In just a few days The Citadel Class of 2016 Cadet Recruits will report for Matriculation Day. These first year students are called Cadet Recruits until they go through the promotion ceremony the Saturday morning of Parent’s Weekend.
Right now the cadet recruits around the country are beginning to focus on what is in front of them. From all reports it is the most challenging year of their young lives. I am told by graduates that is is also one of the most rewarding years.
I thought I’d write a few last minute tips for anyone reading this who may not have followed my other posts.
For the Cadet Recruits:
1) Set your Facebook privacy settings as high as you can, including all photos. The cadre are at the school now and already have your names. You don’t need to hand them material about you because your Facebook page is open for all to see. This is good advice for anyone, BTW.
2) Be sure you have printed out and completed the FERPA form and bring it with you. Remember your wallet and ID.
3) It’s too late now to start your physical training if you haven’t already. Know that you will do lots of push ups, sit ups and run every day.
4) You won’t find your company until Matriculation morning. After that your friends and family can get your address through the People Search window on the main school site.
5) Hopefully you’ve started to memorize the Guidon, the small book you were sent. If not be prepared to start memorizing.
6) Set small goals for yourself, like just get to the weekend, then get to Parent’s Weekend, Thanksgiving then Christmas.
For the parents:
1) Learn the school web site . I’ll post some links you’ll want to know about right away, like the Operations and Training Schedule page and the photos page. When you can’t hear form them the first 7 – 10 days you can learn about what they are doing and look for their photo.
2) Join the Facebook group for your cadet recruits company and battalion. There is also a page for 2016 parents. The only members are new parents and a few parents of graduates. The Citadel Family Association volunteers are a great help as well.
3) Watch the school web site and The Citadel External Affairs Facebook page for updated information on the big weekends and events. The Cadet Activities page and Facebook group are also good sources of information and photos.
4) Remember this is a Leadership School. Once you leave campus your cadet recruit is expected to take responsibility for their success and failures. That includes their grades and classes.
5) If they call home discouraged build them up. Remind them to use the cadet chain of command if they have issues. If at anytime you have concerns and want to speak to someone on campus confidentially, call the Ombudspersons office.
6) You can usually find links for the information you are looking for by using the search window on the school site or on this blog. On Facebook groups go to the upper right hand side of he group page and click on the magnifying glass icon. Enter the search term and relevant posts will appear. Bookmark this Helpful Web Links post to refer back to through out the year..
7) If you and your cadet recruit are on campus Friday afternoon stop by Mark Clark Hall, fist floor reception room, between 3:00 – 5:00. A group of new parents and CFA volunteers will be in the first floor reception room to just visit and meet each other.
8) At 6:00 there is a BBQ for new families and old friends. You need to RSVP here.
Take a deep breath. It may be a bumpy ride, but you won’t be going through it alone. Your cadet recruit will learn to work with their classmates. You’ll learn how to find information and support from fellow parents.
Best wishes for a great knob year!