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What you are about to read is a recollection of the history of the F Company members of the Class of 1970. While much of it focuses on F Company, and recalls events, names and even incidents that are meaningless to most of our 1970 classmates, this paper also contains a lot of history about the Class of 1970. I know that each of us, no matter what Company we were in, went through the same events that I write about with F Company. With that in mind, I was persuaded by John Moore to put this on our Class of 1970 website.


I hope that as you read this, you will remember those days when we were the young cadets of The Citadel and that this paper will trigger your own mind to recall similar events that  happened within your Company. As I stated in the Forward, time has eroded my memory so I have no doubt that you may recall things differently. But hopefully, I have not erred too much and the basic history is correct. If you find any glaring errors, or would like to add something, please contact me.  My email is























An outsider cannot begin to grasp what The Citadel is about. Outsiders see the full dress parades, the spectacle of the special weekends, and the beautiful campus with its’ austere white ramparts and parapets of the barracks. But an outsider never sees the “real” Citadel. Outsiders see Citadel cadets, but they do not see inside the cadets’ life. Only those who have mustered in the ranks can truly understand what The Citadel is about.


The first time I saw The Citadel, I fell in love with the place.  When I drove through Lesesne Gate I was completely overtaken by the perfectly proportioned campus with its huge parade ground surrounded by barracks, academic buildings and the Summerall Chapel. I was awestruck when the Corps of Cadets marched out of the barracks for the Friday afternoon  formal  retreat parade.  I was fascinated by the bugle calls which seemed to define each event in a cadet’s life.  I knew at that moment that I wanted to be a Citadel cadet.


To be honest, I had never heard of The Citadel before my senior year of high school. I always thought I would end up at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. But I never got an appointment  to the Air Force Academy so a family friend suggested I look into The Citadel. I obtained a  school catalogue and read that “The Citadel is a liberal arts military college. The military  training teaches the value of a methodical and orderly approach to tasks, of physical and  mental fitness, and of alertness and self-confidence. It teaches how to command and how to obey, how to organize and coordinate, and how to maintain morale and discipline. Most important of all, it instills the conviction that any sacrifice must be made when principle is involved, and that truth, honor, and integrity are the bases of character.”  I liked what I read so  I applied for admission.  Thus I became a Citadel cadet.


The following pages are memories of the four years I spent at The Citadel. When I started this project I was going to write a book and tell the story of those four years. But the  more I got  into it, the more I realized I was just regurgitating what Pat Conroy had already written in books like “The Lords of Discipline” and “My Losing Season”. So I changed the track I was on and decided to take the memories of all my F Company classmates and put down the facts about those four years. I asked  each of my classmates to tell me what they remembered about  certain events and tried to use their thoughts as I described those events. I also consulted with several Citadel graduates who had been upperclassmen when our class was at The Citadel.   They gave me a different perspective of the events.


I researched the history of our class in past volumes of the college yearbook, particularly the 1967, 1968, 1969, and 1970 volumes of The Sphinx. I also gathered information from other sources from that era, specifically the 1966 – 1967 Citadel Catalogue, the 1966 – 1967 Guidon, the 1966-1967 Blue Book, as well as other sources that I found In The Citadel library and

through the internet. I also used Pat Conroy’s books “The Lords of Discipline”, “My Losing Season” and “The Boo” as a source of information.


Not all of the words in the following pages are my own nor are they original. Some were taken from my sources, some from my classmates and some from my other contacts. It was not my intention to plagiarize other’s words or thoughts, but in several instances, their words and thoughts were much better than my own.  If I did “use” another’s words to get my point across, I apologize.


With that in mind, this work is intended to bring back memories to my F Company classmates who endured the four years of that time with me. It is not my intention to publish this work. I also apologize for any inaccuracies. Forty plus years, too much time above 35,000 feet, and probably too many beers have dimmed my memory (and I never claimed to have a picture perfect memory).  I know that each of us will remember things differently because we each  saw things from a different perspective. There are a lot of stories about those years which I  have not touched on because I do not remember all of the particulars of an event, or I have simply forgotten them. But if I jog your memory as you read this, then I will have succeeded in what I tried to do.


In closing, I just want each of my F Company classmates to know that my four years at The Citadel were the most important and meaningful years of my life. Our lives changed when we entered The Citadel on that September day back in 1966. We entered a world that  was  Spartan, tough and structured. It was within that world, within the walls of Padgett-Thomas barracks, that we learned everything we would ever have to know about life. We learned that discipline, honor, integrity, responsibility and selflessness are not just words. They are the keys to life. That first year at The Citadel was the toughest year of our lives. We were pushed to the limits of mental and physical abuse. I know that each of us was stressed to the point of breakdown at least once during that year. I also know that I would not have survived that first year had it not been for the love and support of each of you … my classmates … my F Company brothers. For that, I thank you. I will never forget you and I will love all of you forever. It is because of each of you that I survived my knob year and can proudly say … “I WEAR THE RING”!





Terry Kneen

F Company Knob 22 October, 2010



“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Billy Shakespeare

Macbeth, Act V, Scene V, Line 27




In 2006, Ronnie Beasley approached all of the F Company “knobs” and suggested that we get together on the 2007 Corps Day weekend … sort of a mini-reunion between the every five year scheduled Class of 70 reunions. It sounded like a great idea.  Ronnie, and his beautiful wife  Beth, set the whole thing up and several of us old knobs showed up for a weekend of fun and memories. At that mini-reunion, we shared the mostly forgotten times that we enjoyed (?) at The Citadel when we were cadets. It was during one of these “memories” sessions (and after several adult beverages), that Ronnie suggested to me that I put my useless English degree to work and write down all of the things that had happened to the Class of 1970 F Company knobs.  I agreed (remember, I too had partaken of a few adult beverages when I agreed!).


For the next two years I gathered information about our class.  I asked each of our classmates  to send me information about things that they remembered from those four years and about events that had happened. I got in touch with old upperclassmen and old TAC officers begging for memories they might have. I read and re-read The Citadel Catalogue, The Guidon, The Blue Book and Pat Conroy’s various books. I searched through pictures in the yearbooks trying to find things that would jog my memory about things that happened over forty years ago.  Slowly I started to bring it all together. Every once in a while I would receive an email from Ronnie asking me, “how’s the book coming?” It was Ronnie’s way of kicking my butt to make sure I got it done. Without his prodding, this probably never would have happened.


Therefore, I dedicate this work to Ron Beasley – classmate, fellow F Company knob,  and beloved friend.


I also give my deepest thanks to all of my F Company classmates who endured the four years with me and then forty years later, dug deep into the recesses of their “craniums consisting of Vermont marble, volcanic lava, and African ivory” to find stories for me to use. Without their help, I could not have written any of this.


And last, but definitely not least, I thank my beautiful wife of forty-plus years, Kathy.  I thank  her for the patience, love and help she has given me as I stumbled through all of this. She has been my proof reader and number one critic. Without her help, this definitely would not have happened.  Thank you.



ACADEMIC YEAR 1966 – 1967


When did the Class of 1970 report to The Citadel?  The Class of 70 was required to report to  The Citadel not later than 0900 hours, on Tuesday, 6 September 1966.


How many members of the Class of 1970 reported on that first day? 650 (source:  Letter from  Lt Col Thomas N. Courvoisie (The Boo), Christmas 1966, published in the book “The Boo” by Pat Conroy. However, a pamphlet published by the Circle K Club in 1966 lists the names of 623 Freshmen Cadets which would indicate that either The Boo was incorrect or that some of our classmates had already quit when the Circle K Club published that list).


How many knobs were originally assigned to F Company in 1966? Thirty-five. Can you name them?  Where were we from?

John L. Abbamonte                 West Orange, NJ Robert David Barnhart                        Atlanta, GA Ronald Douglas Beasley                      Columbus, GA Wallace Craig Bentley                          Belvedere, SC James Reynolds Bertel                      Gibbstown, NJ Ricky William Byrne                         Aiken, SC

John Steven Childress             Chanute AFB, IL Robert George Cook                           Easley, SC

Walter Ralph Dill                     North Augusta, SC

Joseph Clyde Ellis                    Marietta, GA

James Ladd Fowler                  Rock Hill, SC

King Cecil Hanna, Jr                Denmark, SC

Elton Mark Hartzler                Camden, SC James Michael Hearn                        Columbus, GA David Victor Hewes                           East Point, GA

Stephen Kaloroplos                 Levittown, PA James George Katter                         Longmeadow, MA George Henry Kneen III                       Dobbins AFB, GA Robert Davies Marsh, Jr                      Fairfax, VA William H. McConnell, Jr                          Charleston, SC Robert M. McCormick                             Coronado, CA

Bruce Robert Metzdorf           North Muskegon, MI William Jackson Mixson                       Columbia, SC

Randy H. Moody                      Latta, SC

Steven Douglas Rast               Rock Hill, SC


Harry Whittier Rollins, Jr        Hillcrest Heights, MD

Randolph James Schweizer     Euless, TX (listed in 1966 as FPO NY address) David Earl Sexton                                     Sumter, SC

John Alfred Skorupski, Jr         Williamstown, MA

William Callaway Strong, Jr    Fort Smith, AR (listed in 1966 as APO NY address) Larry Mitchell Thompson                 Hartsville, SC

Ronald Wayne Usry                Charleston Heights, SC Thomas J. Whelan III                                Honolulu, HI

Rhett Oliver Wolfe                  Columbia, SC

James William Youmans         Charleston Heights, SC How many F Company knobs left during the first year? Eleven.

How many of the original F Company knobs finished all four years at The Citadel? Nineteen.


Of the original thirty-five F Company knobs, who left during the first  year?  Abbamonte, Bentley, Byrne, Cooke, Fowler, McConnell, McCormick, Mixson, Rast, Sexton and Usry. Most who left did so before we transitioned into the wool uniform and most likely before Thanksgiving. Steve Kaloroplos and Randy Moody finished the first year but did not return. Bruce Metzdorf actually showed up to start the sophomore year but left shortly after the start of the first semester.


Of the eleven knobs who left that first year, three of them are pictured in the freshman section of the 1967 Sphinx which would indicate that eight left before we had those pictures taken (which was after we were issued the wool blouse). The three that are pictured are Wallace Bentley, Bob McCormick and Ron Usry. However, pictures of Steve Kaloroplos and Jim Bertel are also missing so the theory of eight leaving before we went into wools may not be correct. The 1967 Sphinx has pictures of 551 Class of 1970 knobs so nearly 100 of our class left before pictures were taken. Both Jim Bertel and Bruce Mezdorf are listed in the F Company section of the 1968 yearbook, but neither is pictured in the sophomore section.


What was the cost of tuition for in-state students during the four years at The Citadel? $5863 (yearly  breakdown  was  $1802/1387/1362/1312.     This  included  uniform  fees  per  year    of

$575/175/150/105 and book fees per year of $110/105/105/105).


What was the cost of tuition for out-of-state students during the four years at The Citadel?

$7863 (yearly fee breakdown was $2302/1887/1862/1812. Uniform and book fees were the same as in-state students).


What items of clothing and bedding were new cadets required to bring to The Citadel? Three sets of pajamas, twelve white tee shirts and twelve short drawers, twelve pairs of black socks, four pairs of white athletic socks, twelve white handkerchiefs, one pair of bedroom slippers or shower shoes, two pairs plain toe black oxford shoes with rubber heals, one pair white tennis

shoes, ten white towels, one pillow, three white pillow cases, four white sheets for single bed, one army style blanket for single bed and toilet articles. All items were required to be marked with a label that had the cadet’s name and full initials, as well as his cadet identification number.


Who did the F Company knobs report to on that first Tuesday morning? Cadet First Sergeant Charles (Squeaky) Alessandro. After Cadet Sergeant Richard Stokes “instructed” us on the proper way to report in, we stood at attention in front of Mister Alessandro and stated, “Sir, Cadet Recruit (last name and initials) reporting for duty, Sir”. He then issued each cadet the uniform of the day and assigned us to a room. He told us to retrieve our luggage, take it to our assigned room, change into the uniform of the day and then to report back to the quadrangle.


What was the uniform of the day that first Tuesday? Blue PT shorts, a Citadel PT shirt, black socks and black shoes. We were also given a name tag which was pinned on the right breast of the PT shirt.  At this point we had not been issued any headgear.


When and where did we go to get the initial issue of uniforms? We were marched over to Thompson Hall that first morning where we were issued cotton field uniforms (gray nasties), hats, fatigues, raincoat, bathrobe, blanket, bedspread, belts, webbing, brass etc which we loaded into a mattress cover. We then slung the mattress cover over our backs (like Santa’s sack) and marched back to the barracks. Later during the week we were marched over to the Tailor Shop where Mr. Paglia measured us for wool trousers, the dress and full dress blouses, the white summer dress uniform and the overcoat.


What items were issued to the Class of 1970 knobs and what was the cost of each item?




Cost ($)


Citadel Bedspread



Citadel Blanket



Wool Dress Blouse



Wool Full Dress Blouse



Dress Cap



Field Cap



White Cap (with cover)



Wool Overcoat






White Coats (with accessories)



Cuff Pairs (@.45 each)



Mattress Covers (@2.09 each)



Dance Glove Pairs (@.62 each)



Drill Glove Pairs (@.98 each)



Leather Glove Pair



Grey Field Jacket






Shako With Pom Pom



Grey Cotton Shirts (@3.18 each)



Grey Cotton Short Shirts (@2.79 each)



Athletic Shirts (@.95 each)



Athletic Shorts (@.66 each)



Athletic Sweat Suit



Grey Cotton Trousers (@3.40 each)



White Full Dress Trousers (@7.09 each)



Wool Dress Trousers (@20.48 each)



Wool Full Dress Trouser



Laundry Bags





Plus Miscellaneous Items (1 belt, 8 collars, 1 rain cap cover, 2 company letters, 1 pair cuff links, 2 class numerals, 1 breast plate, 1 waist plate, 1 cartridge box, 2 name tags, 2 ties, shine kit, clothes hangers, suspenders and webbing)                                                       18.70


Total Cost (including tax)                                                   $523.76



How many pushups were we required to do on the first day at The Citadel? Trick question. None. The Cadre was not allowed to make us do any pushups or put us into a brace until Hell Night.  Until that point they could only yell at us and berate us.


When was Hell Night? Hell Night was the official beginning of the Plebe System and it occurred on the third night of the first week (Thursday, 8 September 1966).


What was the purpose of the Fourth Class System? As stated in the 1966 – 1967 issue of “The Guidon”, the purpose of the Fourth Class System at The Citadel is to provide a base upon which a Fourth Classman may develop those qualities essential to a good leader. It is predicated upon the principle that no one is fit to command who has not learned to obey. The system, both difficult and demanding, requires a full measure of mental preparedness, physical endurance and self discipline, and is to be conducted with formal impartiality.


What did the 1966 – 1967 Citadel Catalogue specifically state about hazing? It  stated, “…  hazing is not a part of the Fourth Class System and is not condoned. The suffering of degradation, humiliation and indignity does not foster the rapid development of these qualities sought in Fourth Classmen”. It also stated that the Fourth Class System was “demanding and difficult” and is a “formidable challenge to any young man”.


When General Mark Clark became President of The Citadel in 1954, what promise did he make about the Fourth Class System? General Clark stated, “… that the school would have the toughest Plebe System in the world”. The author Pat Conroy, Class of 1967, made the  comment, “I can personally attest that he succeeded admirably”.

How did Hell Night begin for the Class of 1970? The knobs were formed up on the quadrangles of the barracks after the evening mess and left standing at attention with no upperclassmen in sight.  The barracks speaker came on and a harmonica played “home sweet home”.  The gates  of the barracks were then slammed shut and an announcement was made on the barracks speakers … “Gentlemen, this is the Regimental Commander. The Fourth Class System is now in effect”. There was a pause of silence and then the Cadre came at us with a fury as they gave inexplicable orders at the top of their voices. There was a din of massed meaningless shouts and barks and we scrambled to comply as the swarm of Cadre screamed commands, ordered push-ups and corrected posture. For the first time we were put into a brace. Hell was now in session and it would remain in session for the next nine months.  If the gates of the barracks  had been open, most of us would have left at that point.


After Hell Night, how many push-ups could we “legally” be given for an offense? Fifteen. The number increased to twenty-five after Parents Day and then to thirty after Thanksgiving. We usually ended up doing more than the “legal” number because none of us could remember the correct count!


When we were given push-ups, what “trick” did we learn as we got into push-up position? We learned to flip our brass belt buckles over so we would not scratch them on the gallery.


What was the correct way to “brace”? When in a brace, a knob has his chin tucked into the  back of his neck and his shoulders are thrown back. His stomach is sucked in and his back is rigidly straight. His arms are straight down his sides with his thumbs on the trouser seams. His head and eyes remain straight forward.


How did The Guidon describe a “brace”? The Guidon called it “strict attention”. The Guidon further stated that the object of strict attention “is to cause the individual to hold himself erect, with his head and eyes straight to the front, chin drawn in, axis of the head and neck vertical, chest lifted and arched, hips level, shoulders square and back, falling equally and evenly. There should be no inward curve or sway to the back. Arms should hang straight down without stiffness, thumbs along the seams of the trousers, back of the hands out, fingers held naturally so that the thumbs rest along the first joint of the forefingers. Heels are held together on the same line, as near each other as the conformation of the body permits. Feet are turned out equally forming a 45 degree angle; knees are straight without stiffness.”


Hell week was the longest six days of our lives. We had hour upon hour of drill and orientation classes which made each steaming, grueling day an eternity of its’ own. We were introduced to the Army Daily Dozen and ran in formation for what seemed to be hours. We became regimented and our world was measured in inches. We learned to march a thirty-six inch pace, at a forty inch distance from our fellow cadets with a four inch interval from our classmates with a nine inch to six inch arm swing. We were taught to wear our uniform of cross-webbing, waist belt, cartridge box, shako and pom pom with the same linear exactness. In that first week the cadre was determined to transform us from thirty-five individuals to a single unit … the Class of 1970 knobs of F Company.


Inside the barracks, where were knobs allowed to walk and at what pace? On the outer two squares of the gallery at 120 paces per minute and in a brace at all times when we were outside our rooms.


Outside the barracks, where did knobs walk? Knobs walked in the gutter. Walking in the street was an upperclass privilege.


Who was the Regimental Commander in the Class of 1967?  James A. Probsdorfer.


What association did the Regimental Commander have with F Company? Mister Probsdorfer had been a knob in F Company and during his sophomore year he was the F Company Guidon Corporal.


Who were the two F Company cadets that served on 2nd Battalion Staff during our knob year? Vince Kidd (Adjutant) and Bob Bristol (Athletic Officer).


Name the seniors (Class of 67) who comprised the F Company Chain of Command during our knob year. Dave Bird (Commander), Homer Baxley (Exec), Dan Billmeyer (1st Platoon), Buck Benson (2nd Platoon) and Rick Johnson (3rd Platoon). The cadet second lieutenants were John Gray, Bill Bushnell and Dave Winfield.


As knobs we were supposed to know our TO&E (table of organization and equipment – the chain of command). At mess we would be quizzed on the names of the Regimental  Commander, the Regimental Exec and the four Battalion Commanders. Do you  remember  them and can you name them? James Probsdorfer (Regimental Commander), James Roe (Regimental Exec), R.D. Barfield (First Battalion Commander), D.W. Ringo (Second Battalion Commander), C.L. Buzze (Third Battalion Commander) and D.M. Knebusch (Fourth Battalion Commander).


Squeaky Alessandro was the F Company First Sergeant our knob year. Who was the Supply Sergeant?  Bob Keramidas.


Who were the three F Company Platoon Sergeants our knob year? Larry Linder, Townley Redfearn, and Bill Russ. An interesting side note about Larry Linder … if you check the F Company picture in the 1967 Sphinx, you will see that Larry Linder is standing in the back row by himself. Dave Bird and Squeaky Alessandro did not like Larry so they had him busted to private at the start of the second semester and moved to L Company (which is how Bud Stokes became a Platoon Sergeant that year). Larry Linder was manic depressive and years later he committed suicide. Also, Townley Redfearn took over the Ford dealership his father started. Unfortunately, he lost that dealership to an unscrupulous partner and is now a realtor in Camden.

An additional side note … apparently the Class of 67 had been extremely abused by the Class of 66 and they just passed the mistreatment down to the follow-on classes. Several members of the Class of 67 were kicked out for hazing during their sophomore and junior years. F Company had a long legacy for persecuting knobs and as a result, the Class of 70 bore the brunt of that abuse. One of our upperclassmen (Class of 68) told me “I am sure the plebe system for your class was the toughest in the Corps because of that legacy of the Class of 67”. The Class of 68  did not have a good relationship with the Class of 67 and also did not have a good relationship with the Class of 69. This same upperclassman told me, “We did have a high opinion of your class (Class of 70), especially with all the disappointment we felt in the Class of 69. You guys took all that you were given. I was on Cadre for both your class and the Class of 71, and yours was much stronger”.


Who was the F Company Guidon Corporal our knob year?  Bob Schivera.


Who were the two corporals who, every morning, would come down the stairwell and tell us knobs to “hit it, screws”?  Bob Schivera and Bothwell Graham.


What terms were used to describe freshmen cadets at The Citadel? Plebe, knob, screw, wad, waste, dumbhead, smack, maggot, lamb, squat, bum, mister, duckbutt, reprobate, abortion and bubba (Squeak’s favorite).


Can you remember any of the cadet terminology that we had to learn as we settled into our lives as knobs? We had to learn how to sound-off, pop-off, pop-to, drive-up, drive-in, drive-by, post, rest, take seats, sit-up, hit-it, make a move and, more often than not … we had to assume the position (front leaning rest position) as we were racked. We were written-up, pulled, gigged, burned, skinned and were told that we would “read about it” on the DL.


Speaking of DL, do you remember what the following terms mean? DL, SMI, ERW, ESP, OC, OG, OD, JOD, PMS, PAS, CO, CQ, CCQ, OAO, PDA, DAL, DMS, DAFS, DR, SLG, SG, CG, MRI, MSP, NCO, OS&D, PT, OPD,OPA, GPA, SOP, TO&E, XMD.


DL        Delinquency List

SMI      Saturday Morning Inspection ERW            Explanation of Report, Written ESP            Evening Study Period

OC       Officer in Charge QG Officer of the Guard OD            Officer of the Day

JOD      Junior Officer of the Day PMS            Professor of Military Science

PAS      Professor of Aerospace Studies CO            Commanding Officer

CQ       Call to Quarters

CCQ     Cadet in Charge of Quarters (room orderly)

OAO    One and Only

PDA     Public Display of Affection DAL            Daily Absentee List

DMS    Distinguished Military Student DAFS            Distinguished Air Force Student DR            Delinquency Report

SLG      Sergeant of Lesesne Gate SG            Sergeant of the Guard CG            Corporal of the Guard

MRI     Morning Room Inspection MSP            Morning Study Period

NCO     Non-Commissioned Officer OS&D  Over, Short and Damaged

PT        Physical Training (or Padgett-Thomas Barracks) OPD            Outstanding Performance of Duty

OPA     Outstanding Personal Appearance GPA            Gross Personal Appearance

SOP      Standard Operating Procedure

TO&E   Table of Organization and Equipment

XMD    Excused Military Duty (also X-Drill, X-Rifle and X-PT)


What were the only four responses knobs were allowed to say when questioned by an upperclassman?  “Yes Sir”, “No Sir”, “No excuse, Sir”, and “Sir I do not know, Sir”.


What did we do to make sure our uniforms were always immaculate? We blitzed brass, put a base on our shoes as we spit shined them, we used tape to remove lint (from uniforms and from the rifle before inspections), we aligned our “trou”, belt buckle and shirt seams, and we gave each other shirt tucks. We also “T-pinned” the uniform belt tip inside the belt buckle to insure the tip stayed aligned.


At The Citadel, we lived by the call of the bugle. What time was Reveille and do you remember any of the other schedules? Reveille was at 0615 and assembly for the breakfast mess was at 0630. F Company knobs were required to form up on the division next to the quadrangle (by  the F Company stairwell) at 0600 to perform daily push-ups (led by Corporals Schivera and Graham).  After the morning mess, we returned to the barracks to get our rooms in order and  at 0740 Police Call sounded (the call to sweep the galleries). Class Call was at 0750 and morning classes started at 0800. Each class was fifty minutes long with the last morning class ending at 1150. Lunch formation assembly was sounded at 1210. Afternoon classes started at 1300 and ran thru 1550 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays our classes ended at 1450 and then at 1510 we assembled for drill or PT. First Call for the Friday afternoon parade was at 1620 with assembly at 1625.

What time was Retreat and ESP? Retreat was at 1815 with supper immediately after Retreat Formation. ESP was from 1930 to 2230 hours Sunday thru Thursday. Tattoo (signifying the end of ESP) sounded at 2230 and then Taps was sounded at 2300.


How could you tell that the OD (Officer of the Day) was making an inspection of the barracks during ESP? The OD wore a red armband and his sword. Usually he could be identified by the rattle of the OD’s jeep keys as they hit his sword when he walked around to make his inspections.


How many demerits were knobs allowed to accumulate each month? Knobs were allowed 17 demerits per month (200 per year). An excess of this resulted in confinements. Sophomores were allowed 14 per month and 170 per year while juniors were allowed 11 per month and 150 per year.  Seniors were allowed 10 per month and 130 per year.


When were confinements served? Each weekend, we could “knock off” six confinements. One confinement was served from 1900 to 2100 on Friday evening. Two confinements were served from 1330 to 1730 on Saturday afternoon and a third confinement was served on Saturday evening from 1900 to 2100. Two confinements were served on Sunday afternoon from 1400 to 1800. Confinements were awarded along with demerits (usually in the form of 3 and 5 (three demerits and five confinements), 5 and 10, and 10 and 20.


How about tours? Those walking tours could walk one fifty minute tour on Wednesday from 1640 to 1730. On Fridays, one tour was walked off from 1900 to 1950. Three tours were  walked on Saturdays from 1330 to 1630.  In addition, those cadets who had been awarded  tours were restricted to campus for a specific period of time and were required to sign in at the Barracks Guard Room each day. Tour punishments were awarded in increments of a month  and twenty, two and forty, three and sixty, and (the big one) six and a hundred and twenty.


Who was the first F Company knob to walk tours? Why? What nickname did we give him after this? Elton Hartzler was awarded ten demerits, twenty tours and a month restriction  for blowing up the Chemistry lab. He dropped a cube of sodium into water in the lab sink to see what would happen. To this day Elton claims it was an “accident”. We nicknamed him “Boom Boom”.


Who was the F Company Athletic Officer who led us on Company runs and also led us in the “Army Daily Dozen”?  Bill Bushnell.


Where did we do the Army Daily Dozen? On WLI Field (Washington Light Infantry Field).


On the Sunday of the first week, the entire Class of 70 was loaded onto busses and taken to The Citadel Beach house for a “relaxing” day at the beach. What do you remember about that day? This is probably a personal memory for sure. We wore PT clothes and sweat suits. There were no upperclassmen in attendance nor were any women present. Food and soft drinks were provided.   Most of us slept the afternoon away!        Upon returning to the barracks, all of the F

Company knobs were assembled in room 2411 (the fourth division alcove room) and given our first official sweat party.  Apparently that was an F Company tradition.


When did the remainder of the Corps of Cadets report in 1966? They were required to report not later than 1200 on Tuesday, 13 September. Registration for classes was on 14 September and classes began on Thursday, 15 September 1966.


Many of the upperclassmen prided themselves in their ability to “rack ass” and thus F Company knobs went through innumerable sweat parties. What do you remember about these  “parties”?  They usually took place in an out of the way confined space such as the shower  room or in an alcove room (usually in the fourth division alcove room … room 2411). However, there were times when the sweat parties were held on the fourth division gallery.  Sweat  parties were also referred to as “jack-it-up parties” as we were shoved into each other against the wall and then told to “hit it” where we got into push-up position on top of each other. Usually the steam heat was turned up full to make the sweat run.


What were some of the favorite “tricks” used during sweat parties? Hanging from the steam pipes, sweating a penny to the wall, filling a circle of chalk full of sweat as we were in push-up position, holding out a rifle or a stack of books, doing push-ups with an upperclassman sitting  on our back, squatting on a shoe box with a broom behind the knees, holding a rifle above our heads as we ran in place, bracing while standing on a steam radiator and, of course, incessant push-ups. If the upperclassmen were really in a foul mood, they would make us wear field jackets, overcoats and raincoats to the sweat parties which really gave true meaning to the  term “sweat” party.


Not everything about our knob year was bad. Do you remember some of our favorite hangouts (which we frequented on the rare occasions that we got off-campus)? LaBrasca’s Pizza and The Ark were two of the places we went because they were within walking distance of the campus. There were also the Friday and Saturday night movies at Mark Clark Hall (“FOCUS, POPS!”) for those who were not serving confinements.


Can you name three of the top ten songs of 1966?


1.      96 Tears (Question Mark and the Mysterians)

2.      Mustang Sally (Wilson Pickett)

3.      Good Vibrations (The Beachboys)

4.      Devil With The Blue Dress (Mytch Ryder)

5.      Elenor Rigby (The Beatles)

6.      For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield)

7.      Hold On, I’m Coming (Sam and Dave)

8.      Knock On Wood (Eddie Floyd)

9.      River Deep, Mountain High (Ike and Tina Turner)

10.  When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge)

We were required to memorize Plebe Knowledge which we would spout off at mess as we sat on the first four inches of our chairs in a brace (assuming we wanted to eat). So let’s try some  of that.


What is Honor?  Sir, honor is the most cherished principle of the cadet’s life.


What is Duty?  Sir, duty is the sublimest word in the English language.  (General Robert E. Lee).


Where is the Food? It’s on the road, Sir. What road? Sir, the road to the haven of culinary atrocities.


How is the cow? Sir, she walks, she talks, she’s full of chalk; the lacteal fluid extracted from the female of the bovine species is highly prolific to the Nth degree, Sir.


What do Plebes rank? Sir, the President’s cat, the Commandant’s dog, the waitresses in the messhall and all the captains at VMI, Sir.


What is the definition of electricity? Sir, electricity is one of the fundamental quantities in nature, consisting of elementary particles – electrons and protons. Electricity is characterized especially by the fact that it gives rise to a field of force possessing potential energy and that, when moving in a stream, it gives rise to a magnetic field of force with which kinetic energy is associated. The elementary particles of electricity, the electrons and the protons, are opposites electrically. Electricity of which the elementary unit is the proton is called positive electricity.  If a substance has on its surface more protons than electrons, it is said to be charged with positive electricity. The quantity can be measured, and the practical unit of charge is the coulomb. This, Sir, is electricity in its simplest form.


What does it mean to be a gentleman? It is to be honest, to be gentle, to be generous, to be brave, to be wise; and possessing all these qualities, to exercise them in the most graceful outward manner.


Why do Plebes come to the messhall? Sir, three times a day and even more often, the highly esteemed upperclassmen of this, our beloved institution, discover that their gastric juices are running wild and their large intestines are craving victuals. It is altogether fitting and proper, as well as obvious and natural, that it behooves the lowly Plebe to come to the messhall in order to insure that the upperclassmen are properly served, Sir.


What is the definition of I do not understand, Sir? Sir, my cranium consisting of Vermont  marble, volcanic lava, and African ivory, covered with a thick layer of case-hardened  steel, forms an impenetrable barrier to all that seeks to impress itself upon the ashen tissues of my brain. Hence the effulgent and ostentatiously effervescent phrases just now directed and reiterated for my comprehension have failed to penetrate and permeate the soniferous forces of my atrocious intelligence. In other words, Sir, I am very, very dumb and I do not understand, Sir.


What time is it? Sir, I am deeply embarrassed and greatly humiliated that due to unforeseen circumstances over which I have no control, the inner workings and hidden mechanisms of my chronometer are in such inaccord with the sidereal movement by which time is commonly reckoned that I cannot with any degree of accuracy state the exact time, Sir.  But without fear  of being very far off, I will state that it is 5 minutes, 32 seconds and 3 ticks after the 12th hour, Sir.


What is the definition of leather? Sir, if the fresh skin of an animal, cleaned and divested of all hair, fat, and other extraneous matter, be submerged in a dilute solution of tannic acid, a chemical combination ensues; the gelatinous tissue of the skin is converted into a nonputrescible substance impervious to and insoluble in water. This, Sir, is leather.


What is The Citadel? The Citadel is an institution of higher learning, to mold our minds, morals, and bodies so that we may be fit officers and better civilians of our own country. More than that, however, it is a fortress of duty, a sentinel of responsibility, a bastion of antiquity, a towering bulwark of rigid discipline, instilling within us high ideals, honor, uprightness, loyalty, patriotism, obedience, initiative, leadership, professional knowledge, and pride in achievement.


Some Mess Carvers did not bother us with the above Plebe Knowledge. Instead, they just wanted us to state some insignificant trivial fact. Assuming we got that right and were going to get to eat, we were then required to pick up our plate and hold it in front of our eyes and make a statement (basically asking the Mess Carver if we were allowed to eat). What was that statement? “Sir, would you or any other kind, fine, refined or otherwise highly outstanding Southern gentlemen care for this food, Sir?”


During the first week, we were marched over to Mark Clark Hall to visit the Honor Court and we were briefed on the Honor Code. What does the Honor Code state? According to the 1966 – 1967 version of The Guidon, the Honor Code states that a cadet will not lie, cheat or steal. It does NOT say “nor tolerate among us those that do”. The Honor code was updated sometime later to include that phrase. Current cadets are under an honor code that states, “a cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do”.


The 1966 -1967 Guidon said there were only FOUR violations of the honor code. What were they? Lying (making a false official statement), cheating (receiving or giving aid on a test or examination and plagiarism), stealing (taking without authorization personal, government or college property) and failing to report a violation of the honor code (reporting to the Honor Committee an act of lying, cheating or stealing). So in essence, we had an honor code of no tolerance from the start. In his book “The Lords of Discipline”, Pat Conroy told of the  “drumming out” ceremony for cadets who had been found guilty of an honor violation. Never happened! As The Guidon stated, “if the accused is found ‘guilty’, he will be advised that he should leave the campus voluntarily within twenty-four hours and he may resign from The Citadel. If he does not elect to leave voluntarily within twenty-four hours, the case will be presented to the President”.


What sad news did the Regimental Commander announce to the Corps at an evening meal in October 1966? He announced that Mrs. Clark, wife of General Mark Clark, President Emeritus  of The Citadel, had passed away.  Her ashes were spread on the parade ground.


Sometime in October we were marched over to Murray Infirmary to receive flu shots. What did the upperclassmen do to us when we returned from getting the flu shot? They made us do pushups.


Our first big weekend at The Citadel was Parents’ Day. It was the weekend of October 22, 1966 and The Citadel, with first year coach Red Parker, played East Carolina in  football. Unfortunately, the Dogs lost to the Pirates 27 to 17. Parent’s Day was significant for the seniors of the Class of 67, the juniors in the Class of 68, and for the knobs of the Class of 70. Do you remember why? For the seniors, it was the weekend they received their Citadel ring. The Class of 68 Junior Sword Drill performed for the first and only time at the Ring Hop. And for us lowly knobs, it was the weekend we were “formally” inducted into the Corps of Cadets. We were awarded our company letter to wear on our collar and we were no longer referred to as “cadet recruits”.  Parents’ Day also meant that we could be given twenty-five push-ups for an offense.


What happened right before Parents’ Day weekend? On the Thursday evening prior to the weekend, after the seniors had been given their rings and were in a celebratory mood, we  knobs were “dispatched” in the middle of the night to steal the company guidons from the other 2nd Battalion Companies. If memory serves me correctly, we were successful at stealing only one and that was from G Company. The next day, the G Company Guidon Corporal was frantic as he tried to find his guidon before the Friday afternoon parade.


Parents’ Day was also the weekend that we changed from the grey cotton field uniforms (grey nasties) to the mixed field uniform (wool trousers). What were some of the differences between the cotton field uniform (grey nasties) and the mixed field uniform (wool)? The grey cotton field uniform was normally worn with a short sleeve shirt and no tie along with the field cap (affectionately known to cadets as the cunt cap). However, there were occasions when we wore a long sleeve shirt and tie (such as going downtown on leave) and with that we wore the garrison cap. The cotton pants did not have front pockets and the fly had FIVE buttons on it in place of a zipper. The mixed field uniform was worn with a long sleeve shirt and tie at all times along with the field cap (or garrison cap depending on the situation). Like the cotton trousers, there were no front pockets, but there was a zipper on the fly.


What did we soon learn about wearing the wool pants? We quickly realized that the wool trousers were very irritating on the crotch area and that the wool pulled the hair off of our legs. Thus we learned to wear pajama bottoms under the wool trousers.


Until Parents’ Day, we knobs had only seen the “post” American flag flying from the parade ground flag pole. On Parents’ Day (and other specified important occasions), the “garrison” American flag was flown.  More Plebe knowledge -- what are the dimensions of each flag?   The

“post” flag is 19 feet by 10 feet while the “garrison” flag is 38 feet by 20 feet (twice the size). There is also a “storm” flag which is flown in stormy or windy weather and it measures 9 feet 6 inches by 5 feet.


On the Saturday morning of Parents’ Day, the F Company knobs put on a “marching drill” demonstration for our parents inside Padgett-Thomas barracks. Who was the “commander” of that drill formation (who gave the commands)?  Steve Kaloroplos.


Parents’ Day weekend also gave us the opportunity to attend our first “senior class party” at  the Folly Beach pier. What band played at that senior class party? Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.


We settled into our lives as Citadel knobs and struggled with academics. We pulled guard duty and CCQ. What were the duties of the CCQ and how long did this duty last? The CCQ was the room orderly who was responsible for the neatness, cleanliness and good order of the cadet room. If, during an inspection, the room was found to be in “disorder”, the CCQ got burned. CCQ duty lasted for a week at a time.


What did “all-right” and “all-in” mean and when was the “all-in” taken? An “all-right” challenge and answer was saying that you were authorized to be where you were. “All-in” reports were taken at taps and after termination of general leave. “All In” meant that all persons were present in their respective rooms.


We were all “assigned” seniors that we knobbed for during the year. We would wake them up  in the morning, pick up their laundry and fold it when it came back on Thursdays, run errands for them, and shine their shoes and brass. Many of us lived next door to our seniors.  What did it mean when they gave us one knock on the wall versus two knocks on the wall? One knock meant “be quiet” while two knocks meant “get over here”.


When tattoo was sounded at night (at 2230), many of us knobs would hear two knocks on the wall from our seniors next door to us. What did they want?  Usually they wanted us to go to  the rear sallyport of the barracks to buy crispy cream donuts for them.


Cadet rooms were sparse to say the least. Can you remember what furniture was in each room during our knob year? We had the “new” bunks and mattresses, but the rest of the furniture was old. There was a wooden chair and a wooden table which served as a desk, a rifle rack and a sink with a mirror. And each cadet had a dual sided “press” (locker) where our uniforms, etc were hung and folded. The press also had a small lockbox for valuables. There were also hooks on the wall where we hung overcoats and raincoats. Our dirty clothes bag hung on the ends of the bunk beds. Each piece of furniture had a nametag pasted to it. When we returned for our sophomore year the rooms had been equipped with all new furniture. Posted on the screen door of each room were the name tags of each cadet assigned to that room and those name tags were colored to indicate the class the cadet belonged to (knob, sophomore, junior or

senior). Posted on the wooden door of the room was a sign in/sign out card upon which we indicated where we were at any given time (such as the latrine, library, class, etc).


What color were the name tags on the screen door our knob year? Yellow. The sophomores were orange, the juniors green and seniors blue.


Homecoming weekend was the next big weekend for us. It was the weekend of November 12, 1966 and the Citadel played and beat VMI (30 – 14). As a result, General Hugh P. Harris, President of The Citadel granted the Corps extended leave for that Saturday night. What time did normal leave end and what was the extended time? Normal leave on Friday and Saturday nights ended at 2400 hours.  When extended leave was granted, it ended at 0200.


Homecoming meant another senior class party at the Folly Beach pier. What entertainer performed at the senior class party that Homecoming weekend?  Barbara Lewis.


Speaking of General Harris, one of our F Company knobs had a special relationship with him. Who was that and what was the relationship? John Skorupski’s aunt was Lt Col Kathleen Burns Bellows and she married General Hugh Pate Harris … thus General Harris was John’s uncle.   John attempted to keep this information hidden from us and the upperclassmen which shouldn’t have been hard to do with a name like Skorupski (which isn’t even close to Harris!). Unfortunately, John ran into his “Aunt Kay” at Mark Clark Hall and she thought he looked “thin” (John said he had lost 15 to 20 pounds by this point in our knob lives thanks to the sweat parties). Later that night, during ESP, John received a visit from Sergeant Porter, who was General Harris’ cook. He brought John cookies and snacks to be shared with his friends. As fate would have it, Sergeant Porter’s visit was witnessed by Squeak and the boys who wanted to know why the General would be sending John cookies … and thus the secret was out. John was now given the “extra” attention he did not want and he was given personalized training sessions (sweat parties). But John never cracked and never said one word about the hazing to his uncle.


Who was Tom Whelan’s Godfather? General Mark W. Clark, President Emeritus of The Citadel. Tom’s father was an Army doctor who had been General Clark’s physician.


Where did knobs go for etiquette training? All knobs were required to attend Mrs Defour’s Tea Parties at Mark Clark Hall to learn how to dance and to learn basic etiquette. The standing joke at the time was that we were learning how to interact with the young ladies she invited to these tea parties and, thus, we referred to them as “Mrs Defour’s whores”.


Thanksgiving arrived and we were granted furlough. For the first time we were allowed to depart The Citadel campus and to travel further than the normal 50 mile radius restriction (per the Blue Book) to return to our homes if they were located somewhat near. Before departing  on the Thanksgiving furlough, several of our classmates were talking about not returning. Most did return, but some did not. With the exception of those who left after the first semester due to grades, those of us who made it through Thanksgiving made it to the end of the knob year.

Thanksgiving furlough was from Wednesday noon, 23 November 1966 to 1800 Sunday, 27

November 1966.


What song did they always play in the mess hall before each furlough? “We Gotta Get Outa  This Place” by the Animals.


What happened when we reported back to The Citadel after Thanksgiving? The upperclassmen gave us a sweat party, of course, just to make us feel at home again. And now the push-up limit increased to thirty.


The Tactical Officers (“Tacs”) assigned to the barracks each night grew more comfortable with the way the upperclassmen were handling the fourth class system and thus they started overlooking things that were going on. The hazing continued and in some cases the hazing was out of control. Sometime around Thanksgiving several F Company upperclassmen decided they did not like one of our classmates and they were determined that he should leave “their school”. Does anyone remember the “Mister Rast” incident? When we were given a sweat party, or just push-ups after a parade or drill, the upperclassmen would single out Steve Rast and make him stand to the side with his chin out to watch as the rest of us were “punished” because of him.  The intent was to turn the rest of us against Steve and for us to pressure him  to leave. One evening, several members of the junior class gathered together some of us F Company knobs and ordered us to give Steve Rast a blanket party to convince him to  leave. They threatened to make our lives unbearable and to run each of us out of the school if we did not comply with this order. The blanket party was given and the next morning, Steve Rast left The Citadel. Apparently after he left, his parents wrote the Commandant of Cadets and said  that he had been hazed. The Commandant carried out an investigation and questioned at least two of the F Company juniors about the incident, but they were cleared and that was the end of it.   Needless to say, it was not our finest moment.


As we settled back into the knob routine, each morning we would assemble prior to reveille and would do push-ups for Schivera and Graham. But now they found a new trick … what was it? They would make us do the push-ups at their count which was slow and painful. “Down – Up – Halfway Down – Down – Halfway Up – Up – Down – Up – Halfway Down- …”.  Of course half  way through the thirty push-ups, one of us would be asked what the count was. No matter what the reply was, it was wrong. We would be berated because our dumbhead classmate didn’t know how to count and thus we started the count again. Thirty push-ups may have been the limit for other companies, but it was never a limit for F Company knobs.


Who was the Commandant of Cadets and what was his relationship to the Class of 1970? The Commandant of Cadets was Major General Rueben H. Tucker. His son, Scott, was a member of our class (K Company).


Who was the Assistant Commandant of Cadets (in charge of Discipline)? Lieutenant Colonel Thomas N. Courvoisie (affectionately known as “The Boo”).

Who was the F Company Tactical Officer during our knob year?  Major G.D. Greer.


When we committed an offense and were “burned” by an upperclassman, what did they tell us to do?  They told us to write ourselves up on a “white slip” and drive it by their room.


Noon formation usually meant an inspection of some sort either by the company commander or by battalion staff. Do you remember the command that was given at noon inspections?  “Hats Off” so we could be inspected for proper haircuts.


As the days and weeks passed, we became more accustomed to The Citadel. We now accepted the grey and meaningless existence of a knob. We recognized that the plebe system was calculated to be, and generally succeeds in being, a nine month journey through Hell. We were still beaten, harassed, ridiculed and humiliated, but at a lower level as the upperclassmen became more deeply involved in their academic studies. Every so often we would still be subjected to a company or private sweat party.  But we were beginning to wrap The Citadel   and its’ way of life around us. The Citadel was a world of contradictions.  Sometimes it was like  a substitute womb which was warm, nourishing and protective while at other times it was a chaotic world of rush and disorder populated by lunatics.


Christmas arrived and we were again released on furlough (we gotta get outa this place!). It  was our first extended time away from The Citadel and the harassment that we had been subjected to for the past four months. Again several of us made threats about not returning, but amazingly, we all did. And most of us came back with a refreshed attitude about The Citadel and the plebe system. We were determined to survive it and to finish out our knob  year. Most of us were determined to become Citadel Men. When was Christmas furlough that first year? Christmas furlough was from Noon Friday, 16 December 1966 to 1800 Tuesday, 3 January 1967.


We came back from the Christmas furlough to face first semester exams which were held from 19 January to 26 January 1967. We now became familiar with the dreaded “blue books”. For several of us, this was reality time as we discovered that our priorities had been in the wrong place. All that time we had spent shining shoes, blitzing brass, and memorizing plebe  knowledge during ESP had been misdirected. When grades were posted it was obvious we should have been studying Math, English and Chemistry instead! It was a hard lesson that we learned as we were placed on Academic Probation.


On Monday, 30 January 1967 we registered for second semester classes (which meant re-taking some first semester courses for some of us). Classes began on 31 January and for the next two months we immersed ourselves into our studies and the plebe system. Someone once said that The Citadel has an extremely vigorous academic routine and that cadets live by a strict system of absolute regimentation. We now knew this to be true. For some reason … perhaps because we had learned the hard lesson about academics the first semester … second semester seemed to be somewhat easier. We also started to believe that the plebe system was getting easier. Maybe  it  was  because we  were  now so  accustomed to the plebe  system  that  we had    the

attitude of “what else can they do to us?” Little did we know that things could and would go from bad to worse.


Corps Day was Saturday, 18 March 1967. What is the reason for Corps Day? Corps Day is the birthday of the Corps of Cadets.


If Corps Day is celebrated in March, why is that considered to be the birthday of the Corps? Believe it or not, the very first Corps of Cadets reported to The Citadel on 20 March, 1843.


What big event takes place on Corps Day? The Summerall Guards hand over their rifles to the Bond Volunteers (BVs) and then the Bond Volunteers perform for the first time. The BVs will officially become Summerall Guards at the start of the next academic year.


What other event occurs just before Corps Day? On Friday morning of Corps Day weekend, the Corps changes from the wool uniforms back to the cotton field uniforms (grey nasties).


After the evening mess on Thursday night prior to Corps Day weekend, what do the seniors do when they get back into the barracks? They rip  the wool trousers off each other and burn  them.


What did F Company do at the Saturday morning parade on Corps Day Weekend? That was the weekend that we first marched with the F TROOP guidon. Harry Rollins’ mother made it. The following week there was a picture in the school newspaper, The Brigadier, showing the company marching at “eyes right” with Schivera holding the F Troop guidon out. The caption under the picture was “marching to the tune of 5, 10 and 2”. What did that mean? Five demerits, ten confinements and two weeks restriction. Supposedly some TAC in the tool shed wanted all of the company to be awarded that punishment (no sense of humor). It didn’t happen.


What was the “tool shed”? Jenkins Hall was referred to as the “tool shed” because that  is where the Commandant of Cadets and all of the TACs had their offices.


Corps Day weekend meant another formal “hop” and another senior class party. Who performed at the formal hop?  Dionne Warwick and The Crystals.


Who performed at the Corps Day senior class party?  Major Lance.


After Corps Day it was back to academics and the plebe system. In other companies, the plebe system was definitely easing up. But not in F Company. Mid way through the second semester, two of the F Company knobs wrote home about the continuous sweat parties and hazing and told their parents how it was adversely affecting their grades. As a result of these two letters, the F Company Commander, Cadet Captain David Bird, was summoned to General Harris’ office to explain. Needless to say, he was not happy about being put on the spot by two knobs. Who were the two knobs who wrote home?  Steve Kaloroplos and Jim Schweizer.


What happened as a result of the letters and Cadet Bird’s meeting with General Harris? The exact opposite hoped for result. After Mister Bird returned from the President’s office, the F Company knobs were assembled on the third division gallery in front of Mister Bird’s room and we were told in no uncertain terms that we had not been hazed, that we had not been abused, that we were simply being exposed to the fourth class system as prescribed in cadet regulations.  Mister Bird let us know that from that point on, we would be treated strictly by  the rules. But he added, “most of you still will not survive the year”. We were dismissed from that meeting, but then had another meeting with Squeaky Alessandro who told us, “you lambs think you have been mistreated?  You haven’t seen anything yet … but you will now”.


After this, we were given a sweat party. And to make our lives miserable, we were written up for the most trivial of incidents and all of us were restricted to the barracks to serve confinements every weekend. The sweat parties increased to the rate of at least one per day. Jim Schweizer and Steve Kaloroplos also got a lot of “personal attention” and both said they would not return for our sophomore year because of this incident. Jim did return, but Steve kept his word and did not.


It was now approaching the time of year when the rest of our classmates in other companies were being “recognized” and the fourth class system for them was all but done. But for F Company knobs, the worst was yet to come.


What brilliant idea did we knobs come up with (thinking this will definitely stop the harassment)? We decided it was in our best interest to “revolt”. We simply would not show up for the morning formation and that would show them!  We would hide in a room and not  report until assembly was blown.


What senior private “encouraged” us to revolt? Mike Arnone. A side note here … Mike Arnone had been the F Company First Sergeant his junior year and was supposedly in line to become the Regimental Commander his senior year. However, academics got him and he spent his senior year as a private. He did not graduate on time with the rest of his class.


Where did we hide on that fateful morning? We hid in Jim Katter  and Harry Rollins’ room  which was located on the fourth division near the latrine, thinking it was the furthest point away from the Quad. The upperclassmen were frantic as they went from room to room trying to find us. When assembly blew, we double timed it down to the Quad and fell into formation.


What happened at that point? Nothing. The Battalion was called to attention and the Battalion Commander gave the “order for mess” (what company would go first, second, etc) and Company Commanders were told to take charge. Mister Bird then told all of us knobs that immediately after the Regimental Adjutant gave second rest at mess, all knobs would return to the barracks and assemble on the fourth division.  None of us ate any breakfast that morning.

Who spoke to us when we assembled on the fourth division? Mister Bird and Mister  Alessandro. One of them basically said, “ok Lambs, what is wrong?” We had all agreed to not say a word, but someone spoke out and said that we were tired of the sweat parties and wanted to be recognized like our other classmates.  Apparently this really made the two of  them mad because we were told that we would never be recognized … and then we were given a sweat party. They stopped the sweat party when class call was sounded and  we  were released to go to class. We all reported to our classes in sweat filled uniforms. Of course, while we were in class that morning our rooms were inspected and we were all written up because they were not “in good order”.


Things did get worse. We were given another sweat party after the noon meal. Another sweat party followed afternoon drill. And then another sweat party was given prior to ESP after the evening meal. There was another after ESP before taps. We were now subjected to sweat parties four or five times a day. The only time we were not harassed was during ESP because Mister Bird had told us the upperclassmen would “treat us strictly by the rules”.


How long did this last? To be honest, I really don’t remember, but I believe we endured the continual sweat parties for several days. I can recall that I was in one of my early morning classes during this timeframe and one of our classmates (from a different company) fell asleep. The professor woke him up and told him, “no one is allowed to sleep in my class unless you are from F Company”. In other words, everyone knew what was going on. I believe that as word spread across the campus, pressure was put on Mister Bird to bring the sweat parties to a halt.  I also think several upperclassmen were honestly concerned that if they kept this up they would eventually kill one of us. The years have faded my memory about actual events. But I do think that when it did end, it was the last of the sweat parties for F Company knobs.


Knob year was not totally dismal. There were several humorous incidents and pranks that  made our days more bearable. Does anyone know how the salute gun cannons ended up  INSIDE the barracks??? Or who painted the tank pink? How many times were unsuspecting upperclassmen tied into their rooms by their own classmates? More than once, an enterprising cadet slipped an alarm clock into someone’s cartridge box and set the alarm to ring during parade. There was also the time when someone got into the facility engineering control panels and changed the timer for the parade ground sprinklers. They came on during a Friday afternoon parade! And on Halloween night our knob year, some upperclassman slipped three young ladies (dressed as cadets) into PT barracks to “trick or treat”. How many of us were sent under the mess table to “wipe out” someone’s shoes? And how many of us got our asses  racked because we had allowed our senior mess carver’s shoes to be wiped out?


Does anyone recall the stabbing incident that went unpunished? The N Company commander was Cadet Captain Crow. As he marched his company out to parade one Friday afternoon, a sophomore in one of the other companies of Fourth Battalion started chanting “caw, caw,  caw”. Mister Crow did not think it was funny and jabbed his sword toward the third classman. Unfortunately, he jabbed too hard and ended up stabbing the victim in the leg.  No punishment

was given for this incident. An anonymous letter was circulated around the Corps questioning the lack of punishment.


One of the highlights of our knob year was when someone would get a care package from  home (and actually made it into the barracks with the package before an upperclassman “confiscated” it). Who was famous for care packages? Mike Hearn. His father  sent  innumerable packages filled with “Tom’s” crackers and peanuts which saved many of us from starvation when we had not been allowed to eat in the mess hall for one reason or another.


Right after Corps Day weekend, we were given Easter furlough (from Noon Wednesday, 22 March 1967 to 1800 Tuesday, 28 March 1967). I believe it was during the Easter break that three of our classmates were “lost” at sea when the boat they were in drifted out further than expected. Do you remember who the three were? Budgy Glover, Jim Breazeale and Roger Meyer, all from A Company. After they were “rescued” and everyone was relieved that they were safe, they were punished.


On Confederate Memorial Day, May 10th, a special event would occur. Do you remember what  it was? At approximately 0300 in the middle of the night, the band would form up on the 2nd Battalion quadrangle and play “Dixie”. When the awakened Corps came out of their rooms yelling at them, they would start playing the National Anthem as they slinked back into their rooms.


On one of the rare occasions when we were allowed off campus to go out and enjoy pizza and beer, we all went to LaBrasca’s Pizza. Who can forget walking by the zoo where the horny lion roared? All of us enjoyed drinking beer … except for one of us who was not yet eighteen years old and was refused service when we told the waitress to card him. Who was it that we had carded?  Joe Ellis (you’re welcome, Joe).


In May, the seniors that we knobbed for began recognizing us. How did they usually do this?  We were called into their rooms to “cut the book”. Then we “assumed the position” (bend over and hold onto your ankles) and were hit with the broom or a sword the number of times according to the last number on the right hand page of the book. Then they shook our hand  and told us to call them by their first name.


It was also on a weekend in mid-May that F Company held its’ recognition party at the Isle of Palms. At this beer bust, each knob could call out any upperclassman and wrestle him in the ocean until he gave up and recognized us. If memory serves me right, first we let our “jocks”  like John Childress, John Skorupski and Dave Hewes wrestle and wear down the ones we all wanted (guys like Bothwell Graham and Bob Schivera). And then the rest of us took our turn. After each “fight”, we would drink a beer with our “new buddy”. What upperclassman refused to come to the company party? Squeaky Alessandro. However, John  Skorupski  and  Dave Hewes got to cut his ass in the company commander’s room soon after the company party!

What knob won the beer chugging contest at the company party and received a free overnight pass from Mister Bird?  John Skorupski.


Knob year was winding down. Second semester exams (more blue books) were given from May 24 to May 31. The chain of command for the next year was announced. Who was the top  ranked knob of F Company? Tom Whelan, who would become the F Company  Guidon  Corporal.


We would not be required to memorize the next years TO&E chain of command, but do you recall who would be the next Regimental Commander, the Exec and all of the Battalion Commanders? T.L. Harper (Regimental Commander), Frank Leggio (Regimental Exec),  R.A. Pieper (First Battalion Commander), Charles Alessandro (Second Battalion Commander), E.S. Alba (Third Battalion Commander), and F.G. Choate (Fourth Battalion Commander).


When was graduation for the Class of 1967? 3 June 1967.  Twenty-four of the original thirty-  five knobs had survived the first year.  Twenty-two of us would return in September.



ACADEMIC YEAR 1967 – 1968


In September, 1967, twenty-two F Company sophomores reported back to The Citadel. Twenty-four of us had finished the knob year. Who were the two that did not return to start  the sophomore year? Randy Moody and Steve Kaloroplos. Randy did not return because of grades and Steve did not return because of the personal attention he had received after the letter writing incident.


Of the twenty-two that did return to start the year, one more would leave shortly after the  start of academics.  Who was that?  Bruce Metzdorf.


One of our Class of 1970 classmates passed away during the summer between our knob year and our sophomore year. It was Fred Marley Ramseur III (R Company). Apparently he was working as a life guard during the summer and, while teaching swimming, a microphone fell  into the water and he was electrocuted.


We returned to The Citadel to find new furniture in all of the cadet rooms. The huge presses  and desks made the rooms seem a lot smaller. We retrieved our wool uniforms from the tailor shop and then dragged our footlockers (which had been stored at the warehouse) from the quad to our rooms. There were dresser drawers between the two presses so we had to learn the new proper way to fold and store our uniforms (every item had its proper place!). Again, name tags were posted on each piece of furniture.


We were now third classmen. We proudly wore the single gold stripe on our Full Dress uniform and looked forward to weekends that were not consumed with shining shoes, polishing brass or answering to squad sergeants. We finally got out of the gutter.  Where were we allowed to  walk as sophomores? Third classmen could walk on the sidewalks and in the streets. For the first part of the year, we were not allowed to walk on the barracks quadrangle because the Second Battalion Commander and Executive Officer refused to give us that privilege (more on that later). The parade ground was also off-limits as that was a junior and senior class privilege.


Who was the F Company Commander our sophomore year?  Townley Redfearn.


Who was the F Company Exec and who were the platoon leaders? Bill Russ was the Exec. Bud Stokes, Carl Holloway and Norm Zimmerman were the three platoon leaders. The cadet second lieutenants were Bob Walters, Mike Roberts and Bill Park.


Who was the Second Battalion Commander?  Squeaky Alessandro.

Who was the F Company First Sergeant and who was the Supply Sergeant? Van Arnunta was the First Shirt while Bob Schivera was the Supply Sergeant.


Who was the F Company Tactical Officer?  Captain Robert E. Scheidig (West Point graduate).


What did the Class of 68 tell us that sophomores were in their eyes (to keep us from thinking  we were upperclassmen)? They continually reminded us that we were basically XMD knobs or knobs with our chins out. They also pointed out that we were NOT upperclassmen … we (and the junior class) were still considered UNDERclassmen. The 1967 and 1969 copies of The Sphinx have the junior, sophomore and freshmen classes in a section called UNDERCLASSMEN. The  only UPPERclassmen were seniors. So I guess that as sophomores we truly  were  underclassmen and as juniors we were actually upperunderclassmen.


We became active in school activities, sports and dating! Our weekends were ours. But our main concern our sophomore year became academics. After a dismal knob year, we all had to buckle down and get out of the academic hole we had dug for ourselves that first year. For those who had not gone to summer school, it meant taking an overload of classes to catch up. Thus, more often than not, we found ourselves with self-induced restrictions on weekends.   But, for the first time, we were not falling asleep in class and we were actually learning something from the professors. So our sophomore year can best be described as the “dark time” with only a few memorable highlights outside the classrooms.


As sophomores we were no longer spending our time during ESP shining shoes or brass. We did not have to worry about an upperclassman bothering us. We were no longer forced to type senior essays for our seniors (putting our own studies aside). It was our time.  What  memorable sound always occurred towards the end of ESP? The train whistle as the train passed near The Citadel (it seems it always passed the school around 2200 hours each night).


We were able to put the books down every once in a while and to go off campus to relax and have fun. For the first time in our college careers, we were allowed to have a car and park it on campus. This gave us the freedom to explore downtown Charleston on the weekends and partake of some of its’ finer establishments. What were some of the places where we started  to hang out? Big Johns, Pat’s Place, The Joker Lounge, Rabens, Gene’s Lounge, Village Inn Pizza and Piggie Park.    Who remembers drinking beer at Big Johns from Harry’s glass boot?


Having cars available also gave us the ability to go to places such as the Isle of Palms (bon fires in the pit at the end of Isle of Palms) and Folly Beach for the day.


On those very rare occasions when we got an overnight or a weekend pass, where did we go? Captain Gabe’s house, the Holiday Inn (cabana rooms), the Charleston Inn, the Golden Eagle or to a beach house on Folly Beach.

When did a “standard” weekend leave pass begin and end? Standard weekend leaves began after all scheduled duties or at 1100 hours, whichever was later, on Saturday and ended at 1915 hours on Sunday (per the Blue Book).


When did a “long” weekend leave pass begin and end? Long weekend leaves began after parade or 1630 hours, whichever was later, on Friday and ended at 2230 hours on Sunday (again, per the Blue Book).


How many “standard” weekend passes were we authorized per year? Knobs were authorized one pass the second semester of knob year, sophomores were authorized one pass each semester and juniors were authorized two passes each semester. Seniors were allowed to take a standard weekend pass at any time that their presence on campus was not required for  guard, specific duties or attendance at required functions.


How many “long” weekend passes were we authorized per year? Knobs were authorized one long weekend the second semester, sophomores were authorized one each semester and juniors were authorized two each semester. Seniors were authorized three  long  weekends each semester.


One luxury we discovered as a result of no longer being a knob was that we had more free time to do what we wanted without fear of being harassed by upperclassmen. What was the luxury that we could now take advantage of? We could take afternoon naps (succumb to the “rack monster”)!


We were also allowed to have a radio or record player in our rooms. So here we go again … can you name three of the top ten songs for 1967?


1.      Respect  (Aretha Franklin)

2.      Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles)

3.      Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)

4.      Get Together (Youngbloods)

5.      Dance To The Music (Sly and The Family Stone)

6.      Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix)

7.      Hello Goodbye (The Beatles)

8.      Happy Together (Turtles)

9.      I Can See For Miles (The Who)

10.  Let’s Spend The Night Together (Rolling Stones)


As sophomores (underclassmen!), we started to let our hair down (well, not really because it was still short). Mike Hearn proved he could really dance! And Mickey Thompson became  poetic and had all of us rolling with his “Dr. Thompson’s Miracle Cream Root Oil”. Anyone remember how it went?

“Sweetheart, you look like you need some of Dr. Thompson’s miracle cream root oil. It is guaranteed not to rust, bust or collect dust. It is good for colds, molds and raw assholes. It is better than pills to cure your ills. It will spread your thighs, brighten your eyes and give your ass some exercise. It takes half as long and is twice as strong. It is time for some bawling and a crawling – some moaning and a groaning. Quit the grinnin’ and drop the linen, it’s my way or the highway”.


The campus was changing during our sophomore year. What new building was under construction that year?  Byrd Hall, the new chemistry building.


Prior to the second football game of the season, what did several members of the Corps of Cadets do to the Wofford campus? They snuck off The Citadel campus and drove to Spartenburg where they painted the Wofford campus blue. Several cadets ended up on the quad because of this.  The Bulldogs beat Wofford 17 – 7.


Parent’s Day arrived quickly and The Dogs lost to William and Mary (24 -10). We all looked forward to the first Senior Class Party of the year (even though we were not given extended leave to 0200 hours). Who performed at the Parent’s Day Senior Class Party during our sophomore year?  The Dixie Cups.


Who performed at the Homecoming Ball? And who performed at the Homecoming Senior Class Party? The Mitchell Trio performed at the Ball and The Tams were the featured group at the Senior Class Party. Unfortunately, the Dogs lost at the football game that Saturday afternoon. They were beaten by Furman, 14 – 6.


Sometime around the Thanksgiving timeframe, several of us sophomores decided it was time we were given quad privileges (be allowed to walk across the quadrangle). What did a group of F Company and E Company sophomores do? We decided to confront the Second Battalion Commander (Squeaky Alessandro) and his Executive Officer (Hamilton … from E Company) and throw them into the shower one evening to convince them to give us quad privileges.


Who led the charge into their room?  John Childress.


What  changed  the plan?   When we  entered the  room, we  discovered that  Lt Col  Greer  (2nd

Battalion Tactical Officer and Officer in Charge that night) was sitting in Squeaky’s room.


What did Lt Col Greer then do? As soon as ESP was over at 2230 hours, he ordered ALL 2nd Battalion sophomores to form up on the quadrangle wearing bathrobes, flip flops and field caps. We were then marched out to the parade ground and ordered to run laps around the parade ground.  While we were performing this late evening “PT”, the other barracks erupted  in cat calls that were not favorable to Lt Col Greer. Because of this incident, we were not given quad privileges until after the second semester.

Our second year at The Citadel passed by quickly. Thanksgiving and Christmas furloughs are a blur. We came back after Christmas to face another set of semester exams. The results were better than the previous year!


In February 1968, the Corps was shocked to learn that the Commandant of Cadets, Major General Tucker, had been relieved of his duties. The Commandant’s long time secretary, Mrs Betsy Petit quit because of this.


March 9th 1968 was a rainy Saturday morning. Because of the rain, SMI was cancelled and we were allowed to leave the barracks to go study. Several F Company sophomores went to Bond Hall to study, but instead, they ended up playing a rousing game of Hearts (cards). They were having a fine time until Colonel Adden, the Department Head of Business Administration, walked into the room. The game was broken up and the cadets were told to return to the barracks – but not until Colonel Adden had taken each name with a threat to send a report to the  Commandant’s  Office.     On  March  13th,  the  new  DL  was  posted  and  each  F Company

sophomore involved had been awarded 3 and 5 (three demerits and five confinements) for “SMI PLAYING CARDS IN OFF LIMITS”.  Who were the five that were “busted” in that card  game?  Joe Ellis, John Childress, Jim Katter, Terry Kneen, and Bob Marsh.

Also listed on the March 13th 1968 DL were the following write-ups for F Company sophomores: Beasley                        One Merit for OPD

Bertel              One Demerit for Noon Improper Shoeshine

Bertel              Ten  Demerits  and  Twenty  Tours  for  Third  Unexcused Absence History Class

Hartzler           One Demerit for SMI Improper Hanging Order Hearn                        One Merit for OPD

Rollins             Five Demerits for Noon No Shave

Thompson       One Demerit for SMI Improperly Displayed Scarf Thompson       Three Demerits for Noon Improper Shave


As we moved into the second semester of our sophomore year, the Corps became involved with the Quasquicentennial celebration of the Corps of Cadets birthday. How many years does quasquicentennial denote?  One hundred and twenty-five.


As Corps Day approached, several concerts were held at The Citadel. The Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Eugene Ormandy, performed for the Corps of Cadets  and visiting dignitaries. This was followed by concerts by The Royal Guardsmen and Your Father’s Mustache. One of the most popular performances was the one by UP UP WITH PEOPLE, which had a theme of patriotism among young people. Who was selected to be the escort for the performers in that group?  Tom Whelan.


On Corps Day weekend, a huge costume ball was held on Friday night and entertainment was provided by Wayne King and his Orchestra.  For those that did not attend the senior class  party

that weekend, there was a concert given by the Army Field Band (most of us missed that one as we found our diversions elsewhere!). Corps Day week culminated with a stage production of “The Citadel Story” and several of us had parts in that. The word around campus was that the Corps of Cadets would be allowed to grow beards for “The Citadel Story”, but that turned out to be a very false rumor.


The highlight of Corps Day weekend was that we did not have the traditional Saturday morning parade. What did we do instead? The entire Corps of Cadets marched  from  The  Citadel Campus to downtown Charleston and back, wearing full dress salt  and pepper under arms.  How long was that “parade”?  Seven miles (seven LONG miles!).


Corps Day was over and it was back to academics and preparing for final exams. But then the Corps was hit with another “change” on 1 May 1968. Anyone remember what happened on  that day? Lt Col Courvoisie – The Boo – was fired. He was removed from his position of  Assistant Commandant of Cadets for Discipline and temporarily moved to the position of Provost Marshall. On 1 August 1968, he became the school’s Supply and Property Officer. The “powers that be” did not like the influence he had on the Corps of Cadets and the intent of this move was to make sure he could no longer have any contact with cadets.


Final exams were taken and we again did better than we had our knob year. Most of us had succeeded in getting out of the academic hole and were now eligible for rank.  The new Chain  of Command for the next year was announced and the new Regimental Commander would be Cadet Colonel David Goble. The other “big five” to be were J. Stephen Sarratt (Regimental  Exec), James Cardo (1st Battalion Commander, Chris Clearwaters (2nd Battalion Commander), John Featherstone (3rd Battalion Commander) and David Jones (4th Battalion Commander).


In June, the Class of 1968 graduated. And now the twenty-one of us who had survived were juniors!  But only twenty would return for our junior year.



ACADEMIC YEAR 1968 – 1969


Twenty of the original thirty-five F Company knobs returned for our junior year. Jim Bertel did not return for our junior year (most likely because of grades and disciplinary problems). The Corps was “reshuffled” to fill in holes of companies that had lost too many members of one class. As a result of that reshuffle, Mike Rogers, Tom Brown, Jerry Heater, and Jerry Ownby were moved from K Company to F Company.


As juniors, we were now a meaningful part of the chain of command and we took on more responsibilities.   Several of us came back to serve on cadre for the incoming knob class (Class   of 1972). Rhett Wolfe was the F Company First Sergeant. Even though he tried as hard as he could, he just never could be as mean as our nemesis, Squeaky Alessandro.


Who was the 2nd Battalion Sergeant Major?  John Childress.


Who was the F Company Supply Sergeant? Dave Hewes served as F Company Supply Sergeant during cadre. When the Corps returned at the end of cadre week, Dave lost his rank (due to academics) and Bob Marsh became the Company Supply Sergeant.


Who was the F Company Commander?  Steve Clinton.


Who was the F Company Exec and who were the three platoon leaders? Van Arnunta was the Exec and the three platoon leaders were Buzz Jenkins, Jackie Zorn and Ed Wing. The second lieutenants were Bob Hennessey, Jim McDaniel, Joe Brown, Dan Haug and Mike Layman.


What happened to Bob Schivera and Bothwell Graham? Both were now out of F Company and on 2nd Battalion Staff. Bob Schivera was the Battalion Academic Officer and Bothwell Graham was the Battalion Adjutant.


Who was the new Commandant of Cadets? Colonel James B. Adamson (took over after General Tucker was fired in February 1968).


Who was the F Company Tactical Officer? Captain Scheidig was our TAC for most of the year. Later in the year, Major Adams (Major Midnight) became the F Company TAC.


At the start of our junior year, three of our F Company classmates shaved their heads and tried out for Junior Sword Drill. For fourteen nights, forty of the highest ranking Class of 70 juniors worked and sweated, their physical and mental capabilities pushed to a point far beyond exhaustion. Who were the three F Company juniors who went out for Sword Drill? John Childress, Rhett Wolfe and Tom Whelan.


Of the forty who went out for Sword Drill, only fourteen were selected and the rest were cut. Who in F Company made the cut? Of the three, only John Childress made the cut and he was then selected to be the Commander of the 1970 Junior Sword Drill Platoon. After cuts were announced, several of us took Tom Whelan to a strip joint (The Joker Lounge) to soothe his pain.  I think it was the first time Tom had ever seen a woman undressed!


As true upper (under)classmen, we were now granted all of the privileges a cadet could have … except one. What was the one privilege that previous classes had been allowed but was denied to our class by the Class of 69? The Class of 69 decided that walking across the parade ground was now only a SENIOR class privilege (previously that had been a junior and senior class privilege). I believe we passed this down to the class of 1971 as we became seniors the next year.


It was at the start of our junior year that many of us signed a “contract” to accept a commission with the Army, the Air Force or the Navy after graduation. Upon signing the contract, the Army and Air Force contract cadets received $50 per month from the military (which made us feel rich!).  The Navy contract cadets (Ellis and Thompson) did not receive a stipend.


On September 20th 1969, 350 cadets boarded a train on a Friday afternoon to head to New York to watch the Bulldogs play West Point. We arrived in New York early Saturday morning and proceeded to the hotel for a few hours rest before boarding busses to go eat the noon meal with the West Point cadets and then attend the game. Everyone had a great time (except for the fact that the Bulldogs lost 34 – 14) and after the game we wandered the streets of New  York until the early morning hours on Sunday when we had to board another train for a long quiet trip back to Charleston. Where did we stay in New York? All cadets were housed at The Taft Hotel.


Parent’s Day arrived in October. It was like every other Parent’s Day with one major exception. We changed into wool uniforms, there was a Friday afternoon retreat parade, there was a Friday night hop, there was the Saturday Morning Review (parade), there was a football game (the Dogs beat VMI) and there was the traditional Senior Class Party. What was the one major exception to this Parent’s Day weekend? For some unknown reason, the Class of 69 did not receive their rings on the Thursday prior to Parent’s Day weekend, thus there was not a “Ring Hop” that Friday night. The 1969 Sphinx makes no real mention of what happened other than a statement next to the Ring and Invitations Committee picture which says, “although the Ring Ceremony and Hop were held at Homecoming this year instead of the traditional Parent’s Day Weekend, the Committee kept all problems to a minimum…”  Hmmmm.


What else happened to dampen the spirits of the Class of 69 (and the rest of the Corps) on Parent’s Day? It poured down rain at the football game because of Hurricane Gladys. It was during this football game that Jackie Zorn (F Company) was seriously injured (broken back?) and he was forced out of action for the remainder of the season.

Who performed at the Hop on Friday night?  Chuck Jackson.


The Senior Class Party also invoked another change from the past. What was that change and who performed at the Senior Class Party? For the first time, we did not have the Senior Class Party at the Folly Beach pier. Instead it was held at County Hall. The Swingin Medallions and  Lee Dorsey performed.


As juniors, we were now totally into our chosen major fields of study. No longer were we bogged down with the compulsory courses that had chewed many of us up our knob and sophomore years. Because we were into our majors, we felt motivated and actually took an interest in learning. To most of us, our major studies seemed easier (at least they were easier than math, english and chemistry … well, maybe).


We also found more time for extra-curricular activities. We joined clubs such as the Association of The United States Army, The Arnold Air Society, the Chemistry Club, and the English Club.  We sang in the choir, and became a part of the Sunday Color Guard. We served on the Shako staff, the Brigadier staff and the Sphinx staff. We took an active part in sports and intramurals. Life as a junior was starting to be fun.  We found we had more time to relax and enjoy life at  The Citadel.  So here we go again.  Can you name three of the top ten songs of 1968?


1.        Hey Jude (The Beatles)

2.      Money Money (Tommy James and the Shandells)

3.      Heard it Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye)

4.      Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf)

5.      Think (Aretha Franklin)

6.      Jumpin Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)

7.      Hush (Deep Purple)

8.      Mrs. Robinson (Simon and Garfunkel)

9.      Crossroads (Cream)

10.  Dock of The Bay (Otis Redding)


November meant Homecoming and the Class of 69 finally got their rings. The 1970  Junior Sword Drill performed at the Ring Hop on Friday Night. For nine minutes they performed and then for two hours they arched swords for the seniors and their dates to pass through. Unfortunately, the 1969 Sphinx does not give credit to our classmates who were members of the Junior Sword Drill and it does not list their names. To correct that injustice, here are the names of our fourteen 1970 classmates who comprised the Junior Sword Drill in 1969:


2BS      John Childress (Commander) E            Tommy Grant

H                   Jim Correia Band       Mo Appleton Band          Doug Chadwick 3BS            John Moore

I                      Ernie Seel

I           Sonny Nunbhakdi

K                    Johnny Potter (Voice)

L                     John Brown (formerly John Norris) N            Skip Ebert

N                   Bill Nash

O                   Mike Freeman

R          Jim Lathren


The Homecoming football game was a disheartening loss for the Dogs … East Carolina won 23 –

14. But things went back to normal when the Senior Class Party was again held at County Hall. Who performed at the Senior Class Party?  Jr Walker and the All Stars.


As Christmas approached, a flu epidemic was sweeping across the country. What did we do to the knobs to give them flu-like symptoms, hoping we would be sent home early for Christmas? We made the knobs put a penny under their tongues thinking it would raise their temperatures.


As fate would have it, the flu epidemic was real and it did hit The Citadel. As a result, the Corps was released for Christmas furlough eight days early.


We came back from Christmas refreshed and ready for exams. Being into our majors paid off as several of us actually made the Dean’s List for the first time.


In February 1969, eight F Company juniors decided to shave their heads and try out for Bond Volunteers.  For three weeks, over seventy members of the junior class endured demanding  and endless hours of running, pushups, crawling through the mud and practice as they went through the thirty-seven year tradition of BV tryouts. Who were the eight F Company juniors who tried out for Bond Volunteers? Bob Barnhart, Rusty Hanna, Jim Katter, Terry Kneen, Bob Marsh, Harry Rollins, Jim Schweizer and Bill Strong.


On cut day, sixty-one juniors were selected to be Bond Volunteers. Three of them were from F Company. Who were the three who made the BV cut? Rusty Hanna, Terry Kneen and Bill Strong.


Who was selected to be the Commander of the Bond Volunteers? Ira Rapp. The front guide  was John Barron and the rear guide was Ted Bell.


February was also highlighted by Valentine’s Day and a new tradition was started  at  The Citadel. There was a concert on Friday night in the Armory. Who performed at this concert?  The Dells.


There was also a concert at County Hall on Saturday afternoon. Do you remember who performed at that concert?  L’il Anthony and the Imperials.

And for the first time, there was a Valentine’s Day Senior Class Party. This time it was back to the Folly Beach Pier for all the fun. Who performed at the Senior Class Party? The Drifters and the Columbians.  Needless to say, it was a wild and crazy weekend!


At some point during our junior year, several of us thought about putting that well earned Army and Air Force contract money together so we could rent a beach house at Folly Beach. Jim Katter and Harry Rollins went in search of the future F Company beach house. According to Harry, Jim had a bottle of scotch and Harry had a bottle of bourbon, which they sipped on most of the day. They ran into a “gentleman” who introduced himself as the Folly Beach Chief of Police (he was also the Fire Chief). Harry wasn’t real interested in talking to him so he and Jim took off at a high rate of speed.  Apparently the bourbon clouded his judgment just a hair.  When he was finally stopped, he got to be a “guest” of the city for the night. After being bailed out, Harry was awarded two months restriction, twenty demerits and forty tours. Harry walked the first twenty tours but was saved from the other twenty when amnesty was awarded. There was an F Company beach house and about eight or ten guys were in the deal.


During the spring months, the Army contract guys got to spend a wonderful weekend crawling in the mud, and huddling with the snakes as part of their ROTC war game training at Goose Creek. Where did the Air Force contract guys go during the spring? We boarded an Air Force C- 141 and went to Patrick AFB in Florida where we watched aircraft flight demonstrations and aerial bombing runs. Then we were forced to go to the Officer’s Club and drink beer before turning into bed in some lousy BOQ.


On March 21st 1969, Corps Day was celebrated. We traded the wool uniforms for cotton fields and salt and pepper. For the Class of 70, the highlight of the weekend was when the 1969 Summerall Guards exchanged the ‘03 Springfield Rifles with the 1970 Bond Volunteers. The 1970 Bond Volunteers then performed the 1970 Summerall Guard Series for the first time in public. And, of course, the weekend was filled with more entertainment. Who performed at  the Hop on Friday night?  Soul singer Jerry Butler.


Another Senior Class Party was held at County Hall. Who were the two groups that performed  at the Senior Class Party? Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels and The Showmen.


The junior year was coming to an end. Final exams were held and class rankings were announced. Ira Rapp was selected to be the Regimental Commander and Jim Little  was selected to be the Regimental Exec. The four battalion commanders would be Henry Richter (First Battalion), John Moore (Second Battalion), Ernie Seel (Third Battalion), and Mike Freeman (Fourth Battalion).


Joe Ellis was selected to be the new F Company Commander.


Graduation was held … but not before another controversy involving the Class of 69. At the graduation parade on Friday afternoon, a couple of members of the Class of 69 slipped an additional cadet into the parade formation.  Unfortunately for them, SHE was caught when HER shako fell off.  The two seniors who perpetrated the act were not allowed to graduate with  their classmates … they had to wait until August. But the rest of the class did graduate … and now the twenty-four of us were truly UPPERCLASSMEN!




ACADEMIC YEAR 1969 – 1970


We were now seniors. We were THE upperclassmen. Of the original thirty-five F Company knobs, twenty of us had made it to the senior year. But now there were twenty-five F Company seniors as the Corps was shuffled once more. Jerry Ownby, Jerry Heater, Tom Brown and Mike Rogers had joined us our junior year and at the start of the senior year, Bob Morphew was transferred to F Company from E Company.


In August 1969, several of us reported for duty as members of the Cadre. We were now THE chain of command. Joe Ellis was the F Company Commander and Rhett Wolfe was the  Executive Officer. The three platoon leaders were Wally Dill, Rusty Hanna and Terry Kneen. Jim Katter, Mike Rogers, Harry Rollins, Jim Schweizer and John Skorupski were cadet second lieutenants. Two of the original F Company knobs went to 2nd Battalion staff and one went to Regimental staff. Who were they and what positions did they hold? John Childress was now a cadet major and was the 2nd Battalion Executive Officer. Bob Marsh was the 2nd Battalion  Supply Officer.  And Tom Whelan was now Regimental Public Affairs Officer.


At the end of our junior year, we elected two of our F Company classmates to serve on the Honor Court.  Who were they?  Rhett Wolfe and Tom Whelan.


Cadre had its moments, but for the most part those standout moments were very few. One incident happened when we woke up the knobs early to go run PT. After yelling at them to get into their PT gear and assemble on the quad, one of our new knobs was still in his room sitting on his bunk. He was told to get into his PT gear and to report downstairs with the rest of his classmates. Instead, this young lamb went down the regimental/battalion staff stairwell and stood in the main sallyport buck naked waving to the other cadets as they ran past  the barracks. Standing next to him was a flabbergasted battalion TAC, Major Adams. He was ordered to return to his room to dress. Three of us escorted the young man back to his room where he refused to put on a uniform and, instead, dressed in the civilian clothes that he had worn when he reported to The Citadel. Then, sitting on the floor, he took a Bible and he started cutting the pages out of the Bible with a pen knife. Fortunately we got the knife away from him and not long after that some people from the hospital showed up to escort him away. That was the last we saw of him. A few days later, his father (who was a minister) showed up to retrieve his belongings.


The remaining members of the Corps reported in September and we started our lives  as seniors. We were now the Gods of The Citadel and we started to regain our equilibrium which had been knocked off balance our knob year. The parade ground was ours. We had knobs assigned to us to wake us up, to pick up our laundry and fold it, to shine our shoes, polish our brass, makeup our beds and to wrap the officers before parades.     Several of us had our knobs

write letters to our girlfriends extolling all of our wonderful virtues (unfortunately this usually didn’t work!). In return we watched out for our knobs to make sure some out of control corporal or sergeant wasn’t inflicting too much harm.


But changes were in effect and the fourth class system that we knew was being “watered down” after too much adverse publicity. With General Tucker and “the Boo” gone, the Commandant of Cadets who replaced them (Colonel Adamson) had been charged to change the system. As one 1938 graduate put it, “the whole place down there just got mean in the 1960s”. Colonel Adamson reported that the plebe year of the mid-60’s was “less a training program than an extended hazing session”. As all of us know, the system had evolved into the extreme form of mob violence. So our class was now in charge of a “softened” fourth class system. Incidents of hazing still occurred but not like they did in 1966. Of course we all felt that the knobs were getting away with everything and that knob year was now too easy. Maybe time  has faded our memories, but none of us could remember doing to the Class of 1973 the things that had been done to us.


There was a new Commandant of Cadets and a new group of Tactical Officers assigned to The Citadel at the start of our senior year. Who was the new Commandant and who was the new F Company TAC? Colonel James M. Whitmire was the new Commandant of Cadets and Captain Gerald R. (“Jay”) Wilson was the new F Company TAC. Our previous TAC, Major Adams, had been moved up to serve as 2nd Battalion TAC.


We became more and more involved in activities around campus. Rusty Hanna, Bill Strong and Terry Kneen drilled with the Summerall Guards. Jerry Heater was involved with the parachute club. Several of the Air Force cadets took training with the Flight Indoctrination Program (until  it was cancelled when one of our classmates flipped an aircraft!). Bill Strong, Bob Marsh, Bob Morphew and Rhett Wolfe were involved with the Association of The United States Army while Jim Schweizer, Wally Dill, John Childress and Terry Kneen were involved with the Arnold Air Society. Rhett Wolfe was the Treasurer for the Senior Class and Rhett, John Childress, Rusty Hanna and Mickey Thompson served on the Senior Class Board of Directors. Joe Ellis served on the Cadet Activities Committee while John Childress and Rhett Wolfe served on the Beach House Committee. Tom Whelan was on the Presidential Advisory Committee and was also a member of the Fine Arts Committee. Bob Barnhart and Bob Morphew were members of the Rod and Gun Club. Several of us were involved in denominational groups and Ronnie Beasley sang in the choir and was a member of the Baptist Student Union, while Bill Strong served on the Religious Council and was President of Alpha Phi Omega. Mike Rogers and Tom Whelan were members of the Newman Foundation. And off campus, Jimmie Youmans and Mike Hearn were co-chairmen of the F Company Beach House!


We were heavily involved in the campus publications. Tom Brown, Tom Whelan, Rusty Hanna, Rhett Wolfe, Dave Hewes, Jim Katter and John Skorupski all worked on the Brigadier staff, while Tom Brown, Jim Katter, Rhett Wolfe and Harry Rollins were on the Sphinx staff. Terry Kneen was on the Shako staff. And for all the wonderful meals that we ate at Coward Hall, we can thank Harry Rollins who served on the Menu Committee.


We also had several athletes among us. John Childress won the 142 pound class  in  the Southern Conference Wrestling Championship.  Dave Hewes and Jerry Ownby were on the  swim team. Dave was the captain of the swim team was also on the gymnastics team. Rhett Wolfe was captain of the tennis team and Mickey Thompson was the tennis team manager. John Skorupski was captain of the soccer team. John Childress, Mickey Thompson, Rhett Wolfe, Dave Hewes, Jerry Ownby and John Skorupski were all members of the Block C Club. Wally Dill, Mickey Thompson and Rhett Wolfe served on the Athletic Advisory Committee. Most of us also played in the various intramural sports around campus and who could forget the trouncing we seniors gave the F Company knobs in flag football on the parade ground?


Academically, we joined various clubs. Elton Hartzler belonged to the History Club, while Tom Brown and Tom Whelan were members of the Polytechnic and Calliopean Literary Societies. Rhett Wolfe and Tom Brown were members of the Round Table. Dave Hewes and John Skorupski were members of the Student Education Association while Jim Katter was a member of the Political Science Club and also served on the Big Brother Program. Terry Kneen was a member of the English Club and Wally Dill and Jim Schweizer were members of the American Society of Engineers.


I know there were more activities that we were involved in during our senior year and for those that I have over looked or forgotten, I apologize.


As seniors we had more time to relax and enjoy. Several of us became “pinned” or engaged to beautiful women named Linda, Sara, Quana, Genevieve, Cheryl, Marilyn, Gail, Kent and Kathy. There were at least two F Company beach houses on Folly Beach where we could crash as we took advantage of the senior class privilege of unlimited short weekends. Jim Katter and Harry Rollins Enterprises, LLC, had a booming movie business spread around campus which usually was standing room only.


Every night Mike Hearn, our “Dance and Soul NCO” would fire up the knobs and get them to dance before the evening retreat ceremony. So here we go again. Can you name three of the top ten songs of 1969?


1.        Honky Tonk Women (Rolling Stones)

2.      Bad Moon Rising (Credence Clearwater)

3.      Here Comes The Sun (The Beatles)

4.      Whole Lotta Lovin (led Zeppelin)

5.      Suite Judy Blue Eyes (Crosby, Stills and Nash)

6.      Evil Ways (Santana)

7.      Can’t Get Next To You (Temptations)

8.      Thank You (Sly And The Family Stone)

9.      Fortunate Son (Credence Clearwater)

10.  Can’t Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones)

October was perhaps the most memorable month of our senior year because it meant Parent’s Day and the Ring Hop.  On the third Thursday of the month, October 23,  1969, we got our  rings at the traditional Ring Ceremony at Mark Clark Hall. Here we actually were allowed to legally drink for the first and only time on campus as we made a toast to our class with wine during the ceremony. The Citadel Ring places three and a half years of hard work into proper perspective and it all seemed worth it. The Ring Ceremony was followed by a class beer bust that Thursday night (although “Rhett the spoiler” apparently did not attend the beer bust!). On the Tuesday prior to Corps Day, after the practice parade, Joe Ellis pinned the “F” on our knobs and formally brought them into the Corps. On Friday night we walked through the giant replica of the ring at the Ring Hop while the Junior Sword Drill provided arched swords after doing a flawless Sword Drill ceremony. Who was the F Company member of the Junior Sword Drill that year?  Phil Moise.   Who performed at the Ring Hop?  Archie Bell and the Drells.


The Saturday Morning Review was held and then the Dogs beat Davidson in a thrilling last minute victory. With only 36 seconds remaining on the clock, our classmate Tony Passander threw a pass to Champ Reilly to give The Citadel a 34 – 28 win. And then it was on to the first Senior Class Party given by the Class of 70. It was held at County Hall. We actually had four different groups perform at our Parent’s Day Senior Class Party. Can you remember any of them?  Major Lance, The Showmen, The Columbians, and The Inmen.


The entire weekend was memorable, but getting our rings was the highlight of it all. Did you know that The Citadel ring is one of the heaviest all-gold college rings in the United States? It weighs 18 pennyweight (1 pennyweight is equal to .05oz or 2 grams).  At our Ring Ceremony  the symbols on the ring were explained. Can you still look at your ring and explain what each symbol means?  OK, here is what the 1966 - 1967 Guidon states about the ring:


“The Citadel Ring signifies a host of accomplishments, for not only does it symbolize a partial history of the State of South Carolina and The Citadel but also it relates the ideals for which the college was founded. Almost every feature of the ring is symbolic of a goal or an attainment of past members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.


Most outstanding and significant of all the features of the ring is the “Star of the West”, which commemorates the shelling of a Union supply steamer by a detachment of Citadel Cadets. This action taken by the cadets in January, 1861, was the first hostile fire of the Civil War.


On the same shank of the ring are the United States and South Carolina colors, which depict the unity and coordination between South Carolina and the federal government. To  serve the dual purpose of representing the artillery, one of the two original branches of military instruction given during the early years of The Citadel, and as a connecting link between the Old Citadel of Marion Square and The Greater Citadel of today, are the cannon balls on the bottom of this shank. In front of the barracks at Marion Square was a pile of Civil War cannon balls. When the college moved to its present location, they remained at The Old Citadel.   Adopted as a part of the Citadel Ring, they bind the new college with the spirit and tradition of the old.


On the left shank of the ring a rifle, saber, wreath, and a thirty-caliber bullet can be seen at a glance. Upon closer observation, an oak leaf is noted in the background of the muzzle of the rifle, and by the tip of the sword is a spray of laurel. By means of most of these symbols, some of the ideals and concepts upon which The Citadel was founded and has endured are artistically presented.


The rifle and the thirty-caliber bullet symbolize the infantry, the other original department of military science at the college.  Since duty and responsibility have their reward  at The Citadel, that of being appointed a cadet officer in the first-class year, these ideals, too, are embodied in the ring by the sword, the symbol of the cadet officer. Although difficult to discern, the oak leaf is one of the most powerful motifs of the ring; it stands for the oak tree  and its characteristic attributes of strength and endurance. Of equal importance in a world torn by perpetual military conflict, is the concept of victory blessed by peace, represented by the laurel and the wreath respectively.


The oval crest of the ring is dominated by a reproduction of the palmetto tree. Primarily it symbolized the state tree of South Carolina. Also, it represents the “Palmetto Regiment”, a military body trained by Citadel Cadets and sent from South Carolina to fight in the Mexican War. Third it represents a fort on Sullivan’s Island built from palmetto logs, which successfully resisted many British men-of-war during the Revolutionary War. The two oval shields at the base of the palmetto tree, are miniature replicas of the state shield (the entire inscription is accurate and readable with a low-power glass).


It is a tradition that cadet first-classmen wear the ring with the class numerals facing up to the wearers. After graduation exercises, the rings are turned about. Also, the ring was standardized in 1940 which brings two distinct advantages. First it makes The Citadel ring easy to recognize, since all graduating classes wear the same type of ring, and secondly, it denotes not a member of a certain class, but The Citadel Man.”


After Parent’s Day, it was back to academics and the weekly parades and drills. Some of us needed to pull a 4.7 GPA in one semester to graduate on time. Senior essays were now optional. We served new duties such as Officer of the Day and Officer of the Guard. We supervised tours and inspected the barracks at night (now the jeep keys rattled on our  swords!). Of course, we maintained our cadet sense of humor and played practical jokes on each other. When some of us got the opportunity to be the OD or OG, we would write up our own classmates for trivial things. Some of us took pride in submitting a white slip to the Commandant’s Department writing up the Battalion Commander, the Exec, and each of the other members of his staff for things like “sloppy desk – three demerits”, “trash in can – one demerit” or “dusty desk – one demerit”! Yes that happened … and I have a copy of the DL to prove it.


Just because we were seniors did not mean that we couldn’t screw up. Mickey Thompson was awarded Punishment Order #1 when he thought he had permission to leave campus to be   the

best man at his brother’s wedding. Unfortunately, he apparently did not have permission and when Punishment Order #1 came out, Mickey got to walk the quad for a month and twenty. Through the year, several more F Company seniors would get to grace the quad … John Skorupski was awarded tours for busting curfew on a soccer trip (but never walked the tours thanks to amnesty). Ronnie Beasley was given company punishment (tours) for selling items to the knobs. Bill Strong got to serve a lot of confinements our senior year when our TAC, Captain Jay Wilson, discovered his “unauthorized appliance (TV)” which he had hidden behind a Playboy calendar!  Bill got a note from Captain Wilson that said “5 and 10 lamb, do it again!”


During the summer between our junior and senior years, those of us who had signed a contract with the Air Force or Army had to attend “summer camp”. The Army guys went to Fort Bragg while the Air Force guys went to various Air Force Bases around the country. None of you Army types has “fessed-up” but several of us Air Force types got to walk tours at AF summer camp. Terry Kneen, John Childress, Jim Katter and Ron Beasley all walked tours after they twirled the squadron guidons at a rinky-dink Air Force parade.


On one evening in November, just before Homecoming, several of our classmates (one hundred and thirty-seven to be exact), decided it would be a good idea to go paint up the Furman campus. Apparently we had not learned the lesson from our sophomore year when a group painted up the Wofford campus. Joe Ellis was serving as Officer of the Day and as the cadets  left the campus they told Joe they were going to guard the Citadel stadium against any “attack” from Furman students. Joe told them all to make sure they at least drove by the stadium to avoid any potential honor violation should an investigation occur later. The one hundred and thirty-seven apparently got a little too enthused in their activities and really did a number on the Furman campus. In his Christmas letter that he sent out in 1969, the “Boo” wrote that “the Class of 70 had a mob visit to Furman and they did too much damage”. There was an investigation and Joe Ellis was summoned by General Harris to explain his part as OD that night. Joe had saved them from an honor violation, but all one hundred and thirty-seven ended up on the quad walking tours.  No one in F Company was involved.


At the Homecoming Hop on Friday night, Miss Citadel (Jan Pitts) was crowned. Who performed at the Homecoming Hop?  The Platters.


The Summerall Guards (with our own Rusty Hanna, Bill Strong and Terry Kneen) performed  prior to the Saturday Morning Review. The Guards later formed up on the football field as an honor guard for the Dogs as they entered the stadium for the game against Furman. The Dogs won 37 – 21 which gave The Citadel a third place finish in the Southern Conference. Then on Saturday night, there was another Senior Class Party at County Hall. It was the typical wild celebration. Who performed for us at this Senior Class Party? Hot Nuts. All the women were waiting to see them perform in their jock straps. Instead, they came out wearing raincoats! As our yearbook puts it “while Hot Nuts provided the music and on-stage entertainment, the Corps (as usual) entertained themselves down on the floor and in the rafters! By cadet’s standards, the party was a resounding success”.

After Homecoming, it was back to the grind. Academics were now our main focus. We had semester exams coming up after the Christmas holidays and there would be no time to make  up anything that we lost. Blankets over the windows and transoms after Taps became the  norm as we studied into the night. We went home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks and came back to concentrate on studies.


On 1 December 1969, the first draft lottery was held to determine the order of call for  induction into the Army during calendar year 1970 for all those born between 1 January 1944 and 31 December 1950. The (un)lucky number one birthday was 14 September. The very lucky last birthday was 8 January. Some of us were now very happy that we had signed a contract with the Army, Air Force or Navy because if we had not, we would have been drafted immediately after graduation. Still, others of us had signed contracts and now were regretting the decision because we would never be called up. And others of us were in the middle of the call up order … the “iffy” part of the draft.


In January, we took first semester exams and apparently the hard work paid off as several F Company seniors came out on the Dean’s List. During our senior year, Mickey Thompson, John Skorupski, Mike Rogers, Bob Morphew, Wally Dill, Terry Kneen, Tom Brown, Rhett Wolfe, John Childress, Joe Ellis and Jim Schweizer all made the Dean’s List. Tom Brown, Joe Ellis and Rhett Wolfe all wore Gold Stars!


We only had one more semester to go. So for the last time, here we go again. Can you remember three of the top ten songs of 1970?


1.        Let It Be (The Beatles)

2.      Bridge Over Troubled Waters (Simon and Garfunkel)

3.      Lola (The Kinks)

4.      All Right Now (Free)

5.      In The summer Time (Mango Jerry)

6.      No Sugar Tonight (Guess Who)

7.      Spirit In The Sky (Norman Greenbaum)

8.      War (Edwin Starr)

9.      Layla (Eric Clapton)

10.  Your Song (Elton John)


The second semester would prove to be as busy as the first. In late January, the Summerall Guards started training the 1971 Bond Volunteers. And shortly after cuts, the Summerall Guards traveled to New Orleans to march in the Mardi Gras parade where they served as the honor guard for King Rex. Even though our accommodations were on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (which was undergoing extensive modifications in dry dock), the trip was the most memorable of all Guard trips.  We definitely left our mark on Bourbon Street!


Early during our second semester, there was a shakeup in the Corps chain of command. Three members of Regimental and 2nd Battalion staff were busted to private when they returned after

curfew one night. As a result, Bob Marsh was moved from 2nd Battalion staff to Regimental  Staff and Terry Kneen became the 2nd Battalion Adjutant. Several F Company seniors also changed positions. Mickey Thompson, Elton Hartzler and Bill Strong were promoted to second lieutenant. While no one seems to remember exactly, we think Jim Schweizer was promoted to first lieutenant and took over third platoon.


February also meant another party … Valentine’s Day. Started by the Class of 69 the year before, Valentine’s Day gave the Corps a unique weekend exclusive of parades and solely for entertainment. We held another Senior Class Party at County Hall on Saturday night. Who performed? The Brooklyn Bridge and Georgia’s Best. On Sunday, another concert was held (again at County Hall).  Once again, we were entertained by L’il Anthony and The Imperials.


Our TAC, Captain Jay Wilson, started to invite seniors over to his house (which he shared with another TAC, Captain Jim Mayo). There were several weekends that we took our dates over to his house for drinks and finger foods (typical of two bachelors!).


On 8 March 1970, four Citadel seniors appeared on TV’s “The College Bowl”. On one weekend during the second semester a huge food fight broke out during evening mess. Not sure what brought that on. And shortly before Corps Day, some more sad news … Captain Gabe, who had given many of us a refuge from The Citadel, passed away.


Corps Day arrived on the third weekend of March and we came out of wools for the very last time. After evening mess, on the Thursday before Corps Day, we ripped the wool trou off. But seniors were no longer allowed to burn the trou in the barracks so we simply piled the rags in the middle of the quad!  Corps Day 1970 was our last big weekend as cadets.  It was also the  last time the 1970 Summerall Guards would march together as we exchanged the Springfield rifles with the 1971 Bond Volunteers.


And this was our last Senior Class Party. Again it was held at County Hall on Saturday night.  Who performed?  Sam and Dave.


After Corps Day we were released on our final Easter furlough. And then it was back to The Citadel to start cramming for our last final exams. In a blink of an eye, it was graduation week. Harry Rollins was designated as a Distinguished Military Graduate while Wally Dill, John Childress, Jim Schweizer and Terry Kneen were designated as Distinguished Air Force  Graduates. Several of us were commissioned as officers in the military just before the graduation ceremony. Joe Ellis and Mickey Thompson were commissioned as ensigns in the Navy. Harry Rollins, John Skorupski, Bob Marsh, Tom Whelan, Rhett Wolfe, Tom Brown, Bob Morphew and Bill Strong were commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army. John  Childress, Ronnie Beasley, Wally Dill, Elton Hartzler, Jerry Heater, Jim Katter, Terry Kneen, Mike Rogers and Jim Schweizer were commissioned as second lieutenants in the Air Force. One of  the greatest honors of all was the one given to four of our F Company classmates. Tom Brown, John Childress, Tom Whelan and Rhett Wolfe were inducted into Who’s Who in American Colleges.

Then came the moment we had dreamed of every day since 6 September 1966 … graduation. On 30 May 1970, three hundred and forty-seven of the original six hundred and fifty members of the Class of 1970 walked across the stage inside the Armory and were handed diplomas by General Harris. Also graduating with our class were seventeen Veteran Students, twenty-two members of the Class of 69 and five members of the Class of 68, which means a total of three hundred and ninety-one walked across the stage that morning. Our Regimental Commander,  Ira Rapp, stood on the stage and for the last time, issued a command to us … “Class of 1970 DISMISSED!” We all threw our hats into the air and hugged each other. It was over. We were now Citadel Men. It had been four years that were filled with so many memories, both good  and bad. It was four years that bonded the F Company knobs together forever.  It was four  years that none of us will ever forget.


So there you have it.  The long ago memories of an old F Troop knob.