First referenced in an 1897 edition of The Battalion, Final Review was originally referred to as “graduating dress parade” and was held immediately following the university’s graduation ceremony. During this parade, the junior class would present the departing seniors with a gift, and those who were not graduating would formally assume their new positions in the Corps for the upcoming year.
Today, Final Review still serves as the last Corps event for graduating seniors, but is held before the university’s commencement ceremonies. This transitional event features two passes in review, with the first pass symbolizing the success of the current year’s Corps of Cadets, and the second representing the upcoming year, with each rising cadet marching in their respective new uniforms and ranks.
During the second pass, outgoing seniors traditionally line the O.R. Simpson Drill Field to cheer on the rising Corps.
“At Final Review last year, I tried so hard to keep my military bearing while walking past the class of 2022, but it was just impossible not to smile. It’s surreal to think that my own time here is drawing to a close. It’s a bittersweet feeling because I have never lived in one place for this long, but I’m also looking forward to doing new and greater things. I can’t wait to scream my lungs out for the class of 2024 as they pass as seniors. I hope they have fun and leave their time in the Corps proud of what they’ve accomplished and with no regrets,” Bailey LaMotte ‘23, 2022-2023 Third Brigade Commander, said.
Second pass is also the only time that the Corps of Cadets will assemble and pass in review without a freshman class, as the new freshmen will not arrive until Fall Orientation Week in August.
“Throughout the year, I have developed more as a person than I could have ever imagined. I have gained confidence in my ability to lead and formed friendships that will last for the rest of my life. I am excited to officially become a sophomore at Final Review and have the chance to teach the incoming fish what it means to be a member of the Corps. I hope to lead the class of 2027 by being the best I can be and pushing them to do the same, ” Madison Cronin ‘26, rising Guidon Bearer for Company A-1 said.
As one of the Corps’ most anticipated events, Final Review serves as a farewell to the outgoing senior class and the first chapter of the upcoming year.
“The class of 2023 has been a truly inspirational group to learn from. I owe a great deal to many members of the class for having helped me so much over the past three years and for being so supportive of me. It’s surreal that my class will be stepping in to take their place. I’m genuinely so excited to learn next year. I’ve been given such a great opportunity to work closely with some amazing leaders and mentors, and I look forward to seeing how much we grow over the next year” Callie Guest ‘24, rising Corps Chief of Staff, said.
Across all class years, Final Review symbolizes a period of transition, a celebration of growth and the first mark for what the next year in the Corps of Cadets holds. As the organization continues on the march to 3,000, the Corps of Cadets will remain dedicated to upholding tradition and building capable leaders for the future.
Story By: Robin Nelson ’22