Citadel guards join inauguration parade

The Citadel’s Summerall Guards precision team will welcome the new U.S. president when they march down Pennsylvania Avenue on Friday, shortly after Donald Trump is sworn in.

Sixty-one rising seniors have traveled to Washington from Charleston, South Carolina, trading in their usual sweatshirts, Dickies and black tennis shoes for gray, white and black uniforms to take part in the parade with what is expected to be 8,000 others.

While the crowds and TV viewers will see the change in uniform, they won't see the changes these Citadel cadets have gone through to be there. From November to February, the cadets endure a rigorous training series called “BVA,” or Bond Volunteer Aspirant training, which challenges them physically and mentally before they learn the precision drill, known as the The Citadel Series.

“The Summerall Guards are designed to be ... a showcase of The Citadel’s finest cadet qualities,” said Kevin MacDonald, a guard from Beaufort County. “We take pride in the fact that we embody the core values of The Citadel and what the regulations and the standards look like.”

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