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Two sets of siblings among nearly 60 freshmen who join Corps during FROG Week

January 15, 2020

Laurana Bradley wanted to serve in the military to honor her grandfather, who fought in the Korean War and later died when she was a sophomore in high school. Both of her parents served in the military, as well. She and her twin sister, Bellana, also hoped for a way to pay for college without going into debt.

At the University of North Georgia (UNG), Laurana and Bellana found a way to reach both goals. As recipients of the UNG Military Scholarship, worth more than $85,000 apiece for the 42 Georgia high school seniors who receive it each year, they are members of the Georgia Army National Guard and have most of their school expenses covered.

From Jan. 7-11, the sisters from Powder Springs, Georgia, were among nearly 60 freshman cadets who completed Freshman Recruit Orientation Group (FROG) Week, the introduction to Corps of Cadets life at UNG through physical challenges, team-building exercises and information sessions.

Bellana, who is pursuing a biology degree as a pre-medical student, looks forward to how she will grow in the Corps of Cadets at UNG.

"This can help me have the confidence to lead," Bellana said.

The sisters had already experienced basic training and advanced individual training through the National Guard, like many of their spring FROG Week counterparts. They appreciated the opportunity to work through the grueling week together — and talk through things after a long day. The Bradleys focused on the positives each night and took the stressful elements in stride.

"They're trying to push us and make us better," said Laurana, who is pursuing a degree in criminal justice with a forensics concentration.

Another pair of siblings also joined the Corps of Cadets during spring semester FROG Week: Aaron and William Allen from Acworth, Georgia. The brothers have the UNG Military Scholarship, as well.

"It's a huge blessing because we have three other siblings," said Aaron, who is pursuing a degree in English with teacher certification.

William was adopted from China in seventh grade. Aaron said he and William decided not to be roommates because they have already lived together since middle school. William, who is pursuing a degree in modern languages with a Chinese for global professionals concentration, is also grateful for the relief the scholarship provides.

"I can focus on school and not worry about finances," William said.

Months of planning and hard work by cadet leadership culminated in the FROG Week the Bradleys, Allens and their fellow incoming cadets experienced.

Like all other Corps events, cadets plan and lead FROG Week under the supervision of the commandant staff.

"The cadet staff and leadership focused every day on improving FROG Week," said retired Army Col. Joseph Matthews, UNG commandant of cadets. "The detailed planning leading up to the training as well as nightly after-action reviews of the training combined for a very professional and safe week for the incoming cadets."

Headquarters Company led this semester's FROG Week.

"You have to make sure they're grounded and ready to be successful," said Josh Edwards, executive officer for Headquarters Company and a senior from Columbus, Georgia, pursuing a political science degree. "You've got to love what you're doing. You have to want to make good cadets."

Cadet 1st Sgt. Charles Paschal, a senior from Roswell, Georgia, pursuing a degree in criminal justice, said FROG Week is one of his favorite events at UNG and marks "a transition into a new world" for the new cadets.

While the freshmen adjusted to intensity and other challenges, the cadet leadership was busy ensuring all the logistics were in place. About 150 cadets returned to school a week early to make FROG Week a success.

"We've all seen it so many times, it seems like clockwork. But it's a lot of work," Paschal said. "It is the first impression these freshmen are going to have of UNG and the Corps of Cadets. It's important that it's a positive experience."

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