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New cadets learn early lessons in balancing academics, training

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The Corps of Cadets moved some training activities indoors during the recent FROG Week due to weather.

Despite a week that began with single-digit temperatures and ended with thunderstorms and tornado warnings, 78 recruits finished the University of North Georgia's (UNG) spring 2014 Freshman Recruit Orientation Group (FROG) Week on Jan. 12.

The new cadets bring the Corps of Cadets' current strength to 754 students.

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Cadet recruits participate in a team-building exercise
during FROG Week.

"FROG Week was a great success in spite of uncooperative weather," said Cadet Col. Blake Schaper, commander of UNG's Boar's Head Brigade. "The new freshmen, most of whom are recent graduates of Army Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training, were highly motivated throughout FROG Week, and I am extremely pleased with the level of dedication demonstrated by all the newly promoted recruits."

FROG Week is held on the Dahlonega Campus at the beginning of fall and spring semesters to help new cadets transition from civilian life to military and college life. In a growing trend, many new UNG cadets choose to complete initial Army training immediately after high school and delay enrolling at UNG until spring semester.

"I didn't want to get my school schedule and routine set and then have that all be changed to go complete Basic and AIT later on. I wanted to get to UNG and be 100 percent focused on the corps and my education," said Logan Brookins, a first-semester freshman from Milledgeville, Ga.

Brookins is attending UNG on a Georgia Military Scholarship, a state-funded scholarship worth some $70,000 over four years that is offered only to full-time UNG students serving as enlisted members of the Georgia Army National Guard. Recipients agree to repay the scholarship after receiving their bachelor's degrees by serving part-time as commissioned second lieutenants for at least four years after graduation.

FROG Week is a training exercise for current cadets, too, as they plan and execute the events. Capt. Blake Cox, commander of the brigade's Alpha Company, was the cadet officer in charge of the exercise this semester.

"I've learned not to assume anything, but also to have trust in your subordinates – give them a solid plan, explain it in detail and let them execute it," Cox said. "It was a long process, plus trying to balance school. It was a busy first week, that's for sure."

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Getting a haircut is the traditional start to FROG
Week at the University of North Georgia.

Balancing military training and academics is something that all cadets must learn, Cox said.

"Cadets are soldier-students; they are training to be in the military and get their degree at the same time," Cox said. "We stress the military aspects and specific discipline aspects of UNG, but we also heavily stress academics. Cadets have to find a fine balance between the two and time management is a huge part of that."

On the last day of FROG Week, the most motivated recruits are chosen to carry the company guidons – flags that designate each unit. Brookins was chosen to carry the brigade flag and lead the corps and new cadets in the Crown Mountain run.

"It was a huge honor, but I didn't feel like it was just me carrying that flag. Completing FROG Week took teamwork and a lot of group effort," Brookins said. "I just wanted to come into FROG Week with the mentality that I'd try to keep motivated and try to help motivate everyone around me."

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