For senior regimental commander Amanda McGrath, Sunday will be an emotional day, as she turns over her command to Kareim St. John Oliphant.
“I love Virginia Tech,” the history major said. “I’m going to be sad to leave. But at the same time, I’m ready to get out there and start a new career.
McGrath, along with all current seniors in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, will pass on her leadership role to a junior cadet, as well as celebrate her graduation at the chain of command parade this Sunday.
“At this point, command has passed,” said Carrie Cox, executive officer for the Corps. “The rising juniors are now seniors, and they are in charge of the regiments. From this point forward, until the end of the fall semester, they are in charge.”
Cox said command changes every semester as opposed to every year, allowing more students to hold a position of command.
The parade will take place at 4 p.m., on the Drillfield, immediately after the town of Blacksburg parade for returning veterans.
“The purpose of this parade is to honor our veteran service members and active duty personnel in and around the New River Valley, and just give them an overall welcome home,” said Leanna Craig, veteran resource specialist and the person overseeing the parade for Blacksburg.
Craig did not want to hold the parade on a specific holiday that celebrated veterans, because she felt a “welcome home” ceremony warranted its own
This is the first parade ever held in the New River Valley for this purpose.
The grand marshall of the parade will be Col. Wesley Fox, who served as a Marine during the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1973, according to the United States Marines. Fox also received the Medal of Honor for his actions of bravery while defending his battalion in 1969.
Cox will also be serving in the parade as the official narrator.
The Corps will be heavily highlighted in Blacksburg’s parade, after which, all spectators are invited to watch the chain of command parade.
The town’s parade will take place at 2 p.m., beginning on Eheart Street. It will then proceed down Main Street, Alumni Mall, Stanger Street and end at a designated location around Burruss Hall.