Page 8,The Institute Report, June 2013
language, he said, that one truly discovers “how history developed for
them, how they expressed themselves.”
Cultivating that sense of interaction between language, meaning, voice,
and culture in cadets is very much the point of holding the annual poetry
event, said Col. Kathleen Bulger-Barnett, department head.
“More than anything, I believe that our annual poetry night affords
them the opportunity to pause, sit back, and listen to the music, rhythm,
and cadences of poetry, regardless of its language of expression,” she
said. “I believe that cadets feel refreshed and excited when they can
recognize a specific language when they hear it, even when they might
not understand each and every word.”
The event, she said, celebrates the diversity of languages represented
at VMI. The cadets were joined by six faculty members, and in addition
to German, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, and French, all taught in the
department, the audience heard poems in Rumanian, Portuguese,
Berber, and English. Bulger-Barnett said the event encourages cadets to
“appreciate the beauty of poetry and to hear foreign language as artistic
“Each year we say that anything goes at poetry night,” she added. “In
the past cadets have chanted, they sang, they acted out scenes in verse,
they have read original works. Poetry night is always a pleasant and
Continued from page 6
Company I Re-Activated
With the Corps of Cadets now averaging more than 1,600 strong, a
new company is being created to increase efficiencies in both training
Longtime observers of the Corps will recall that the new company,
I, isn’t actually new. It existed from 1984 to 1997. Lt. Col. Kevin Faust
’96, assistant commandant who’s been charged with overseeing
formation of the new company, was a member of Company I when
he was a cadet.
Faust said that the re-formation of Company I came at the request of
“The Corps strength has grown over the years and the number of cadets
obviously has gone up,” said Faust. “This makes for bigger platoons and
bigger squad sizes, which makes accountability harder.”
Before Company I was created, the Corps was divided into nine
companies, A through H, plus Band Company. The addition will make
10 companies, each with approximately 150 cadets.
This semester, Faust first recruited leadership for the new company
and then looked for upper-class cadets to fill its ranks. When the class
of 2017 matriculates in August, approximately 50 4th Class cadets will
join I, and the company will be complete.
Unlike other companies, the new company will feature upper-class
cadets whose heights vary greatly. Faust explained that since he’s been
recruiting volunteers to fill India’s ranks, he couldn’t be picky about
height. He added that the long-term plan is for “tallish” 4th Class cadets
to be assigned to Company I, so that in four years the heights will be
within a narrow range, which makes for a more uniform appearance at
Leading Company I next year will be Cadet Ryan McDaniel ’14, who
transferred from Company D. His executive officer will be Cadet Sam
Hollander ’14 – who just happens to be McDaniel’s roommate.
“It’s a good coincidence,” said Faust. “They’re both very excited. This
is fun for them.”
McDaniel concurred, saying that he’s looking forward to being the
kind of leader that others want to follow. He admitted that starting afresh
with a group of cadets he doesn’t know will be a challenge, but it’s a
challenge he feels ready to tackle.
McDaniel has clear goals for the new company, beginning with its
first 4th Class. “We want to administer the hardest Rat Line we possibly
can so everybody rallies behind that and respects the rats for it,” said
For upper-class cadets, McDaniel is likewise looking to inspire respect.
“My goal is to have them do what they have to do because they want to,
not because they’re afraid I’m going to bone them or give them DTs,”
he noted. “I also want them to know that they have as much impact on
the first year as I do.”
The incoming regimental commander for the 2013-14 academic year,
Cadet Joey Bishop ’14, is likewise looking forward to the addition of a
10th company to the Corps. “It’s definitely going to be a good experience
and a challenge for sure, to add that extra company and fit everything
in the schedule, but we’ll make it work,” he said.
Lt. Col. Kevin Faust ’96 unfurls the guidon, re-activating Company I during the Graduation Parade.
– VMI Photo by John Robertson IV.