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Cummings joins UNG as professor of military science

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Cadet Joseph Peterka, left, talks with Col. Brent Cummings, the new professor of military science at UNG.

Col. Brent Cummings, a career infantryman and the new professor of military science at the University of North Georgia (UNG), said he's excited to take on the responsibility of continuing the Corps of Cadets' legacy of excellence.

UNG begins the 2015-16 academic year with 758 cadets, following a record-setting year in which the Corps of Cadets had the number one Army ROTC cadet in the nation, achieved an overall GPA of 3.12, commissioned 81 officers, and had a higher percentage of Distinguished Military Graduates than any other senior military college.

"I'm super impressed at what's going on at UNG. My job is not to come in and fix anything, it's to maintain the tremendous momentum that this university and this program have and to keep it going in the right direction," he said. "UNG's success has been steered by those who were here before me and those who are with me now, and it represents a huge team effort from the professor of military science staff, the commandant's staff, and the university faculty and staff."

Cummings replaces Col. Todd P. Wilson in the three-year, active duty assignment. Candidates for the position of professor of military science at the nation's six senior military colleges, which include UNG and Cummings' alma mater, Norwich University, are nominated by the U.S. Army to each university's president for consideration.

Cummings has been familiar with the high quality of UNG's ROTC program from meeting graduates throughout his career, including close friend and mentor, retired Lt. Col. Leonard "Chick" Chafin ('53).

"He is somebody I have always looked up to and admired, so to be able now to have the opportunity to influence and continue the great tradition of the University of North Georgia and to try to develop cadets to be like Lt. Col. Chafin is a huge responsibility for me, but also something I'm very proud to be a part of," Cummings said.

Cummings arrived at UNG in mid-August, fresh from a yearlong assignment with the U.S. Security Coordinators office and U.S. State Department at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israel. Cummings coordinated training for Palestinian Authority Security Forces in the West Bank with the approval of the Israeli government to facilitate a two state solution — the second time he was given that assignment.

Cummings was impressed with the Corps of Cadets' current student chain of command in his initial meeting with them, but reminded the cadets of the great responsibility they share.

"The alumni and friends of this university have an expectation of what cadets should do while they're here and what they are expected to do when they leave here, which is to carry the name of the University of North Georgia forward with a foundation of excellence," Cummings said. "I look forward to leveraging the experience I've had in the Army to help me drive that."

Cummings also served in Afghanistan and Iraq; he and the Second Battalion were featured in the novel "The Good Soldiers," by David Finkel, a Washington Post reporter embedded with the soldiers for eight months during the surge of troops to Iraq in 2007.

A native of Starkville, Mississippi, Cummings holds a bachelor's degree in education from Norwich and a master's from Troy State University and he completed a War College Fellowship in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal (five Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters), and Army Achievement Medal (eight Oak Leaf Clusters). Cummings also has earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Expert Infantryman's Badge, Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist and Air Assault badges.

Cummings and his wife, Laura, have two daughters, Emily and Meredith. The family lives in south Forsyth County, Georgia, and both daughters attend Forsyth schools.

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