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New VMI cadets take oath in New Market

(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 3, 2017 at 5:41 PM EDT
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First year cadets at Virginia Military Institute marched with rifles in hand before taking the oath at an orientation ceremony on Sunday.

"This is how we teach them the values of dedication of comradery, taking care of their brother rats [and] service," said Col. Stewart MacInnis, a spokesperson for the Lexington college.

More than 400 cadets took part in the the annual tradition that reflects not only the legacy of the first year cadets who served in the Battle of New Market back in 1864, but also life values.

"That's what we're teaching here. Not the battle of New Market, but about those values," said Col. MacInnis.

Hundreds of family, friends and alumni were present to show their support.

"For the parents, it's really the first time they've seen their son or daughter in two weeks," said Col. MacInnis. "There's a massive change in their deportment and how they carry themselves."

Chris Spence was one of the many who came out to watch his son and nephew take their oath.

"Those young men who decide to take on the challenge of VMI, which is pretty special [and] fairly difficult to do, and knowing that we did it x-number of years ago, it's pretty special to come back and watch it all over again," said Spence.