What makes Hotel so Hot?

Maj. Gen. John Grinalds congratulates Hotel Company Commander Brandon Conwill on Hotel Company's claiming the President's Cup.

Cadets say it's a matter of attitude.

The fact that Hotel Company holds the President's Cup and has claimed the title Honor Company for two consecutive years says something about the determination within the company to do things right. According to Cadet Capt. Brandon Conwill, Hotel's company commander, the cadets who march behind Hotel's guidon train hard, study hard and play hard.

The President's Cup has been awarded annually since 1967 to the company that earns the highest combined score in academics, military performance, extracurricular activity, and fourth class retention, and has the fewest disciplinary cases. Being honor company has its perks. The cadets get extra free weekends and do not have to stand for the commandant's or president's inspection.

In addition, current Hotel Company cadets have been in the media spotlight because of some high profile events on campus during the past two years.

  • Hotel Company cadets were seated on stage behind Sen. John Kerry and Chris Matthews last fall when MSNBC's Hardball College Tour came to The Citadel.

  • They took part in the rededication of Marion Square, the original site of The Citadel.

  • They stood at attention on the site of Padgett-Thomas Barracks when Senators Hollings and Inouye were on campus for the groundbreaking.

The most memorable of all events, however, was President Bush's visit last December.

"We had to stand for four straight hours in full dress salt and pepper," Conwill said. "It got warm." Being the disciplined cadets that they are, one could never tell that they were uncomfortable by looking at them as they stood at perfect attention to the left and right of the president.

In some ways Conwill believes competition is easier for Hotel than for some other companies because of Hotel's long-standing tradition of being very serious. The cadre spends extra time with knobs in training and the fourth class cadets usually adopt that same determination that upperclass cadets display.

"As knobs we practiced a great deal because we were afraid we were going to screw it up for the company," said David Forbes, now a sophomore. "When we would see upper class cadets lock it up, we would take it more seriously."

Sophomore Hollis Mallory agrees. "Cadets in Hotel Company enjoy being cadets and doing their part. The company emphasizes duty and everybody understands that what they do makes a difference for the entire company."

Companies listed on current President's Cup

1989 Oscar 1996 November
1990 Kilo 1997 Foxtrot
1991 Charlie 1998 Hotel
1992 Golf 1999 Echo
1993 Hotel 2000 Kilo
1994 Delta 2001 Hotel
1995 Echo 2002 Hotel