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Eight UNG cadets ranked in top 10 percent in US

Eight UNG cadets ranked in top 10 percent in US

(Dec. 5, 2016) - Eight cadets from the University of North Georgia (UNG) have been ranked in the top 10 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.

In total, 34 UNG cadets are ranked in the top 20 percent in the nation, which earns them the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate. Last year, UNG had four cadets in the top 10 percent and 22 cadets in the top 20 percent.

"We are very proud of these young men and women. This is a tremendous individual accomplishment, but is also a reflection of the collective effort and teamwork between the military department and the academic community here at UNG," said Maj. Steven Devitt, executive officer of the Department of Military Science. "The support we receive from the academic leadership at UNG allows us to leverage capabilities other programs simply do not have, and our cadets leave here fully prepared to lead soldiers as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army."

Cadet Capt. Daniel Parker, an international affairs major from Marietta, Georgia, said he was "very excited" to learn that he had ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation, but more excited about being selected for active duty in the U.S. Army.

"Becoming an Army officer has been my dream for a long time and graduating in the top 10 percent was just icing on the cake. I had a lot of people help me in my college career, so it felt more like a team award rather than a personal one," Parker said.

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.

Parker will enter the Chemical Corps branch and plans to serve eight years before pursuing a career as a foreign service officer for the U.S. State Department. He currently serves as the brigade's leadership development S2, a role in which he helps coordinate training for cadets in their junior year.

He feels that the leadership skills he has developed at UNG will help him be prepared to lead a platoon after he graduates and earns his commission.

"I have learned that as a leader, you have to make the people you are in charge of your first priority. The Army teaches you that the mission always comes first, but to do that you must have everyone working together on the same team," Parker said.

The eight cadets ranked in the top 10 percent were:  Benjamin Cerra; Krystal Jemmott; Kyle Kampovsky; Seth McCormick; Daniel Parker; Marlena Schmidt; Jonathan Shealy; and Walter Turner.

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