Since 2011 I have maintained a blog. At first the entries dealt with topics of interest to parents of cadets at The Citadel, then they were my reflections as the mom of an Army officer. With this entry the focus is changing to reflections and essays of interest to first responders and others who, in the course of their work, are exposed to traumatic events.
I am entering my 4th year as the Chaplain for the Roswell (GA)Fire Department. It is a consulting position, but one I feel particularly called to. My study of traumatic stress began in the late 1990′ while I was a master of divinity student at Columbia Theological Seminary. While taking pastoral care classes learning about self-care for pastors, I realized my journalist friends could use the same advice.
My early professional career was spent in the press rooms/boxes of college sports. I worked in sports information which is the public relations office for college athletics. At the various games I’d hear stories, mainly from the photographers and videographers, about scenes they had covered before arriving to the game. Scenes that involved violence and sometimes death. A videographer for a local television station told me a stat that stayed with me. When the lists of most dangerous careers are published photographers and videographers are toward the top of the list. To do their jobs well they have to get close to the event. This fact stayed with me a propelled me on a course that gave me a purpose, supporting people who in the course of their work are exposed to traumatic experiences.
Since 2000 I have studied traumatic stress, attended several meetings of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, and The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma where I met world renown experts in the field whom I now consider mentors and friends. You can read more about my background and training on my LinkedIn profile.
In the months and years to come I hope this site will be a source of information and support to first responders of all types. If you’d like to follow the blog, please submit your email through the link on this page. Please share any entries you find helpful.
If you began to follow my blog for information on The Citadel and you no longer want to follow the blog you can unsubscribe from the notices through the email notice you receive.
***2/10/2019 Please note: I am no longer updating the blog posts for Citadel parents. See the official school website for the most up to date information***
Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants posted in this entry may be an affiliate link which means that I may receive a commission from any purchases made using the affiliate link. This is at no additional cost to you.
Each year the school posts a list of items that incoming cadets must bring. The list is published to the school web site and available in late May or June.
The official list for 2018 is now posted. See pages 6-7 and 13 – 16 of the Success Packet
Always call the Commandant’s Office with questions about what to bring if it isn’t on the list: (843) 953-3020
PLEASE NOTE: In the past the Citadel Family Association posted a “Nice to Have List” there is NO list this year. The commandant’s office felt knobs reported with too many items. in the past. Just purchase what is on the Success Packet list.
Parents of incoming knobs in the Class of 2022 can join theFacebook group for 2022 parents to read other tips for new families. The group is for parents only. Extended family members can follow the public Facebook groups posted by the school.
The required items for 2018 are list below. I’ve added notes about the items in Blue. This advice is a result of talking to parents and cadets and just suggestions. You may find other brands and suppliers for the items on the list. The items listed and linked are just a suggestions.
Links are provided to items as an aid to help you see what types of items you can purchase. You can purchase these items through these underlined links or your preferred merchant.
You are sending your student to a military college with a strong leadership program. Since most students have to rely on their parents for financial support, it naturally follows that many parents are involved with the process.
When deciding what to purchase, is it best to ask your son or daughter what they want to purchase. The student is the one who will have to live with the decisions on the type items they bring. Throughout the first year the hardest thing for most parents of cadets to get used to is having their son or daughter make the decisions.
Many families find Amazon Prime for students is a great way for cadets to order what they need/want or to send items to your cadet. Prime also gives access to streaming movies and video.
One pair of conservative style pajamas (optional) –
Most cadets sleep in their PT clothes or school sweat shirt and pants. Be sure to ask your student what they want to bring.
Here are a couple types that can be worn – there are many others:
Twelve pairs of white cotton underwear – briefs, or boxer briefs (male)
Six white briefs will be folded and kept in their inspection drawer. Many cadets prefer to wear boxer briefs. The ones they wear do not have to be white but should be a solid color, like blue, it is always safe to start off with the white.
Twelve pairs of black crew length socks – cotton socks are recommended. [Experience has proven that socks made of synthetic material contribute to blistering and in some cases secondary infections.]
Technology has changed and many finding socks with wicking material help keep their feet dry. Some military and law enforcement supply stores also carry good socks. Preventing blisters is the biggest concern.
One bathing suit, solid black or navy blue (female: conservative one piece)
They don’t wear them often but at the end of the first week they do get to go swimming. There is a swimming test at some point as well. Many families have found suits at Target, Lands End and other retailers.
Labeling clothes: 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).
Some students find the stamp works well, others like iron on labels or sharpie
NOTE: Cleaning supplies are not listed, but when I asked the parent liaison on campus he said the commandant’s office said limited basic supplies can be brought on matriculation day. Pinesol, Clorox wipes, Comet, Swiffer wipes, Tide pen, Window cleaner, Febreeze are some basic supplies.
Basic school supplies like notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, etc. can be brought.
Shoes and Boots
For questions about the shoes and boots carried on campus contact the Cadet Store at 843-953-5166
Two  pairs of military style, plain toe, smooth leather, black oxford shoes with rubber heels. You will not be permitted to wear shoes that fail to meet these criteria. Shoes made of patent leather or poromeric material are not authorized.
From page 15 of the Success Packet on the specs for shoes:
“MILITARY STYLE BLACK OXFORD, PLAIN TOE, PLAIN HEEL (no additional stitching on the heel), SMOOTH LEATHER, RUBBER HEEL AND SOLE HIGH GLOSS, POROMERIC, OR CORFAM SHOES ARE NOT PERMITTED FOR WEAR” “GO TO THE BATES FOOTWEAR WEB SITE, CLICK ON SEARCH PRODUCT ENTER STYLE NUMBER, E00932 FOR MALES, E00752 FOR FEMALES”
This entry will be updated as new information becomes available like this note from June 13, 2017:From the Commandant’s office:The Admissions Office was working on an Addendum to address our concerns.Cleaning supplies-yes but in limited amounts- no bulk suppliesShoe polish/brass polish- yes but will be in box issued during first week-can send later for sureToiletries (whatever necessary for hygiene, including razors and nail clippers)-yesMedications-yesBug spray, sunscreen-yesT-pins, shirt stays- yes, but also in box provided- can send more laterExtra socks, t-shirts, underwear- yes but it all has to fit. Extras can be stored in warehouse in the required boxes.No -Sleeping bag/alternative bedding (to keep bunks in inspection state)Also, the box provided to cadets contains soap, brass and shoe polish, reflector belt, cuff links, a lock, and other items they will need.Helpful books and products: (The price is not $60. Click on the link for the much lower actual price)