Hi, cadets. I just wanted to say that you may not know this but you are being watched. What I mean by "watched" is that little do you know, my school Franklin Military Academy (First public military academy in the United States) has some of your customs. For instance, the new sixth grade cadets are called "Plebes" and the seventh grade cadets are called "Paiges" and the eighth graders currently don't have a name. VMI: One of your older commandants I believe served as our commandant after being done with VMI and brought the whole RATS thing. The freshmen are called RATS and they go through RAT Season for 6 months. They have their own company with their RAT Staff, they have to put their fingers up in the hall and not talk and can not talk to upperclassmen. They have a RAT Pack equivalent to the whole RAT Bible with definitions, questions and answers, chain of command, etc. which they must all memorize. This is to prep them for the RAT Test which is a 3 part test: Marching, Knowledge test, and "RAT Discipline Day" when all upperclassmen gang up on the RATS and make them PT for half of the whole day. Once the RATS go through all of that, they can talk in the hall and put their finger down and go through a ceremony that promotes them to RAT to Cadet. The Top 3 RATS who scored the highest are glorified basically. The RAT who scored 3rd in the RAT Test is called "Mighty Mouse" and gets PFC, 2nd highest is "Super Rat" and gets PFC, and the highest is called the "Top RAT" and gets the rank of Corporal and is a part of the RAT Staff now. Everyone else gets Private. At the ceremony they earn their school cord, ribbons, school ribbon, rank, and nameplate, and unit crest. Keep up the work, cadets. I'm sure you'll lead us strong.