University of North Georgia
Our UNG Color Guard passes the reviewing stand during a Faculty Recognition Ceremony.

Color Guard

Our UNG Color Guard passes the reviewing stand during a Faculty Recognition Ceremony.

History of the Corps of Cadets:

The history of the Corps of Cadets traces back to when the college was founded in 1873, and the first class of students (which included a woman) asked that military training be a part of the curriculum. Since then, North Georgia College & State University has been one of only six 4-year military colleges and is the only 4-year, Liberal Arts, coeducational, Military College in the United States.

Since 1877 the Military Department has been fully organized under the direction of United States Military Officers, with necessary supplies and equipment provided by the Federal Government. Records indicate the first such shipment was received during the last week of December 1876.

In June 1916, when Congress passed the act officially establishing ROTC, North Georgia was the only college in the state to take immediate advantage of the terms of the act. The college immediately increased its usefulness and influence within the state by qualifying for the Senior Division ROTC Program and was one of the first colleges to adopt and institute the General Military Science Program.

Military Science is a required course for the Senior Military College (SMC) status of this institution. Although North Georgia College & State University provides for Army ROTC only, its "Hall of Fame" members come from all the military branches. Over the years NGCSU has been renowned for it's ability to produce exceptional Infantry officers. The program does, however, commission exceptional officers in all Army branches to include Aviation, Armor, Engineer, Field Artillery, Military Police, Military Intelligence and many more.

In 1986 the Corps of Cadets officially adopted the name of the unit as the "Boar's Head Brigade". The name came from the Boar's Head on the Department Crest approved by the Adjutant General on August 11 1937.

The Boar's Head was a part of the family crest of James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia and is a symbol of fighting spirit and hospitality so deeply a part of Georgia's heritage and the spirit of North Georgia College and State University .

Although the design of the Corp's crest has undergone several changes, the Boar's head has remained constant. The sense of honor, devotion to duty, and desire to be the best has also remained constant at NGCSU.

Today NGCSU ROTC proudly claims among its alumni many General Officers including one four-star General and two of the six General Officers of the Georgia National Guard.

Corps of Cadets Involvement in Our Nation's Wars

Following the Civil War, the abandoned U.S. Mint property in Dahlonega was given to the State of Georgia for educational purposes-- thus the birth of North Georgia College & State University. Originally named North Georgia Agricultural College, the institution was established in 1873 as a land-grant school of agriculture and mechanical arts, particularly mining engineering. As area gold mining resources were depleted and responsibility for agricultural education was assumed by the University of Georgia, the mission of the College evolved into one emphasizing arts and sciences. Since that time, North Georgia College & State University has been producing quality graduates and military officers dedicated to excellence in service and prepared to defend our nation's interests.

World War I - World War II

From its conception, the Corps of Cadets produced infantry officers. Although the Corps has had an artillery platoon and a Signal Corps unit, the main emphasis has been upon infantry training. Those students who chose to accept a commission upon graduation from NGC were assigned to the Infantry branch of the Army. This was the case during World War One.

Most of the officers commissioned from NGC were commissioned into the National Guard or the Army Reserves. At this time the United States did not possess a regular Army "large enough to defend the nation properly" It was thought that few, if any nations would have the desire to attack the United States. The Army, its reserves, and the National Guard were used more in response to emergencies within the national boarders, not as a means to project power and an instrument of foreign policy as it is today. The Army itself was maintained at a level high enough to protect American interests in the Western Hemisphere. It was not prepared for the upcoming war in Europe.

The training of the officer corps and the troops was kept to bare necessities. The officer's training was limited to what was learned in the service academies and at colleges like NGAC that taught Military Science. The Army possessed a poorly-trained corps of junior officers. The dominant military philosophy of the time was that "vast bodies of untrained men can accomplish anything when opposed by trained troops." This philosophy became quickly outdated in the twentieth century as modern weapons and tactics brought war into a science and art form in its own right.

World War I soon proved to be one of the most costly wars in human history. The weapons used were far more advanced than the tactics utilized by the rival armies. Trench warfare became dominant on the battlefield and thousands would die in minutes as vast bodies of men charged machine guns on open ground. Even though technology took its toll on soldiers, it was the lack of adequately trained officers that took the heaviest toll. Officers found themselves ignorant and incapable of leading soldiers, their commanders found themselves unable to adapt their tactics to the modern weapons. Many of these officers were recruited off the streets, others were National Guardsmen, or Reservists, who had little or no experience in the ways of war. It soon became obvious that there needed to be a better source from which to draw trained officers for the Army and the nation's future needs.

The solution to the manpower problem has its roots in earlier officer training programs. Legislators and military leaders analyzed the success of these programs, including North Georgia Agricultural College, and created what they thought to be the best possible solution. The solution they devised later became known as the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

The American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy founded in 1819 and later named Norwich University, implemented the first military training into its curriculum. Following the beginning of the Civil War, the Merril Act of 1862 provided federal grants and funds to those universities and colleges that taught military tactics. Later Acts of Congress provided for the equipment and personnel to man such institutions. These early programs were the precursors of the modern Reserve Officer Training Corps.

The National Defense Act of 1916 officially established Army ROTC in its modern form. First known as the Student Army Training Corps, the Reserve Officer Training Corps was established in a direct response to the First World War. The war placed an unexpected, and grossly underestimated, burden upon the commissioning programs that existed at the time to produce qualified officers for the armed forces of the United States. The establishment of Army ROTC was designed to produce a greater number of qualified junior officers for the Army through courses of instruction leading to a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army or Army Reserve.

The first graduating class to be commissioned by Army ROTC numbered 180 officers and graduated in 1920. During the following school year, 1920-1921, over 90,000 young men enrolled in both junior and senior Army ROTC programs nation wide with 1,070 commissioning at the end of the year.

Army ROTC is separated into three divisions. The first division of Army ROTC is Junior ROTC. Army JROTC is designed to be implemented in high schools. Senior Army ROTC is designed for College level students desiring a commission in the United States Army. Academy level ROTC refers to those students attending and seeking a commission through the United States Military Academy at West Point. The goals of these divisions of Army ROTC are essentially the same, to develop highly intelligent officers for the Army and to help American youth learn leadership and responsibility.

The Armed Forces of the United States learned their lessons from World War One. They recognized the need for a well-trained officer corps, and more importantly, a well-trained corps of junior officers. The junior officers are the more immediate leaders of the military, if they are not competent in their jobs, the military will suffer heavily. As one officer stated, until that time it had been "overlooked or forgotten that all our wars have been unnecessarily prolonged, and thousands of lives have been recklessly sacrificed on the battlefield through the ignorance of untrained officers."

The Reserve Officer Training Corps was designed to provide well-trained junior officers for the reserve forces and the National Guard. The best of these officers were placed on active duty with the regular military. It was still believed that the United States "does not need a large standing army ... but it does need a great surplus of trained officers." ROTC was designed to supply that surplus.

The Korean Conflict

 

At the beginning of the Korean War, NGC was what was referred to as an Infantry Branch School. In short, the cadets that were commissioned from NGC received commissions in Army Infantry. The cadet was commissioned as an infantry officer regardless of his grades or his major field. This changed in 1952.

On September 20, 1952, North Georgia College officially became a Branch General ROTC Program. As a result of this change in commissioning policy, cadets from North Georgia College could now commission into any branch within the Army. A cadet's grades, major field of study, preferences, performance evaluations, and camp scores were now placed into a packet and sent to the Department of the Army for evaluation. This accessions board determined which branch to assign a cadet. After commissioning, the new Second Lieutenant would then be sent for specialized training at a Branch Service School, the predecessor to the modern Officer Basic School. This is the same commissioning process that is still used today at NGCSU.

This major change in policy proved to be at a great advantage for NGC and the Corps of Cadets. This policy shift attracted students of a greater academic caliber. No longer predestined to be an infantry officer, a new breed of cadet came to NGC to seek a commission in one of the other Army branches. New Regular Army Cadre was assigned to NGC, giving the military program a more well rounded pool of experience in the Army. Overall, the change in policy gave the cadets a greater range of possible futures within the Army.

World War Two proved to be the deadliest war for NGC alumni in general, but the Korean War proved to be the deadliest conflict for a single class. In all, twelve alumni were killed in action in the Korean War. Five of those twelve were from the Class of 1950. All five were killed less than a year following their commissioning and deployment to the Korean theater. These deaths stunned the Corps of Cadets. Many of the Cadets had been friends of the officers and still had fresh memories of their comrades.

In response to this tragedy, the Senior Class of 1951 chose to erect a memorial to their fallen friends. The class decided that the memorial would take the form of an archway that still stands in front of Price Memorial. The members of the class raised the funds for the memorial’s construction and built the archway themselves. The five members of the Class of 1950 that the memorial is dedicated in honor of are:

Henry C. Camp
Charles J. James
Malcom A. Gribbs
David L. Palmer
John W. Haddock Jr

The Vietnam Era

The Vietnam Era was a time that brought many changes to the Corps of Cadets at North Georgia College. NGC was still relatively isolated compared to other colleges. Dahlonega was still a rural community with not much contact with the outside world. This was beginning to change as the 1960's progressed.

Colonel Edward M. Chamberlain, a cadet during this time, fondly recalls that there was a sense of naivete that prevailed about campus. The campus population was overwhelmingly middle class and conservative. The pop culture that is usually associated with the 1960's did not exist on the NGC campus or in the Dahlonega area. To the students of NGC, the 1960's "counter culture", and the "Cultural Revolution" did not exist. The most socially rebellious act committed by the students was obtaining alcohol and going to a popular area off campus to drink and socialize with friends.

During this time all able-bodied men were required to participate in the Corps of Cadets. Except for veterans and those physically disqualified, few waivers were granted. This policy guaranteed a large number of cadets within the Corps. There were over nine hundred cadets within the military program, including the male commuters who were not exempt from participation in the military program. The Corps was so large that it took up four dormitories, Sirmons, Gaillard, Sanford, and Banes. Most Corps functions, such as drill, PT tests, Squad and Platoon Progress, and others were conducted on Wednesday mornings. This led to the institution of Saturday morning classes, which made up for those classes that cadets missed on
Wednesday mornings.

Unlike other, more urban, colleges, the attitude of the students at NGC was overwhelmingly in support of the Vietnam War. There were no demonstrations or protests against the United States involvement in Vietnam. The students believed in the principle for which the nation was fighting and were well aware that most of those who were to be commissioned were going to be sent to serve in Vietnam. Indeed, as Colonel Chamberlain points out, the heaviest percentage of commissions from NGC at this time were in the Combat Arms. Even if a cadet was not branched Combat Arms, he was most likely detailed to a combat branch.

As the war in Vietnam began to wind down and the size of the Army began to decrease, the college administration began to reassess the policy requiring all male students to participate in the Corps of Cadets. The general mood of the nation was anti-military and anti-Vietnam. This sentiment was beginning to show among the students of NGC. The college was beginning to suffer difficulties in recruiting new students with its policy on the military program. In 1972, in an attempt to ensure the survival of both the college and the military program, NGC President Dr. John H. Owen changed the policy requiring all male students to participate in the military program to the form that it exists in today. Only resident males were now required to participate in the military program. Within a year the number of cadets shrank from around seven hundred to less than three hundred.

The change in the participation policy was the best possible decision that could be made concerning the Corps at the time. This change opened the college to a much wider variety of students, students who would not attend if they were required to be in the military program. The Corps would now be made up of mostly cadets who consciously chose to be cadets. The cadets would be more highly-motivated and more interested in the military way of life.

The most important change in the Administration of the Corps of Cadets came when the offices of the Professor of Military Science and the Commandant of Cadets were combined. In 1972, North Georgia College received approval from the Department of the Army to combine the two offices "giving the senior Army officer responsibility for the total military program." This authorized the Head of the Military Department to assume duties as both Professor of Military Science and the Commandant of Cadets. Colonel Harold A. Terrell Jr. was the first officer to serve in both positions simultaneously.

The position of Assistant Commandant of Cadets was created to supervise the daily activities of the Corps of Cadets. The Assistant Commandant would report directly to the Commandant, relieving him of the burden of the daily monitoring of the Corps. The first Assistant Commandant of Cadets was Major Lawrence R. Kenyon, a graduate of NGC in 1961. Two college tactical officers were created to assist the Assistant Commandant in his daily affairs. The number of tactical officers has since changed to four.

As Professor of Military Science, the Head of the Military Department is "responsible to the Dean of the college for academic matters pertaining to the ROTC program of instruction." The Commandant of Cadets is responsible to the Dean of Students for "administering the Corps of Cadets in a matter compatible with policies, rules, and procedures established for all students and consistent with the requirement of North Georgia College as a military college."

The most significant change for ROTC in general came in 1964 with what has since become known as the ROTC Revitalization Act of 1964. The Act was passed by Congress to ensure the "flow of qualified Reserve officers." The act established, for the first time, scholarships for those wishing to commission in the armed forces. The act also established a two year program for students that had not completed the first two years of the ROTC program. These students had to first complete six weeks of the basic course, then they would enter the advanced course and complete the last two years. This act greatly increased the flow of qualified officers into the regular and reserve forces. Many students chose ROTC to help pay for their education, then decided to make a career of the military.

In 1973, the Department of the Army modified ROTC policy to allow the entrance of women into the program. As a result of this change the entrance of women into the Corps of Cadets at NGC was guaranteed. Until that time the Corps had been traditionally all male. The first female cadets were unable to wear uniforms due to the fact that Supply had no female uniforms to issue. Major David Spearman, NGC's Military Recruiting Officer stated that the new female cadets would be expected "to carry responsibilities on equal footing with their male counterparts." NGC female cadets have proudly lived up to that expectation. The first ten female cadets entered the Corps of Cadets late in 1973.

In 1975, the first six NGC female cadets were invited to preview what they would experience at Advanced Camp the following summer. The cadets observed camp training activities from basic marksmanship to tank training. The female cadets were anxious to participate in every facet of military training. Army officials at Fort Bragg stated that the NGC female cadets proved that "women can and will try any of the activities inherent in traditional summer camp training."

May 1976 saw the commissioning of the first female cadet from North Georgia College. Cadet Janet Walls became the first female cadet to receive a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army. Walls was commissioned through the two year commissioning program created by the ROTC Revitalization Act. At the time of her commissioning, Wall was the commanding officer of the women’s ROTC program. At that time women were placed in a separate unit within the Corps of Cadets. It was not until the 1980’s that females were cycled into the regular Corps.

War on Terrorism

Most recently, North Georgia College & State University alumni have been and are still currently deployed around the globe in the War on Terrorism. These alumni include the likes of MAJ Patrick Duggan, who served in Afghanistan with the Army's Special Forces. Also fighting in the War on Terrorism are 1LT Kitefre Oboho and 1LT Alan Kehoe, both assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Most recently called to action are graduates from the Class of 2004, which include Joseph Latella, Dusty Pinion, and Jason Lewis, all platoon leaders with the 48th Brigade Combat Team.

Undoubtly, North Georgia College & State University alumni will continue to excel throughout the Army during the War on Terrorism and beyond. These graduates all began at the same place, here in Dahlonega, Georgia. You can follow their footsteps and become leader of leaders. Attend North Georgia College & State University, The Military College of Georgia.