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Cadets on track to cap record year

The University of North Georgia's Corps of Cadets added 73 cadets for spring semester and is on track to commission a record number of cadets during the 2014-15 academic year.

The Corps of Cadets at the University of North Georgia (UNG) is excelling in academics, training and co-curricular activities, and is set to commission a record number of cadets this year.

"The accomplishments of the 83 cadets on track to commission this year are pretty impressive," said Col. Todd Wilson, UNG's active-duty professor of military science. "UNG has never commissioned 83 officers in any one year in our history."

Among this year's commissioning cadets is Jonathan "Chase" Strickland, who was selected as the top graduating cadet in the nation from among the 5,617 cadets who competed on U.S. Army Cadet Command's national Order of Merit List (OML). Four other UNG cadets were ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation and nearly one-third of this year's commissioning cadets are ranked in the top 20 percent in the nation.

"Our graduating cadets have nearly completed their transition from cadets to commissioned officers who are prepared to lead soldiers in combat and fight and win our nation's wars," Wilson said. "To state that we are proud of our senior class is an understatement. I have an extremely high level of confidence that our graduating seniors are ready to go forth to the Army and the business world and immediately make positive contributions to their organizations."

Commencement ceremonies for all students graduating this spring will be held May 1-3 on the Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses and individual commissioning ceremonies for cadets will be held at the Brooks Pennington Jr. Military Leadership Center.

FROG Week 1
Potential new cadets work through an obstacle course during
Freshman Recruit Orientation Group (FROG) Week at the University
of North Georgia.

Academically, the overall Corps GPA topped 3.0 for fall semester; the new class of 73 cadets who completed Freshmen Recruit Orientation Group (FROG) Week also have strong academics.

"New freshman cadets who finished FROG Week collectively have the highest grade point average, SAT average, ACT average, and freshman index for any spring FROG class in recent history," said Keith Antonia, UNG's director of undergraduate admissions. "They are well-prepared to take on the academic challenges that lie ahead."  

Wilson urged the entire corps to maintain academic success.

"I have challenged the cadets to reverse the trend of decreasing GPAs that we sometimes see in the spring semester," he said. "If they keep up their grades, that will give them a very solid foundation for next year to continue increased development and continued progress."

In training, the corps' overall fitness level has risen with the brigade's grades. Physical readiness training was added as a one credit-hour course in the fall, and the corps had a record-high average of 282 on the Army Physical Fitness Test required for contracted cadets. Several events coming up during spring semester also will test the leadership skills of senior cadets, who are responsible for organizing and leading two weekend training exercises in March.

In a testament to the quality of instruction and training UNG's cadets receive, the Ranger Challenge team will be competing in the international Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at West Point in April. The team qualified for the prestigious competition after beating teams from the nation's junior and senior military colleges in the Bold Leader Challenge at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

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