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21 cadets earn Distinguished Military Graduate honor

Cadet Col. Tyler Farney, center, commander of UNG's Boar's Head Brigade, is presented an award by Professor of Military Science Col. Joshua Wright, left, and Alan Ware, alumnus and president of the North Georgia Corps of Cadets Association. Farney is one of 21 UNG cadets named Distinguished Military Graduates.

Twenty-one cadets from the University of North Georgia (UNG) have been ranked in the top 20 percent of the nation among more than 5,000 Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadets assessed by U.S. Army Cadet Command.

Cadets are ranked on the national Order of Merit List (OML) by achieving superior grade-point averages, strong performance in the Army physical fitness test, and proving their worth as exceptional leaders in their college ROTC training.

The UNG cadets ranked in the top 20 percent in the nation, which earns them the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG), are: Connor Bane, Christopher Bissett, Hunter Blocher, Arthur Brands, Jasper Bridgeman, Austin Brumby, Henry Crawford, Terry Ellis, Tyler Farney, Drue Hoagland, Matthew Ilao, Evan Myers, Zachary Navara, Dylan Richards, Robert Rogers, Jacob Starrett, Charlotte Walton, Donald Wescoat, David White, Matthew Williams, and Logan Young.

Each fall, in conjunction with their branch selections, all Army ROTC seniors across the nation are ranked in the OML. A cadet's positioning on the OML can determine his or her priority in being chosen for the branch or occupational specialty of choice.

"We are extremely proud of this tremendous individual accomplishment by these 21 men and women," said Lieutenant Colonel Mark Legaspi, assistant professor of military science and executive officer of the Department of Military Science at UNG. "These cadets will commission into the U.S Army active component or Army National Guard in the coming months, and the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate is an honor that will remain on their record as a significant achievement throughout their military careers.”

Walton, who is from Flowery Branch, Georgia, will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in political science and commission into the National Guard adjutant general corps.

“I feel honored to have been selected as a Distinguished Military Graduate,” Walton said. “I worked hard and sacrificed to do the best that I could, and I consider myself privileged to be able to commission from the University of North Georgia and accomplish the dreams that I have had since I was 7 years old.”

This December, 27 cadets will commission into the U.S. Army or National Guard in ceremonies at UNG, in addition to more than 200 who have commissioned in the past two years.

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