The Cadet Corps celebrate a socially distant Sabre Ceremony

On Tuesday, September 1, St. John’s celebrated a time-honored tradition within the Cadet Corps Leadership Program, the Sabre Ceremony. Cadets receive a sabre that is presented to them by a family member, symbolizing the passing down of leadership from prior seniors and honoring their hard work over the past years in the Cadet Corps program. Fouad Ayoub ‘21 said, “I believe I speak for most incoming seniors when I say that it is one of the most powerful and meaningful ceremonies within the Cadet Corps.”

This year, while very different than usual due to social distancing guidelines, the Sabre Ceremony was a success. According to Ayoub, every senior was able to be there, dressed properly and proud of their positions. 

As the St. John’s community has adapted to online learning, the Cadet Corps have had difficulty teaching their normal curriculum in an online setting. Captain Mike Chapman explains the biggest challenge so far has been teaching leadership skills without the usual classroom setting. He said, “We can still learn about leadership theories, styles, and techniques, but practically applying that material without a dedicated Cadet Corps Homeroom, our ‘Leadership Lab’, has proven to be difficult.” 

Elena Lohsen ‘21 said that her biggest challenge has been the lack of bonding with other members. “We cannot walk up to someone and ask if they understood the assignment or bond over how weird their teachers are,” she said. 

In their attempt to keep the same rigorous curriculum from past years, Cadet Corps is adapting by making the most of their assignments with interesting articles and videos, holding optional workouts on Wednesdays and putting emphasis on including the freshmen class. 

Although some big events, like the Regimental Ball and the Gonzaga March On, are cancelled as of now, cadets can expect many other activities this year. In the near future, there will still be Wednesday activities along with unit-level retreats. As the year goes on, cadets can expect more experience based learning activities that relate to their curriculum. 

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