A VMI Weekend of Tradition

This past weekend, I had the unique opportunity to shoot for Virginia Military Institute. It marked the completion of the first week of class, which is a big deal for the first years, or Rats, as they’re called. At the end of this matriculation week, there’s the first football game of the season, the Rats take an oath pledging to serve VMI well as a cadet, then they reenact the Battle of New Market in New Market, VA. I had the honor of shooting it all. We’ll start with tailgating and football since it’s pretty self explanatory.

To mark the beginning of the game, three military men parachuted down onto the field carrying the game ball. The VMI flag was brought down by a VMI alum. Pretty sweet!

This is the fun part. Anytime VMI scores, the Rats line up on the track around the football field and do push-ups. Together. However many points were just scored is how many push-ups they do.

This is Moe. He's my favorite.

The New Market Battle was interesting, as well. I won’t go into details about it here. I’ll let you click this link to learn more.

The Superintendant of the school, General Peay, rallies the cadets and gives a speech about the value of the choice they've made to be a VMI cadet. It was quite inspiring.

The moment just before they all raised their right hand and took the oath.

I was in the thick of the battle!! Literally. The whole time they were charging the field, I was sitting there praying no one would trip and get me with their bayonets. They didn't, but I was still terrified.


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