Gavin Franklin of Irmo has been named to the Summerall Guards Class of 2024 at The Citadel.
The Summerall Guards for the Class of 2024 are now in position. The 61 rising-senior cadets held their first performance during the changing of the guard ceremony, an event that is part of The Citadel’s annual Corps Day/Recognition Day weekend ceremonies.
This marks the moment that the Class of 2023 Summerall Guards perform their last precision drills as a unit before passing their rifles to the new platoon.
They were selected after a process that included weeks of Bond Volunteer Aspirant (BVA) training. Junior cadets who pass an initial physical fitness test take part in the six-week BVA training and tryout sessions. They must perform military pushups, sit-ups and rifle-bearing physical training, exhibiting exceptional physical condition and stamina.
Membership is a high honor at the military college. Created in 1932, The Summerall Guards have represented The Citadel at events around the nation, including performing in five presidential inaugural parades.
The platoon is named for Gen. Charles P. Summerall, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and The Citadel president from 1931 until 1953. It’s purpose is to exemplify the exactness and thoroughness of a cadet’s training through a unique series of movements based on old, close-order Prussian drills. The maneuvers have never been written down, are passed from class to class and are performed to a silent count.
The 61 seniors will be commanded by Cadet Marcus Newman.
The Citadel offers a classic military college education. About 2,400 members of the S.C. Corps of Cadets are not required to serve in the military, but about one-third of each class earn commissions to become officers in every branch of U.S. military service. The Citadel Graduate College, founded more than 50 years ago, offers dozens of graduate degree, graduate certificate and evening undergraduate programs in the evening or online.