Prayer Squares for Military Members

Prayer Square

This past Sunday the members of  Prayers and Squares and the Military Ministry of Roswell Presbyterian Church joined together in an outreach project. Joyce Pettit a member of Prayers and Squares used her time during the recent ice storm to sew 67 prayers squares for military members. She then called me as the chair of the military ministry to discuss how we would get members and guest of our church together to pray over the squares and to tie knots in them. THe project was well received by the congregation.

Prayer and Squares is a nationwide interfaith organization that promotes prayer through the use of quilts. You can read more about their outreach through this link.

The Military Ministry of Roswell Presbyterian Church is made up of military members, veterans and anyone who is interested in supporting the military. We meet ever other month on the evening of the second Tuesday of the month. We are a member congregation of Care For The Troops.


The Monuments Men and The Citadel


The Fine Arts department at The Citadel is sponsoring an amazing event April 3 at the McAlister Field House. Robert Edsel, author of Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, will be the guest speaker and sign copies of his book . The event is free to the public.

For those interested in supporting the Fine Arts department at The Citadel there is a VIP Cocktail Reception and Private Book Signing prior to the free public lecture and Q&A event. The VIP ticket price is $125 and includes a copy of the book. Parents of cadets who cannot attend can purchase a ticket and arrange to have the signed book delivered to your cadets MSC box on campus if your cadet cannot attend. Email Professor Tiffany Silverman with your cadet’s name, company and their box number. Her email address is: silvermant(at)

This event is one of the approved Fine Arts events that meet the requirement for freshman and sophomore cadets.

An anonymous donor has agreed to match all ticket sales and donations to the event up to $25,000. If your company matches charitable donations this is a great way to make an even great impact on a terrific program.

In a recent email to me Professor Tiffany Silverman explained the history of the Fine Arts program at The Citadel:

In the past, The Citadel has been able to offer a few dramatic presentations each year for the Fine Art Series as there has not been an academic program around the Fine Arts; just a couple of art appreciation courses taught by an adjunct.  I have been on board for 5 years now, developing this program from scratch, and this year I was able to launch a new Fine Arts minor that has rapidly become among the largest in the school.  Also, the oversight of the Fine Art Series has moved to the School of Humanities under my direction.  We now offer courses in drawing, painting, photography, advanced film, and drama in addition to core classes in art appreciation, music appreciation, and introduction to film.  This is incredibly exciting as we are now offering a more diverse range of events and exhibitions that serve to connect the arts to something meaningful to the cadets as well as provide internships, jobs, exhibitions of cadet artwork, and even sales of their artwork — opening doors they didn’t even know existed.

Professor Silverman sent me a few emails from former students. These notes underscore the various ways in which the Fine Arts program has continued to help graduates.

Professor Silverman,  Thank you for the notification. I didn’t realize that a fine arts minor was actually established since I graduated. That is very exciting and I am rather jealous. I wanted to let you know that I am doing very well. I married my beautiful wife, in May of last year and have enjoyed 8 wonderful months with her.  I have traveled many places in the past 4 years and I enjoy my career with the Air Force. Again, I wanted to thank you for inspiring my interest in art. Before attending your classes, I honestly had very little interest. It took me a lot of trials before I found a medium I enjoyed, but painting has been incredible. My large abstract oils not only decorate our walls, but the walls of several friends, family members, churches, and even Air Force institutions. Although, it is a hobby and more for stress relief, it is also a way I can share my interest with others. I am training in XXXX again this month, and ironically I blew the mind of one of my instructors. I left a rather large painting at Camp XXX 2 yrs ago. It is on display for all to see in the main hallway of the XXXX School. When I mentioned it, he actually thought the school-house had purchased that piece professionally. Additionally, a year ago a General and Colonel stationed at my base both mentioned the same work and how they hadn’t realized it was mine until they read the plaque, and sent me a direct email thanking me for the impact it made and how it represents the training with such an iconic perspective each defender will always remember. Needless to say, I will continue to paint. One day I hope to distribute my works and have them displayed elsewhere. When I return home I will talk to my wife about a donation. It may be small, but it would mean a lot to support you if we can. Thank you again for all of your teaching and encouragement over the years.

Dear Prof. Silverman, I can’t tell you how much your class three years ago has helped me in my career. I know you think how can taking an art appreciation class help you in the army but it reality it has help bring a wider prospective on culture, creativity, and ideas! It’s one of those subject all cadets should understand and be familiar with to be better citizens and leaders of our community’s, state’s and nation. I applaud you for reaching out to your former students because if any of them are like me, the understand the importance of what the fine arts teaches you now more than when we sat in your classroom. I hope that you will reach your goal because increasing fine arts at the citadel will only help our future leaders! 

Hey, Professor Silverman! Thought I’d let you know that I’m now the Public Affairs Officer for my company, which basically just means I take photos for any of our company events, from Training Exercises to Family Readiness Group (FRG) events. Those photos are usually submitted through the company and put in a ‘storyboard’ as kind of a press release for whatever event occurred. Commanders like to see pictures, and whenever a picture isn’t taken with a cellphone they are usually impressed. But I try to economize the amount of times I press the shutter so that I don’t distract from the training or the significance of the event. So this means I don’t have as much trial and error (‘spray-and-pray’) as when I shoot things like landscapes, so I have to know exactly what settings I need and how I want to compose the photo to make every shot count.

This type of ‘press type’ of photography isn’t exactly my favorite, but if I wasn’t taking these pictures, there would probably only be blurry, low resolution, horribly composed cell phone pictures to remember these Soldiers and the accomplishments of the organization. So I always volunteer to take photos, for the sake of the unit and good photography.

I have the most fun with photography usually on my free time when I just explore around and see what catches my eye (usually around sunset). But sometimes it’s nice to just sit and enjoy a sunset instead of worrying about a good subject, exposure and composition. Which I think is important for photographers to do; it’s easy to get caught up in the all the technical aspects and become oblivious to the beauty that is happening in front of you. So I think I’ve found a good balance between taking the time to observe what makes whatever I’m looking at significant and messing around with my tripod and getting frustrated with my exposure settings.

I never expected photography to become such a big part of my life, but it really gives you an excuse to really think about and appreciate the world around you and also share it with others; and I probably wouldn’t have gotten so passionate about it had it not been for your course and the great opportunities it offered.

Please join me in supporting the Fine Arts program by purchasing a VIP ticket to the April 3 event, or making a donation to the program. Remember all gifts up to $25,000 will be matched! To access the web site to purchase a VIP ticket and/or make a donation Click Here.

Welcome to The Citadel Class of 2018

waitingwithboxesEach year at about this time the search terms on my blog feature words all related to knob year and preparations for knob year. I’ve written welcome entries to new families for four years now. The tips and advice in each entry still stand. The links are posted below. I highly recommend you read each one. In this entry I will spend some time on recommendations for the various required items knobs MUST bring each year.

For the third year in a row I’ve posted a Facebook group for new parents. This year’s group. The Citadel: Parents of the Class of 2018 has over 20 members so far. In addition to new parents, the group includes a few parents of graduates who volunteer their time to answer questions about this first year at The Citadel. If you have a student who will be in the Class of 2018 at The Citadel, please send me an email to request to join the group, [email protected].

Each year the new parents seem to focus on a different aspect of required or Nice to Have Item on the official Success packet list or the Citadel Family AssociationNice to Have List.” The parents of the class of 2016 asked a lot of questions about fine grade sand paper. The 2017 parents focused on the types of men’s underwear to purchase. It may sound silly even to those same parents now, but at the time these parents just wanted to make sure they sent their cadet off with everything they needed to succeed.

The most important items on the “Nice to have list” are the iron and travel size ironing board. Your cadet will iron, a lot. Spray starch is nice to have. Ask your cadet what they will want from the list. Shoe polish, rags, fine grade sand paper, a small plastic box with general medications, like ibuprofen and cough/cold medicine, band aids, Neosporin, and mole skin for their feet, are all good ideas to bring.

The list of required items changes very little from year to year. You MUST check the official list when it is posted for the Class of 2018. It will be linked on a Matriculation Day Headquarters link as well as to the Commandant’s Matriculation Day page on the school website. For this entry I will post what was on the list for the Class of 2017 with notes about the various items.

NOTE: The information below has been  updated since the first publication for the Class of 2018. 7/20/15

From pages 6 – 7 in the Fourth Class Success Packet for the Class of 2019: (Items in BOLD are my recommendations/comments)


All cadets are required to furnish their own bed linen except for the bedspread and one blanket ,
which will be issued. Beds and mattresses are provided, but pillows are not. One plastic mattress
cover will be issued at cost to each cadet.
All cadets (male and female) must bring the following:
One pair [1] of conservative style pajamas (optional)

Many cadets wear their PT (physical training) clothes not pajamas. a bathrobe is issued to them.
Twelve [12] white, cotton, crew-neck tee shirts

Double the amount of tee shirts (24) they should fit snuggly so as not to wrinkle under their uniform shirts.
Twelve pairs [12] of white cotton underwear – at least 6 pair jockey shorts (male)

6 pairs of the “Tighty whitey” type men’s briefs are required. The 6 pair will be folded and kept in a drawer for inspections. Other type of underwear can be worn under uniforms. Many prefer the boxer briefs for under their uniform pants. The brands linked here are for example only. You can purchase whatever brand you prefer. DOUBLE the amount (24)
Twelve pairs [12] of white cotton panties (female) – NO thongs

This is pretty straight forward for the female cadets.
One pair [1] of “long johns”

Long underwear top and bottom in a thin material and solid color are used for under their heavy wool uniforms in the late fall early winter. You can send these at the Thanksgiving break.
Twelve pairs [12] of black crew length socks – cotton socks are recommended. Thick cotton socks are best. the Gold toe brand is good, but other makes are fine too. Some prefer the more expensive military socks to keep from developing blisters. Double the number of pairs of socks (24)
[Experience has proven that socks made of synthetic material contribute to blistering and
in some cases secondary infections.]
Twelve pairs [12] of white, cotton athletic socks

Thick white CREW LENGTH socks are needed for knobs. The Gold Toe brand is good but others are as well. Look for high cotton content and no logos. Watch for sales at your favorite stores.
One [1] bathing suit, solid black or navy blue (female: conservative one piece)

Mostly black or blue. Minimal piping/stitching is OK. Lands End usually carries them, but you can find them at other stores or on Amazon. Sample of the men’s suit. Women’s suits at Lands End or Speedo or Tyr brands are pretty easy to find in a range of sizes.

One pair [1] of shower shoes [black]

Six [6] white, cotton towels

Double the amount of towels. Purchase in expensive towels form a store like Walmart or Target. They end up using their towels to clean. Do not spend a lot of money on good towels.

Six [6] washcloths

Double the amount of towels and buy inexpensive towels. Walmart has 18 for $4.00

One [1] standard sized pillow
Four [4] white pillow cases

Buy inexpensive pillow cases.

Four [4] white, non-fitted sheets for a single bed

Be sure to buy very inexpensive FLAT, not fitted sheets. They also use these to make banners. Most cadets make their bed then sleep on top of the made bed. DO NOT buy expensive sheets.

Twelve [12] white handkerchiefs

You can find these in Walmart or Target stores.

Toilet articles

What ever shaving and person care items your cadet uses. Include bar soap or liquid body wash. they do not need a a carrying bag.

One pair [1] of good cross training shoes (non-marking soles) in a subdued color
such as white, navy, or black (may have contrasting trim.)

Buy the brand that fits your cadet best. Be sure they are broken in prior to Matriculation Day.

One pair [1] of good running shoes (non-marking soles) in a subdued color such
as white, navy, or black (may have contrasting trim.)

Many cadets have the same she for cross training and running. Buy what fits best.

Three pairs [3] of black bike shorts (cotton spandex) for optional wear with
physical training uniform

Compression type shorts that are optional under PT clothes

One pair [1] of military style boots, sand colored with deep lug soles – boots must
be and colored with a plain or capped toe
Boots made of patent leather or poromeric material
are not authorized [The Cadet Store at The Citadel sells Bates brand boots, but
large sizes may not be readily available. Be sure boots are “broken in” prior to
arrival to prevent foot problems.]  Bates Brand, M-8 Desert Assault boots, 8″Height Other brands are available. You can order them online. Some sporting goods sell them at a good price. I use Google to find good prices.

One [1] clear plastic storage container for under the bed. It must be sized no larger than 32″L x 11″H x 18″W. Note: Do not search for a container meeting these precise specifications. Instead, look for something smaller than 32″ x 11″ x 18″. 

One [1] overnight bag (or another clear plastic storage container) for additional items that will be kept on top of the full press is authorized. This bag or container may not exceed 24″L x 12″H x 18″W. 

Containers: Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot and the Container Store carry containers that will meet the specifications.

Two pairs [2] of military style, plain toe, smooth leather, black oxford shoes with rubber heels. Shoes made of patent leather or poromeric material are not authorized. You will not be permitted to wear shoes that do not meet this criteria. Be sure all shoes are “broken in” prior to arrival to prevent foot problems.

Boots and shoes are available at The Citadel Cadet Store. Summer store hours are Monday-Wednesday
7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m and Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 4:30. Call (843) 953-5166 to check on item availability.
Boots and shoes must meet specifications. See the Cadet Store letter for details.

Additional items for female cadets:

Five [5] white, beige, or skin-colored regular bras
Five [5] white or beige sports bras
Five pairs [5] of neutral, black, or skin colored pantyhose

One pair of black, military style, leather or corfam, pumps with closed toe and
closed heel with a ½ to 1.5 inch heel. Shoes are not to have straps or
any kind of buckle or decorative styling.

I am told the female knobs to not really need the stockings and pumps the first year.

One black, leather or flat black vinyl military style handbag, no larger than 8 ½ by
11 inches, with or without shoulder strap. Suede handbags are not
authorized. Handbag may have a handle or shoulder strap with a buckle.
Handbag may not have any decorative styling.

The Citadel does not furnish bedding, cadets shipping their belongings to the college must
bring with them two sheets, one pillowcase, and their pillow for use until they can access their

The following items may be brought with the new cadet or obtained later:

One desk reading lamp
One picture with frame – no larger than 8”x10”

Most knobs do not keep a photo on their desk

One radio/stereo/CD player/tape recorder/player – speakers must be no larger
than 12”x 24”

It is best to wait to have a device like this until after Parents Weekend.

Computer and printer

For the school computer recommendations see this link.  If your cadet uses a MAC there is an Apple store in Charleston.

Alarm clock
Oscillating fan ONLY – box or floor fans on a stand are not authorized

Not needed in all barracks.


If you pack in card board boxes and trash bags there is no need to use the storage facility.

Trunks and suitcases can not be stored in cadet rooms. Only one overnight bag for overnight
travel may be kept in the room. All other luggage is stored at the central warehouse at the risk of
the cadet.

Luggage may be shipped to The Citadel in advance of your reporting date. It should be clearly
marked with the cadet’s name and addressed to Central Supply, The Citadel, 171 Moultrie Street,
Charleston, SC, 29409.

Previous entries about knob year preparations:

The Citadel: Year One a No Fly Zone for Hovering Parents

The Citadel: Unofficial Tips for Families of Incoming Knobs

A Letter to The Citadel Class of 2015

Knob Year Notes for Parents

Matriculation Day: Getting Ready

Matriculation Day: Reporting in that first Day

Knobs pick up their new PT clothes (AKA Knobbie clothes). Note the cadet in the navy blue to the right.
Knobs pick up their new PT clothes (AKA Knobbie clothes). Note the cadet in the navy blue to the right.

The 2015 Bond Volunteer Aspirants

A member of the 2014 Summerall Guards leads the 2015 BVA's in an exercise on Summerall Field. Photo provided by Sarah Lancaster
A member of the 2014 Summerall Guards leads the 2015 BVA’s in an exercise on Summerall Field.
Photo provided by Sarah Lancaster

Corps Day at The Citadel is the annual celebration of the founding of the Corps of Cadets. It is also the weekend the new Summerall Guards make their first appearance during a ceremony on Summerall Field just after the open barracks Saturday morning. For the past several years I’ve attended the events of the weekend. The highlight is meeting the new Summerall Guard who now carries the rifle my son carried when he was a 2011 Summerall Guard.

I am in touch with quite a few mother’s of current 2015 Bond Volunteer Aspirants (BVA’s). Their cadets have grown into fine cadet officers. Cuts Day, like a final tryout day, is around the corner. My thoughts and prayers are with the cadets as they are run through their paces.

The 5, 2014 Summerall Guards, and the 5, 2015 BVA's, who completed the Commander's Run. photo provided by Sarah Lancaster
The 5, 2014 Summerall Guards, and the 5, 2015 BVA’s, who completed the Commander’s Run.
photo provided by Sarah Lancaster

I’ve written about the process before and will include links to previous posts below. It is a time of great pride for both the cadets and their parents. If you are the parent of a 2015 BVA soon to be Summerall Guard a few reminders.

Be sure to ask what side of the field to stand on during the ceremony, on the barracks side or on the chapel side of the roped off area.

Arrive to the parade field early to scout out your spot along the roped off area.

Bring insect repellant. The no-see-ums can be awful.

Exchange email addresses with the other 2014 and 2015 parents so you can exchange photos and videos.

After the performance and the parade that follows the Summerall Guards usually host a fundraising luncheon when they sell the Summerall Guard parent T-shirts. Be sure to ask your cadet about the time and location.

Best wishes to the BVA’s and their parents as we approach Cuts Day.

2014 Cuts Day video

The Summerall Guards 2014video

Previous Blog posts:

The Citadel: BVA’s and  Summerall Guards

Information for Parents about the BVA’s and Summerall Guards

BVA’s and Summerall Guards: Cuts Day, Mardi Gras and Corps Day

A member of the 2014 Summerall Guards does push ups with a 2015 BVA. photo provided by Sarah Lancaster
A member of the 2014 Summerall Guards does push ups with a 2015 BVA.
photo provided by Sarah Lancaster