Corps of Cadets
The Norwich class ring is presented to third-year members of the Corps of Cadets at the Junior Ring Ceremony. The ring is a prized possession, and much effort goes into earning the right to wear it.
The ring tradition at Norwich began in the spring of 1923 when the senior class adopted a class ring for each member who would graduate in June. In time, the process of ring design and presentation shifted to the junior year. However, it was not until the mid-1960s that a policy for standardization of design was in place.
Each class is permitted to design one side of the ring. The second side of the class ring, however, must conform to a University standard.
Norwich rings, like the service academy rings, feature a class crest on one side and the school crest on the other, with a bezel surrounding a stone or similar inset on top. Tradition dictates the cadet wear the class crest facing him or her until graduation. Then, the ring is turned around so that the Norwich crest faces the wearer.
The Norwich side
- Norwich was the first private military college in the country, established in 1819. Our founder, Captain Alden Partridge, understood that a structured military lifestyle combined with rigorous academics would benefit those pursuing careers in both the military world and the private sector.
- Cavalry sabers
- Flanking either side of the shield, they represent our kinship with Vermont’s first cavalry. Today, cadet officers wear sabers in lieu of carrying rifles.
- NUCC scroll
- Flowing on either side of the shield, the scroll distinguishes those who wear the ring as members of the Norwich University Corps of Cadets.
- Norwich shield
- Depicts a cannon and an engineer’s transit in the foreground of a mountain range, with the rays of the morning sun rising above it. The cannon represents the military heritage of the institution; an engineer’s transit represents our academic mission. Finally, the rising sun over the Green Mountains represents the light of knowledge flowering on “The Hill.” The numerals 1819 hallmark the founding date of the University.
- Surmounted on the Norwich shield, symbolic of strength and courage in its depiction of both our school and as our national symbol.
- Honor scroll
- Superimposed upon the talons of the eagle, it stands for the fundamental attributes of character. Honor is a virtue that impels loyalty and courage, truthfulness and self respect, justice and generosity. A cadet’s honor is never in question if he or she is true in thought, word and deed.
- “I Will Try”
- It was said to have been used as a rallying cry by former Norwich President Truman Bishop Ransom, before his death as he charged a hill at the Battle of Chapultapec during the Mexican War. It conveys the spirit of the University and has been adopted as our motto.
Class of 2013 side
- The sun rising over Paine Mountain
- The sun represents new beginnings and the optimism each cadet must exemplify with each new endeavor undertaken. It shines a positive light on seemingly difficult tasks, such as the new organization of the Corps of Cadets. This hope and confidence we epitomize will allow us to succeed during our time here at Norwich and also in all challenges of our future.
- The wings
- The wings signify protection, and the gripping talons symbolize the strength of our class. On one leg we have the military, and on the other leg we have the civilian world; but we see that they are connected to the same bird.
- The thirteen stars
- The thirteen stars of the traditional “Betsy Ross flag” represent the Class of 2013, while the American flag represents the Class’ patriotism and dedication to the principles of the United States, such as honor and integrity.
- Nixor Fortiter
- Nixor Fortiter is Latin for the phrase “Strive Valiantly.” As men and women who have chosen a unique and distinguished path, we shall face challenges mightier than that of ourselves and with these challenges lie great responsibility. We shall succeed and we shall fail, whilst there is no effort without error, and no effort without shortcoming. They, however, who strive towards their goals; who know great enthusiasms with great devotion, are those who at worst, fail while daring greatly. Whether it is a commitment to military service or family, those who walk with confidence and do not falter when life strays awry, will reap the benefits they rightly deserve and will know only victory even in the face of defeat.
- The compass rose
- The compass rose represents the many different directions we take in life following our time here at Norwich. The four points indicate the four original companies into which our class was divided. The compass shows how our class is unified even with our individual units, and how together we are able to cover all possible directions in which we want to go.
- The inverted crossed sabers
- The inverted crossed sabers represent all the fellow cadets, alumni, and American service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, which allows us to be here today.
- The smaller numbers
- The smaller numbers on the rook piece represent the four companies that made up our freshman class while the larger “09” represents the year in which we all began our journey through our rook year, and although we have all moved on to new companies, we will always remember from whence we came.