LSU Salutes, annually co-sponsored by the LSU and Cadets of the Ole War Skule, was established in March 1998 by a resolution of the LSU Board of Supervisors and endorsed by the Office of the Presidentas an official University observance.
LSU Salutes is an opportunity for the Ole War Skule to recognize and honor those who served with distinction in the Armed Forces of the United States of America, along with special guests, including all veterans and former and current cadets. It occurs each November on the Saturday of a home football game that falls nearest to Veterans Day. The event also recognizes and honors POWs, MIAs, and Medal of Honor recipients.
LSU Salutes is the catalyst for renewal of institutional and alumni commitment to the Ole War Skule. Through this effort, citizens are reminded of the significant sacrifices made by so many former and current cadets/midshipmen, alumni, and others who make possible our freedom today. Participants are also given the opportunity to express their appreciation and support for those who continue to serve and those preparing to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
Primary events include:
- Thursday evening – Special programs and/or reunion groups. These events do not occur every year, but only as planned.
- Friday noon – Commandant’s Luncheon. Recognize the Hall of Honor inductees, showcase the LSU Corps of Cadets, and present a “State of the Corps” summary.
- Friday afternoon – Cadets of the Ole War Skule Annual Meeting. A business meeting and election of members of the Board of Directors.
- Friday night – President’s Reception & Dinner. The official welcome for honorees and their guests, the event is a venue to honor former Hall of Honor inductees (1995 to the present). This event may be modified from year to year.
- Saturday morning– Continental Breakfast honoring Hall of Honor inductees, members of their families, guests, and other veterans. Takes place prior to the Annual Assembly.
- Saturday morning – The Annual Assembly and Parade/Pass in Review. New Hall of Honor inductees are officially recognized and presented.
- Saturday afternoon – Pregame reception for honorees and their families.
- Saturday evening – Pre-game Ceremony in Tiger Stadium. Introduction of Hall of Honor inductees on the field and a salute to all veterans in attendance. The Golden Band from Tigerland presents a patriotic halftime show.
Role of the Commandant and the LSU Corps of Cadets
Since the beginning of LSU Salutes, the LSU Corps of Cadets has been an integral part of all that has occurred. Through the years, we have sought to “spotlight” the cadets/midshipmen and their commitment and the support given to them by the cadre. We realize that the cadre has a limited amount of time in which to train members of The Corps so that they can be at their best for this event. It is our desire, as well as that of the University, that nothing is done to conflict with the military mission of The Corps. Their involvement revives fond memories for the many alumni who return to participate in the events during LSU Salutes. Those attending enjoy seeing, meeting, and visiting with members of the LSU Corps of Cadets, and events and programs are designed to include cadets and midshipmen in as many events as possible.
The Pershing Rifle Color Guard plays an important role during LSU Salutes, presenting and posting the colors during several events, including the Commandant’s Luncheon, President’s Reception & Dinner, and the Annual Assembly. In addition, they present the colors at home football game during pregame ceremonies.
It is important to realize the role of the LSU Corps of Cadets in the Annual Assembly/Pass in Review on Saturday morning. And, with the support of the Commandant and the cadre, cadets/midshipmen are invited to participate (as guests) in the Commandant’s Luncheon on Friday at noon. Class and work conflicts prevent required attendance, but those who are able to sit with alumni and veterans. While not an annual occurrence, area grade school and high school students who participate in a “Patriotism” writing contest are honored, and they and their parents are guests at the luncheon.
Cadets and midshipmen are encouraged to attend the President’s Reception on Friday evening, but budget limitations impact that number. The best attendance occurs when the cadets /midshipmen are allowed to bring a date/guest and when it is viewed as a privilege rather than a “command performance.” The Corps leadership supports these events and activities.
Cadets/midshipmen and cadre are not expected to attend the Annual Meeting. However, it is important that the Corps Commander join the Commandant and Deputy Commandant as they present their report to those present, and the Corps Commander is given the opportunity to make brief remarks.
The only cadets/midshipmen and cadre invited to a pregame dinner are are those who will be participating in the pregame recognition ceremony in Tiger Stadium. Following the ceremony, the honorees are escorted to their seats for the game. LSU Salutes officially concludes with the patriotic halftime salute by the Golden Band from Tigerland.
Role of Cadets of the Ole War Skule
The Board of Directors on an “as needed” basis appoints special committees. One such committee, the Patriotic Events Committee of Cadets of the Ole War Skule, is responsible for the overall organization and implementation of LSU Salutes plans and activities. Cadets of the Ole War Skule reports to the President, and that office looks to our organization for leadership, guidance, and management of this and other University events that strengthen LSU’s historical military tradition and heritage. The Hall of Honor selection process is coordinated through Cadets of the Ole War Skule and its Board.