Citadel Hazing

I know all SAs and SMCs have an element of a "Fourth Class System" where Freshmen are put under high stress situations (memorizing lines from a books, squaring meals, getting yelled at, etc.), and that is something I believe I could handle because I know there are actual reasons behind them; My question is, however, does hazing that puts someone under real physical danger still happen at The Citadel? From my current knowledge, SAs are federally owned and so they're more supervised and "safer," but The Citadel is notoriously known for it's abuse toward freshmen.
 

CitadelN88

Banned
In theory ABSOLUTELY NOT.

But these are young leaders, mistakes are made. There is relatively close supervision by real adult retired military officers and senior enlisted.

If actual hazing happens punishment is swift and severe. It can also lead to real world criminal charges.

We just dropped #2 son of a few weeks ago an I was favorably impressed with the quality of the cadet leadership. They're far better leaders than we were back in the mid to late 80's.

The current system is challenging, tough , fair and professional.

Oh and sometimes you have to embrace the suck!
 
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AJC

Member
In most states hazing is now a crime.
As such the schools have levels of liability they did not have in the past.
The are very sensitive to even the appearance of hazing.
 

glen

5-Year Member
academyboundd wrote: "The Citadel is notoriously known for it's abuse toward freshmen." Seriously - hazing is old news from 50 years ago....and most of it is myth perpetuated by Pat Conroy's fictional account of his freshman year - 1967. The fact is Conroy was a basketball player and as such was on Core Squad - and not involved in most of the Fourth Class System as a Knob. Regardless - today the System is tough, but fair and part of a much more disciplined and professional "Leadership Development Model," now in effect at The Citadel. This is a four year experience based on positive training and instruction program using techniques practiced by the modern military services. It is still physically tough - but not physically threatening. See the Leadership Program web page: http://www.citadel.edu/root/assistant-commandant-fourthclass-system
 
Thank you for the clarification everyone! It's relieving to know that the "hazing" today is not nearly what it was several decades ago. I wonder if older alumni ever see it as a sign of The Citadel "breaking down on it's values" or "getting soft." While I have read TLOD, I was compelled to ask this question after reading Rick Reilly's article on The Citadel in 1992 (more recent, but still, 20+ years ago). I guess a lot can change in 20 years.

1992- https://www.si.com/college-football/2014/09/04/si-60-what-citadel-rick-reilly
 

CitadelN88

Banned
yeh athletes and especially football players have it SO TOUGH at Citadel just ask them, they'll tell you. Maybe that's a bit harsh but only a bit.

The old corpse er old corps likes to complain about how soft things are but I suspect that has been going on since the 50's , the 1850's that is.
 
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glen

5-Year Member
academybounddd: As a member of the "Old Corps" and one who stays in close touch with the college, I can state unequivocally the System for Freshmen today is less indiscriminately harsh, but more generally demanding - as it is for upper class cadets. I graduated in 1970, so my Knob year was 1966/67 - the same year, by the way, that Pat Conroy used for his fictional account in the Lords of Discipline. The "system" then was indiscriminately administered in a fashion that reflected General Mark Clark's effort to recreate at The Citadel the plebe system he had experienced at West Point. That system was based on indiscriminate efforts to eliminate individuals who upper class cadets believed were not worthy to attend the military academy. Obviously - not very professional and not designed to produce positive leaders of men. This is why West Point and the other academies abandoned it for their leadership development models today. For over 20 years now, the college has been developing a much more professional leader development model - based on positive leadership traits - training that offers learning for both freshmen and upperclass cadets. I happened to be the guest of the current Commandant of Cadets earlier this month to see the beginning of Cadre Training Week for the nearly 500 upper class cadets who volunteer to be Cadre for the incoming Knobs. The week starts off with a training program led by a professional group of senior active duty and retired SEALS, Special Forces and other Special Operations personnel who have had recruit training experience. These experienced trainers have a common message: develop a standard of accomplishment that you want all of your people to attain and be responsible for providing individuals with the skills needed to attain that standard. The rest is up to them - and its not your responsibility to decide who belongs or who does not.
 
In theory ABSOLUTELY NOT.

But these are young leaders, mistakes are made. There is relatively close supervision by real adult retired military officers and senior enlisted.

If actual hazing happens punishment is swift and severe. It can also lead to real world criminal charges.

We just dropped #2 son of a few weeks ago an I was favorably impressed with the quality of the cadet leadership. They're far better leaders than we were back in the mid to late 80's.

The current system is challenging, tough , fair and professional.

Oh and sometimes you have to embrace the suck!
Sometimes leadership isn't the issue. Cadre at Norwich have been excellent so far this year, including education on what to do if an upper classman gets out of hand. The leaders are taught restraint, the others it appears not so much, especially when upper classman believe they need to make up for a kinder, more gentle Rook experience.
 

CitadelN88

Banned
Sometimes leadership isn't the issue. Cadre at Norwich have been excellent so far this year, including education on what to do if an upper classman gets out of hand. The leaders are taught restraint, the others it appears not so much, especially when upper classman believe they need to make up for a kinder, more gentle Rook experience.
Cadre in the context I'm speaking are the First , Second and Third class cadets who run the Fourth Class System - you seem to be talking about non-cadet leadership?
 

AJC

Member
The new Commandant of Cadets is not a Norwich graduate (not sure why not since all the past have been).
As such he does not see the importance of continuing what he considers unprofessional traditions.
There was quite an uproar about it last year.
My son is Cadre this year.
He commented that they do not want us to yell at the Rooks so much (this was during Rook Week).
As I said before he now has a headstart on saying how much tougher it was when he was a rook.
 
Cadre in the context I'm speaking are the First , Second and Third class cadets who run the Fourth Class System - you seem to be talking about non-cadet leadership?
Correct. Bullying and hazing is occurring from non-cadet leadership. Cadre is aware of the issue and educating the Rooks on how-to deal with it. An almost direct quote: "only we get to be xxxholes!" Hah.
 
The new Commandant of Cadets is not a Norwich graduate (not sure why not since all the past have been).
As such he does not see the importance of continuing what he considers unprofessional traditions.
There was quite an uproar about it last year.
My son is Cadre this year.
He commented that they do not want us to yell at the Rooks so much (this was during Rook Week).
As I said before he now has a headstart on saying how much tougher it was when he was a rook.
My son mentioned the yelling dies down when the commandant is around, but quickly returns to it's normal volume when he leaves. It doesn't bother the Rooks anymore, he said, beyond adding the appropriate pressure to learn a task.
 

NGC70

New Member
As a former TAC Officer at The Citadel, I can confirm some of what has been said. The days of blatant hazing are over. The leadership model developed over the past 12 years or so is excellent, and hazing or near-hazing is rare. When it happens - and it does at every school - there is swift action taken. Every cadet company has a TAC, so there is daily interaction with cadets from what is usually a very experienced, high-quality military leader. The current Commandant has taken a very firm stand (and he is an alum), and there is no mercy for abusers.
 
Norwich has had its share of hazing this year. Several cadre have been administratively separated from the corps of cadets for inappropriate behavior, with the latest incident happening this week with the state's attorney filing criminal charges. As parents we were told the cadre from the platoon in question are suspended until the investigation is complete.

The speed at which the school is handling hazing is appropriate, and thankfully the hazing is not wide-spread. A few bad apples don't rot a tree, as one parent said.

https://www.timesargus.com/news/local/police-norwich-cadet-hazed-fellow-cadet/article_e9d40d10-9de9-549d-b079-67edb2e4ef80.html
 
I know all SAs and SMCs have an element of a "Fourth Class System" where Freshmen are put under high stress situations (memorizing lines from a books, squaring meals, getting yelled at, etc.), and that is something I believe I could handle because I know there are actual reasons behind them; My question is, however, does hazing that puts someone under real physical danger still happen at The Citadel? From my current knowledge, SAs are federally owned and so they're more supervised and "safer," but The Citadel is notoriously known for it's abuse toward freshmen.
Yes hazing still goes on. My son just withdrew from the citadel due to hazing that definitely put him in physical danger.
 

CitadelN88

Banned
I know all SAs and SMCs have an element of a "Fourth Class System" where Freshmen are put under high stress situations (memorizing lines from a books, squaring meals, getting yelled at, etc.), and that is something I believe I could handle because I know there are actual reasons behind them; My question is, however, does hazing that puts someone under real physical danger still happen at The Citadel? From my current knowledge, SAs are federally owned and so they're more supervised and "safer," but The Citadel is notoriously known for it's abuse toward freshmen.
Yes hazing still goes on. My son just withdrew from the citadel due to hazing that definitely put him in physical danger.
really - pm me with details if you're comfortable
 

CitadelN88

Banned
Young people make bad choices.

My son's company lost 6 upper class men for hazing at end of the semester. One definitely deserved, the others maybe not so much.

There was a huge shakedown on hazing - speech by the Commandant - lots of pressure put on knobs to report any and all hazing that ever occurred right before finals. Lots of sever punishment - some alumni think over the top but we're not in a good position to judge. The administration takes it very seriously.
 
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