Spring semester began a few days early for members of the University of North Georgia's Boar’s Head Brigade, as dozens of current cadets and 76 new cadets reported for Freshman Orientation Group training, also known as FROG Week.
New cadets began with in-processing, getting fitted for uniforms and getting haircuts at Woody's Barber Shop — a decades-old tradition — and ended with the traditional Crown Mountain Run and FROG Week graduation.
Commonly called FROGs, the new cadets represent a growing trend at UNG. While the fall semester's FROG class still is much larger, an increasing number of students are choosing to start their cadet experience in spring semester, according to MAJ Richard Neikirk, assistant commandant of cadets.
A number of the new recruits are members of the U.S. Army Reserve or Georgia National Guard, Neikirk said, and chose to go through Basic Training between high school graduation and starting classes at UNG.
"There really has been an increase in that in recent years, and I think it's because they look at the financial benefits they get from being a soldier and a college student," he said. In addition to grants and funds made available for military students, members of the National Guard and Reserve also earn pay while enrolled in classes.
The purpose of FROG Week is to help the new cadets transition from civilian life to military life, which has rules, regulations and codes cadets must learn to follow, such as how to address an officer and how to wear the uniform.
"FROG Week's just the first step to becoming a good cadet," Neikirk said.
But FROG Week serves as a training exercise for current cadets, too, Neikirk said. Each semester, it is the current cadets who plan and execute FROG Week, with assistance from the various departments across campus such as the business office and bookstore.
"The cadets get leadership experience," he said. "They plan and execute this event with coaching and mentoring from staff, but they run the whole show. That's why I think we graduate such great cadets — they 'do' leadership 24 hours a day."
Including the new cadets, the Corps of Cadets currently stands at 710 cadets.