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Cadets March in Inaugural Parade

VMI Corps of Cadets marching down the street

VMI cadets approach the Capitol building in Richmond at the start of the governor’s inaugural parade Jan. 15.—VMI Photo by H. Lockwood McLaughlin.

The VMI Corps of Cadets proudly participated in the inaugural ceremony for Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s 74th governor, which is a tradition at VMI for nearly every class. In order to prepare, the Corps returned a few days earlier than originally planned for spring semester. The typical planning took place, including visits to the barber shop, weapon distribution, uniform inspections, and practice parades, but first, each member of the Corps was tested for COVID-19 and given new face coverings. The return and inaugural ceremonies took place as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was reaching peak levels and impacting all aspects of life after the holiday season.

When the buses loaded before sunrise on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 15, just over 950 cadets left for Richmond. Approximately 50 cadets were assigned as ushers for the various ceremonies, and the remaining cadets marched in the parade, second in line behind the Virginia National Guard. More than 20 groups and organizations were represented on the chilly afternoon, with temperatures barely reaching the low 30s. Luckily, the snowstorm predicted for the state held off for another day.

The Regimental and Pipe Bands were led by Col. John Brodie (Hon). This was his eighth gubernatorial parade with VMI.

“It’s in the cadets’ blood to do something like this,” said Cadet Kasey Meredith ’22, regimental commander, just after the cadets practiced on Friday afternoon before the parade. “I’m not nervous at all, because watching the battalion commanders work today made me very proud. This is the leadership we have, and they’re able to execute so successfully. This is why VMI makes great leaders.”

Col. Adrian Bogart ’81, a semester into his leadership as commandant, was excited for the day. “We are very thankful for this opportunity,” he said. “We take great pride in saluting the commander-in-chief [for the Corps of Cadets] as we pass in review.”

  • Maj. Michelle Ellwood VMI Communications & Marketing