Local cadets excel at UNG Advanced Camp

DAHLONEGA, GA (10/10/2023)– The University of North Georgia (UNG) tradition of excellence continued at Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as 94 cadets completed the summer training.

Members of the Corps of Cadets, shown here with Col. Bryan Kirk, UNG professor of military science, continue to excel at Advanced Camp with 20 receiving Recondo badges.

Those from UNG included:

  • Olamide Adekola of Loganville
  • Tristan Rudisail of Loganville

Advanced Camp is a mandatory training event for rising seniors within the Corps of Cadets who plan to commission. They demonstrate their proficiency in military and leadership skills tested over one month under the direction of the U.S. Army Cadet Command.

“The fundamentals of developing leaders of character requires consistent focus, innovation and teamwork that can provide challenges to our cadets that build courage, resiliency and commitment to service,” Col. Bryan Kirk, UNG professor of military science, said. “UNG’s track record of producing quality officers who lead in the Army’s most demanding and exceptional units is a testament to our success. Our focus on developing Army officers through a culture of academic, physical and leadership excellence strives to emulate the success and prestige of the U.S. Military Academy.”

Cadet Adrian Delgado received the ARNG Minuteman Award, and Cadet Sawyer C. Davis was the recipient of the USAA Warrior Spirit Award.

“UNG cadets consistently perform well at Advanced Camp due to the dedication and professionalism of our ROTC cadre, our cadet leadership and amazing support by our UNG faculty and staff,” Kirk said.

Twenty cadets received the Recondo badge, which is awarded to cadets who display superior skills at camp. They must exceed the standards in seven events: Army Combat Fitness Test; confidence courses; land navigation; marksmanship; first aid; a 12-mile foot march; and chemical, biological, radiological. and nuclear training.

The recipients included: Brady Anderson, Carson Ash, Nicholas Barton, Brody Becker, Jeremy Calhoun, Shelby Crocker, Davis, Brandon Dubois, Dylan Green, Robbie Griffin, Nicholas Hammesfahr, Andrea Mierisch, Garrett Parker, Maximilian Proels, Austin Riner, Derek Roach, Adam Sisson, William Van Meter, Lawson Willard, and Kenneth Withrow.

Kirk said there were three more Recondo winners than last year even though one less cadet was sent to training.

“Advanced Camp was a great opportunity to learn how to lead not only a group of people that you do not know, but also a group of people who are your peers,” Barton, a Cumming, Georgia, resident pursuing a degree in cybersecurity, said. “Advanced Camp showed me that anyone, no matter how they appear, can be one of the best leaders. I appreciate the training that I received from UNG and the Army itself. Without this invaluable training, and the support I had from my leadership, I would not have been able to earn the Recondo badge.”

Proels, a Suwanee, Georgia, resident, pursuing a degree in criminal justice, said participating in corps special organizations prepared him to excel at camp and achieve the Recondo.

“Putting in hard work pays off when it is time to be assessed. The quality of training from the Corps of Cadets, the Mountain Order of Colombo and Ranger Challenge gave me the experience to succeed,” Proels said.

Dalton, Georgia’s Selena Paniagua, also pursuing a degree in cybersecurity, is the first member of her family to join the military and relied heavily on her fellow cadets.

“I was forced to come out of my shell to learn how to lead and follow other cadets from different parts of the United States,” Paniagua said. “I was placed in a stressful environment with 30-plus new faces, who all have different experiences. I had to learn to handle the challenges I faced and find a way to motivate strangers to trust me to lead them.”

Positioned in the fastest-growing region of the state, the University of North Georgia comprises five campuses united by a single mission focused on academic excellence and academic and co-curricular programs that develop students into leaders for a diverse and global society. The University of North Georgia is a University System of Georgia leadership institution and is The Military College of Georgia. With more than 18,000 students, the University of North Georgia is one of the state’s largest public universities. The university offers more than 100 programs of study ranging from certificate and associate degrees to doctoral programs.

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