To commemorate the end of the first phase of training for the freshman class of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, the Class of 2014 completed the annual Fall Caldwell March on Saturday, Oct. 2.
This is the first half of the 26 mile journey made in 1872 by Addison Caldwell, the first cadet and student at Virginia Tech.
The starting point for the march is at the Caldwell family homestead in Craig County, Va. The entire freshman class and their training cadre, the upper-class cadets responsible for the initial phase of freshman training, are bused out to the start and then march approximately 13 miles over Sinking Creek Mountain to Caldwell Fields in Jefferson National Forest.
Bravo Company Cadre Sergeant, Cadet Benjamin Watanabe of Williamsburg, Va., a junior majoring in accounting and information systems in the Pamplin College of Business who is a member of Army ROTC and is a recipient of the Mary Jean and John L. Brown ’62 Emerging Leader Scholarship explains what the march means to those freshman he has worked so hard to train for the past seven weeks, “The Caldwell March is very much like the top of the hill we climb during the march, it is a point during freshmen year where they can take a moment to look back over what they have already accomplished and push forward with renewed effort towards the end of the year."
Cadet Richard Credicott of Midlothian, Va., a freshman majoring in general engineering in the College of Engineering who is a member of Air Force ROTC and is a recipient of the Emerging Leader Scholarship describes his experience last Saturday, “The Caldwell March was undoubtedly the most inspiring and motivational moment I have experienced since joining the corps of cadets. My buds not only came together as a training company, but more as a freshman class.”
Many alumni and friends support the freshman 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. The generosity of corps supporters continues to have a profound impact as 110 cadets were sponsored for this year’s Fall Caldwell March raising $55,000 for the corps.