Department of History – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Thu, 05 May 2022 12:41:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.6 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Department of History – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 Cadet Sam Wilson recognized as this year’s best-drilled cadet https://today.citadel.edu/cadet-sam-wilson-recognized-as-this-years-best-drilled-cadet/ Wed, 04 May 2022 20:43:40 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=31972 Sam Wilson, a History major from Carlisle, Iowa, is currently the South Carolina Corps of Cadet’s best-drilled cadet.]]>

Photo: (left to right) The Citadel Commandant of Cadets Col. Tom Gordon, USMC (Ret.), ’91, and Cadet Sam Wilson after the Star of the West competition.

Freshman cadet wins 2022 Star of the West competition

Sam Wilson is currently the South Carolina Corps of Cadet’s best-drilled cadet. Wilson, a History major from Carlisle, Iowa, went up against dozens of other cadets for the title during The Citadel’s Star of the West competition Wednesday, May 4.

The competition, which began at The Citadel in 1886, is an annual event that recognizes and celebrates the precision required in military maneuvers and leadership positions in general.

As best-drilled cadet, Wilson will have his name engraved on the Star of the West monument on Summerall Field. The monument was raised in 1961, 100 years after Citadel cadets fired upon the Star of the West ship in the Civil War. The names of all Star of the West competition winners are inscribed on the monument.

Wilson will also be awarded the Star of the West medal, which contains wood from the old ship, during the South Carolina Corps of Cadets awards convocation in May.

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The Citadel faculty serving as expert resources on Ukraine and many trending issues https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-faculty-serving-as-expert-resources-on-ukraine-and-many-trending-issues/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 21:17:17 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=31308 Photo: Dr. Jeffrey Rogg, a professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies, during an interview with WCSC-TV on Wednesday, March 16. Faculty answers call to contribute from media,]]>

Photo: Dr. Jeffrey Rogg, a professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies, during an interview with WCSC-TV on Wednesday, March 16.

Faculty answers call to contribute from media, community

Many of those working to fulfill the mission to educate and develop principled leaders at The Citadel, regularly demonstrate their own leadership by serving as contributing experts for media reports and community interests.

Members of the college’s five schools are often called upon for their insight expertise in a variety of fields. Jeffrey Rogg, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies within the School of Humanities and Social Science is just one of many examples of the relevant and insightful expertise found on campus.

As the third week of the Russian invasion of Ukraine came to a close, Rogg spoke with WCSC-TV, the local CBS affiliate, to help viewers in the Lowcountry understand more about the war and what it could mean for the United States.

When asked about the motives behind the invasion, Rogg answered: “From Vladimir Putin’s view, he believes that the greatest tragedy to befall modern Russia was the collapse of the Soviet Union. Because of that, he’s been intent on not just restoring the Soviet Union or even the Russian Empire, but also the pride and the power of Russia.”

To see more of the coverage from Rogg’s interview with Live 5 News, click here.

“One of the many strengths of an education at The Citadel is the access to experts who can put critical global events – such as Russia’s war in Ukraine – into a wider context,” said Brian Madison Jones, Ph.D., dean of The Citadel’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “As the Military College of South Carolina, we’re uniquely positioned to help our cadets, students and community understand what is currently happening and what it means.”

Throughout multiple newscasts, Rogg discussed the historical context for the invasion, what a no-fly zone would entail, how the war could affect the American economy and a range of other topics.

“Within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, professors from the Departments of Intelligence and Security Studies, Political Science and History, including military history, are studying these events in real time for use in the classroom and offering expert insight and analysis to help the next generation of leaders understand and address the great challenges of today and tomorrow,” Jones said.

Other examples of The Citadel faculty in the news

Shankar Banik, Ph.D.
Department of Cyber and Computer Sciences – Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics

South Carolina National Guard attends Cyber Boot Camp at The Citadel
DVIDS

Conference series helps Army identify U.S. infrastructure risks
The Watch

Hee Yoon Kwon, Ph.D.
Department of Marketing, Supply Chain Management and Economics – Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business

The continuing supply chain saga
South Carolina Public Radio

Side effects of pipeline shutdown linger in Lowcountry
WCIV – ABC News 4

David Preston, Ph.D.
Department of History – School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Citadel professor curates new perspectives on Revolutionary War
Moultrie News

When young George Washington started a war
Smithsonian Magazine

John Weinstein, Ph.D.
Department of Biology – Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics

Tires: The plastic polluter you never thought about
National Geographic

Citadel experiment will analyze how PPE degrades in coastal environments
The Post and Courier

John Zardus, Ph.D.
Department of Biology – Zucker Family School of Science and Mathematics

Some barnacles can more around to improve feeding position
The Scientist

For information about joining the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, click here.

To learn more about non-cadet undergraduate and graduate programs offered by The Citadel, click here.

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

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

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

As seen in the Wall Street Journal, by Alistair MacDonald

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Livingston

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But where?

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

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

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

Fathers & princes, kings & sons,

All mingled for the fray,

Death dips & darts, for many hearts

This was their final day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As heard on South Carolina Public Radio, by Victoria Hansen

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

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

A Mission of Hope – A Serviceman’s Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Mistake – A Veteran’s View

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Can We Learn – A Professor’s Project

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

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

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

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

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

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

First recorded class session airing Sept. 18

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

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

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

Here is a description from C-SPAN.org:

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

C-SPAN.org

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

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

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

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

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

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Pell Grant cadets at The Citadel graduate earlier, leave with less debt, earn above average pay, compared to those at many SC colleges https://today.citadel.edu/pell-grant-cadets-at-the-citadel-graduate-earlier-leave-with-less-debt-earn-above-average-pay-compared-to-those-at-many-sc-colleges/ Mon, 12 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24559 "Make the most of your PELL Grant and attend a school that challenges you to become the best version of yourself."]]>

The Federal Pell Grant program is in its 49th year of providing college tuition assistance for students from low- to moderate-income families in the United States. Though in the contemporary context the grant covers less of a college student’s tuition than in earlier years, the $6,495 a qualifying student could be awarded in the 2021-22 academic year may prove to be especially beneficial for cadets at The Citadel.

The South Carolina Corps of Cadets Second Honor Graduate for the Class of 2021, Nicholas “Nick” Fricchione, exemplifies that success. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native earned the second highest grades of any member of his class, securing the David Shingler Spell Award. Fricchione was a History major, and served the Corps as November Company Commander during his senior year.

Left to right: Jim Phillips (stepfather), Chris Phillips (mother), Ruth Byerly (grandmother), Izelde Benade (Nick’s fiancé), Alex Fricchione (sister), Denise Fricchione, (stepmother),  Frank Fricchione (father), on Summerall Field at The Citadel.

“When Nick graduated from high school, the prospect of $50,000 per year in college expenses as an out of state student at The Citadel was a bit daunting,” said Frank Fricchione, Nick’s father. “His older sister was a student at Penn State University at the time, working towards her double degree.  I really didn’t want either of my kids to have to shoulder a substantial debt after their graduation. The Pell Grant allowed my daughter to graduate with only a limited and manageable amount of student loans.”

Nick earned a four-year Army ROTC Scholarship, in addition to a Pell Grant, but that wasn’t all.

“Nick also accepted an invitation to join the The Citadel Honors Program, which led to a scholarship from The Citadel Foundation,” Frank added. “In the end, qualifying for the Pell Grant allowed Nick to graduate completely debt free.”

A Pell Grant, unlike a student loan, normally does not require repayment.

“Receiving a Pell Grant allowed me to focus solely on my academic goals while attending college. It relieved financial burden on both myself and my family and gave me the opportunity to concentrate on the purpose of higher education: earning personal freedom, developing character, and learning the ability to rule oneself by utilizing intellectual, cultural, and literary resources found on a college campus.”

2nd. Lt. Nick Fricchione, U.S. Army, Citadel Class of 2021
Left to right: Beverly Gatlin (mother), Miranda Black (sister), Kobe Roberts (nephew), JoAnna Winborn, ’21, and Karrington Roberts (nephew).

High grade point averages are not uncommon for cadets learning with Pell Grant assistance. JoAnna Winborn, also a member of The South Carolina Corps of Cadets Class of 2021, is the first in her family to graduate from college, and she did so with a 4.0 grade point average.

While a cadet, Winborn was able to expand her world view by studying overseas in Cyprus where she also volunteered in the local community. She was active with the Air Force/Space Force ROTC detachment at The Citadel, and held a position of rank leading 100 cadets, before graduating and accepting a commission from the U.S. Air Force to become an officer.

“I believe my key accomplishments have been my ability to lead others while maintaining a 4.00 cumulative GPA. I learned to balance my personal, academic and cadet life in a healthy manner. I can take those time management skills with me in my work with the military,” said Winborn shortly before graduation. “The Pell Grant allowed me to continue my education and discover how much I really enjoyed my major, Mechanical Engineering. Before The Citadel I had no interest in anything other than becoming a pilot. Now, I hope to continue my education as an engineer and become more proficient in Aerodynamics.”

Pell and The Citadel

“A college education is an investment that provides a payoff to students typically valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

By the Future of the Middle Class Initiative, Brookings Institute

In the most recent academic year listed on the U.S. Department of Education website, more than 7 million students were awarded Pell grants at a total of close to $28.7 million (2017-2018). In South Carolina that year, close to 600 cadets and students at The Citadel earned Pell Grant tuition assistance.

“Our data show that close to 70% of cadets who qualify for Pell Grants come from South Carolina, so the grants are especially helpful to people living in our state. Additionally, cadet Pell recipients, like all cadets, graduate in fewer years that those at almost every other public college in the state,” said The Citadel Provost, Sally Selden, Ph.D., SPHR.

“Pell recipient cadets really maximize their return on investment with a Citadel bachelor’s degree, earning starting salaries beginning at $38,000 – $57,000. That’s higher than any other South Carolina public institution with the exception of the medical university according to the U.S. Department of Education,” Selden added. “Without a degree, the same individuals would likely earn much less.”

Now, serving in the U.S. Army, 2nd Lieutenant Fricchione had a bit of advice for Pell-qualified high schoolers considering The Citadel.

“I would say to other PELL Grant recipients that no institution of higher education in the country can offer the same tools and opportunities to truly develop and free your future like The Citadel does. Make the most of your PELL Grant and attend a school that challenges you to become the best version of yourself.”

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Citadel begins demolishing historic Capers Hall and will construct a new academic building https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-begins-demolishing-historic-capers-hall-and-will-construct-a-new-academic-building/ Fri, 18 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24832 Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffDemolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffPhoto above: Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/Staff As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Novelly The Citadel started demolishing its]]> Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffDemolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/Staff

Photo above: Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/Staff

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Novelly

The Citadel started demolishing its largest and most historic academic buildings on campus to make space for a new, updated space to be used by cadets in 2023.

Capers Hall was built in 1949 and has housed classrooms and offices for the English, history and political science departments for generations of Citadel students. But on June 8, a demolition crane began to poke holes in the walls and rip plaster from the fortress-like white building, slowly removing it from campus one chunk at a time. 

Demolition will continue through the summer.

Citadel officials plan to build a 107,700-square-foot replacement in two years which will house classrooms, a 250-seat performing arts auditorium, an art gallery and a computer lab for the school’s Center for Cyber, Intelligence and Security Studies.

The project carries a $67 million price tag. About $15 million of that will be provided by the S.C. General Assembly, with the rest coming from state institution bonds and capital reserve funds. The Legislature also had to approve the renovation. The Citadel Foundation is also soliciting donations to offset some of the construction costs. 

Jeff Lamberson, vice president for The Citadel’s Office of Facilities and Engineering, said the seven- decade-old academic building lacked a lot of modern amenities needed for students and teachers. While he’s sad to see some of the campus history disappear, he said he’s eager for the school to provide more modern space.

“The classrooms will be much bigger and more flexible in nature,” Lamberson said. “You will be able to move around the furniture and you’ll have all types of audio and visual computer aids for students.”

Some historic elements from the old version will be repurposed for the new building. 

Concrete, masonry and stucco from demolition will be hauled off-site, crushed and recycled into the new building’s site foundation and parking area. And the distinctive iron-frame light fixtures will be used in the new offering. 

The Citadel originally sought approval from the state to do extensive renovations at Capers Hall but opted for a total rebuild after conducting a structural evaluation in 2014. Rather than spend an estimated $7 million to $8 million reinforcing those walls to meet modern international building codes, the school decided to start from scratch.

The construction of a new academic space puts a slight burden on faculty members for the upcoming school year.

Employees with Thompson Turner Construction and The Citadel watch as demolition begins on Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffLauren Petracca

Brian Jones, dean for The Citadel’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, said some classrooms will relocate to the library, other campus buildings and even mobile trailers while the renovation is taking place.

“We’ve already transitioned the faculty, and they’re already up and running in their new spaces,” Jones said.

Capers Hall was named for two brothers, Confederate Brig. Gen. Ellison Capers and Maj. Francis W. Capers, who was superintendent of The Citadel from 1853 to 1859.

The demolition comes amid a nationwide reckoning of Confederate imagery in public spaces and in the U.S. military. Retired Marine Corps Gen. Glenn M. Walters, president of The Citadel, said in a memo last year he was “establishing a committee to further study historical figures for whom structures are named.” 

The committee’s progress on researching and identifying buildings was sidelined by COVID-19, but they will resume their duties in the fall.

Presently, there are no plans to change the name of the hall when it is rebuilt. 

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Book excerpt: ‘The Other Face of Battle: America’s Forgotten Wars and the Experience of Combat’ https://today.citadel.edu/book-excerpt-the-other-face-of-battle-americas-forgotten-wars-and-the-experience-of-combat/ Wed, 16 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24801 David Preston, a coauthor of the book, is General Mark Clark Distinguished Professor of History at The Citadel.]]>

Photo: Cover of “The Other Face of Battle” by Wayne E. Lee, David L. Preston, Anthony E. Carlson, and David Silbey. (Oxford University Press)

Note: David Preston is General Mark Clark Distinguished Professor of History at The Citadel. He is the author of “Braddock’s Defeat,” which won the Gilder-Lerhman Prize in Military History and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.

As seen in Military Times

Taking its title from “The Face of Battle,” John Keegan’s canonical book on the nature of warfare, “The Other Face of Battle” illuminates the American experience of fighting in “irregular” and “intercultural” wars over the centuries. Sometimes known as “forgotten” wars, in part because they lacked triumphant clarity, they are the focus of the book. David Preston, David Silbey, and Anthony Carlson focus on, respectively, the Battle of Monongahela (1755), the Battle of Manila (1898), and the Battle of Makuan, Afghanistan (2010) — conflicts in which American soldiers were forced to engage in “irregular” warfare, confronting an enemy entirely alien to them. This enemy rejected the Western conventions of warfare and defined success and failure — victory and defeat — in entirely different ways. Symmetry of any kind is lost. Here was not ennobling engagement but atrocity, unanticipated insurgencies, and strategic stalemate.

War is always hell. These wars, however, profoundly undermined any sense of purpose or proportion. Nightmarish and existentially bewildering, they nonetheless characterize how Americans have experienced combat and what its effects have been. They are therefore worth comparing for what they hold in common as well as what they reveal about our attitude toward war itself. The Other Face of Battle reminds us that “irregular” or “asymmetrical” warfare is now not the exception but the rule. Understanding its roots seems more crucial than ever.

Lieutenant Williams’s Tough Box: Remembering and Forgetting the Other Face of Battle in Afghanistan

The Muslim call to prayer and the muffled sound of digging interrupted the night’s stillness, alerting Captain Brandon Prisock’s American soldiers of the famed 101st Airborne Division that Taliban insurgents were awake and busy planting mines around them. After the day-long fight on September 15, 2010, for control of the Afghan village of Makuan, strategically located in Kandahar province’s Zhari district, the American arsenal of tracked breaching vehicles, trucks, armored vehicles, bulldozers, helicopters, and A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack aircraft was now being matched by the enemy’s two most effective weapons: improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and darkness. To Staff Sergeant Joshua Reese, the sound of digging triggered “a really sickening feeling.”

Prisock, a 2004 West Point graduate from Louisiana, knew the sounds meant that the Taliban were reoccupying Makuan. He also knew that their dilapidated Soviet-era weapons and homemade bombs could neutralize his company’s firepower, even as his soldiers struggled under seventy pounds of gear in temperatures that topped 105 degrees Fahrenheit. More, the Taliban were fighting on familiar ground. The Americans weren’t. First Lieutenant Nicholas Williams, one of Prisock’s three rifle platoon leaders, summed up his feelings upon entering the alien, ominous world of Makuan: “We were strangers in a strange land fighting someone on their home turf. . . . The call to prayer was a constant reminder that this wasn’t our world.”

The battle for Makuan, which lasted for three days in mid-September 2010, was the opening thrust of Operation Dragon Strike, at the time the largest single U.S. Army operation of the decade-long war in Afghanistan. After trading blows with the Taliban for nearly nine years, U.S. commanders intended for Dragon Strike to finally deliver a knockout punch. The operation involved more than 8,000 American and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers fighting for control of the strategically-important Zhari district. Prisock’s Bravo Company, which consisted of 230 men, was given the campaign’s first mission: clearing insurgents from Makuan, a small village of some twenty acres, consisting of dirt streets and walled adobe compounds.

The Taliban welcomed the forthcoming offensive. “We are not scared of NATO, or of the Americans,” Taliban commander Mullawi Mohammadi boasted. “Whoever comes, we will kill them.” Taliban leaders dismissed the Americans as only “briefly emerg[ing] from the high walls behind which they barricaded themselves,” and unlike their old Russian opponents, as one Taliban fighter put it, “the Americans were afraid to fight on the ground and their bombing was indiscriminate.” In Makuan, Taliban fighters proved eager to pit their pressure-plate, trip-wire, and remote-control IED tactics against Bravo Company’s impressive assortment of firepower. As darkness settled in on the night of September 15, the Taliban sprang into action. Even as his soldiers heard the sound of digging in the distance, Prisock, who had only commanded the company for ten days, prepared to counter it.

* * * *

The Taliban’s resort to guerrilla tactics should not have surprised the U.S. Army. During its long war in Vietnam, the Army had struggled against exactly those techniques and exactly that blend of political and military actions. Like the Vietnamese, the Taliban, unable to match American firepower and control of the skies, attacked their opponents’ political will.

By September of 2010, Zhari district was an insurgent hotbed. IED assembly points, ammunition caches, concrete bunkers, and tunnels were scattered throughout the villages and dense agricultural terrain. But the Taliban did more than build defenses and ambush military patrols and convoys. They were fighting to rule the country, and they systematically built shadow governing institutions. Exploiting the corruption and dysfunction of the Afghan government, they instituted sharia courts to adjudicate disputes and dispense justice. Insurgent leaders also collected zakat taxes from farmers and formed committees to investigate complaints of abuse and corruption against heavy-handed commanders.

Although in many ways the U.S. military had been unprepared for the shift to guerrilla war in Afghanistan, one key lesson from earlier conflicts, whether “insurgencies,” “proxy wars,” or imperial wars, was not forgotten: the indispensability of local allies. In military doctrine, virtually the whole point of a counterinsurgency strategy is to train indigenous military, paramilitary, or police forces so that they could assume combat responsibilities. It was in this context that more than 3,000 soldiers from the newly minted Afghan National Army’s (ANA) 3rd Brigade, 205th Corps, joined Operation Dragon Strike. The plan was to pair U.S. and ANA units to conduct combined operations— shohna ba shohna, “shoulder to shoulder.”

Afghanistan provided not only enemies and allies, it also presented a uniquely challenging physical environment. Zhari’s agricultural landscape was ideal for the Taliban’s tactics of drawing U.S. forces into belts of IEDs. Captain Luke Rella, Prisock’s executive officer, marveled at how the district’s eight- to ten-foot tall earthen grape rows, which were separated by narrow irrigation waterways, created their “own climate bubble” intensifying the heat of the summer. Each morning, soldiers observed a thick haze rising from the rows. The humidity triggered extreme perspiration on men already loaded down with combat gear, and the moisture often ruined night vision goggles, radios, and IED frequency jammers. Soaking wet combat uniforms frequently tore at the crotch; as a result, soldiers were forced to patrol “commando,” with exposed undergarments and genitals. Since the Taliban’s preferred tactic was to bury pressure-plate IEDs at choke points, the Americans were forced to crawl methodically up and over every mound rather than walk on the fixed paths at the base of the rows. The resulting physical exhaustion and mental fatigue constricted the pace of operations and dramatically reduced opportunities to kill or capture insurgents.

Captain Prisock’s men advanced into this environment at sunrise on September 15. At 7:15 a.m., he radioed for howitzers to rain down smoke rounds to obscure the initial route into Makuan. In short order, Prisock’s lead Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) moved into position and fired its first Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC)—a 100 meter “rope” of explosives designed to detonate unseen IEDs. The rope uncoiled and snapped onto the dirt, prompting two insurgents armed with AK- 47 assault rifles to dart out from the maze of grape rows and investigate it. After a hurried look, they ran toward Prisock’s men and unleashed a hail of bullets. Seconds later, the MICLIC detonated, kicking up a thick pall of dust, fire, and smoke as it shook the earth. The blast all but incinerated the insurgents, hurtling one detached torso two hundred yards into the air.

By 10:00 a.m., after a little over two and a half hours of work, the ABVs had breached a lane just under a kilometer long and Prisock’s soldiers stalled at a bridge spanning a canal north of Makuan. Rocked by the titanic explosions, the insurgents hastily retreated to prepared firing positions and defenses inside of the village. They had no answer for the MICLICs, but the battle was only beginning.

At the canal, the Americans were forced to destroy the bridge, which was riddled with IEDs. Moments later, the area began to flood and the Americans and their Afghan allies became easy targets of sporadic AK-47 fire and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs). American wounded accumulated. Specialist Anthony Bower complained that Zhari insurgents were “ghosts on ‘banker’s hours,’ as they would attack us early in the morning, seemingly sleep in the heart of the day, and then hit us again just before darkness sat in.” He explained that in the daytime the insurgents typically cloaked their movements and hostile intent by using children as spotters, dressing as women, and “maneuvering with sheep.” Eventually, the Americans and Afghan compatriots secured two compounds on the northern edge of Makuan, setting up strongpoints from which to plan future operations. Nothing, however, got simpler.

At around 7:30 p.m on the assault’s second day, Prisock was ordered to complete the clearance of Makuan before noon the next day, September 17. Time was of the essence. The higher headquarters intended to pull critical assets that had supported Prisock’s initial attack. Resigned, Prisock prepared for the most daunting challenge of his young command: driving insurgents from a village littered with homemade bombs in the darkness.

As a cloak of darkness descended on the evening of September 16, Prisock ordered Lieutenant Williams to take fifteen Americans, six Afghans, and an Air Force bomb-sniffing German shepherd, named Blek, to search a series of compounds and grape huts (multi-storied, thick-walled buildings used for storing grapes). At the second compound, an American soldier waved his mine detector over a set of stairs, finding no metal signature. Blek’s handler directed him to walk up the staircase to sniff for IEDs in the upper story. The dog found nothing. With the staircase seemingly cleared, three ANA soldiers ascended it in a compact single-file line. The first two Afghans reached the top of the staircase just as the third triggered an IED buried in the fourth step. The gigantic blast punctuated Makuan’s unnerving silence, engulfing the ANA soldiers in a flash of flames and smoke. Temporarily blinded and deafened, Williams struggled to regain his bearings, composure, and vision. “As the blast hit me, [the Afghans] all disappeared in a wall of dust and smoke,” he recalled. “The ringing in my ears eventually gave way to the sound of my own voice repeating that nobody move. I would move to them.” Over the past months, Williams had learned the hard way that the enemy often grouped IEDs together: “Where there is one IED there is always another.” He feared that panicked, concussed soldiers would stumble onto other nearby IEDs.

Moving as best he could toward the blast site, Williams soon found a macabre, chaotic scene, demonstrating the devastating effectiveness of IEDs. Through his night vision goggles, he spotted a “crumpled heap of charred, bloody ANA uniforms and body armor a few meters from the stairs.” At that exact moment, the “crumpled heap”— a wounded ANA soldier— regained consciousness and in a desperate, shrieking tone called out for Allah. Moving closer, Williams discovered that the detonation had severed both of the Afghan’s legs above the knees; only eight- inch fragments of his fleshless, jagged femurs remained. Williams dragged him to a casualty collection point inside the compound his men had just searched, but they soon uncovered additional IEDs. He needed to find a new rally point.

As Williams dragged the ANA soldier’s scorched torso out of the first compound, the other Afghans’ poise and discipline vanished. They staggered toward the lieutenant, wildly pointing their M16s at him and each other. Williams attempted to restore order and assuage their fears, but his Afghan translator, wounded in the blast and frozen from fear or a concussion, had “forgotten every English word he knew.” Williams admonished the Afghans in broken Dari to remain calm and still, but they inched forward. When they were within feet of Williams and the heinously-wounded Afghan, they triggered another IED. The explosion mangled two more ANA soldiers and knocked the wind out of Williams. Struggling to regain his balance and gasping for air, he moved to the blast site, cut away the Afghans’ charred uniforms, and applied tourniquets. He now tallied eleven wounded.

Prisock, Williams, and the rest of Bravo Company would struggle on for hours more, evacuating the wounded, fending off Taliban attacks, enduring more casualties, and combating the confusion. They “held” the village, but could they keep it? And if they did, would it matter? At battalion headquarters, the commander and his staff, worried about the IED threat and the rapidly deteriorating situation, grappled with how to end the battle. After much deliberation, they reached the decision after midnight on September 17 to simply destroy much of the unpopulated village. At sunrise, a barrage of several dozen artillery rockets slammed into the village. In the words of one American sergeant, Makuan became a “parking lot.”

* * * *

Now a field-grade officer and a father, Nicholas Williams remains ambivalent about whether Makuan was worth the sacrifice. Tucked away in Williams’s basement is a tough box full of mementos and objects from Zhari: “I have a ‘tough box’ full of gear . . . that just smells like Afghanistan. Nine years later, Afghanistan feels like a lifetime ago, a story that happened to someone else, somewhere else, but that box always brings me back.”

That box in storage offers a metaphor for the experiences hauled home from war—the things that were carried. The box is there and it is real, whether it is opened or left untouched. That last choice—leaving it unopened—seems to dominate today’s military. Williams remembers. The institution he serves prefers not to. Retelling the story of Makuan, as well as the battles of Monongahela (1755) and Manila (1899) in our larger book, is to assemble a sort of tough box of experiences. And if we take the time to open the box and examine its contents, it may suggest some broader issues relevant to understanding our past and to dealing with the future of the U.S. military.

Our larger book examines three battles in American history: Monongahela, Manila, and Makuan. In each case we seek to explore the human experience of combat in fundamentally intercultural settings, in large part because the vast majority of American wars have in fact been against enemies from different cultures; enemies who often chose to fight in very different ways. Although each battle revealed experiences and issues specific to its historical context, we uncovered some general lessons that may help inform how our nation prepares for future wars.

The first lesson is about leaning too heavily on assumptions about who the next enemy will be. Civilians and professional soldiers alike have almost always prepared for the next war based not on the last war (despite the popular adage) but on the assumption that the next war will involve someone like themselves. Techniques, tactics, training, weapons acquisition programs, and, most crucially, expectations have all been built on assumptions of cultural and tactical symmetry. In the 1980s, for example, instead of learning and institutionalizing what it meant to fight an insurgent enemy in Vietnam while propping up an unpopular government, the American military prepared to meet the Soviets on the plains of Germany. We tend to prepare for the expected enemy, and we are too often surprised.

Second, in all of the many examples of intercultural warfare in American history, it has been necessary to work with allies from that other culture. At Monongahela, despite the myth that the British commander ignored his Indian allies, he made a real effort to enlist them, and that pattern held for virtually every Anglo-Indian war in American history. The important role of Indian Scouts in the plains wars of the late nineteenth century was no doubt one reason behind the eventual creation of the Filipino Scouts and then the Filipino constabulary, both of which played key roles in the American effort to control the Philippines. The outcome of the fight at Makuan was profoundly shaped by ANA soldiers, who in that instance proved brittle and unreliable under fire. Despite this, American strategic goals could not (and cannot!) be achieved without them.

Third, despite this historical dependence, American soldiers and American planners have often dismissed the value of local allies, but even worse, they have been dismissive of the combat capabilities of enemies they did not understand. The Americans at Makuan had enough experience with the Taliban to know what to expect. But they couldn’t let go of conventional thinking about warfare. They continued to scorn the Taliban as “cowards” who failed to fight traditionally and who insisted on blending in with civilians. The tendency to misjudge the enemy’s capabilities in intercultural combat is not a problem unique to Americans. In one sense it is simply a variation of a nearly universal ethnocentrism in war. China’s ruling dynasties long saw themselves as the center of the world and considered all outsiders to be barbarians. Japan famously based its strategy in 1941 on an assumption of American “softness” and lack of will, and they clung to that belief for almost the duration of the war, structuring their tactics and political aims accordingly.

Lastly, “more” is not always more. At the outset of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, American planners depended heavily on local factions already opposed to the Taliban. Even so, the distinct and not unreasonable preference has always been to rely on one’s own forces. When the environment proves challenging or shifts, however, Americans have tended to seek solutions in technological superiority, believing that more is better: heavier guns, more rounds per minute, more precise targeting, thicker armor, helicopter insertion, and so on. Those are things that can be measured, produced, delivered, and deployed. Very often they can indeed be decisive, especially in conventional warfare. In our view, however, the record has been decidedly mixed.

The current U.S. Army’s singular focus on “Large Scale Combat Operations”—anticipating that contingency with “peer threats” such as Russia, China, North Korea, or Iran—has prompted a host of modernization efforts and organizational changes—many no doubt necessary and even long overdue. In 2017, the Army prioritized six new conventional capabilities: long- range precision fires, the “next- generation combat vehicle,” future vertical lift, the Army network, air and missile defense, and soldier lethality. In short: “more.” The current Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General James C. McConville, tweeted on October 15, 2019, that “America’s Army will never be out-gunned, it will never be out-ranged, and it will never be over-matched.” This replicates precisely the spirit of Vietnam-era officers who claimed that the Americans had won all of the battles.

All of these developments suggest that today’s military, as in the past, may lack the introspective spirit necessary to study, apply, and codify its rich experiences with low-intensity, asymmetric, and all too often, intercultural conflict. Rather, it has aligned itself for a future of great power conflict that its own history suggests was the exception rather than the norm, and in which culture will somehow be less relevant. History suggests otherwise. The other face of battle will likely again be the face America sees.

“The Other Face of Battle: America’s Forgotten Wars and the Experience of Combat” is available for purchase.

Wayne E. Lee is the Bruce W. Carney Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, was the 2015-16 Harold K. Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College, and is author of many books including most recently, “Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History.”

David Preston is General Mark Clark Distinguished Professor of History at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He is the author of “Braddock’s Defeat,” which won the Gilder-Lerhman Prize in Military History and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.

Anthony E. Carlson is an associate professor of history at the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Having previously served as an historian and analyst at the U.S. Army’s Combat Studies Institute, Carlson has interviewed hundreds of soldiers who fought in Afghanistan.

David Silbey is the associate director of the Cornell in Washington program and an adjunct associate professor in the Cornell History Department. He has written books on the British Army in World War I, the Philippine-American War, and the Boxer Rebellion in China.

Editor’s note: This is an op-ed and as such, the opinions expressed are those of the author. If you would like to respond, or have an editorial of your own you would like to submit, please contact Military Times managing editor Howard Altman, haltman@militarytimes.com.

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Citadel cadets tour the International African American Museum site https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-cadets-tour-the-international-african-american-museum-site/ Thu, 04 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=21832 Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Former mayor Joe Riley and Citadel cadets in his class toured the International African American Museum currently under construction.]]> Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Photo: Former Mayor of Charleston and current Citadel professor, Joe Riley, ’64, speaking to his class as they tour the International African American Museum construction.

As seen on WCSC – Live 5 News, by Ann McGill

Cadets studying American history at The Citadel will experience history in the making. To kick off recognition of Black History Month at the military college of South Carolina, they will tour the International African American Museum currently under construction in Charleston.

The students are enrolled in the spring semester course titled, “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum.”

The instructor is Joseph Riley. The former Charleston mayor is a graduate of the class of 1964, and now serves in the role of professor of American Government and Public Policy at his alma mater.

Riley will tag team with history professor Kerry Taylor, Ph.D., who specializes in African American history. Taylor is director of the Charleston Oral History program at The Citadel.

“I believe for the students this will be a most meaningful college experience, for they will study a project that is under construction and learn much about our nation’s long-hidden history,” Riley said in a statement from the school.

“Upon graduation, in years to come, I have no doubt the museum will be part of their return visits to Charleston.”

The IAAM is located near the South Carolina Aquarium along the Charleston Harbor, and is set to open in 2022.

According to the IAAM website, “This museum is about a journey that began centuries ago in Africa, and still continues. It is about the journey of millions of Africans, captured and forced across the Atlantic in the grueling and inhumane Middle Passage, who arrived at Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina and other ports in the Atlantic World. Their labor, resistance and ingenuity and that of their descendants shaped every aspect of our world.”

A statement released by the school describes the goal of the class. This collaborative course, while offering Citadel cadets the unique opportunity to learn African American history through the establishment of the IAAM, is as much a study of history as it is a study of the making of history, drawing additionally on the disciplines of marketing, finance, architecture and design, civil engineering, public policy, and project management.

Riley and Taylor are planning a second visit to the museum later in the semester.

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Charleston native and Air Force captain fashions activewear line for the gym https://today.citadel.edu/charleston-native-and-air-force-captain-fashions-activewear-line-for-the-gym/ Fri, 15 Jan 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=21248 Active wear Iconi model wearing gear by Citadel alumna Angel JohnsonActive wear Iconi model wearing gear by Citadel alumna Angel Johnson“I work out a lot because of my job, and I want to stay in shape,” said Johnson, a 2013 graduate of The Citadel who grew up in Hanahan.]]> Active wear Iconi model wearing gear by Citadel alumna Angel JohnsonActive wear Iconi model wearing gear by Citadel alumna Angel Johnson

As seen in The Post & Courier
by Warren L. Wise

A Charleston native tired of spending money on what she felt were expensive but subpar gym clothes recently launched a new activewear line for women.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Angel Johnson, now stationed near Denver, founded a brand called ICONI after realizing her form-fitting workout attire sometimes allowed people to see through it.

“I work out a lot because of my job, and I want to stay in shape,” said Johnson, a 2013 graduate of The Citadel who grew up in Hanahan. “The things I was buying had high price tags, but they were not up to par, and I was tired of spending tons of money on activewear.”

Late one night in 2019 while on duty at Buckley Air Force Base in the Denver suburb of Aurora, she turned to a fellow airman and said, “I’m going to start my own activewear line.”

The airman responded, “OK, but it’s one o’clock in the morning.” 

The next day Johnson told her friends about her idea and immediately began doing as much research as possible on materials for workout clothes for women.

Charleston native and Air Force Capt. Angel Johnson recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the ICONI activewear line she created. ICONI/Provided
Charleston native and Air Force Capt. Angel Johnson recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the ICONI activewear line she created. ICONI/Provided

Using her concentration in African American history in undergraduate studies, she wanted to incorporate an African angle in the name.

She came across a town called Iconi on the Comoro Islands off the east coast of Africa and decided on the brand, with the acronym standing for: “I can overcome. Nothing’s impossible.”

The logo represents power, strength and versatility, Johnson said.

In October 2019, she launched her business and expected her first shipment later that month from Hong Kong, but communications issues came into play and by the end of the year, the coronavirus pandemic was starting to affect logistics.

Turning to a variety of Asian countries for production, she received her first items in January. They included a white sleeveless shirt with an open back, red leggings and a red sports bra.

She now offers about 30 different clothing items that are workout-related, priced from $25 to $50.

“When they arrive, I have different people test them to make sure no matter what size they are, they won’t be see-through,” Johnson said.

Her offerings, made of materials such as nylon, spandex and polyester blends, have a motivational edge, and some feature slogans such as “Embrace your power.” 

Read more about Angel Johnson’s activewear line in an article from Oprah Magazine here.

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