Citadel Club of Charleston Hosts The Lowcountry Open


On occasion I am asked to help promote events. The Citadel Club of Charleston is hosting The Lowcountry Open event to benefit Palmetto Warrior Connection, a charity that supports veterans in South Carolina. While the club is the sponsor of the event anyone can participate.

If you are in a position to be a sponsor, participant, or volunteer, please contact the leadership of the tournament and share this post in your circles. The tournament takes place after Spring semester ends so cadets can participate and/or volunteer as well. Registration opens this week. Late entry fees begin April 16.

The following promotion information was posted to the parent groups on Facebook:

The Citadel Club of Charleston is the owner and host of The Lowcountry Open; a Charleston-based offshore, nearshore and inshore fishing tournament.

Many committee members are directly connected to military services throughout the Lowcountry, the board unanimously agreed the charitable proceeds should benefit veterans. Palmetto Warrior Connection based in Charleston is the title charity for the event. 95% of charitable contributions to the Palmetto Warrior Connection goes to support veterans within South Carolina. 

We trust the sponsors will feel equally honored to help make this tournament a success!

If you would like information about tournament sponsorship opportunities, or know someone who would be interested, please contact the Tournament Chairman: Ty Holland, ’95:

Additionally, you can see tournament and sponsorship details on the website,

Everyone is invited and welcomed as sponsors, anglers, spectators or volunteers.




Advantages of being the Parent of a Citadel Cadet

It is high school graduation time. Parents of graduates who will be attending The Citadel in the fall are turning their attention to the various lists of items their son  or daughter will need when they report to the school on Matriculation Day.

Citadel Ya Ya's and one friend 2010
A group of Citadel Moms. We call ourselves The Citadel Ya Ya’s. We met through The Citadel Family Association.

There are now close to 200 Class of 2020 parents in the Facebook group The Citadel Parents of the Class of 2020 right now and more requesting to join each day. (If you want to join please go to the page request to join then send me an email,, letting me know you are the parent of an incoming knob. The group is only for new parents, not extended family.) The questions asked in the group at this time of year revolve around shoes, boots, socks, and other required items.

That will sound odd to parents and others who have no experience with a military school.

When a student attends a military school they are given a list of items to bring with them. Most of their clothes will be provided to them by the school since they wear uniforms every day, including the weekends. The cadets also have very strict rules about what they can and cannot have in their rooms.

This is a stressful time for many families. The process of sending a child to a military school can bring on a mixture of feelings. Some of these feelings are shared by all parents of college bound freshman. Some are unique to the parents of military college students.

I thought it would be helpful to the parents of The Citadel, Class of 2020 to include a list of advantages of being the parent of a cadet at The Citadel.

  • When retail stores begin their sales pitch to college students in the summer, touting their dorm room decorations and bedding, families of cadets at The Citadel can ignore the ads.
  • When other families have to caravan to get their student to college in order to bring all the things for their dorm, Citadel families can fit everyone, and the incoming knob’s required items, in the family car.
  • Unlike parents of other college students on move in day, you won’t have to decorate and unpack your cadet recruit’s things. On Matriculation Day, the day first year cadets report, families carry the things in, with the help of the Citadel Family Association volunteers, and your son or daughter will unpack after you leave. Parents do not stay and unpack and decorate the room. You can go into town and enjoy the many wonderful restaurants and toast your success as parents.
  • When other parents are worried about the decisions their college student is making with all their new found freedom, Citadel parents know exactly where their knob is by midnight each night of first semester, right in their barracks room.
  • The “freshman 15” usually refers to the weight college students gain when they are away at college. Thanks to the physical training Citadel knobs go through, they usually lose weight and gain muscle. Your knob will end the year in the best physical shape of their lives.
  • First year cadets really appreciate visits from family and friends. They love to get off campus to sleep, eat what they’d like, and take long hot showers. When your friends with college students complain that their student doesn’t want them around, you can brag about how happy your knob is to see you.
  • The first year knobs are not in control of their time. This means when families visit they end up waiting outside the barracks for their cadets. Life long friendships are made among families as they wait for their knob to exit the barracks.

Parents of the Class of 2020, there are plenty of other reasons to be proud and happy your child has chosen “the road less traveled,” for their college experience. Try to focus on the positives right now.

You’ve given them a firm foundation. Now sit back and watch them soar!

Photos clockwise from top left: Dorie with her son, daughter and a high school friend and fellow knob enjoying dinner out in Charleston in September knob year. Parents Weekend promotion ceremony. Cadet Lalli and his senior mentor, Carrying the guidon on Recognition Day, Graduation Day, Ring Ceremony, He wears the Ring.

The Citadel: End of the Year Tips for Parents

2015 ready to say good bye
Members of the Class of 2015 turn to face the Corps of Cadets.

Each year about this time I receive an interesting mix of questions. Families of seniors write with graduation questions. Sophomore and junior parents have fewer questions but the ones they do have revolve around either the BVA process for junior year or early questions about Ring Weekend for rising seniors. The knob families are gearing up for Recognition Day, and the parents of high school seniors have matriculation Day questions.

Senior families:

The graduation schedule is posted on the school web site and should answer most of your questions. You only get 8 tickets per family. some large families set up a computer/TV combination in a rental home so the people who are not at graduation can see the live stream.

The school posts a link to the Balfour graduation announcements. They did not have the site updated early enough for many families so many have used a different company that offer better prices and plenty of options: Signature Announcements

I refer parents to the link to Emily Post Graduation Etiquette for an explanation about the difference between announcements and an invitation. Since the tickets are limited it is customary to send announcements a day to 2 weeks after the graduation to let friends and family know of the milestone reached by your graduate.

On graduation day be sure to ask your graduate where they want to meet you when the ceremony is over. The place is packed and if you have a designated place to meet it can cut down on the time it takes to find your grad is a sea of people.

For more tips and photos just enter Graduation in the search window of this blog page. Here is the post I wrote after graduation last year: Graduation for the Class of 2015

Class of 2015 Dismissed!

Junior families:

The biggest question that I’m asked is about the ring payment.The Citadel Alumni Association will send a bill in late August once the registrar lets them know who is qualified to receive their rings in October. Hopefully you or your cadet have been saving up. The cost of the ring has been in the $1,000 range the past several years. The payment is due before Ring Weekend.

BV and Summerall Guards with Jason
A few 2014 Summerall Guards, 2015 Bond Volunteers pose with ’89 grad, Jason Perakis, before their run Friday of Corps Day Weekend.

It is customary for the cadet to escort their mother through the giant replica of the ring the Friday evening of Ring Weekend. The schedule of when each company goes through the ring is posted early in the new school year by the cadet activities office.

For photos of dresses and other activities of the weekend, see this post: Parents’ Weekend at The Citadel, 2015

Sophomore families:

There isn’t much parents need to know before junior year. If your son has plans to become a Bond Volunteer Aspirant, you can expect them to spend a good part of their summer physically preparing. I’ve posted several entries about the process you might find helpful.

Knob families:

It won’t be long until your son or daughter will cease being a knob and become a regular 4th Class cadet. Recognition Day is coming up. If you attend, remember it is not a day to interact with your cadet. If you go, watch from the sidelines, take photos and be in awe of how they have grown as a class in one short academic year. This year I am looking forward to being on campus and joining some 2019 families for lunch that day.

Tire Flip
Cadets work together to flip a tire during the “Gauntlet.” photo by Stacy Carter Photography Studios

A heads up about sophomore year: It is a different type of tough.They aren’t knobs but if they have rank they are the lowest ranking officers. Many refer to it as knobmore year because it doesn’t seem a whole lot different than the year before. Parents like to call it knob-no-more, but I’m told by many cadets and grads that knobmore is a better description.

A few words of caution. . . It is a year when they do get a little bit a power. It can be a time when they will run into the discipline system a bit more. Grades can slip sophomore year because they don’t have anyone telling them what to do like they did the year before.

Families of high school seniors:

Congratulations! You are about to embark on quite a rollercoaster ride called Knob Year. Please join the Facebook group called, The Citadel: Parents of the Class of 2020. Please send me an email to let me know you are the parent of an incoming knob. The group is only for parents of knobs, not extended family. You’ll meet other parents who will become your friends. A few parents of grads are in the group to help answer questions. We have a variety of different backgrounds.The Citadel Family Association also has a Facebook group you can join. The Area Reps are parents throughout the country who volunteer to be a support to knew parents. Once you know your son or daughters company (on Matriculation Day) you will have a CFA parent volunteer you can also contact for help and support.

Knobs and Mark Clark statue
Knobs line up after getting their heads shaved Monday of Challenge Week, 2015

A Citadel Cadet Speaks Out, Gives Thanks

I posted a video to my Facebook page from The Citadel Brigadier Foundation dinner the other day. My friend Bobbie O’Brien reposted it to her blog, Off the Base.

It is an important speech for all cadets to hear. This young woman shares her perspective on the things other cadets complain about.

Learning The Citadel Website

The Citadel

Each year about this time the stats for this blog go a bit nuts as anxious family and friends search for information on their Citadel knob, a first year cadet recruit at The Citadel. I am not a graduate of the school and cannot speak to what the 4th Class System is like from a cadet perspective. I can however tell you about what it is like to be a concerned parent.

On my personal Facebook page I will post the blog search terms of the day when something strikes me as particularly funny or unique. One term that makes me laugh is “Dorie Citadel,” especially since I was so anxious about the whole 4th Class System when my son was going through it in 2007. Some of the search terms make me wish I could reach out to the person searching for information to tell them it will be OK. My email address is in the About Dorie section if you would like to ask a questions to me directly.

This week, the first week knobs are on campus, I give new parent a few tips on navigating the school web site. For instance, everything they do is outlined on the Office of the Commandant page under the Operations and Training section, then click on Training Schedules. Just scroll down and look for the current week. This week the schedule is broken down by company. After this week you’ll know your knobs class schedule and will see the general schedule for the Corps of Cadets.

On the Facebook groups for parents, here is the link for the 2018 parent group, you can find previous posts and topics by entering a search term into the search window function. Look for the magnifying glass icon on the upper right side of a group page under the cover photo. Click on the icon and the search window appears. Enter your search term and press enter. Previous posts on that term will appear. A photo of the icon is on this page.

A caution about Facebook and social media for this first year, knobs want to keep a low profile. While as parents we are proud of the decision our son or daughter made in attending The Citadel, tagging them on public pages or using a hashtag to ID them as being a knob at The Citadel will raise the profile of a knob and therefore may bring more attention to a knob.

The Facebook group search window will appear when you click on the magnifying glass icon.
The Facebook group search window will appear when you click on the magnifying glass icon. to the right of the words Notification and Create Group.

A word of caution about the various YouTube videos out there. If you are struggling with not speaking to your student this first week, wait to view the videos. There are some really fun and inspiring videos, but there are also quite a few out there of the cadre yelling at the knobs. You will note in the recent ones that the TAC officers, staff who oversee the barracks, are seen observing the cadets. It is still hard to watch knowing your student will be the one getting yelled at this year. If you don’t mind seeing knobs get yelled at see this video of the knobs returning form the beach in 2011.

Each company determines when the knobs get their phone and computer privileges. Usually it is by the start of classes. Please know that knobs have no control over their time and cannot pick up the call or answer a text at will. This is hard on parents but really difficult for some girlfriends to understand. If a knob hangs up quickly it is because someone entered the room. Do not call them back. Wait for them to call you when they can.

Do send goodies to them each cadet has their own preference. My son preferred healthy food. Another Citadel Mom wrote a great blog post about care packages and how to save money on postage. You can read it here. You can order boxes through the US Post Office free online. The box #1096L is the largest small box that fits in their boxes. The box will fit in a flat rate envelope saving you postage. You can save money of postage by using the Click-N-Ship option.

Many parents ask when they can see their knob for the first time. This year August 31 is the day they will first be able to get off campus for the afternoon. If you can’t wait to see them until parents Weekend,  which is October 10 – 12, 2014, the best time to see them is on what is called an open weekend on the Yearly Planning Calendar. Open and Closed weekends don’t mean too much for knobs since they cannot have an overnight this first semester. On an Open weekend there are no mandatory Saturday Morning Inspections (SMI) and upperclass cadets can request leave for the weekend. For knobs it means they can go off campus Friday night, Saturday from about 7:00 am – 11:30 pm and Sunday from after chapel or Ethics seminar (10:00am) until 7:00pm or so.

Each year the Corps of Cadets participate in a few special events. You can read about them on the website by clicking here. Parents Weekend is a big occasion for knobs. It is during a ceremony Saturday of Parents Weekend that they are promoted from cadet recruits to cadet privates. During the ceremony the cadre and knobs do a class set of pushups and the knobs receive the company letter which is worn on their uniform. For more information on Parents Weekend schedule watch the school web site and the Cadet Activities page. You can also read previous posts by putting “Parents Weekend” in the search window of this site.

The Cadet Activities office has a program where they will quietly deliver cookies to cadets for special occasions. You can read about it here. They also handle the order forms for the school newspaper The Brigadier, a good way fro families to keep up with the happenings on campus.

The football games are fun to attend. For tickets and information on all the athletic events visit the web site Citadel Sports. They also have a Facebook page, The Citadel Sports. The Citadel Brigadier Foundation is another good page to follow. The foundation raises funds to
support the athletic program and scholarships.

Professor Tiffany Silverman with Monuments Men author, Robert Edsel, and several cadets at the VIP reception before the lecture
Professor Tiffany Silverman with Monuments Men author, Robert Edsel, and several cadets at the VIP reception before the lecture

If you are more into the arts, you’ll be thrilled to learn about Fine Arts at The Citadel. A terrific program that last year brought in the author of the book Monuments Men to campus for a book signing and talk. The program is headed by Professor Tiffany Silverman and offers a variety of classes to cadets, including a Fine Arts minor.

I encourage each family to take time to learn about the school and what is available by exploring the web site. The A-Z Search option is a great tool and the People Search option is also very helpful. Both are located under the Info tab of the web site.

Gifts for Cadets

Each year about this time the search terms for gifts for cadets increase. Parents, family and friends of cadets are usually looking for ideas for graduates, but also to celebrate the end of knob year at Recognition Day.

I’ve written about this topic before and you can see those ideas on these previous posts: Finding Gifts for Your Citadel Cadet; The Citadel: Recognition Day and Graduation Gift IdeasGift Ideas for Citadel Cadets and Graduates.

My top recommendation for newly recognized knobs is a company t-shirt and car decal. You can purchase them at the Citadel Bookstore. They aren’t expecting a gift, but one of the first things former knobs do after Recognition Day is head to the bookstore to get a company t-shirt.

For the seniors The Citadel Bookstore and other merchants have an endless number of great gifts. The bookstore carries diploma frames, and other gifts.

The Lifetime Membership to the Citadel Alumni Association is the top gift for a graduate. They are given a plaque at a luncheon graduation week. The membership means they will always be connected to their alma mater through the CAA.

Contact Dawn Allen at:
Contact Dawn Allen at:

I’ve seen some very creative gifts this year. Parents, mostly moms, are very resourceful. One 2016 mom sent me photos of a picture she had painted by a friend. Dawn Allen works off of photos, magazines, or any kind of images you want to send. Tell her what you want and she will design a comp. Price depends on size, detail, and if lettering is involved. Anything is negotiable. Contact her at:

Photos of their time at The Citadel are always appreciated. I gave the 2011 graduates of Bravo Company two photos for graduation. One was a group photo from their knob year taken on Corps Day. The second photo was a group shot taken in front of the company letter on Ring Weekend.

If you have a great gift idea you’d like to share, please add it to the comment section of this entry.

Bravo knobs pose on 4th division (4th Floor) in their dress whites, March 2008
Bravo knobs pose on 4th division (4th Floor) in their dress whites, March 2008
Bravo Company 2011 wear the Ring photo by Stanley Leary
Bravo Company 2011 wear the Ring photo by Stanley Leary

The Monuments Men and The Citadel


The Fine Arts department at The Citadel is sponsoring an amazing event April 3 at the McAlister Field House. Robert Edsel, author of Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, will be the guest speaker and sign copies of his book . The event is free to the public.

For those interested in supporting the Fine Arts department at The Citadel there is a VIP Cocktail Reception and Private Book Signing prior to the free public lecture and Q&A event. The VIP ticket price is $125 and includes a copy of the book. Parents of cadets who cannot attend can purchase a ticket and arrange to have the signed book delivered to your cadets MSC box on campus if your cadet cannot attend. Email Professor Tiffany Silverman with your cadet’s name, company and their box number. Her email address is: silvermant(at)

This event is one of the approved Fine Arts events that meet the requirement for freshman and sophomore cadets.

An anonymous donor has agreed to match all ticket sales and donations to the event up to $25,000. If your company matches charitable donations this is a great way to make an even great impact on a terrific program.

In a recent email to me Professor Tiffany Silverman explained the history of the Fine Arts program at The Citadel:

In the past, The Citadel has been able to offer a few dramatic presentations each year for the Fine Art Series as there has not been an academic program around the Fine Arts; just a couple of art appreciation courses taught by an adjunct.  I have been on board for 5 years now, developing this program from scratch, and this year I was able to launch a new Fine Arts minor that has rapidly become among the largest in the school.  Also, the oversight of the Fine Art Series has moved to the School of Humanities under my direction.  We now offer courses in drawing, painting, photography, advanced film, and drama in addition to core classes in art appreciation, music appreciation, and introduction to film.  This is incredibly exciting as we are now offering a more diverse range of events and exhibitions that serve to connect the arts to something meaningful to the cadets as well as provide internships, jobs, exhibitions of cadet artwork, and even sales of their artwork — opening doors they didn’t even know existed.

Professor Silverman sent me a few emails from former students. These notes underscore the various ways in which the Fine Arts program has continued to help graduates.

Professor Silverman,  Thank you for the notification. I didn’t realize that a fine arts minor was actually established since I graduated. That is very exciting and I am rather jealous. I wanted to let you know that I am doing very well. I married my beautiful wife, in May of last year and have enjoyed 8 wonderful months with her.  I have traveled many places in the past 4 years and I enjoy my career with the Air Force. Again, I wanted to thank you for inspiring my interest in art. Before attending your classes, I honestly had very little interest. It took me a lot of trials before I found a medium I enjoyed, but painting has been incredible. My large abstract oils not only decorate our walls, but the walls of several friends, family members, churches, and even Air Force institutions. Although, it is a hobby and more for stress relief, it is also a way I can share my interest with others. I am training in XXXX again this month, and ironically I blew the mind of one of my instructors. I left a rather large painting at Camp XXX 2 yrs ago. It is on display for all to see in the main hallway of the XXXX School. When I mentioned it, he actually thought the school-house had purchased that piece professionally. Additionally, a year ago a General and Colonel stationed at my base both mentioned the same work and how they hadn’t realized it was mine until they read the plaque, and sent me a direct email thanking me for the impact it made and how it represents the training with such an iconic perspective each defender will always remember. Needless to say, I will continue to paint. One day I hope to distribute my works and have them displayed elsewhere. When I return home I will talk to my wife about a donation. It may be small, but it would mean a lot to support you if we can. Thank you again for all of your teaching and encouragement over the years.

Dear Prof. Silverman, I can’t tell you how much your class three years ago has helped me in my career. I know you think how can taking an art appreciation class help you in the army but it reality it has help bring a wider prospective on culture, creativity, and ideas! It’s one of those subject all cadets should understand and be familiar with to be better citizens and leaders of our community’s, state’s and nation. I applaud you for reaching out to your former students because if any of them are like me, the understand the importance of what the fine arts teaches you now more than when we sat in your classroom. I hope that you will reach your goal because increasing fine arts at the citadel will only help our future leaders! 

Hey, Professor Silverman! Thought I’d let you know that I’m now the Public Affairs Officer for my company, which basically just means I take photos for any of our company events, from Training Exercises to Family Readiness Group (FRG) events. Those photos are usually submitted through the company and put in a ‘storyboard’ as kind of a press release for whatever event occurred. Commanders like to see pictures, and whenever a picture isn’t taken with a cellphone they are usually impressed. But I try to economize the amount of times I press the shutter so that I don’t distract from the training or the significance of the event. So this means I don’t have as much trial and error (‘spray-and-pray’) as when I shoot things like landscapes, so I have to know exactly what settings I need and how I want to compose the photo to make every shot count.

This type of ‘press type’ of photography isn’t exactly my favorite, but if I wasn’t taking these pictures, there would probably only be blurry, low resolution, horribly composed cell phone pictures to remember these Soldiers and the accomplishments of the organization. So I always volunteer to take photos, for the sake of the unit and good photography.

I have the most fun with photography usually on my free time when I just explore around and see what catches my eye (usually around sunset). But sometimes it’s nice to just sit and enjoy a sunset instead of worrying about a good subject, exposure and composition. Which I think is important for photographers to do; it’s easy to get caught up in the all the technical aspects and become oblivious to the beauty that is happening in front of you. So I think I’ve found a good balance between taking the time to observe what makes whatever I’m looking at significant and messing around with my tripod and getting frustrated with my exposure settings.

I never expected photography to become such a big part of my life, but it really gives you an excuse to really think about and appreciate the world around you and also share it with others; and I probably wouldn’t have gotten so passionate about it had it not been for your course and the great opportunities it offered.

Please join me in supporting the Fine Arts program by purchasing a VIP ticket to the April 3 event, or making a donation to the program. Remember all gifts up to $25,000 will be matched! To access the web site to purchase a VIP ticket and/or make a donation Click Here.

Welcome to The Citadel Class of 2018

waitingwithboxesEach 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,

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 AssociationNice 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 [1] of conservative style pajamas (optional)

Many cadets wear their PT (physical training) clothes not pajamas. a bathrobe is issued to them.
Twelve [12] 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 [12] 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 [12] of white cotton panties (female) – NO thongs

This is pretty straight forward for the female cadets.
One pair [1] 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 [12] 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 [12] 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 [1] 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 [1] of shower shoes [black]

Six [6] white, cotton towels

Double the amount of towels. Purchase in expensive towels form a store like Walmart or Target. They end up using their towels to clean. Do not spend a lot of money on good towels.

Six [6] washcloths

Double the amount of towels and buy inexpensive towels. Walmart has 18 for $4.00

One [1] standard sized pillow
Four [4] white pillow cases

Buy inexpensive pillow cases.

Four [4] 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 [12] white handkerchiefs

You can find these in Walmart or Target stores.

Toilet articles

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 [1] 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 [1] 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 [3] of black bike shorts (cotton spandex) for optional wear with
physical training uniform

Compression type shorts that are optional under PT clothes

One pair [1] 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 [1] 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 [1] 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 [2] 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 [5] white, beige, or skin-colored regular bras
Five [5] white or beige sports bras
Five pairs [5] 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.

Alarm clock
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
the cadet.

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:

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

The Citadel: Unofficial Tips for Families of Incoming Knobs

A Letter to The Citadel Class of 2015

Knob Year Notes for Parents

Matriculation Day: Getting Ready

Matriculation Day: Reporting in that first Day

Knobs pick up their new PT clothes (AKA Knobbie clothes). Note the cadet in the navy blue to the right.
Knobs pick up their new PT clothes (AKA Knobbie clothes). Note the cadet in the navy blue to the right.

A Caring Community

The Boat Center at The Citadel.
The picnic tables by the boat house. My favorite place on campus.

When my oldest son went off to college I never expected to end up with life long friends as a result, but that is what happened at The Citadel.

By the end of my son’s knob year I volunteered to help lead the Georgia Citadel Parents Group. That position meant I was part of the Citadel Family Association. many of the parents I met through this organization back in 2008 are some of my close friends now. We called ourselves the YaYa’s then and now.

Thanks to the development of parent Facebook groups, that are not officially part of The Citadel Family Association, many more parents are meeting virtually before they finally meet on campus.

The Citadel Alumni network are known for supporting fellow members of the Long Gray line of graduates. The parents of cadets at The Citadel are proving to be a very close group too.

As an official volunteer while my son was a cadet, I had the privilege of being a caring presence for a few families who experienced some of life’s most challenging situations, including serious illness and death of a close family members.

I’ve seen the alumni network jump to the aid of a cadet with sudden financial needs. Parents of cadets have too over the years. The alumni have a very organized structure, but for the parents there really isn’t a structure in a formal sense. They are members of various Facebook groups. As a need arises someone will post a note, then  the offers of help and prayers begin to pour in. This grass-roots support happened after hurricane Sandy when a Long Island mom, who is also a teacher posted a need. Each year leading up to ring weekend calls for support for cadets who cannot afford their ring are posted and the challenge is met.

Volunteer support is also given in family emergencies. Offers of prayers, visits to hospitals and campus are all carried out quietly by individuals and groups who hear of a need a step up to meet the need. I don’t know of another college or university that has this type of camaraderie among the parents of their students.

Parents do need to be careful though. The cadets are students at a military college. The 4th Class System is designed to train the students to become leaders, which means learning to solve problems on their own.

A recent article in Forbes addresses the problems that can arise when parents get too involved and don’t allow their children to learn through their mistakes, the title is 7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders. It is harder for parents of cadets to get involved with their day to day life, but quite a few parents do stay a bit too connected to the day to day decisions than is healthy for their cadet’s leadership development.

The Citadel website lists several options for families that find them self in an emergency situation. All parents should have the HELP web page bookmarked just in case it is ever needed. Only you know your student. If at any time you are concerned about your cadet or what has been reported to happen on campus always call the appropriate department. If you are not sure what the right department would be contact the Ombudsperson’s office they can help you and keep our conversation confidential if you would like.

We call ourselves The Citadel Ya Ya's. We had a little reunion at Vendue Rooftop in 2010.
We call ourselves The Citadel Ya Ya’s. We had a little reunion at Vendue Rooftop in 2010.



Winter Furlough and First Year Cadets

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

Winter Furlough for first year Citadel cadets can  bring with it a mixed bag of emotions. While they are very happy to be home and away from the 4th Class system, they also miss their fellow knobs. The friends from high school who went on to non-military colleges can’t relate to the regimented life of a cadet. The process of moving into adulthood and the life of a Citadel cadet is in place by December of knob year.

The downside of Winter Furlough is the news that comes from friends who have decided they want a different college experience and will not return to The Citadel for second semester. While I am sure it is a tough decision not to return, in some ways hearing a good buddy won’t be there second semester can really upset the most devoted knob. I bring this up in case anyone reading this thinks they are alone so they will know they are not.

Some cadets don’t return because of grades. For others, they do not return because of financial reasons. Others decide that they want to attend a non-military college. Whatever the reason, it is hard to leave good friends.

For the knobs who face second semester without a friend, returning in January can be even more difficult. The beginning of second semester is tough for many cadets of all classes. They have spent a month with friends and family, enjoying good food lots of sleep and long hot showers. They return to the cold dark barracks, early morning PT in the damp cold temperatures of the winter. Many first year cadets who haven’t questioned their sanity of choosing this type of college experience, will have their doubts in January and February.

I mention this now as a heads up to parents of first year cadets so you’ll know that if you get a call in January complaining about the school, you’ll be aware that this is normal. As I’ve written in several posts, you know your child the best. If at anytime you have concerns about them and their experience at The Citadel, call the ombudspersons office. They will keep the call confidential and hear your concerns.

How a cadet did academically first semester can be a cause for celebration or concern. Congratulations if your cadet made the Dean’s List (3.2) or Gold Stars (3.7 or higher). The school will publish a list of the cadets on each list. There will also be the announcement of the Commandant’s List and President’s List cadets sometime in January. The President’s List cadets and Gold Star recipients are recognized during the awards parade in January and are invited to a reception at the President’s home after the parade.

If your cadet did not do well first semester it can be a wake up call to reorder priorities. I’ve heard plenty of stories of cadets who didn’t do well their first semester and went on to earn Gold Stars. The academic support office and the individual academic departments can be a great help to cadets, but they must seek the assistance. The sooner they ask for help in a semester the better.

No matter how they did academically, they have made it through the toughest challenge a college freshman can go through and that is cause for celebration!

For now, enjoy your cadet and their stories.

Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful Holiday.