The University of North Georgia recently hosted Military Academy Day featuring U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a UNG alumnus, and graduates of the nation's service academies from around the region. Lt. Col. (Ret.) Anthony Fritchle, director of the Office of Cadet Admissions at UNG, talks about Academy Day and military education.
|U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a UNG alumnus, talks about military service
during the Academy Day held recently at the university. Collins has served
as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves since 2002.
What is Military Academy Day and who is involved?
Military Academy Day is an opportunity for high school students who are interested in applying to one of the five U.S. military academies: U.S. Military Academy at West Point; U.S. Naval Academy; U.S. Coast Guard Academy; U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; and U.S. Air Force Academy. The very competitive application process requires students to obtain one of a limited number of recommendations from a U.S. representative, a U.S. senator, or the vice president. In addition to Rep. Doug Collins, the recent Academy Day held at UNG included staff members from the offices of Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.
Students who attend a military academy or a senior military college like UNG typically commission as officers upon graduation and fulfill a minimum service requirement.
What do UNG and the Army look for in potential cadets?
Exact standards differ, but the armed services look for potential officers who are high-achievers in three areas – academics, athletics or fitness, and leadership. Army cadets are evaluated in these three areas throughout their college careers.
The minimum standards for acceptance to UNG's Corps of Cadets are a 2.8 GPA and SAT scores of 440 in math and 480 in critical reading. Last year's averages for new cadets were significantly higher – 3.26 GPA and 1105 composite SAT.
Being in the Army is physically demanding, no matter which of the 17 military occupations cadets take on. Newly commissioned officers are expected to lead up to 40 soldiers in the area of physical fitness and serve as an example for those soldiers.
In the leadership area, we want students who have been leaders in their schools and their communities, whether in the work force, on a sports team or in the academic realm.
What does the military component add to a college education?
The biggest benefit students get is learning to be a leader. They learn how to counsel, how to teach and mentor, how to train, and how to manage. UNG is a leadership laboratory that prepares cadets to be an officer when they enter the military by immersing them in military education some 40-50 hours a week.
Our cadets take on leadership roles managing their peers in the corps, an experience few other students get unless they are in a similar organization. For instance, the cadet commander of UNG's Corps of Cadets is responsible for and is expected to set an example for more than 800 cadets. Where else can you get that kind of experience before you enter the work force?
When ROTC cadets commission as new officers, they're leading the young men and women of America during peacetime and wartime. That's a tremendous responsibility that we feel our cadets are ready for when they graduate and commission from UNG.