From the Corps...Honor of the Guard

Collegiate Times
February 27, 1996

by Stan Ward

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is made up of many different organizations that operate in and for the Corps. One of the Corps' most well known groups, the Gregory Guard, is a testament to the integral strength and integrity from which the Corps of Cadets stands.

Founded officially in 1963, what was once Tech Company E-15 of the Pershing Rifles became a separate organization.

The organization's namesake, Sergeant Earl D. Gregory, was a member of the VPI class of 1923.

Gregory was the first native Virginian to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Gregorian Guard today is an organization that tries to serve the Tech community through performance and service projects.

The Guard is a proficient silent armed drill team, meaning that during performances the drill routines are done without vocal commands.

The Guard is currently armed with 1903 A3 rifle, though they do plan, funds permitting, to switch to the M-1 rifle, a standard military drill weapon.

Each drill team that performs can be made up of three to 15 members of the guard at any one time. There are about 40 guardsmen, active and inactive, and the Gregory Guard Consititution stipulates no more than 50 guardsmen are allowed.

To enter Gregory Guard as a member, a person must be a member of the Corps of Cadets, and be in good standing with the Corps. The 'tap' process lasts about two weeks and features two interviews, several inspections and a 9.7 mile run at the end of the 'tap' process.

While all of this is going on, the soon-to-be guardsmen must meet the other members of the guard, picking up knowledge about the Gregory Guard as they go along.

The process is challenging and guardsmen are often proud of the hardships they endured during their 'tap.'

Gregory Guard follows the ideals of its namesake, who in World War I showed his courage in the line of fire. The Guard is sharp and very good at what they do, proving their worth to the Corps and the university.

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Last updated December 4, 1997