Earning a position on The Citadel’s Summerall Guards is among the highest honors a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets can attain.

Each spring semester, after weeks of training and tryouts, 61 new guards are selected from more than 100 rising juniors for their physical stamina and drill proficiency. A rifle exchange ceremony held annually during Corps Day Weekend marks the beginning of service for the new platoon as the seniors who will soon graduate hand over their duties.

This year the ceremony takes place March 18, on Summerall Field. The presentation is one of numerous events that will be held in succession for Corps and Recognition Day, bringing cadets’ families, friends, alumni and community visitors to campus.

The Summerall Guard is a silent precision drill platoon first formed more than 85 years ago. Through a unique series of movements based on the old military close-order drills, the Summerall Guard aspires to exemplify the precise and meticulous training of a Citadel cadet. The intricate movements of the drill are taught from one class to the next and have never been formally recorded. The platoon was named for Gen. Charles P. Summerall, former chief of staff of the U.S. Army and Citadel president from 1931 until 1953.

“The Summerall Guards are composed of some of the best senior cadets on campus and to have been nominated by my classmates to lead them was a huge honor,” said outgoing Guard Commander Blaine Kuhn. “Commanding the Guards was a difficult yet rewarding experience that has proven to be the proudest moment of my cadet career. I congratulate Aaron Tribbett on being selected to command the 2018 Summerall Guards and hope I was able to set an example that he wishes to follow.”

The platoon receives frequent invitations to perform around America, most recently appearing in the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Parade, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Charleston, and numerous Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans.

The Class of 2018 Summerall Guards includes:

Irmo

Justin Mitchell

 

Columbia

Thomas Smith

Brandon Douglass

Joshua Bowman