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UNG alumni graduate from Ranger School

UNG alumni Cameron Hite, Reed Johnston and Mark Beyrer graduated April 5 from Ranger School.

Four University of North Georgia (UNG) alumni recently graduated from Ranger School: 2nd Lts. Cameron Hite, Reed Johnston, Davis Ponder and Mark Beyrer.

The purpose of the 61-day Ranger School is to develop combat leadership skills by requiring soldiers to perform effectively as small unit leaders in realistic tactical environments under extreme mental and physical stress approaching that found in combat. Ranger students apply the principles of leadership in the planning and conduct of dismounted infantry, airborne, airmobile, and amphibious small unit operations at Fort Benning, in the mountains of north Georgia and in the swamps of Florida.

Ponder graduated March 8, and the others graduated April 5.

"We've learned so much and grown as leaders here in the Army," Hite said. "But our roots at UNG are what brought us to where we are today, and so for that we thank UNG."

ranger school grad

2nd Lt. Davis Ponder, shown with his parents, graduated from Ranger School on March 8.

Beyrer is stationed with the 101st Airborne Division based out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, while Johnston has been assigned to Fort Richardson, Alaska, with the 25th Infantry Division.

Hite and Ponder then completed Airborne School before being assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, New York, respectively.

"It takes sheer guts and unwavering determination to withstand the test of Ranger School," said Keith Antonia, UNG's associate vice president for military programs and former commander of the mountain phase of Ranger School. "I applaud our UNG graduates who have the will to go to Ranger School, persist and graduate."

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