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1st Captain's Address, Matriculation 2010

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Uploaded on Aug 23, 2010

Cadet 1st Captain David Gerardo addresses parents and their about-to-be Rats before they enter the Institute on 21 August 2010, Matriculation Day for the Rat Mass of 2011+3.

This is an approximate quote, some of it was inaudible:

"Welcome new cadets, friends, and family, to the Virginia Military Institute. In a few short... minutes, young men and women inside Cameron Hall will meet my Cadre and begin their journey of becoming a VMI Cadet. First, to the parents: thank you for all the time, effort, and love you invested in your children over the last eighteen years of their life. As your sons and daughters move forward to the trials ahead, I ask for your continued support, your encouragement, and guidance, which make a vast difference as they encounter the challenges of the Ratline. You can take pride in the choice your sons and daughters have made in attaining to become one the Cadets at the Virginia Military Institute. I can assure you that my cadre are of the highest caliber, they are committed to professionally training your sons and daughters with the highest aims. To the new cadets: you are entering one of the toughest military institutions in this nation. Take pride in that. A great deal will be placed upon you, and you will be expected to rise to the challenge by giving your best effort at all times. You will need the support of those around you, all of your brother rats will offer you support, and you will have the support of your loved ones, cheering you on from afar. If you make it through, you will have developed in ways that will benefit you for a lifetime. Concepts such as honor, integrity, discipline, and humility will be refined in your four years here; and you will live these concepts daily. You have chosen the hard path, your days will be difficult and at times you will feel overwhelmed. STAY THE COURSE. Do not give up hope on yourself, remember and hold onto the reasons why you are sitting in Cameron Hall this morning. Set goals for yourself, make it through the Ratline, become a VMI Cadet, and hold onto that. I offer you a quote, which has provided hope as I have progressed through my cadetship: 'I do today what you will not, because I can do tomorrow what you cannot.' Embrace this system, keep in mind that the tools you use here you will be able to use for a lifetime. The system you are about to go through is unrivaled by any of those of your piers. I wish you all the best and I look forward to coming to know you in the coming months."

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