Citadel Class of 2024 pledges loyalty

The Class of 2024 participates in their Oath Ceremony during

Almost 700 freshman cadet recruits are now obligated to abide by their word, their oath, to remain loyal to the ideals, values and goals of The Citadel.

Marching to the beat of the drum corps, the Class of 2024 moved onto Summerall Field for the first time as a class.

The group, 696 cadet recruits strong, stood in formation, taking the Cadet Oath at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020.

Before raising their hands to pledge, they listened to the words of Cadet Col. Nicholas Piacentini, regimental commander for the 2020-2021 academic year, as The Citadel President, Commandant and other leaders looked on.

This is a condensed version of his address, which can be heard in its entirety in the video below:

You come from all walks of life. Small towns. Cities. Different states and countries. But none of that matters. Today you are all the same. Classmates.

Failure is inevitable. Everyone gets knocked down, but not everyone gets back up. Your oath today reminds you to get back up, dust off, and to keep moving forward. Even on the hardest and darkest days, you cannot relent.

The world will expect more from you as Citadel cadets. The uniform is an indication that you seek more in life, that you are the type of men and women constantly striving for more. The young men and women who exceed standards and commit themselves to excellence. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that The Citadel provide these leaders for society.

Your will and your drive will be tested by the adversity of what the world presents. Choose to carry more. Choose to think different and be different. Will you waste this opportunity, or will you devote yourself to the process and honor those who build this path for you?

The Class of 2024 participates in their Oath Ceremony during Challenge Week at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday, August 10, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

The words of the Cadet Oath are as follows:

I, [name], hereby engage to serve as a cadet in The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, until graduation or until I shall be discharged by proper authority; and I promise to support loyally the constituted authorities thereof as long as I remain a member of the corps of cadets. 

I will remain loyal to the ideals, values, and goals of the citadel.  I further promise that I will never bring discredit on the citadel or the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.  I take this obligation freely and without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.

The Citadel Cadet Oath