When my son decided to attend a military college, I never imagined that years after he graduated I would be answering questions about socks, underwear, and shoes.
Many alumni don’t understand the changes that have taken place over the years. Communications have changed over the years for everyone. For instance at The Citadel the paperwork cadets used to fill out is all done online now.
The families helping their soon-to-be knob prepare for the new year use online searches to find the required items to matriculate. They also resource with other parents. Instead of running out to K-Mart, Target, and Wal-Mart for items, more and more people are purchasing the required items online. Families are connected online via Facebook. Not to hover, but to share tips on saving money. Shoes are at least $100 a pair the boots are more expensive. With out of state tuition over $40,000 a year any way to save some money on required items is welcomed. Don’t even get me started on the elusive plastic bins. The school posts the sizes of two clear plastic bins they are allowed to have. Unfortunately the sizes are listed as “no larger than” and you can’t easily find boxes that are close to the dimensions.
This year a small change that is causing a BIG stir is the change from crew socks to ankle socks for all cadets for unit PT. For years, I don’t know exactly how long, knobs were required to wear white crew length socks. This year in the official Success Packet it is specified:
“Twelve  pairs of plain white cotton athletic ankle socks (Socks must be void of visible logos or color, and must cover the protruding ankle bone. Low cut quarter socks are permitted.)”
Since knobs have worn crew length socks for years I contacted the commandant’s office for clarification. I was told that this year ALL cadets will be required to wear ankle length white socks for unit physical training.
The other change that was made a year or so ago was the labeling of clothes. For years that task was completed the first week. Now the school suggests knobs label their clothes before they arrive as a time saving measure. Since time is a precious commodity to knobs anything they can do before they report to save some time once they are on campus, should be done. The labeling instructions are on the Success Packet list:
As a time saving measure, though not mandatory, it would be helpful to write your last name and first two initials in your clothing using a permanent marker. The location of the name should be inconspicuous when the garment is worn (e.g., bottom of each sock, rear waistband of underwear, and the front shirt tail of t-shirts).
Household linens such as towels, sheets, and pillow cases should not be labeled. The Cadet Laundry will affix a permanent label to these items.
Bottomline in less than two weeks the Class of 2020 will report for Matriculation Day. Talk of socks, shoes and plastic bins will give way to questions about General Leave, Parents Weekend, and why is the food so bad and the laundry service so slow.
Ahh the signs of Fall at The Citadel.