Citadel Cadets – Charleston, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Charleston County Photos | Citadel Cadets
At The Citadel, located in Charleston, cadets participate in a weekly Dress Parade, carrying on a United States military tradition that began at Valley Forge.
Every Friday afternoon, weather permitting, the entire corps of nearly 2,000 cadets gathers at Summerall Field to step through the paces of this ritual of discipline, ceremony, and celebration. The Dress Parade is a popular event for visitors to Charleston. Guests are welcome and there is no admission fee.
The regimental pipe and drum corps leads, dressed in kilts. It plays traditional marches while cadets in dress uniforms carry swords or rifles and march onto the field by company.
Companies form battalions, arms are presented, and cannons are fired. The level of salute varies, depending on what rank of military personnel are present. For example, a 13-round salute signifies the presence of a two-star general. The National Anthem is played and battalions pass in review. At the end of the drill, the entire South Carolina Corps of Cadets passes in review and exchanges salutes with the commanding and senior officers.
From its inception during the Revolutionary War, the pass-in-review was meant to display the glory and strength of the assembled troops. To the commander, it served two functions – dismissing the troops and inspecting their state of discipline and training. It is an fun and exciting show for visitors, but each cadet’s performance is graded at every step, from marching to rifle alignment.
Many thanks to Richard Ellis of Charleston for sharing this photo he took in 2009.
To learn more about The Citadel, visit its official website.
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