To commemorate the symbolic end of their freshman training, the class of 2013 of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will complete the annual Caldwell March from the Caldwell Fields area to the Upper Quad of Virginia Tech on Saturday, April 17.
The spring semester chain-of-command, the upper-class cadets who are leading the regiment, will march with the freshman to honor them as they complete their challenging year of training. This is the second half of the 26-mile march made in 1872 by Addison Caldwell, the first cadet and student at Virginia Tech.
During the fall semester, the first year class completed the first 13 miles of the march starting at the Caldwell homestead and the cadre, the upper-class cadets responsible for the initial phase of training for first-year students, marched with the first-year cadets.
The start point for the march is on Route 621 about a quarter-mile west of Caldwell Fields. The cadets unload from buses, form up, move into the wood line just off the road, and cross a creek. Once across they then move directly south, straight up Brush Mountain. They then move west approximately three miles along the service road on the top of the mountain until they come out in the Preston Forest subdivision.
From there they follow Preston Forest Lane to Mt. Tabor Road. The cadets halt momentarily for a rest break at the Slusser's Church of God parking lot, after which they resume the march, moving through the Woodbine neighborhood before turning south on Main Street and returning to the Upper Quad, which concludes the march.
After the march the Regimental Band, the Highty-Tighties, will play and Skipper, the regimental cannon, will be fired when the cadets first enter the Quad, and on the first note of Tech Triumph. There will be two shots total, the first shot will be at approximately 3 p.m. and the final shot will be at about 3:15 p.m. Actual time depends on how long the march takes and is subject to weather and road conditions.
Everyone is welcome to come out and view the regiment as it marches through town and all are welcome to watch the ceremony on Upper Quad once the cadets return to campus.
Alumni of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets often join the corps during the march. This year several corps alumni are marching. In addition, many more alumni support the first-year cadets as they march by being a Caldwell March Sponsor. They donate $500 or more to sponsor a cadet and the cadet wears a nametag recognizing their sponsor while they march. Afterwards the nametag, a commemorative pin, and a photo of the cadet are sent to each sponsor. To date, 194 cadets are sponsored for this year’s Spring Caldwell March raising $99,000 for the corps. This is the most money ever raised by corps alumni for a single Caldwell March.
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