CHARLESTON, SC -- When they move, people stop to watch. Since 1932 The Citadel's Summerall Guards have provided precision drill performances and made appearances, representing the best of the best of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. Each March, on the college's Corps Day, the next year's group of Summerall Guards is presented - 61 rising seniors who came out on the top of the list of juniors who put themselves through rigorous training and competitions in hopes of being selected.
On March 13, Robert Waldrop, of South Plainfield, New Jersey, was christened as a 2016 Summerall Guard in the much anticipated changing of the guard ceremony, in which the 2015 guard exchange rifles with the new platoon and give a drill demonstration. Waldrop is a rising senior in Criminal Justice at the Military College of South Carolina.
The Summerall Guards are some of the most respected cadets on campus, living by and exhibiting The Citadel ideals of honor, integrity, leadership, loyalty, self-discipline and patriotism. Their purpose is to exemplify the thorough training cadets undergo; the willpower and physical stamina required for success; and the precision and unity that result. The drills they perform are verbally passed down from class to class and are based on a unique series of movements from old European close-order drills. Each year's Summerall Guards take responsibility for teaching the next unit. When the platoon was created, it was named for Gen. Charles P. Summerall, former chief of staff of the U.S. Army and president of The Citadel from 1931 until 1953.
The guard can be seen performing all around the country throughout the year.