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UNG honors top senior cadets

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The group of Distinguished Military Students stand at attention behind Cadet Col. Nathaniel Cutler and the Color Guard before being recognized during the 2015 Distinguished Military Student Review.

On Sept. 20, the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Boar's Head Brigade held the 2015 Distinguished Military Students Review, conducted annually to honor senior ROTC cadets who have excelled academically and as leaders.

Col. Sean A. Gainey, deputy commanding officer of U.S. Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky, congratulated the 15 recipients as keynote speaker for the event. Along with Gainey, the reviewing party included UNG President Bonita Jacobs; Col. Brent Cummings, professor of military science at UNG; and retired COL Tom Palmer, commandant of cadets at UNG.

"You should be proud that you represent the very best that Army ROTC has to offer," Gainey said. "We do know that the enemy we face today and in the future will be determined, elusive and increasingly more capable than the enemy of the past. To win in such a complex world, we must leverage the agility of our future leaders such as you. The adaptable and agile leaders we are developing in Cadet Command are the key to success of the future force."

Those honored on Sunday were Cadet 1st Lt. Brian T. Dix of Roswell, Georgia; Cadet 1st Lt. Eric E. Gleason of Marietta, Georgia; Cadet Maj. Cody C. Holwell of Dacula, Georgia; Cadet Maj. Jessica D. Kittell of Colbert, Georgia; Cadet 2nd Lt. Ryan J. McCaughey of Peachtree City, Georgia; Cadet 2nd Lt. Carson A. Mistr of Peachtree City, Georgia; Cadet Capt. Melody M. Moore of Hoschton, Georgia; Cadet 1st Lt. Joseph M. Moreland of Knob Noster, Missouri; Cadet Lt. Col. Larry W. Penrod of Tampa, Florida; Cadet Col. Frederick W. Schenker of Layton, Utah; Cadet 1st Lt. Timothy C. Sealock of Acworth, Georgia; Cadet Maj. Brian M. Smagh of Kennesaw, Georgia; Cadet Maj. Jordan D. Thrun of Ooltewah, Tennessee, Cadet 1st Lt. Louis H. Truett of Macon, Georgia; and Cadet Capt. William M. Zopff of Harker Heights, Texas.

To be selected as a Distinguished Military Student (DMS), a cadet must be in the upper half of the academic class, the upper third of the ROTC class, and the upper third of UNG's Order of Merit List, established by Cummings. Additionally, cadets are selected on the basis of interest and aptitude for military service and outstanding qualities of leadership and initiative as demonstrated by participation and achievement in campus, civic and military activities.

Cummings pointed out the achievements of this year's DMS cadets:

  • The group's cumulative GPA is 3.68.
  • Added together, they have been on the Dean's List 25 times, and have been recognized on the President's List 35 times.
  • Eleven are attending UNG on either the national Army ROTC Scholarship or the Georgia Military Scholarship.
  • Six have successfully graduated from Basic Combat Training and are currently serving in either the U.S. Army Reserve or the Georgia National Guard.

"The most fitting way to describe the DMS demographics is the all-inclusive Army superlative of 'hooah'," Cummings told the crowd of families, friends, alumni and UNG supporters. "For more than a year now, U.S. Army Cadet Command has focused on cadet development on the same leader development system outcomes used at West Point. These DMS demographics are clear indicators that our 15 DMS cadets have, and will continue to make, substantial positive progress with their leader development."

Cummings also thanked parents, family members, UNG faculty, and administration for their role in developing future leaders.

During his speech, Gainey praised the high-level of support the UNG Corps of Cadets receives from many areas.

"Today's review is just one of many events where the University of North Georgia, proud alumni, and the town of Dahlonega show their support to the Corps of Cadets at the all-Army senior military college," Gainey said. "Very few universities and communities go to the lengths to recognize their Distinguished Military Students as does this university and this community."

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