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The Summerall Guards

The Summerall Guards, a silent precision drill platoon from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, demonstrate The Citadel ideals of honor, integrity, loyalty, leadership, self-discipline and patriotism.

Consisting of 61 members, the Summerall Guards are first-class (senior) cadets who go through a rigorous physical training and initiation process and are chosen for their physical stamina and drill proficiency.

Membership is considered a high honor at the military college. The platoon's purpose is to exemplify, through a unique series of movements based on the old German close order drill, the exactness and thoroughness with which a cadet is trained. The drill, which has never been written down, is performed to a silent count. Each year's Guards take responsibility for teaching the next year's unit the precise drill.

Created in 1932, this unit has performed nationally at Disney World, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., Mardi Gras in New Orleans and St. Patrick's Day in Savannah, Ga.

The platoon is named for General Charles P. Summerall, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and Citadel president from 1931 until 1953.

In 2005, the Summerall Guards made their fourth appearance at a presidential inaugural parade. The Guards also participated in the inaugurations of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, Ronald Reagan in 1985 and George H.W. Bush in 1989.

Summerall Guards in the news: