One of the most significant events for the new cadet class of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is the fall Caldwell March which recognizes the completion of the first phase of training for these newest members of the corps.

The Class of 2017 of the Corps of Cadets will complete the annual fall Caldwell March on Saturday, Sept. 28. 

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 class and their training cadre, the upper-class cadets responsible for the initial phase of new cadet training, are bused out to the start and then march approximately 13 miles over Sinking Creek Mountain to Caldwell Fields in Jefferson National Forest.

Upon completing this phase of the march, all cadets are bused back to the Upper Quad where a ceremony will be held recognizing the completion of this challenging phase of training. The class will be formed up in front of Lane Hall which is located at 280 Alumni Mall. 

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 2:30 p.m. and the final shot will be at about 3 p.m. Actual time depends on how long the march takes and is subject to weather and road conditions.

Many alumni, families, 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 name tag recognizing their sponsor while they march. Afterwards the name tag, a thank you note from the cadet, and a photo of the cadet are sent to each sponsor. The generosity of corps supporters continues to have a profound impact as 109 cadets are sponsored for this year’s fall Caldwell March raising over $70,000 for the corps.

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