To commemorate the end of their freshman training, the class of 2012 of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will complete the annual Caldwell March from Caldwell Fields to the Upper Quad of Virginia Tech's main campus in Blacksburg, Va., on Saturday, April 4.

This is the second half of the twenty-six mile march made in 1872 by Addison Caldwell, the first cadet and student at Virginia Tech. During the fall semester, the freshmen class completed the first thirteen miles of the march starting at the Caldwell homestead.

The Spring Caldwell March marks the completion of the Red, White and Blue phases of training for the freshmen cadets. Each phase is designed to test and mature certain aspects of the military life style similar to Army Basic Training.

Former Cadre Sergeant Zachary Taylor of Shippensburg, Pa., a junior majoring in psychology in the College of Science, said “This is the culminating event for two semesters of training. There is a definite change through the year and as Cadre, it's something that I will never forget.”

Blue Phase, the last of the phases, is meant to teach the freshmen the transition into what the life of an upperclassmen is like, along with upperclassmen responsibilities and this march completes the training with a capstone event. Cadet Loring Ross of Niceville, Pa., a freshman majoring in general engineering in the College of Engineering, said “This is going to be a great experience. It was a great team building exercise first semester and I am really excited about it.”

The start point for the march is on Route 621 about a one-quarter mile west of Caldwell Fields. The cadets unload from buses, form up, move into the wood line just off the road, and cross a creek. Once across they then move directly south, straight up Brush Mountain, and then move west approximately three miles along the service road on the top of the mountain until they come out in the Preston Forest subdivision. From there they traverse local roads and then follow Coal Bank Hollow Road to Mt. Tabor Road. The cadets halt momentarily for a rest break at the Slusser’s Church of God parking lot, after which they resume the march, moving through the Woodbine neighborhood before turning south on Main Street and returning to the Upper Quad, which concludes the march.

After the march the Highty-Tighties Regimental Band will play and Skipper, the Regimental cannon, will be fired when the cadets first enter the Quad, and on the first note of the university’s fight song, “Tech Triumph.” There will be two shots total, the first shot will be at approximately 3 p.m. and the final shot will be at about 3:15 p.m. Actual time depends on how long the march takes and is subject to weather and road conditions.

Everyone is welcome to come out and view the Regiment as it marches through town and all are welcome to watch the ceremony on Upper Quad once the cadets return to campus.

Written by Cadet Jason Oberoi.