VMI Freshmen Take their Oath and Visit Battlefield

September 6, 2015

At a time of year when thousands of college freshmen are receiving their campus orientation, the freshmen of VMI go to a battlefield. Every year during the first weekend of September, the freshman class of VMI, or Rats as they are called, visit New Market Battlefield State Historical Park for a day long orientation to the 1864 battle in which the VMI Cadet Corps so prominently figured.

The "Rat" Class, which numbers around 450 men and 50 women, are joined by proud family members for the occasion. The event comes as the cadets finish an intense ten day military "cadre" period and begin their academic classes. It is the first time most parents have seen their cadet since matriculation.

During the event the "Rats" will take their oath of cadetship:

I hereby engage to serve as a cadet in the Virginia Military Institute for the term for which I have entered. I promise on my honor while I continue a member thereof to obey all legal orders of the Constituted Authorities of the Institute and to discharge all of my duties as a Cadet with regularity and fidelity. I will never lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do, and I solemnly pledge to keep this covenant with all members of the Corps, so help me God.

Information for Cadet Families