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18 cadets earn Distinguished Military Graduate honor

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Eighteen cadets at UNG earned the honor of Distinguished Military Graduate for the 2019-20 school year.

Eighteen 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 Combat 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: John Belser III, Eric Carbone, Alejandro Davila, Jacob Drobney, Isaiah Fleck, Jarrett Hutchens, Cody Kendrix, Dylan Lanting, Jacob Mizell, Tristan Moran, William Norman, John Perry IV, William Scaggs III, Jericho Searcy, Brandon Thurmond, Micaela Tierce, James Warren, and Parrish West.

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.

"This honor for 18 of our cadets shows the quality of the Boar's Head Brigade and the strong partnerships across the university that help develop our cadets into future Army officers," said Col. Joshua D. Wright, professor 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 always be valuable throughout their military careers."

Tierce, who is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is scheduled to graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in international affairs and commission into the air defense artillery branch of the Army. She said she couldn't have foreseen this honor as a freshman.

"It shows what hard work can do and what sticking with something can help you accomplish," Tierce said.

Tierce just completed a fall semester internship where she taught English to children in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Perry, who is from Dawsonville, Georgia, is scheduled to graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in strategic and security studies and commission into the military intelligence branch of the Army. A lesson from childhood has fueled Perry's pursuit of success at UNG.

"My father taught me to take every success and every failure for what they are and build up from them and keep moving forward," Perry said. "Everything has been a learning experience. It's all motivated me to keep doing better than I did before."

This December, 20 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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