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Shannon Faulkner was the first out of her barracks Monday morning, a step ahead of the new freshman class mustering for the first day of "hell week" at The Citadel.

"All cadre are invited to awake, new fourth classmen," an announcement blared at 5:20 a.m.Faulkner led the pack moving down the staircase.

Upperclassmen overseeing the week of training known as "hell week" ordered the trainees into line and kept them there for about half an hour. As the upperclassmen marched off to breakfast, the trainees walked behind.

Although she has battled 21/2 years to join the all-male corps of cadets and attended classes at The Citadel for 20 months, Monday was her first day of cadet training.

That means being issued a uniform, learning to march, learning to salute and learning the only three replies a freshman cadet may make to an upperclassman: "Yes, Sir"; "No, Sir"; and "No Excuse, Sir."

Faulkner appeared to be laughing and joking with other cadets over a breakfast of sausage, scrambled eggs and grits. It's the last relaxed meal the trainees will have this school year.