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2023 Memorial and Change of Command Parades

The 2023 Memorial Parade was held May 15, 2023, to honor the lives of all VMI cadets and alumni who died on the field of honor.—Photo by Joe Czekner, VMI Alumni Agencies.

Memorial Parade

Under a light rain, the Memorial Parade was held, commemorating the bravery and sacrifice of all alumni who died on the field of honor May 15, 2023. Reading all 591 names were Cadets Angelina Garcia ’25, Harrison Henneberg ’25, John Kennedy ’25, and Thomas Reagan ’25. A wreath was laid at the foot of the monument, Virginia Mourning Her Dead, as well as at the three barracks arches, followed by the firing of a three-volley salute. A stirring echo rendition of Taps was played, followed by the pipe band leading the Regimental band in an emotional delivery of Amazing Grace. The Corps then marched from the Parade Ground down Letcher Avenue toward barracks, rendered an eyes-right salute to Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85, superintendent, and Col. Adrian T. Bogart, III ’81, commandant, as they marched past the monument.

Change of Command Parade

The Change of Command Parade was held on the Parade Ground at Virginia Military Institute May 14 at 2 p.m., as the 183rd Regiment handed over leadership of the Corps of Cadets to the 184th Regiment for the 2023–24 academic year.

In front of a substantial crowd of family, friends, alumni, faculty, and staff, the Corps marched out of barracks as the Regimental Band and Pipe Band played a medley of U.S. military branch theme songs.

It was the last parade for Blake Smith ’23 as regimental commanding officer. Smith, a native of Crozier, Virginia, majored in economics and business, was commissioned into the U.S. Marine Corps, and was this year’s recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Cadet Award, presented to a 1st Class cadet who emulates and practices the qualities exemplified by MacArthur.

Wins conducted the change of command ceremony, as Smith relinquished the regimental flag and company guidon to Wins, who in turn presented it to incoming RCO, Cadet Mark Shelton ’24, a computer science major from Stafford, Virginia, who plans to commission into the U.S. Army.

As RCO, Shelton hopes to set an example, motivate his fellow cadets, and give them the best opportunities to be successful at VMI.

“I am extremely honored to serve as the regimental commander in the 184th Regiment. The Change of Command Parade is the first time the incoming commanders officially fulfill their duties leading the Corps. Assuming leadership of the Corps of Cadets is a moment I will treasure and not soon forget,” said Shelton.

As the 184th Regiment took command of the Corps of Cadets, the 183rd Regimental commanders were relieved of their duties and commanded to “Fall out!” to the cheers and applause of their fellow 1st Class graduating cadets who were excused from marching in the parade, enjoying it seated in a place of honor.

Joining Wins in taking review of the parade as the new regiment passed before them were Smith; Cameron Cavanaugh ’23, 1st Class president; and Brandon Marks ’23, Honor Court president. The parade closed with the singing of VMI Spirit.

  • Joe Czekner

    Joe Czekner Creative Content Manager

    The creative content manager is responsible for creating high-quality marketing and communications materials in support of the VMI Alumni Agencies mission. This role will also provide photography support for the Alumni Agencies events throughout the year.

  • Marianne Hause VMI Communications & Marketing