“Through all the hard times you faced, your ‘why’ is what got you here today”

Looking back at Recognition Day and Corps Day 2024

Before being officially recognized as part of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, members of the Class of 2027 had to undergo the Gauntlet. After successfully completing the mental and physical demands of the fourth-class system, these cadets now move on to the next phase of their Citadel journey — leadership development.

The rising sophomores had to learn how to be followers before they could learn to lead. Matriculation Day in August marked the beginning of the fourth-class system, which came to an end on Friday, March 22, when they were officially recognized by their peers.

Regimental Commander Cadet Col. Sullivan Newsome declared the end of the fourth-class system after the freshmen completed the demanding physical and mental tasks of the Gauntlet. This included a run around campus and their class set, which consisted of 100 pushups plus the number of their class year — which is 127 for the Class of 2027.

“Over the past 221 days, there were times where you leaned on one another, there were times you had to search deep within yourself to keep going and there were certainly nights where you laid awake wondering what you got yourself into. But, through all the hard times you faced, your why is what got you here today. Never forget why you chose to come to this institution. I told you on August 14th that it is a privilege, not a right, to have the honor of calling yourself a Citadel man or woman. Today, you have officially passed the first of many steps that it will take to earn that privilege. While you should be proud of what you have accomplished today, do not take it for granted you have many more challenges and obstacles ahead in the next three years,” Newsome told the Class of 2027. “Over the next three years, your goals may change, new challenges will arise, and you will continue to grow. But your why will always stay the same.”

On Saturday, March 23, freshmen cadets marched to Marion Square, the site of the original campus, where they reaffirmed their cadet oath. One of the most iconic and visual events connected to The Citadel is the March to Marion Square.

Recognition Day aligns with Corps Day celebrations. The Citadel commemorated the 181st birthday of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets this year.

Activities on Corps Day included a Jeep review parade, a performance by the 2025 Summerall Guards, open barracks and pipe band performances.

The fourth-class system comes to an end on Recognition Day, but the freshmen cadets still have a long way to go before their graduation in 2027. Until they return in the fall for their sophomore year, the newly recognized cadets will be getting ready to lead and mentor the upcoming generation.

Photos from The Citadel, including images from Recognition Day and Corps Day, will be available for purchase at the photo store by early April.