Tradition of cadets serving at gubernatorial inaugurations continues with Governor McMaster

Citadel Cadet Richard Johnson playing bagpipes at inauguration as Gov. McMaster descends stairs

As The Military College of South Carolina, members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets have served in many of the state’s gubernatorial inaugurations going back more than 100 years.

Governor Henry McMaster’s inauguration on January 9 was no exception. A cadre of 29 cadets participated in the ceremonies in some way, whether it was as a member of the color guard, playing bagpipes for the prayer service or ceremony, or walking down the capitol steps as a ceremonial escort for dignitaries.

The cadets are chosen to participate based on their positions as officers within the Corps, the Regimental Pipes Band, or the color guard and their overall performance as cadets.

Examples of some of the South Carolina gubernatorial inaugurations where cadets served in ceremonial positions include Gov. James Francis Byrnes in 1951; Citadel alumnus, Gov. Ernest F. Hollings in 1959; Gov. John Carl West in 1971 and Gov. Nikki Haley in 2015.

Who was there

Citadel cadet escorting VIP guests at Gov. McMaster inauguration
Citadel cadet escorting VIP guests at Gov. McMaster inauguration. Photo provided by Shell Suber ’89

The cadets selected by to participate in the ceremony by The Citadel’s Office of the Commandant included the following:


  • Richard Johnson
  • Patrick Johnson

Color Guard

  • William Hope
  • Jacob Moule
  • Cullen McCoy
  • Krishawn Royal
  • James Shields
  • John Butler
  • Jacob Ramseur

VIP Escort Cadets

  • Sarah Zorn
  • David Days
  • Robert Hudson
  • Richard Dekold
  • Cedric Barnes
  • Andrew Snoke
  • Mitchell Felt
  • Elijah Melendez
  • Chase Kinsey
  • Brennen Zeigler
  • Henry Brown
  • Richard Snyder
  • Mitchell Dobin
  • Morgan Meredith
  • Marc Thackson
  • George King
  • Hamilton Rhinehart
  • Hannah Murray
  • Robert Young
  • Greyson Young
Citadel Cadet Robert Johnson at Gov. Henry McMaster Inauguration Jan. 201
Citadel Cadet Robert Johnson at Gov. Henry McMaster Inauguration Jan. 2018. Photo provided by Shell Suber ’89

As seen on WCIV-TV

Citadel cadets were included in this news report, “McMaster takes oath of office, lawmakers optimistic about productivity,” by WCIV-TV (ABC/News4) reporter Bill Burr.