Each day we get just that much closer to the day all knobs live for, Recognition Day. It is the day that first year cadets hear the announcement, “The fourth class system is no longer in effect.” You can find the date of Recognition day on the Yearly Planning Calendar posted to the Office of the Commandant page. You can also put Recognition Day in the search window of the main page to find information. The current year’s activities usually aren’t posted until about a month ahead.
I read the book, “In the Company of Men,” by Nancy Mace second semester of my cadets knob year. It really helped me understand the process my son was going through. You can find the book through Amazon.
Over the years the activities and schedule has changed but the significance has not. In the last 4 years more family members arrive in Charleston to watch the events of Saturday from a distance. The morning starts very early with physical training (PT) and is followed by a series of challenges. The morning ends in the barracks where the knobs run through a last set of push ups. There is a lunch served in each battalion. We watched through the sallyport gates. You can find several videos of the last few minutes when the announcement is made. Put The Citadel Recognition Day in the YouTube search window to find more videos.The Commandants page posted a PowerPoint in 2011 of the days events. You’ll get tired just reading about the day.
Remember, if you do attend Recognition Day it is not a time for you to visit with your cadet. You will mostly watch from a distance. Some families do get to congratulate their cadet after their lunch. Some see them after their Recognition Day dinner. Sunday morning brunch is a time you can most likely get to spend some time. In our case our son and his friend decided they would rather come back to the hotel Saturday night with us than go out with their buddies. Most families I’ve heard from say their cadet goes out with their friends to celebrate. Like everything else at The Citadel Ask your cadet what they want to do.
Last year I wrote about the two times in the life of a cadet that they express sheer joy. Recognition Day is the first. Ring Weekend is the second. I posted photos in two different albums on Facebook. Here is the first and this is the second. A letter to families posted by the Citadel Foundation from the President of the Class of 2012 is here. He describes the day.