Best Of Luck To The Class Of 2016
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Best Of Luck To The Class Of 2016

Goodbye Citadel Class of 2016. Best of luck.

Best Of Luck To The Class Of 2016
The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina

Thank you Class of 2016.

And more specifically. Thank you India Company Class of 2016.
(India Rocks the Corps)

Graduation is coming up. I'm sure we all know it and we all feel it. The eagerness that settles into our very bones as we consider the prospects of summer. And for those at The Citadel, I'd be willing to look forward to it more than any other college. We look forward to not wearing the uniform of the day ever again until August, and getting a break from shining brass and polishing shoes. We love waking up and realizing it's past seven in the morning.

But there is another group that is looking forward to it for a very different reason. My seniors. They were the Class of 2019's mentors, teachers, and correctors. I have the utmost respect for them. I realized this past week that when I come back in the fall as a sophomore, they won't be here, and that's a weird thought.

They were the leaders for my knob year. They were the guys who pulled me and my classmates through and that's something that's irreplaceable. Just like I will never forget the feeling of gripping the guidon next to my classmates. I will also never forget everything my seniors have taught me, or in some cases, reprimanded me for. I'm more than sure some of the things I've done this past year made them question my sanity, at least once.

They are about to embark upon a journey that I will not have to face for another three years, and they have been prepared by the best institution that I know of. I'm sure someone would argue with that. They might not be Yale graduates, or some other college, but they have something no other college has: a brotherhood that connects them to years and years of alumni, and a connection to their fellow Citadel classmates. That band of gold they wear on their hand, with their year proudly stamped upon the face is their compass, their badge of courage. They have survived the past four years upon the Road Less Traveled. They have gained skills that some will not gain for years. They have the powers to lead, and motivate, and excel at whatever they do, because they have been taught not just to complete a task, but to go above and beyond what they are asked, because that is our standard.

My seniors are a group that I will miss and I hope to see them again down the road some time. But until that day, I wish them luck, and farewell. They will depart from this school May 7, but the day before, will be their Long Gray Line. A tradition which I think ends their time here by reminding them what they have, a brotherhood that will never let them down.

They may never have to wake up at 0525 on Monday or Tuesday and Thursday mornings to conduct Regimental PT, but they will never forget how getting up early to better yourself can put you ahead of any person on the block. They will never again have to pull on their duty, and tighten their shirt-stays and make sure they have four buttons. But I know they will never forget the values that they have learned about how the way you dress affects how people look at you. Never again will they have to walk in the gutter, or brace in battalion. They were done with that long before I ever set foot in this institution. But I know they won't forget how humility and respect can help them no matter how rocky the road, nor will they forget how pain and suffering can lead to strength and endurance if only you push through it. They may never again have to walk a single tour or serve a single con, but they will always remember that every action has a consequence, good or bad. They will never again stay up late, cleaning and shining for an Saturday Morning Inspection, but they will never forget that discipline and duty are two values which are of the utmost importance.

And I know they will never forget all of this, because they wear the Band Of Gold. On their hands they wear a symbol that tells the world that no matter what. They have been tried and tested, pushed to their limits, but remained unbroken where so many others have fallen.

I don't exactly know what else I can say but that. Good luck, Class of 2016. And goodbye, India Company Class of 2016. Thank you for everything you have given both me, and my class through these nine months. I couldn't have ever asked for better mentors.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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