For a first-year “rat” at Virginia Military Institute, Jan. 28 marked the first day being a full-fledged cadet. At 5 a.m., the school’s youngest students began a final day of testing their physical abilities before being promoted to fourth-class cadets.

According to Col. Stuart MacInnis, all alumni remember celebrating their own “breakout,” the name given to the annual event by students and faculty.

Reporter Michael McGuire explains why this tradition is so important to VMI.


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