1st Sergeant Josh Scaife was held speechless trying to describe his emotions before leading the Citadel color guard and band in President Trump’s inaugural parade Friday. “It’s always an honor to just watch such an event such as this but to be able to perform here it…it just magnifies the event so much,” he said.
Under the pressure of the event’s magnitude, Scaife said he will not be able to avoid thinking about the sacrifices of military and his future in the military.
“It’s both a moment of excitement and pride but also a moment that causes us to reflect on what we are really doing,” he said. “About why we are really striving to fight for Americans, to defend Americans, because that’s ultimately what it is about to serve others.”
Scaife says the cadets are awestruck and a little nervous that they get to perform in front of the man that they will soon call Commander-in-Chief should they graduate The Citadel and become officers in the military.
“This is probably our most significant performance we have down as our time as the Summerall Guard,” Scaife said. “All of the events leading up to this one has been preparation for this one of great magnitude.”
Approximately 160 cadets will march with the school’s band and Summerall Guard. The Citadel has performed in seven inaugural parades, marching through Washington in 1953, 1957, 1961, 1985, 1989, 2005 and 2017. The Citadel band will play an original arrangement composed by band director Lt. Col. Tim Smith that features a compilation of the songs, “Battle Cry of Freedom,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”
“There is a big void in patriotic American music for both (bagpipes) and band to play together,” Smith said, “So I arranged the pieces.”