“Recognition day is a culminating event that demonstrates the essence of nine months of discipline and change that every knob must go through. It’s the final test in the bonds of brotherhood that forge the Citadel Man.”
Z. Stackhouse (November Company, Class of 2015)
Recognition Day at The Citadel is a day that is remembered by all cadets. This day is much more than what meets the spectator’s eye. It is the end and the beginning of a major phase in every cadets time at The Citadel. It marks the beginning of life as a cadet, and the end of the Citadel’s Fourth-Class System (the toughest college military training system in the country).
What is the Fourth- Class System? This system is rigid formations, walking in single file at breakneck speed and the highly regimented way of life that all knobs must embrace.
Recognition Day begins much like the first day of military training for the knobs.
It starts with intense physical and mental challenges. Knobs awake before the sun rises to begin a series of seemingly endless exercises. They do push-ups and sit-ups and run drills back and forth across Summerall Field for hours. After hours of grueling physical work, followed by a Spirit Run, cadets are called onto the checkered floor of their barracks where, after more pushups, they listen in silent exhaustion for a message from their Regimental Commander. The day ends with the senior leader announcing that the Fourth- Class System is no longer in effect!
From this point on, the students will be recognized by their first names by all upperclassmen and welcomed into the Corps of Cadets.
This day is just one of the many memorable days as a Citadel Cadet. These experiences are unlike any other institution, they build strong physical and mental individuals that give The Citadel its renowned reputation at The Military College of South Carolina.