Each year at about this time the search terms on my blog feature words all related to knob year and preparations for knob year. I’ve written welcome entries to new families for four years now. The tips and advice in each entry still stand. The links are posted below. I highly recommend you read each one. In this entry I will spend some time on recommendations for the various required items knobs MUST bring each year.
For the third year in a row I’ve posted a Facebook group for new parents. This year’s group. The Citadel: Parents of the Class of 2018 has over 20 members so far. In addition to new parents, the group includes a few parents of graduates who volunteer their time to answer questions about this first year at The Citadel. If you have a student who will be in the Class of 2018 at The Citadel, please send me an email to request to join the group, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year the new parents seem to focus on a different aspect of required or Nice to Have Item on the official Success packet list or the Citadel Family Association “Nice to Have List.” The parents of the class of 2016 asked a lot of questions about fine grade sand paper. The 2017 parents focused on the types of men’s underwear to purchase. It may sound silly even to those same parents now, but at the time these parents just wanted to make sure they sent their cadet off with everything they needed to succeed.
The most important items on the “Nice to have list” are the iron and travel size ironing board. Your cadet will iron, a lot. Spray starch is nice to have. Ask your cadet what they will want from the list. Shoe polish, rags, fine grade sand paper, a small plastic box with general medications, like ibuprofen and cough/cold medicine, band aids, Neosporin, and mole skin for their feet, are all good ideas to bring.
The list of required items changes very little from year to year. You MUST check the official list when it is posted for the Class of 2018. It will be linked on a Matriculation Day Headquarters link as well as to the Commandant’s Matriculation Day page on the school website. For this entry I will post what was on the list for the Class of 2017 with notes about the various items.
NOTE: The information below has been updated since the first publication for the Class of 2018. 7/20/15
From pages 6 – 7 in the Fourth Class Success Packet for the Class of 2019: (Items in BOLD are my recommendations/comments)
All cadets are required to furnish their own bed linen except for the bedspread and one blanket ,
which will be issued. Beds and mattresses are provided, but pillows are not. One plastic mattress
cover will be issued at cost to each cadet.
All cadets (male and female) must bring the following:
One pair  of conservative style pajamas (optional)
Many cadets wear their PT (physical training) clothes not pajamas. a bathrobe is issued to them.
Twelve  white, cotton, crew-neck tee shirts
Double the amount of tee shirts (24) they should fit snuggly so as not to wrinkle under their uniform shirts.
Twelve pairs  of white cotton underwear – at least 6 pair jockey shorts (male)
6 pairs of the “Tighty whitey” type men’s briefs are required. The 6 pair will be folded and kept in a drawer for inspections. Other type of underwear can be worn under uniforms. Many prefer the boxer briefs for under their uniform pants. The brands linked here are for example only. You can purchase whatever brand you prefer. DOUBLE the amount (24)
Twelve pairs  of white cotton panties (female) – NO thongs
This is pretty straight forward for the female cadets.
One pair  of “long johns”
Long underwear top and bottom in a thin material and solid color are used for under their heavy wool uniforms in the late fall early winter. You can send these at the Thanksgiving break.
Twelve pairs  of black crew length socks – cotton socks are recommended. Thick cotton socks are best. the Gold toe brand is good, but other makes are fine too. Some prefer the more expensive military socks to keep from developing blisters. Double the number of pairs of socks (24)
[Experience has proven that socks made of synthetic material contribute to blistering and
in some cases secondary infections.]
Twelve pairs  of white, cotton athletic socks
Thick white CREW LENGTH socks are needed for knobs. The Gold Toe brand is good but others are as well. Look for high cotton content and no logos. Watch for sales at your favorite stores.
One  bathing suit, solid black or navy blue (female: conservative one piece)
Mostly black or blue. Minimal piping/stitching is OK. Lands End usually carries them, but you can find them at other stores or on Amazon. Sample of the men’s suit. Women’s suits at Lands End or Speedo or Tyr brands are pretty easy to find in a range of sizes.
One pair  of shower shoes [black]
Six  white, cotton towels
Six  washcloths
Double the amount of towels and buy inexpensive towels. Walmart has 18 for $4.00
One  standard sized pillow
Four  white pillow cases
Buy inexpensive pillow cases.
Four  white, non-fitted sheets for a single bed
Be sure to buy very inexpensive FLAT, not fitted sheets. They also use these to make banners. Most cadets make their bed then sleep on top of the made bed. DO NOT buy expensive sheets.
Twelve  white handkerchiefs
You can find these in Walmart or Target stores.
What ever shaving and person care items your cadet uses. Include bar soap or liquid body wash. they do not need a a carrying bag.
One pair  of good cross training shoes (non-marking soles) in a subdued color
such as white, navy, or black (may have contrasting trim.)
Buy the brand that fits your cadet best. Be sure they are broken in prior to Matriculation Day.
One pair  of good running shoes (non-marking soles) in a subdued color such
as white, navy, or black (may have contrasting trim.)
Many cadets have the same she for cross training and running. Buy what fits best.
Three pairs  of black bike shorts (cotton spandex) for optional wear with
physical training uniform
Compression type shorts that are optional under PT clothes
One pair  of military style boots, sand colored with deep lug soles – boots must
be and colored with a plain or capped toe
Boots made of patent leather or poromeric material
are not authorized [The Cadet Store at The Citadel sells Bates brand boots, but
large sizes may not be readily available. Be sure boots are “broken in” prior to
arrival to prevent foot problems.] Bates Brand, M-8 Desert Assault boots, 8″Height Other brands are available. You can order them online. Some sporting goods sell them at a good price. I use Google to find good prices.
One  clear plastic storage container for under the bed. It must be sized no larger than 32″L x 11″H x 18″W. Note: Do not search for a container meeting these precise specifications. Instead, look for something smaller than 32″ x 11″ x 18″.
One  overnight bag (or another clear plastic storage container) for additional items that will be kept on top of the full press is authorized. This bag or container may not exceed 24″L x 12″H x 18″W.
Containers: Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot and the Container Store carry containers that will meet the specifications.
Two pairs  of military style, plain toe, smooth leather, black oxford shoes with rubber heels. Shoes made of patent leather or poromeric material are not authorized. You will not be permitted to wear shoes that do not meet this criteria. Be sure all shoes are “broken in” prior to arrival to prevent foot problems.
Boots and shoes are available at The Citadel Cadet Store. Summer store hours are Monday-Wednesday
7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m and Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 4:30. Call (843) 953-5166 to check on item availability.
Boots and shoes must meet specifications. See the Cadet Store letter for details.
Additional items for female cadets:
Five  white, beige, or skin-colored regular bras
Five  white or beige sports bras
Five pairs  of neutral, black, or skin colored pantyhose
One pair of black, military style, leather or corfam, pumps with closed toe and
closed heel with a ½ to 1.5 inch heel. Shoes are not to have straps or
any kind of buckle or decorative styling.
I am told the female knobs to not really need the stockings and pumps the first year.
One black, leather or flat black vinyl military style handbag, no larger than 8 ½ by
11 inches, with or without shoulder strap. Suede handbags are not
authorized. Handbag may have a handle or shoulder strap with a buckle.
Handbag may not have any decorative styling.
The Citadel does not furnish bedding, cadets shipping their belongings to the college must
bring with them two sheets, one pillowcase, and their pillow for use until they can access their
The following items may be brought with the new cadet or obtained later:
One desk reading lamp
One picture with frame – no larger than 8”x10”
Most knobs do not keep a photo on their desk
One radio/stereo/CD player/tape recorder/player – speakers must be no larger
than 12”x 24”
It is best to wait to have a device like this until after Parents Weekend.
Computer and printer
For the school computer recommendations see this link. If your cadet uses a MAC there is an Apple store in Charleston.
Oscillating fan ONLY – box or floor fans on a stand are not authorized
Not needed in all barracks.
If you pack in card board boxes and trash bags there is no need to use the storage facility.
Trunks and suitcases can not be stored in cadet rooms. Only one overnight bag for overnight
travel may be kept in the room. All other luggage is stored at the central warehouse at the risk of
Luggage may be shipped to The Citadel in advance of your reporting date. It should be clearly
marked with the cadet’s name and addressed to Central Supply, The Citadel, 171 Moultrie Street,
Charleston, SC, 29409.
Previous entries about knob year preparations: