BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - The Virginia Tech Corp of Cadets cadre is sharpening its skills this week in anticipation of the incoming class of 350 freshmen, which arrives on Saturday. Essentially the upper classmen are honing their own skills before they attempt to teach it to others.
Now upper classmen, it will be the cadre's turn to return the favor they received when they were freshmen.
"Now that we're in a position of power as juniors I think it's really easy for us to want to harp on them and kind of take the power to our heads and just yell and scream our heads off. But it's important for us to work together and to mind each other and really keep each other in check and to remember that we're trying to leave new leaders and make these cadets the leaders they aspire to be," said Lindsey Bittinger a junior in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.
Drilling is a big part of the training. On Wednesday, the 78 cadre perfected what they will be teaching come Saturday. Even if it comes with a dose of tough love.
"We're not here to degrade or berate them, were here to build them up. That sometimes requires methods they may not understand at the time but hopefully will look back on and really respect and appreciate the ways we did that this year because our purpose is to help them," said Michael Schoka, also a junior.
Though the incoming class may not yet realize it, the goal is bigger than marching or presenting arms. Cadets must learn that they will fail as individuals where they will succeed as a unit.
"This is the week for us to break them down but just honestly to build them up and make them into better and bigger leaders so that they can be not only the score but this university and hopefully our nation of the future," said Bittinger.