Maj. Gen. Jefforey A. Smith, commanding general of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, congratulated nine members of the University of North Georgia (UNG) Corps of Cadets recognized Sunday as Distinguished Military Students, calling them the "very best our nation has to offer."
|The Color Guard and nine UNG Distinguished Military Students stand ready on the
Gen. William "Lipp" Livsey Drill Field.
"Each one of you provides a prime example of the type of leader the Army is looking for moving into the future," Smith said. "Over the next few decades, our military leaders will face an increasingly complex operational environment requiring leaders of character who are adaptive critical thinkers who can work in uncertain environments and deliver results."
On Sunday, UNG's Boar's Head Brigade held the 2013 Distinguish Military Students Review, conducted annually to honor senior ROTC cadets who have excelled academically and as leaders. Those honored on Sunday were Cadet Capt. Ryan T. Ault, Cadet Capt. Jessie M. Betts, Cadet 1st Lt. David J. Bonham, Cadet Lt. Col. Theresa C. Bucco, Cadet 1st Lt. Colton W. Mercer, Cadet Capt. Zachary L. Ogburn, Cadet 2nd Lt. Timothy M. Pehrson, Cadet Lt. Col. John L. Rafanelli, and Cadet Maj. Jackson C. Smith.
To be selected as a Distinguished Military Student, a cadet must be in the upper half of the academic class, the upper third of the ROTC class, and the upper third of the Order of Merit List established by the university's professor of military science. Additionally, cadets are selected on the basis of interest and aptitude for military service and outstanding qualities of leadership and initiative as demonstrated by participation and achievement in campus, civic and military activities.
|From left are UNG Commandant Col. (retired) Tom
Palmer; UNG Professor of Military Science Col. Todd
Wilson; Maj. Gen. Jefforey A. Smith, commanding
general of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox;
and UNG President Bonita Jacobs.
During his speech, Smith stressed the attributes of leadership the U.S. Army requires of its officers, but also explained a new focus for Cadet Command, which oversees some 31,000 cadets in hundreds of ROTC programs across the country.
"To adequately prepare for future challenges, the ROTC curriculum is experiencing a transformation to enhance the learning experience and focus on more complex topics. As part of transformation, we are moving away from the traditional 'what to think' classroom dynamic and instead providing cadets with the tools to know 'how to think,'" Smith said. "As cadets develop these independent critical thinking skills and advanced problem-solving methodologies, they will develop the analytical capacity to take on the complexities of future conflicts."
Prior to the review, Smith also attended a luncheon for the honored cadets and their families, and thanked parents and family members for their role in developing future leaders.