Corps of Cadets’ Fall Caldwell March set for Oct. 5

Cadet Clifton Peterson-Davis, at right, on the Caldwell March.
Cadet Clifton Peterson-Davis, at right, on the Caldwell March.

From: Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets

Cadet Clifton Peterson-Davis, a sophomore in Air Force ROTC majoring in general engineering, will remember — very clearly — two things about the fall Caldwell March.

First, there’s the really big hill that everyone must climb.

Second, there’s the realization that you are part of something special.

The Fall Caldwell March marks the end of the first phase of training for first-year cadets in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. They and their training cadre trace the first half of the 26-mile journey Addison Caldwell, the first cadet and student at Virginia Tech, made in 1872. They will complete the second half in the spring.

This year’s march is Oct. 5.

The march encapsulates what the first seven weeks of being a cadet are like, Peterson-Davis said. It’s long and challenging — and sometimes an uphill battle.

“But you look at all the people who are around you, doing the obstacle with you, and you know that these are your friends,” he said. “These are the people who are going to be alongside you the rest of the way.”

That bond continues to draw generations of Corps of Cadets alumni together today. And, yes, they still talk about that how big that hill was midway through the Caldwell March route.

Today, Peterson-Davis is preparing to focus his engineering major on computer engineering with the goal of becoming a cybersecurity officer in the Air Force. He plays trumpet with the corps’ Highty-Tighties and serves on the corps’ recruiting staff, a position that allows him to support this year’s newest cadets.

Alumni, families, and friends also can support the first-year cadets as they march by being a Caldwell March sponsor. Anyone who donates $500 or more to the Commandant’s Priorities Fund becomes a sponsor.

To be eligible for the fall march, donations should be made by Sept. 27. Donations may be made online at or by check made out to the Virginia Tech Foundation and mailed to: Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Advancement, University Gateway Center, 902 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, Viginia, 24061.

To honor a specific cadet or loved one, include his or her name. If you have any questions, please call 540-231-2892.