Seventeen UNG cadets have been named Distinguished Military Graduates for the 2023-24 academic year, with five of them among the top 10% nationally of graduating active-duty-eligible cadets. Contributed photo
DAHLONEGA, GA (11/27/2023)– Seventeen University of North Georgia (UNG) cadets have been named Distinguished Military Graduates (DMGs) for the 2023-24 academic year, which is six more than a year ago. Five of UNG’s DMGs are among the top 10% nationally of graduating active-duty-eligible cadets.
UNG’s DMGs include: Mark Alexander, Laurana Bradley, Brandon Dubois, James Fister, Thomas Frazier, Nicholas Haley, Nicholas Hammesfahr, Zoe Kinzie, Benjamin McKey, Thomas Parsons, Nathaniel Poteat, Maximilian Proels, Jack Rainbow, Maddox Rose, Austin Seidel, Adam Sisson, and Daniel Traylor. Alexander, Frazier, Poteat, Proels, and Sisson are the cadets who rank in the top 10% nationally.
Seidel is from Loganville, GA.
DMGs are commissioning cadets who finish in the top 20% of Army ROTC graduates on the national Order of Merit List 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 DMG designation will remain on their Army record throughout their military career.
“Our DMG cadets have maintained a level of focus and performance that extends through extracurricular activities, ROTC performance and grades,” Col. Bryan Kirk, UNG professor of military science, said. “Their scholastic success is the latest evidence of the unwavering support and expertise of our UNG faculty and staff, while their ROTC success speaks to the devotion and experience of our cadre.”
Poteat, a senior from Snellville, Georgia, pursuing a degree in computer science, aims to commission as a second lieutenant in the Army cyber branch. He spent a semester at The Citadel before transferring to UNG. This year he serves as a tactical officer in charge of operations and training for the Leadership Development Program.
“I always try to put my all into everything I do. UNG has given me the opportunities and the resources I need to succeed,” Poteat said. “I learned more here in my first two weeks than in my whole semester at The Citadel because of the training, mentoring and resources available here. I volunteered to be a tactical officer for the Leadership Development Program to help prepare those who come after me for Advanced Camp and pass on and improve that training, mentoring and those resources that helped me succeed.”
Poteat has also been active with the Blue Ridge Rifles precision drill team and serves as drill master for the group this year.
“Specialty units are another opportunity we have at UNG to set ourselves apart,” he said. “They’re something else we can volunteer for to improve ourselves physically, mentally and technically.”
Bradley, a senior from Powder Springs, Georgia, pursuing a degree in criminal justice with a forensics concentration, has served in a variety of leadership roles as a cadet. She was part of the Chaplain Corps; served as clerk and squad leader, then first sergeant for Bravo Company; and held the role of executive officer and currently serves as the command sergeant major for the Leadership Development Program.
“I’m extremely honored to be a DMG. I’ve always had that focus of wanting to develop others and develop myself as a leader,” Bradley, who will graduate in December, said. “I just did the best I could. I never wanted to be seen as someone who slacked or was off guard. Even on my worst days, I didn’t let people know it was my worst days.”
Bradley is a member of the Georgia Army National Guard and is also a recipient of the Georgia Military Service Scholarship (GMSS), which is worth more than $85,000 and is offered by the state of Georgia for 42 high school seniors annually to attend UNG and commission as officers in the Georgia Army National Guard after graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Bradley aims to commission in the Guard’s aviation branch.
Hammesfahr, a senior from Savannah, Georgia, pursuing a degree in criminal justice with Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council certification, serves as Alpha Company commander in the Corps of Cadets. A three-year ROTC sholarship recipient, Hammesfahr served as commander of the Ranger Challenge specialty unit.
He pointed to his experience in the corps as a valuable education in leadership.
“I’ve learned about looking after your people while also doing the job,” Hammesfahr said.
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.