CHARLESTON, SC — Earning the title Summerall Guard is one of the highest honors that can be achieved by a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets at The Citadel. Each winter, cadets who are juniors endure weeks of rigorous physical training and drilling in an attempt to be named a member of the famous platoon for their senior year.
Consisting of 61 members, all of the Summerall Guards were chosen for their physical stamina and drill proficiency. The platoon’s purpose is to exemplify, through a unique series of movements based on the old German close-order drill, the exactness and thoroughness with which a cadet is trained. The drill, which has never been written down, is performed to a silent count. Each year’s platoon takes responsibility for teaching the precise drill to the upcoming unit.
Samuel Santa Rita of Edon, Ohio, was among 60 other cadets selected to the Class of 2017 Summerall Guards.
Membership is considered a high honor at the military college. Created in 1932, this unit has performed nationally at Disney World, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., Mardi Gras in New Orleans and St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, Ga.
The platoon is named for General Charles P. Summerall, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and Citadel president from 1931 until 1953.