Learning Cadet Speak

1st Battalion Quad photo by Stanley Leary

I am now bilingual. I speak English and Citadel parent. It took a while to catch on to the new terms, abbreviations and slang terms, but by my son’s sophomore year I was just about fluent.

A number of  parents of high school seniors are starting their journey to learn about the 4th Class System. A quick look at the search terms leading to this blog tell me there are a good number of new families seeking information.

I’ll post a few terms here. If you are reading this and are the parent or family member of a cadet, please put the terms you’ve learned over the years. You can purchase a copy of the guide book for knobs called The Guidon, or download it here and read about other terms. The Guidon is updated each year and is available online and in the bookstore in Mark Clark Hall on campus.


All in – When all cadets are to be in their room in the barracks.

Black Badge, Red Badge – ROTC pins for cadets who are on an Army or Marine contract.

BVA – Bond Volunteer Aspirant, a junior cadet who wants to be a member of the Summerall Guards.

Brace – a form of attention that knobs must do around any upper class cadet. Try to touch their chin to their spine

Blitz polish or make shine. Brass and shoes can be referred to as being “blitzed out”

Confinements or Cons – punishment for a violation.

Corps Day – a weekend in March to celebrate the founding of the Corps of Cadets.

Division – in the barracks the floors are referred to as divisions, ex. the fourth floor is the 4th division.

El Cid – slang for The Citadel. years ago some cadets cut up a bumper sticker to rearrange the letters. The name stuck.

E.S.P. – Evening Study Period

“Fix your smile” –  refers to the band on your cap.  Keep it down or else you can see a “Smile” of white between the black bill and the white cap.

FTX – Field Training Exercise, usually a weekend trip with the ROTC program.

Gaudy – a term used when a knob or other cadet acts a bit cocky or outrageous

Guidon – a military flag that designates a company or platoon sized group. Each company has a guidon at The Citadel. The clerk (sophomore cadet officer) carries the guidon during the parades. Knobs don’t touch the guidon. Also the name of the book published each year that Knobs have to memorize.

Knobbie mission – when a senior sends a knob to play a prank, usually on another senior.

Knobbie walk – 120 paces a minute

Ombudsperson or Ombudsman – The officials on campus appointed to investigate concerns. A great resource for parents.

Open and Closed weekends – Open means the upper class cadets can go off campus for the night(s) if they don’t have any tours or confinements.  Closed means everyone must be in the barracks at the appointed time each night. You can visit knobs on Open AND Closed weekends.  They will not be on campus FTX weekends.

PT – Physical Training

Press and Full Press – The press is the metal dresser with drawers for folded clothes,  The full press is the closet for hanging clothes.

Quad – the red and white open area of the barracks. See this link for a panoramic view of 1st Battalion (Murray Barracks)

Sallyport – entry gate to the barracks

SMI – Saturday Morning Inspection

Shirt stays – an elastic band that attaches to the bottom of a uniform shirt and to the top of dress socks. It keeps the shirt in place and the socks pulled up.

Sir sandwich – begin and end all answers to an upperclassmen with sir

Spirit Run – Physical training time that takes place with the knobs and the cadre.

Table top – while bracing the knob leans as far back as possible without wavering making them look like a tabletop

TAC officer (Training Advising and Counseling) the staff person usually active duty or retired officer. Each company and battalion has a TAC officer assigned. One point of contact for parents.

Tours – punishment for a violation. walk the Quad with your rifle for one hour = one tour.

Front sallyport of Murray Barracks. photo by Stanley Leary

The Citadel: Friday's, Rain Dances, and Parades

Cadets march onto Summerall Field at the beginning of the Corps Day parade, March 2011. photo by Stanley Leary
1st Battalion marches onto Summerall Field. photo by Stanley Leary

It is Friday. For most college kids that means it is time to gear up for a party. For cadets at The Citadel, it means a parade in the afternoon.  These aren’t the kind of parades we attend in our home towns, but a military parade. The parents and visitors love to watch as the Regimental Band and Pipes lead the way. Cadets pour out of the barracks, marching in formation onto the parade field. Cadets aren’t as thrilled about marching in the parades. They pray for rain on parade days.

Members of The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes. photo by Stanley Leary


In a time-honored tradition, the upper class cadets encourage the knobs (first year cadets) to dance in a circle in front of the company letter in an effort to encourage the rain clouds to open up so the parade will be cancelled. Parents and visitors, on the other hand, enjoy seeing the parades, listening to the band and pipes play, and straining to find your cadet in the sea of young people all dressed exactly a like.

So today, with a 40% chance of rain in Charleston, I imagine the cadets are gearing up for a rain dance.

Members of The Citadel Band photo by Stanley Leary
Members of The Citadel Band photo by Stanley Leary

Recognition Day the Best Day of the Year for Knobs

Bravo '11 knobs line up the morning of Rec. Day photo found on FacebookEach 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.

Bravo, '11 Rec Day photo found on Facebook

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.

The Citadel, Class of 2011 arrive in Marion Square to recite the Cadet Oath. photo by Dorie Griggs

The Citadel: Preparing for Knob Year, Class of 2016

A member of the Class of 2015 reports on Matriculation Day 2011.

It’s hard to believe it is time for the next class of cadets to prepare for their Matriculation Day. Last year at this time I began to post advice for the Class of 2015. The nice thing about a military school is the same routines are in place each year with minor changes.  The advice in the post The Citadel: Unofficial Tips for Families of Knobs is still valid. A Letter to the Class of 2015 contains words of wisdom for incoming cadets of any future class and their parents too. Be sure to read these two entries and the links in them for information on reporting. Also review each link on the Citadel Parent Info page on this blog.

Visit the Matriculation Headquarters page. The required items to bring can be found in the Success Packet listed under Important Documents and Links.

To make it easier to find helpful information for new cadets and their parents I updated my blog with a Citadel Parents Info section.  The information listed is a result of 4 years of volunteering with the Georgia Citadel Parents Group and The Citadel Family Association. I’ve updated the information and added links as I learned new information or when the schools main website updates their information.

With the help of my husband, photographer, Stanley Leary, I put together a slide show of Matriculation Day photos. The key for parents to remember about The Citadel is it is a leadership school. That means your high school graduate is treated as the adult they are. You raised them and now they must learn to handle their own affairs.  Before Matriculation Day it is fine to help them get ready for school by making sure they have the necessary items, but they must take the responsibility for getting ready physically and mentally for the challenge ahead.  That includes being able to meet the minimum physical training requirements prior to Matriculation Day. Military scholarship ROTC cadets should meet the highest requirements. The ROTC pages for each branch of the service will give you more details on the specifics of their training.  The staff and websites for The Citadel Army ROTC , Navy ROTC, and Air Force ROTC are very helpful if you have questions as your student prepares to report.

Citadel Family Association, “Blue Shirt” volunteers wait with parents of the Class of 2015.

The top advice after physical training is to break in the black leather Oxford shoes. The incoming cadet should wear them each day for a few months prior to reporting.

To get a head start on learning the various aspects of being a knob the new cadet recruit should review The Guidon. Parents should read through it to become familiar with the terms used on the campus as well as the various traditions. The Guidon is published each year. The 2011-2012 edition is available in pdf format on the schools web site. Once additional tip for new families, when you have a questions about the school, most of the questions can be answered by reading the web site.

Tips on what to purchase can be found in the Getting Ready for Matriculation Day advice section of this blog.  The school updates the Success packet each spring. Make sure you read the Success Packet thoroughly as it includes action items for your cadet and for you as well as the list of what your cadet Must Bring. The Matriculation Day Headquarters link is usually posted to the main page and also to the Admissions office page in the main website. The Citadel Family Association posts a Nice to Have List on their website. While most items on the list are a good idea to pack, be sure to ask your cadet what they want from the list. Remember you can help them get ready, but once they report you need to defer to your cadet. Each company and each battalion have their own traditions. Your cadet will learn what these traditions entail.

You can resource with other parents, but remember each cadet has their own experience.

Facebook groups for parents are listed by Battalion and by Company on the Helpful Web links page. Just remember the other parents are happy to help, but it is best to ask an individual about specific questions regarding your cadet rather than posting it to an open forum.  You can find parent volunteers by region of the country on the Area Rep section of The Citadel Family Association website.

Your cadet will find out his/her company on Matriculation Day when you arrive on campus. Once you know the company and battalion you can always contact the parent volunteer listed in the Co. Rep section of the website.

As I mentioned earlier whenever possible encourage your cadet to work out their own problems using the cadet chain of command. They can always seek the help of the Ombudsperson on campus who is a confidential resource for cadets, faculty, staff, and parents too.

The Bravo Company cadre lead the new knobs of the Class of 2015 to lunch on Matriculation Day 2011. (Note the crew length socks)

More Tips for The Citadel Class of 2016

Finding gifts for your Citadel Cadet

I know the holidays are behind us, but there are more gift giving opportunities ahead. Before I forget – again – to post links to the various sites I’ve found to purchase gifts, I thought I’d update the blog with a few fun links.

Carolina Cadet Nutcracker and an Army Nutcracker purchased at Target. carolinacadet.com
Carolina Cadet Nutcracker and an Army Nutcracker purchased at Target. carolinacadet.com

If you’ve visited the display tables in Mark Clark Hall on Parents Weekend you know about Carolina Cadets.  She makes the cadet ornaments and nutcrackers. Her web site is easy to navigate and features a number of other gift items for you or your cadet.  I purchased a Summerall Guard Nutcracker last Christmas via the web site. The order went through easily and the nutcracker arrived in great shape.

For fans of the old gift shop, you can still find some of the nicer items online at the M.LaHart web site. The current gift shop does have a link on their website as well.They carry jewelry, barware and other items for the home and office. In 2010 I bought a nice pewter flask with The Citadel seal on it for my son’s 21 birthday. I can’t find the flask online any longer. I really miss the old gift shop and its unique items.

A Citadel alum/dad I know received some shirts from the Campus Team Shop and was very pleased.  They give you the option to personalize some of their shirts. Another site for t-shirts and sweatshirts I found is Football Fanatics.

Cadets and alumni seem to like the Old Corps Clothing Store. I purchased a t-shirt for my 2011 grad. It was easy to place an order and the shirt arrived in a matter of days.  They have a sale going on right now (today is January 18, 2012). Go to their Facebook page for the code and get t-shirts for $15 or 2 for $25. Update 042312: They also feature shirts for Recognition Day.

The Citadel Alumni Association has several items for sale on their merchandise page. Just click on the left side of the page for photos of each items and instructions on how to order.

For items a cadet may appreciate but are not Citadel specific I found L.L. Bean has a Dress Thomson shirt that resembles the official plaid of the school.

My son was in the Army ROTC program. Items to help with his career in the Army were also gift items throughout his time at the school. One sleeping bag folded down to the size of a football, but would keep the soldier warm in very low temps. The prices varied widely online. I ended up getting a great price from Hodge Army Navy in Marietta, GA. Hodge also gave us a 10% discount on the boots and shoes for knob year once we mentioned my son was a cadet.

I’m sure there are other great gift ideas out there. Please comment here and share your finds!

Working Through The January Blahs

My mother used to talk about the January blah’s. It’s that time of year after the holidays when the days are short and cold and not much is happening. I love the spring time with its longer warmer days and the leaves and flowers begin to blossom. This thought came to me this morning while I was doing a morning writing exercise recommended in the book, The Artists Way.

Jeff Justice and the February 2011 graduating class. photo by Stanley Leary

Each January I try to do something a little outside my comfort zone.  This year I’m working through The Artists Way with a small group of ladies I met through a writer friend whom I really admire. Last year I enrolled in a comedy writing class taught by Jeff Justice. It was a wonderful way to learn how to put more humor into my presentation, but it also gave me a fun outlet to be around some fun people too. Our graduation was at The Punchline Comedy Club in Sandy Springs.  We each did a 4 minute stand up routine of original material that Jeff helped us develop.

It occurred to me this morning that my oldest son, and his buddies at The Citadel, didn’t need to do this type of motivational exercise. They each had some type of driving force within themselves that kept them moving through 4 years of a very ordered life. Even in the toughest time of the year, January, the cadets get up early for morning physical training (PT), go to their meals together, go to class, than participate in some type of activity on campus in the afternoon or evening. Mandatory study time in the evenings on top of the duties that come with their rank is like having a full-time job on top of a very full course load. Just thinking about their schedule makes me tired!

Dorie Griggs at The Punchline Comedy Club for her comedy class graduation photo by Stanley Leary

In reflecting back over the past four years I realized each January after my sons first year as a knob I would get a phone call from a concerned parent. The call usually came after the parent had an upsetting call from their knob. The first week back to El Cid (a nickname for The Citadel), is tough on all the cadets. Knobs, or first year cadets, seem to have the hardest time.  They return to school after spending a month at home with good food, good friends, long hot showers, and a comfortable bed. They return to getting up before the sun and training outside in the cold and damp weather. Anyone would get a bit down in these conditions.

From what I’ve observed over the years is that the cadets who succeed have an inner drive to push them through tough tasks. This inner drive doesn’t go away after they graduate. The graduates who enter the military continue on with similar physical training and the mental toughness to carry out their demanding tasks.  The graduates in the work force remain highly motivated and are often sought out by employers who recognize the value of the leadership training they’ve gone through.

I did not attend a military college and honestly don’t think I could have succeeded at one. I have learned a great respect for the individuals who do attend them and succeed.

For now I’ll continue in my small group plugging away at the tasks outlined in The Artists Way. When I start to make excuses why I can’t do something, I’ll remind myself of the young men and women who by 8:00 A.M. have already been up, exercised, showered, eaten, and are in class.

The Citadel: Parents Weekend and Ring Weekend tips

Bravo Company, 2011 Seniors show off their rings. photo by Stanley Leary

In one week my oldest son will graduate from Armor Basic Officer Leader Course (BLOC) at Fort Benning, GA.  In two weeks families from around the country will arrive in Charleston, SC for Parents’ Weekend at The Citadel.  This is the first time in four years we will not be in Charleston and it feels really strange.

I was going through photos from last year and thought of a few things I learned about parents Weekend that I should pass along.

For the families of seniors this weekend is all about the Ring. The afternoon presentation is in McAlister Field house.  The Cadet Activities office does a great job of posting information in advance. You’ll see people in all types of dress.  The senior cadets will be in their most formal uniform.  We decided to wear nice clothes for the presentation.

One little tip for the mothers of cadets. . .  if you would like the “Mother’s Ring” or a pendant consider buying it for yourself. Some cadets will order them on their own, but not many do. Parents of underclass cadets – the ring is ordered in their junior year.  The payment is due early their senior year.  The price varies with the gold prices and it can be close to $1,000.

After the seniors go into the field house the rest of the Corps of Cadets and their families can participate in the academic open house and the address by the president, or just leave campus.  Of course you always need to check with your cadet.  Depending on their rank and company they may have certain duties to perform.

The RIng Ceremony. A photo is taken when you go through the ring then half way down the carpet. I didn’t look the right way. You will hear a voice through the flower arrangement telling you to look to your right. photo by Stanley Leary

Friday night is the night the senior cadets walk through the replica of the Ring with their mother, date and /or family member. The cadet activities office posts the schedule of when each company is assigned to go through the ring. You need to be at the field house 15 minutes prior to the posted time. If you have an early time you can plan on dinner after you go through the ring. Our time was after 8:00 so a group of Bravo families went to dinner prior to going through the ring. Our cadets didn’t plan ahead. One of the moms’s called around Wednesday night to find a place that would take our group of 30 a the last-minute. Some companies have a tradition of having dinner together at a hotel. The school arranges to have a photographer at the presentation and also at he Hop afterwards. Do not be upset if your senior wants to spend most of their time with their buddies.  They have waited three years to earn the right to wear that band of gold.

Bravo Company flag. Parents’ Weekend 2010

Saturday morning is a crazy busy time.  Schedules vary but in general you can go to the barracks and see your cadet and their room. . Parents’ Weekend is the first time of the school year when they have Open Barracks, a time when family, friends and alumni can enter the barracks and visit rooms. The knobs prepare for this day weeks in advance.  They put a lot of time into painting a banner to be displayed from the 4th division (4th floor) of the barracks. If you wondered where their sheets went to, take a close look at the banner. Seriously, the banner and the various bulletin boards are a big deal.  Each floor has a different bulletin board.  The cadets take great pride in their designs each year.  Make sure to notice them.

You can hear the Regimental Band concert of Summerall Field, watch the Kelly Cup competition and see the Rifle Legion Performance Saturday morning too.  At 10:00 parents of knobs will want to be in the battalion to watch the promotion ceremony for the knobs.  They are promoted from cadet recruits to cadet privates. The Citadel Heroes volunteers will man a table where you can sign cards for deployed cadets and recent graduates.

After the promotion ceremony the cadets get ready for the parade. First year parents will soon learn to stake out their spot in the stands early or bring their own chairs.

There is very little time between the parade and when the cadets have to get ready to march to the football stadium. You can pack your own lunch, eat in Coward Mess Hall or purchase a box lunch through cadet activities. We ate in the mess hall the first year then brought our own lunch after the first year.  I’ve learned that if you ask 5 different people their opinion of what to do for lunch that day you will get 5 different answers.  Do what your cadet would like to do.

It is fun to watch the cadets march to the stadium. Once you get to your seats you can watch the cadets line the field to cheer on the team. The cadets all sit together. We found sitting across the field from the cadet section was our favorite spot.  You are out of the sun. The Summerall Guards perform at half-time.

(NOTE the following paragraph about group tickets is not valid for 2012 tickets. There are no group rates for parent’s Weekend and Homecoming in 2012)

A good friend of mine purchased a block of tickets at a discount then made them available to friends.  The normal $30 ticket at the group rate was only $6 each.  My son’s senior year we had over 200 people in our section.  I had to pay for the tickets but everyone sent me their checks and a self-addressed stamped envelope. To do this you need to plan in advance. I purchased the tickets Matriculation Weekend at the ticket office and had the pick of the best seating. Posting a notice to the parent Facebook groups is a quick way to get the word out about ticket availability.

Once the game is over the cadets are free to join their family and friends. We were fortunate to have a group of friends to tailgate with each fall. Most knobs want to get good food and sleep before returning to the barracks around 11:30 pm. There is a silent procession of cars that drive around the parade field the hour before their curfew. It reminded me of the final scene from the movie “Field of Dreams,” when all you can see are a stream of headlights.

Sunday morning after chapel or ethics seminar the knobs can go off campus until about 6:00 or 7:00.

Just remember the weekend will fly by. You’ll do a lot of walking so wear comfortable shoes. Parking is always tight these big weekends so getting to campus early Saturday is a good idea.

The 2011 Summerall Guards perform at half time of the game on parents’ Weekend.

Miscellaneous tips and info:

Dress: Be sure to check the weather reports. The past 4 years the weather was mostly very warm and sunny. Summer weight clothes are best. You’ll see a variety of outfits, mostly casual. Comfortable shoes are best since you do a good bit of walking. It did rain one year.  Umbrellas are not allowed in the stadium. A rain poncho is best.

Hotels: Most hotels will offer a special rate for Citadel families.  Call the hotel directly and ask if they offer a Citadel family rate.  The hotels closest to the school book very quickly. Marriott, Best Western, LaQuinta and SpringHill Suites, Marriott Courtyard are all very close.  The Hawthorn Suites Hotel is near The Citadel Mall and about 7 miles away they offer a very low rate for a suite room. Please feel free to leave your hotel recommendations in the comment section.


Charleston is known for it’s great restaurants.  Reservations are suggested for most fine dining restaurants. You can find some wonderful places all around the area.  The places farther from downtown are easier to get into and the prices can be lower too. Feel free to leave a comment below with your favorite restaurant tips.

Information for Parents about the BVA's and Summerall Guards

The 2011 Summerall Guards take a run with the 2012 Bond Volunteers the night before they pass their rifles..photo by Stanley Leary

I was looking over the site stats for the blog Off the Base.  It is fun to notice the articles that are found because people are using Google to find out information.  The beginning of the school year the entries about knobs and Matriculation Day are the most frequently searched.  Second to that is BVA’s and Summerall Guards.

Junior year is when cadets who want to be Summerall Guards volunteer to go through intense training.  They are called Bond Volunteer Aspirants. In many ways it is like knob year, only this time it is worse.  The juniors represent some of the top leadership in the Corps of Cadets. They have a heavy load of classes and duties that their advance rank brings with it.. They volunteer to go through intense physical and mental challenges. The “fun” begins first semester, but the really intense period occurs after the break at Christmas.

I mentioned in an earlier entry how anxiety producing this junior year is for parents. It is widely known on campus that the BVA training is tough. Very little information is available to parents who are anxious.

The best advice I can give parents of the BVA’s, let your cadet contact you. Do not expect to hear from them as often as you did the years before. Send them encouraging emails, and care packages. Try to understand they need all their focus to squeeze in tine time study train and get their jobs as officers completed. The waiting is the hardest part.  Remember, just support your cadet.  They will let you know if/when they need help getting the various required items like the high top Chuck Taylor shoes and fatigue pants.

The 2012 Summerall Guards take the field on Corps Day, March 2011. photo by Stanley Leary

You can find background information online.  I’ll include a few tips and web links to help.

The Summerall Guard Parent and Sponsor t-shirts are sold by the Summerall Guards as a fund-raiser.  Be sure to buy yours from the new Summerall Guards on Corps Day.  They are usually sold at the BBQ lunch that is held as a fund-raiser.

A good explanation of the Bond Volunteer Aspirant training can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Summerall_Guards

Three different web sites for the Summerall Guards:



Merchandise can be purchased here. Log in required


The School web site link:


Videos of the BVA training:

Take Your Rifles, by Chris Florio  (one of my favorites)

The Citadel Summerall Guards 2010

Summerall Guard Commercial

2012  Summerall Guards

Nelson Lalli, a member of the 2011 Summerall Guards presents Brett Collin of the 2012 Summerall Guards with his official patch. photo by Stanley Leary

2011 Summerall Guards, photos and video by Stanley Leary

Unedited version of 2011 Summerall Guards from Corps Day 2010, photos and video by Stanley Leary

2011 Summerall Guard photos by Stanley Leary

Corps Day 2011, photos by Stanley Leary

Congratulations to Bobbie O'Brien

Last week I had the opportunity to sit in on the meeting of the Rosalyn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellows .  Bobbie O’Brien of  WUSF, and the administrator of the blog site, Off the Base, presented a summary of her work over the past year.  She was also selected as the only Fellow to present to President Carter and the Board of Councilors. Today Bobbie posted a summary of her presentation. You can see and hear about my contributions at the 6:13 mark.

Bobbie told me she added a few photos from my entries to Off the Base.  It was a strange feeling to be in a room of distinguished guests and then see a photo of me with my children on a screen as big as the side of a house! I am very grateful to Bobbie for the opportunity to contribute to her blog.

Congratulations to Bobbie and all the Fellows.

At the end of Recognition Day. 4th Class Cadet Nelson Lalli with his mom, Dorie and sister, ChelleRing Ceremony, 2010. 1st Class Cadet Nelson Lalli escorts his mother, Dorie and his date, Leslie Manzano through the Junior Sword Arch.

Previous posts from Off the Base

As a little background, I thought it might be helpful to post links to the entries I’ve written for Off the Base, a blog by Bobbie O’Brien of WUSF.  Most of my entries for Off the Base have to do with being the mom of a cadet at The Citadel.  Future entries on this blog will be on a variety of topics.

The Making of a Military Mom

Mom Readies for Son’s Military College

The Citadel: Year One a No Fly Zone for Hovering Parents

How The Citadel “Ya-Yas” Came to Be

Learning Leadership and Ethics at The Citadel

The Citadel Trained Me as Well as My Son

The Citadel: BVA’s and  Summerall Guards

The Citadel: Recognition Day and Ring Weekend

Care Packages for Cadets: The Citadel Heroes Project

The Citadel Bond Renews Parents’ Long Time Friendships

The Citadel: Unofficial Tips for Families of Incoming Knobs

The Citadel: Saying Good-Bye, But Always Connected

A Sister, a Mom, A Family Prepares for Military Life

Dorie, Nelson and Leslie. Ring Ceremony 2010

Survival Skills to Succeed as a Citadel Mom

A New Blue Star Mom Shows Supports for Fallen Soldier

Celebration, Tradition, Ritual: The Long Gray Li

Citadel Parent Crafts Her Own Graduation Ritual

Graduation Day: No Longer the Mother of a Cadet

A Letter to The Citadel Class of 2015

Citadel Mom Cycle Completed – A Blue Star Mom Emerges

A Military Mom Meets Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV

An Army Mom Transitions from The Citadel to Ft. Benning

A Seminary Student, Now an Army Mom Reflects on 9/11