Marking the end of the first phase of training for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 2016 is the Fall Caldwell March. The Class of 2016 of the Corps of Cadets will complete the annual march on Saturday, Sept. 29.

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 first year cadets will complete the second half of the march in the spring at the conclusion of their training year.

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.

Many alumni and friends support the new cadets as they march by being a Caldwell March sponsor. They donate $500 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 of Cadets supporters continues to have a profound impact as 108 cadets were sponsored for this year’s Fall Caldwell March raising $54,000 for the corps.

After the march the regimental band, the Highty-Tighties, will play and Skipper, the Corps of Cadets 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.  The cadre staffs will then be dismissed, symbolizing the new cadets’ transition into their next phase of training.

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