On Aug. 17, more than 400 first-year cadets will arrive on campus to begin their introduction to the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.

During their New Cadet Week training, cadets will learn military basics, such as how to wear a uniform and to march in formation, as well as larger life skills they will draw upon for years to come.

“You immediately realize the importance of looking out for each other,” said Nicole Becker, a sophomore in Air Force ROTC majoring in aerospace engineering.

First-year cadets train in teams to learn and practice skills, and they quickly realize the importance of depending on each other for support.

“My roommates and I would work together to make sure everyone’s uniform was together and on correctly and that no one was missing any pieces,” Becker said.

This fall, she will be a fire team leader who works with three or four new cadets during their training.

“Now I’m not just responsible for myself. I’m responsible for my fire team,” Becker said. “As you move up in leadership positions, you’re responsible for more and more people. The number of people you have to look out for is always growing.”

Michael Heck, a sophomore in Army ROTC majoring in management with a double concentration in entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology and in management consulting and analytics, said he learned the importance of setting and meeting deadlines to get tasks done.

As a new cadet, “you can’t just dilly dally. You’re expected to get things done with a purpose,” Heck said.

Today, those skills translate into a drive to do the work needed to reach larger goals. “In the Corps of Cadets and in general, if you want to do better in life, always try to improve,” he said.

New cadet training officially begins the week of Aug. 12, when more than 175 upper-class cadets will return to campus to prepare for the arrival of the new class.

The first-year cadets will arrive on campus the morning of Aug. 17, move into the corps’ residence halls, and get to work.

New Cadet Week training will begin at 6:45 a.m. daily and will continue into the evening throughout campus, particularly on the Drillfield and Upper Quad areas.

The week will culminate with a parade at 10 a.m. Aug. 24 on the Drillfield, where the first-year cadets will demonstrate the military drill they learned in training. During the parade, the Highty-Tighties, the regimental band, will play and Skipper, the Corps of Cadets cannon, will be fired.