Saturday, August 20, 2005

Frog Week

Vince sent me this article from the Gainesville Times:

FROG freshmen jump feet first into cadet training
Weeklong camp helps students hone minds, bodies

The Times

A pasty white, hairless head pops up over the edge of a mud-filled trench at North Georgia College & State University's Pine Valley training camp.
An onlooking noncommissioned officer spots the young cadet's bald dome and yells, "I could pick off that nugget from here!"
The NCO's warning falls on deaf ears as the incoming NGCSU freshman struggles through and heads for another mud pit. He's supposed to swing over the nastiness by using a nearby rope, but like most, he ignores it and yells "Airborne!" before doing a face plant in the murky mess.
It's day four of FROG (Freshman Recruit Orientation Group) week at the training camp near the Dahlonega college's campus.
More than 200 freshmen, including a few women, descend on the camp each year to participate in the six-day course one week before actual classes start.
Completion merits no class credit hours, just the satisfaction of rolling in the North Georgia mud and being a part of a ROTC program at NGCSU. It's one of only six four-year universities in the nation designated as a senior military college among the schools with ROTC programs.
"It's been a real good time," said first-year FROG cadet Randall Redfearn, 24, from McDonough. "I've had some prior service (in the Navy) so it might have been a little easier on me. We've all worked hard, but it's been mentally and physically challenging."
The obstacle course was only part of a torturous Friday for the FROG cadets. There were also low and high ropes obstacles, a leadership reaction course, rappelling and drill training.
"We tell them the only way they're going to make it through is if they work as a team," said upperclassman and cadet Staff Sgt. Patrick Allen of Kennesaw. "Everybody who quits will quit on the first day, and then all you have left are your friends."
Five cadets quit by Friday, according to an officer overseeing the training course.
FROG week culminates Sunday with a three-mile graduation run up Dah-lonega's Crown Mountain.
"I'm sure (the run) will be as tough as the rest, but this is a highly motivated, tight-knit company," Redfearn said.
After Sunday's run, the freshmen will have a day's rest before classes begin Tuesday.
"It's a challenge, but you tell yourself 'we could be out goofing off, doing drugs and alcohol,'" Allen said. "Here, we've all got goals."
FROG week introduces new cadets to a leadership-training program at NGCSU that is 132 years old.
The university enrolls more than 4,500 students, 600 of whom participate in the Corps of Cadets.

It doesn't seem like it's been 6 years since I knew 2 new FROG cadets. I remember I was scared myself when we dropped Bryan off and one of the upperclassmen started chewing his ear right off the bat! I may get in trouble with some 1LT's for posting these pictures but I thought it would be cute to see how far they've come since their FROG days.
Vince and Bryan at their military ball freshman year.

The day they graduated and were commissioned.

And now, Army 1LTs with 2 years in service.

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