CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Citadel welcomed their Class of 2024 cadets onto campus today, August 8.

The introduction for the freshman is called Matriculation Day.

From 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, the new freshmen joined more than 600 cadets who were already on campus, having returned on a phased schedule to begin athletic training and prepare to train the new freshman, also known as knobs.

The Matriculation Day process is usually completed in about two hours, but was stretched out to 12 hours this year to ensure social distancing and to limit the number of people on campus.

It’s, what many on Citadel’s campus call, the largest and one of the most important steps in Operation Fall Return 2020.

“We’ve been working on this and preparing for this day for months… The final pieces have been put in place to make sure that we can have everybody back and protect everyone’s health and safety.”

 Col. John Dorrian, Vice President for Communications and Marketing at The Citadel

After a stop in the barracks, where they receive their room assignments and physical training uniforms, the cadet-recruits traveled in small groups to Mark Clark Hall, where they got haircuts, their mailbox keys and were tailored for dress uniforms.

Once they finished this stop, they visited the cadet store to get necessary equipment.

“I think the most important thing that they will be learning is their ‘why’ and their reason for being here… As a cadet you’ll learn that you’re always asked why you decided to come to The Citadel and I believe that it changes throughout your cadet career, whether you’re a freshman or a senior.”

Samantha Walton, Regimental Public Affairs Non-Commissioned Officer

As the day continues, the cadet-recruits received their military instruction from cadre, the group of upperclassmen tasked with training the knobs.

The next step in the knobs’ Citadel career is Challenge Week, when cadets are introduced to the Fourth-Class System and receive rapid military training which involves learning how to wear their uniforms, drill, clean their rooms and barracks, and become familiar with the campus.

On Monday, August 10, the class will stand on Summerall Field and take their Freshman oath pledging to abide by the college’s core values of honor, duty and respect as future members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.

Click here to watch the Freshman Oath live stream on Monday.

The remainder of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets will return to campus by August 16.