In 1962, the Mountain Order of Colombo was conceived by a group of Cadets after watching a demonstration performed by the cadre of the U.S. Army Mountain Ranger Camp. In response to the Cadets' request for information and training assistance, Master Sergeant Louis P. Colombo, who was assigned to Camp Merrill, volunteered his time and knowledge. MSG Colombo died in November, 1995, and the unit that was named in his honor carries on his memory.
The unit is sponsored by the Military Department to promote interest in military mountaineering and small unit infantry tactics. Members are selected from those Cadets who pass a rigorous physical fitness and tactical skills test. Their mission is to train and develop Cadets into potential mountain combat soldiers with emphasis on the subjects of mountaineering, fixed installations, terrain navigation, small unit tactics, hand-to-hand combat and survival tactics.
Small unit tactics are initially taught in the classroom, followed by practical exercises in a field environment. Mountaineering skills are practiced on the rappelling tower, and then perfected at Mount Yonah. Some members of the Mountain Order of Colombo have the opportunity to attend the U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School while Cadets at North Georgia College.