in the building.
    • Only small, clear bags will be permitted inside McAllister Field House. Click here to learn what is permitted.

ACCESS YOUR CADET’S PERSONALIZED
GRADUATION PAGE AND LEAVE MESSAGES HERE
(Will be available beginning May 6)

Hearing the last words from their Commandant of Cadets

Captain Geno Paluso addressing freshmen in 2018
Captain Geno Paluso addressing The Citadel Class of 2021 when they were freshmen in 2018

The speaker for both Corps ceremonies will be The Citadel Commandant of Cadets, Captain Eugene “Geno” Paluso, USN (Ret.), ’89Paluso will retire from the position of commandant on June 30, 2021. Paluso held leadership roles commanding special operations forces in the Balkans, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has led men and women in combat at all levels as a Naval officer.

Paluso has a Master’s of Military Science from the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College as well as a Master’s of Science in National Security Strategy Resourcing from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. His service awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Joint Commendation Medal (2), Navy Commendation Medal (5), Joint Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, as well as numerous other service awards and commendations.

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Summertime studies at The Citadel: What you need to know https://today.citadel.edu/summertime-studies-at-the-citadel-what-you-need-to-know/ Thu, 29 Apr 2021 20:20:13 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=23780 Dr. KwangSoo Lim leads a Citadel MBA course in Accounting for Executives in Bond Hall 166 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, January 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Dr. KwangSoo Lim leads a Citadel MBA course in Accounting for Executives in Bond Hall 166 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, January 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)"On-campus housing is available to all degree-seeking students attending summer programs."]]> Dr. KwangSoo Lim leads a Citadel MBA course in Accounting for Executives in Bond Hall 166 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, January 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Dr. KwangSoo Lim leads a Citadel MBA course in Accounting for Executives in Bond Hall 166 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, January 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Zoom Town Hall for summer students scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 11, check back for link

Photo above: Dr. KwangSoo Lim leads a Citadel MBA course in Accounting before the pandemic

The Citadel is offering more than 170 courses through five different summer study phases running from May through August 2021.

The summer courses range from undergraduate to graduate and graduate-certificate options. All summer courses are provided in a civilian (non-cadet) setting.

Important summer program information

Facemasks required in buildings. Per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control issued April 27, 2021, facemasks are required by every person inside buildings on campus, including classrooms. They are not required outside for the fully vaccinated, but are advised while in large group settings.

Campus housing and vaccinations. Summer housing in the barracks is available to any degree-seeking person attending summer courses. All cadets and students living on campus during the summer must be vaccinated two weeks prior to moving, or present a negative COVID test taken within 72-hours of arrival. Sign up through the Commandant’s Office by completing the agreement here and emailing it to SFC Kenneth Greene at greenek1@citadel.edu.

On-campus classes. About 40% of the colleges summer courses are on campus. On-campus classes will be in person only (rather than the hybrid model the college has used in the past academic year as a COVID-19 protection protocol.)

On-line classes. Courses that are normally offered only online will remain the same.

Credits and rolling registration

Summer undergraduate courses at The Citadel have transferable credits, and include 11 degree completion programs. Courses are offered during the day, evening and online. Students can take courses throughout the summer, or for just one summer term, as desired.

The five segment options for summer classes are listed below. The deadlines for registering for the classes vary. For more information on registering, email registrar@citadel.edu, or call (843) 953-6969.

Summer: May 10 – August 10
• Undergraduate
• Graduate
First Summer: May 10 – June 25
• Undergraduate
• Graduate
Second Summer: June 28 – August 13
• Undergraduate
• Graduate
Summer Minimester A: May 10 – June 4
• Undergraduate
• Graduate
Summer Minimester B: June 7 – July 2
• Undergraduate
• Graduate

The Citadel Success Institute – register by June 15

Students checking in for The Citadel Success Institute in 2017

The Citadel Success Institute (CSI) is a summer program designed to help incoming freshmen (knobs) with the transition from high school to college-level academics. Additionally, it helps acclimate future cadets to the requirements and rigors of the college’s military setting.

CSI is the first step toward the goal of graduation from The Citadel. Statistics show that freshmen participating in CSI are better prepared to succeed at The Citadel.

Registration for CSI 2021 is available until June 15.

For more information, email CSI@Citadel.edu, or call  (843) 953-5705.

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The Citadel ranked #1 in the nation for “Best online colleges for veterans” https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-ranked-1-in-the-nation-for-best-online-colleges-for-veterans/ Thu, 22 Apr 2021 14:12:25 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=23618 The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.) congratulating a veteran student who earned an award in January of 2020The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.) congratulating a veteran student who earned an award in January of 2020The best online colleges for military veterans give them the ability to work with their instructor and classmates around their schedule while gaining the education necessary to further their degree. ]]> The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.) congratulating a veteran student who earned an award in January of 2020The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.) congratulating a veteran student who earned an award in January of 2020

As seen on CollegeConsensus.com

Photo above: The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.), congratulating veteran day student, Trevor West, who earned Gold Stars for high academic achievement in January 2020

Many veterans are looking to receive an education and enter the civilian workforce once they have returned home. In most cases, these veterans have families and other obligations, which make them seek out the best online colleges for veterans, who will work with their benefits and their schedule. The flexibility that comes with online degree programs allows these military veterans the ability to work at their own pace and gives them the ability to restructure their life to fit their personal needs. 

The lifestyles of veterans are often demanding, even after they have retired from the military. Some of our veterans return home to jobs that require twelve-hour shifts that can be overnight (in public service roles such as nurses, EMTs, and law enforcement), making traditional courses undesirable for their lifestyle. The best online colleges for military veterans give them the ability to work with their instructor and classmates around their schedule while gaining the education necessary to further their degree. 

The 2021 top three Best Online Colleges for Veterans are:

  1. The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina
  2. Rutgers University–New Brunswick
  3. University of Iowa. 
Picture of screen shot of The Citadel and its ranking on college concensus.com

See the top 25 here.

How we chose the best online colleges for veterans

To select institutions to highlight as the best online colleges for military veterans, College Consensus editors had a set of criteria for determining military-friendliness. Institutions must have:

  • At least 3 online bachelors degree programs to qualify
  • Servicemember Opportunity Colleges membership
  • Recognized Student Veteran Organization
  • Yellow Ribbon Program participation
  • A staff/faculty support member for veterans and their families
  • Transfer credits for military service and training 

Colleges and universities that met these standards are ranked according to their Consensus Score, using the unique College Consensus methodology. That process should give veteran students confidence that they are choosing a college that not only understands their needs, but have a track record of quality and return on investment. 

Military and veteran students may also be interested in our ranking of the best traditional colleges for veterans.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CITADEL VETERANS PROGRAM HERE

Some of The Citadel’s other top 25 national rankings by CollegeConcensus.com

Cadets training on Folly Beach in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2019

#1 College in South Carolina
https://www.collegeconsensus.com/rankings/best-colleges-sc/

#1 Online College in South Carolina
https://www.collegeconsensus.com/rankings/best-online-colleges-south-carolina/

#5 Regional University in the South https://www.collegeconsensus.com/rankings/best-regional-universities-south/

#8 Best Beach Colleges
https://www.collegeconsensus.com/rankings/best-beach-colleges/

#10 Best Colleges for Veterans
https://www.collegeconsensus.com/rankings/best-colleges-veterans/

#21 Best Online Graduate Schools in the nationhttps://www.collegeconsensus.com/rankings/best-online-graduate-schools/

#22 Public College in the Nation https://www.collegeconsensus.com/rankings/best-public-colleges/

#25 Best Small College in the Nation https://www.collegeconsensus.com/rankings/best-small-colleges/

Cadets watch the sunset from the docks of the Swain Boating Center at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina in November of 2020.
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Cadets show respect for veterans in Operation Enduring Honor https://today.citadel.edu/cadets-show-respect-for-veterans-in-operation-enduring-honor/ Tue, 20 Apr 2021 15:36:58 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=23573 “The efforts of the cadets were an outward demonstration of honoring veterans who have served our country.”]]>

Everyone deserves a seat at the table.

Making sure wounded veterans in our community can have exactly that is why nine cadets from The Citadel’s Alpha Company and Palmetto Battery donated part of their Saturday, even on a weekend when they’d been granted general leave and a reprieve from the President’s Inspection.

It took the cadets around three hours to build four wheelchair-accessible picnic tables for two locations in the state. They assembled the tables on April 17, even getting a special visit from South Carolina State Rep. Joe Bustos and Maj. Gen. Michael Regner, USMC (Ret.), Class of 1976.

Those tables will be put to use in two locations: the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8760 — in Beaufort — and Operation Patriots FOB — a recreation park for veterans in Ridgeville.

“This project was important because it taught that service to others can still be carried out at a time when many activities have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID,” said Lt. Col. Glenn Remsen, SCSG, Teaching Activities and Counseling (TAC) Officer for Palmetto Battery and a member of the Class of 1994. “All of the cadets who participated were volunteering during their general leave period and truly demonstrated that service to others comes before self. Both Rep. Bustos and Gen. Regner were extremely impressed when they learned that all of the participants were cadets who freely gave up their leave time to participate.”

Cadets who volunteered include: Connor Deans, Matthew Earp, Eric Liebal, Tyler Martin, Alexander McCabe, Jacob Proctor, Claire Thomas, Dylan Tuzenew and Henry Winkler.

The Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics supported the effort by covering the building supply costs.

Operation Enduring Honor is an all-volunteer group that comes together to build wheelchair-accessible picnic tables and place them in recreational areas to ensure anyone with any physical challenges can enjoy the outdoors.

“In addition to being a project of service, this was a project of honor,” concluded Remsen. “The efforts of the cadets were an outward demonstration of honoring veterans who have served our country.”

All photos are courtesy of Cadet Eric Wilson.

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