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Boar's Head Weekend seeks to prepare cadets for careers

Boars Head Brigade 2018 preview
The 2018 Boar's Head-Corps Alumni Weekend is set for Sept. 28-30 on UNG's Dahlonega Campus.

The Boar's Head-Corps Alumni Weekend is returning to the University of North Georgia (UNG) for its third installment Sept. 28-30 on UNG's Dahlonega Campus.

Organized by the North Georgia Corps of Cadets Association (NGCCA), the weekend seeks to offer cadets mentoring and networking opportunities provided by Corps of Cadets alumni.

NGCCA Chairman Alan Ware '77, a career aviator, retired as a Navy Reserve captain and has worked as a pilot for FedEx for more than 33 years. He said there's nothing like the shared cadet experiences, from Freshman Recruit Orientation Group (FROG) Week to commissioning.

"It bonds people forever," Ware said. "NGCCA represents those memories."

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Jeff Struecker will be the "First Call" guest speaker at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, in the Convocation Center. Struecker was part of the Army's Elite 75th Ranger Regiment that fought in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia, which inspired the movie "Black Hawk Down." He later became a chaplain and commissioned officer before retiring from the Army in 2011. Struecker is the lead pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia. Greystone Power Corp. is the presenting sponsor of Struecker's talk.

Saturday morning, Sept. 29, meetings by NGCCA (annual membership meeting) and the Corps Advisory Council (quarterly meeting) will conduct alumni business in support of the Boar’s Head Brigade.

Networking and mentoring sessions are scheduled for 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at various locations on the Dahlonega Campus. The sessions are led by alumni in specific career areas designed to give future graduates additional knowledge about the pathways and pitfalls of their chosen pursuits.

"The current cadets feed off the energy of alumni talking about future careers," Ware said. "When the kids see the energy in us, they tend to warm up and want to learn more."

The Distinguished Military Student (DMS) Banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, in the UNG Dining Hall Upper Banquet Room, wraps up a busy Saturday as DMS awardees and their parents are treated to the recognition dinner in honor of their accomplishments. The banquet is co-hosted by the UNG Alumni Association.

The DMS Review is slated for 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, on the Gen. William "Lipp" Livsey Drill Field. The DMS Review honors high-achieving senior cadets.

To earn DMS recognition, a cadet must be in the upper half of the academic class at UNG, the upper third of the ROTC class, and the upper third of UNG's Order of Merit List, established by the professor of military science.

Phil Collins, development officer for the Corps of Cadets, said alumni go on to be successful in a wide array of careers. Their experience is important to share with cadets in case they don't pursue a military career or seek a second career after retiring from the armed forces.

"You should have options. You should have an idea of other pathways you can take," Collins said. "If you're smart, you want to be able to have this information as you enter your college career."

Ware is hopeful this event will help the NGCCA grow its membership, particularly by attracting more recent graduates. The group considers itself "The Fraternity of the Corps."

Ware and Collins are grateful for the alumni who volunteer their time to help cadets and to UNG President Bonita Jacobs, University Relations and especially to UNG Alumni Relations for their support in staging the weekend.

"It's all about building the camaraderie of the cadets and reinforcing the glue that binds the experience of lifelong membership in the Corps of Cadets," Collins said.

Registration is required for all events except the DMS Review, which is open to the public. For more information, to register, or to see who's attending, visit the NGCCA website.

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