Video: Rooks cap off first week
with traditional Dog River Run © Sept. 3, 2010, Norwich University Office of Communications

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Rook Orientation is a freshman’s introduction to Norwich University’s Corps of Cadets, and the Dog River Run is its wet and wild culmination.

Norwich students who join the Corps, in which they will lead a military lifestyle, spend 10 days before the start of classes immersed in a rigorous introduction to a new world. Wearing their trademark maroon “covers,” platoons of Rooks are issued uniforms, set up in rooms and marched in line all over campus learning the rules and traditions of the country’s oldest private military college.

Upperclassmen organize and lead the orientation.

It’s a lot to take in, and the Dog River Run is a chance for Rooks to shout, thrash about in the water and show their platoon spirit. The event includes a crawl through the Worm Pits, and selection of a rock they will drag back to the barracks and keep through four years of college. They finish the one-mile run exhausted, wet and one step closer to the goal of becoming a cadet.