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UNG named nation's top senior military college

UNG's Corps of Cadets, shown here in April 2019 during the Alumni Weekend military review, has been selected as the 1st Brigade winner of the MacArthur Award.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) Corps of Cadets has been selected as the 2018-19 recipient of the MacArthur Award for U.S. Army Cadet Command's 1st Brigade. The Spartan Brigade encompasses the nation's six senior military colleges ⁠— UNG, Norwich University, Texas A&M University, Citadel, Virginia Military Institute, and Virginia Tech. 

"This national recognition as the number-one ROTC program among senior military colleges underscores the long-standing reputation for excellence that UNG’s Corps of Cadets has earned," said UNG President Bonita Jacobs. "As UNG continues to set records for the number of second lieutenants that we commission, the quality of our cadets remains among the best in the nation."

UNG previously won the brigade-level MacArthur Award for the 2016-17 academic year as well as in 2010, 1995 and 1991.

The award is based on a combination of the achievement of the school's commissioning mission, its cadets' performance and standing on the U.S. Army Cadet Command's National Order of Merit List (OML), its cadet retention rate, and results of the Ranger Challenge competition. UNG's Corps of Cadets has some 752 members for fall 2019 and commissioned 103 second lieutenants during the 2018-19 academic year.

UNG's Ranger Challenge team finished third out of 49 international teams and repeated its ROTC title at the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition in April at West Point, New York. In late October, the team will take part in the Spartan Ranger Challenge as defending champions of the  brigade-level event with hopes to make a third consecutive appearance at Sandhurst.

The awards, presented by Cadet Command and the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Foundation since 1989, recognize the ideals of "duty, honor and country" as advocated by MacArthur, who commanded the southwest Pacific in World War II and oversaw the successful allied occupation of postwar Japan.

"UNG best exemplified the 1st Brigade's mission to recruit, educate, develop, and inspire senior ROTC cadets so that we may commission officers of character for the total Army," said Col. Joshua Wright, professor of military science at UNG. "I'm most proud of this accomplishment because it reflects on the quality of our cadets, and is representative of the strong partnerships we have across the university. I'm very grateful for the support of UNG's faculty, staff and alumni because they help our cadets to achieve at the highest levels."

UNG's Corps of Cadets will represent the Spartan Brigade alongside Cadet Command's seven other brigade-level Army ROTC nominees in November for the 2019 Department of Defense ROTC and Higher Educational Institution Partnership Excellence Award competition. One ROTC program from each military department and its host educational institution will be recognized by the secretary of Defense as the best in the nation.

The U.S. Army Cadet Command is responsible for commissioning more than 60% of the Army's new officers each year through 275 host programs, and more than 1,000 affiliated college campuses nationwide.

In early October, UNG's Corps of Cadets was recognized with the Most Active Company Award by the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) for the third straight year. The award is given based on the most cadet company-sponsored activities, including meetings, public service programs, military instruction meetings and exercises, and membership recruiting efforts.

The award was presented at the 2019 AUSA Army Cadet Luncheon on Oct. 14. Each year at the event, the AUSA presents awards to ROTC units and individual cadets. This year, the award was accepted by Jacobs and Cadet Col. Logan Scott, the Corps of Cadets brigade commander.

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