CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It was a special day for Citadel cadets as they received the prized Citadel ring during their final year as students at the school.
One by one, as their names were called, each Citadel cadet received what many call an iconic ring.
It was a moment Senior Abdul Rahman Muhammad and his family had been waiting for.
"I'm still smiling now so it's a good feeling," Muhammad said after the ceremony.
"It has allowed him to gain discipline that he's needed and he's meeting new friends and opening new doors to his future," Muhammad's father, Theo, said.
Muhammad is an honor student and captain of the football team. But he admits the journey hasn't been easy.
"I thought about quitting several times, but I always had my family to lean on and teammates and professors. They served a huge part in my life," he said.
"I knew when we got here on the first day that this is exactly where he was supposed to be and it will bring out all the things instilled in him," his mother, Carolyn, said.
Citadel Alumni Association President Scott Tucker says the bond the ring symbolizes has no limits, something he realized while in the Air Force in Idaho.
"The Colonel, when I went in and saluted him, said, 'I see you are a Citadel grad,'" Tucker said. "And he said there are six on the base, so it's a special bond."
The long-standing tradition is kept alive by those who have died. The gold from the rings of deceased graduates is melted down and used to make the rings for the class of 2015.
"It links us to them. They are not here with us but they'll always be here in spirit," Muhammad said.
Now Muhammad will count down the days until he graduates, knowing this experience has made made him a stronger leader.
"It's a tough institution, a tough lifestyle but you truly are brothers once you graduate," he said.