In the Corps of Cadets there is a rich tradition of the Caldwell March. We retrace the route of the first student here at Virginia Tech, Addison Caldwell. Surprisingly he walked 26 miles through the woods and over mountains from his home near Sinking Creek, Craig County, Virginia to come to school at Virginia Tech. Embracing the rich and long history of Virginia Tech we take this hike to mark two very special moments in our careers at Virginia Tech. The Caldwell March is divided into to 13 mile long hikes/marches through the back country of Craig County and eventually Montgomery County leading to Virginia Techs campus. The first march marks the end of Red Phase for cadets and marks the beginning of White Phase. This transfers more leadership and authority from the Juniors to the Sophomores making their leadership skills develop through being a fire team leader.
The second half of the march is the better of the two as far as being a Freshman in the Corps goes. We turn and officially become upperclassmen at the end of the march. This gives us many privileges which we did not have before such as wearing civilian clothes after 5 o clock, being able to talk in the hallways, bathroom talking privileges So this is a very exciting moment for all of the Freshmen in the Corps. It marks a year of following upperclassman and getting ready to step up and be the fire team leaders for next year.
It is truly a time of celebration for the freshman cadets in the Corps. After the freshman turn they are in a much more relaxed atmosphere. They are able to develop relationships with the other upperclassmen in the Corps, this allows to truly get prepared to be a leader the next fall semester.