The Junior Sword Arch

The Junior Sword Arch (JSA) is a cadet precision drill unit that is responsible for conducting an annual performance to honor the Senior Class on the occasion of receiving their class rings.  14 members of the junior class, selected for superior proficiency in sword manual and marching, perform a 14-minute routine in honor of the senior class, followed by the presentation of a sword arch for each senior and his/her escort(s).  This event, normally held on Friday evening of Parents Weekend, is a highlight of the weekend for members of the senior class and their families.  

The JSA derives its identity from the Junior Sword Drill (JSD), which was established in 1931, dis-established in 1995, and then  re-established as an authorized cadet activity in 2012.  Cadets selected for the group represent the highest standards of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets and strive to meet with pride the standards set by the college and their predecessors.  Much of the sword manual and marching routines formerly associated with Junior Sword Drill have been preserved and the group has performed six times since returning to full status as an approved cadet activity. Commander John W. Horlbeck, USN (Ret.), a member of the 1977 JSD, and Lieutenant Colonel Chris Polites, USA (Ret.), a member of the 1992 JSD, serve as advisors for the group.

Since returning to full status as a cadet activity, JSA has been fortunate to receive financial support from a number of alumni for the purpose of purchasing new sashes, or “wraps, and for refurbishing or repairing swords donated by the Cadet Store and by JSD alumni.  Using funds donated by alumni, we recently purchased a set of shako plumes for the 2017 Ring Ceremony performance.  We are very thankful for those alumni who supported these initiatives by making a donation.

Looking ahead, we plan to continue acquiring JSD legacy swords and vintage cadet brass swords for the purpose of building an inventory that can be used for JSA performances and ceremonial events in which the JSA participates.  A number of Junior Sword Drill alumni have expressed interest in restoring and donating an old sword and a related goal is to accept these donated swords, use them occasionally, but preserve them for the future. Older swords contain more solid brass and present a more polished finish when shined so we seek older swords to refurbish for use by the JSA.  We also continue to seek funds to subsidize and/or support cadet activity events such as dining out dinners.  

We are grateful for our alumni and their financial support, and hope that you will continue to support this cadet activity, via The Citadel Foundation, with your financial gifts.  For additional information about the Junior Sword Arch and its activities, please contact CDR John Horlbeck at (843) 953-5965 or LTC Chris Polites at (843) 953-5369.   

 
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