In The Citadel Summerall Guards
Citadel Cadet Cory Nathan Taylor of Williamston was among cadets in the Citadel Summerall Guards participating in the Presidential Inauguration Parade held in Washington Jan. 20. The Summerall Guards are a silent precision drill platoon from The Citadel. According to The Citadel website, they demonstrate The Citadel ideals of honor, integrity, loyalty, leadership, self-discipline and patriotism. Consisting of 61 members, the Summerall Guards are first-class (senior) cadets who go through a rigorous physical training and initiation process and are chosen for their physical stamina and drill proficiency.
Membership is considered a high honor at the military college. The platoon’s purpose is to exemplify, through a unique series of movements based on the old German close order drill, the exactness and thoroughness with which a cadet is trained. The drill, which has never been written down, is performed to a silent count. Each year’s Guards take responsibility for teaching the next year’s unit the precise drill.
Created in 1932, this unit has performed nationally at Disney World, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., Mardi Gras in New Orleans and St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, Ga.
The platoon is named for General Charles P. Summerall, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and Citadel president from 1931 until 1953.
This was their fifth appearance at a presidential inaugural parade. In 2005, the Summerall Guards made their fourth appearance at the George Bush presidential inaugural parade. The Guards also participated in the inaugurations of Ronald Reagan in 1985 and George H.W. Bush in 1989 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953.
The 2017 performance in the Donald J. Trump presidential inaugural parade was similar to the one in 1953 with regard to the formation that features the color guard, then the band, and then the Summerall Guards marching in line. However, the college did not have any African American or women cadets in 1953.
The band music included an original arrangement by the Director of The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes, Col. Tim Smith, USMC (retired). “It is a two minute piece featuring portions of Battle Cry Freedom, Battle Hymn of the Republic, and When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” said Smith, “written to enable the band and the pipe band to play together as a unit.”
Cadet Taylor, Class of 2017 is in the 5th Battalion, Palmetto Battery Company. He is a 2013 graduate of Palmetto High School and has had a 4.0 grade point average since he started The Citadel. He is on a 3 year Army scholarship and plans to go into the Field Artillery Branch upon graduation.
Taylor has earned a Gold Star every semester (which is a 3.7 gpa or higher), is on the Presidents List and he will be a Distinguished Military Graduate upon completion of his senior year. He has already completed Air Assault School at Ft. Benning, GA and other training classes to prepare him for his military career.