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North Georgial College & State Universitys Army ROTC battalion named one of nations top 8
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Bryan Martin, standing, gives instruction to North Georgia College & State University cadets on camouflage and cover techniques during Wednesday afternoon exercises at Pine Valley. The university’s Army ROTC program was recently rated among the highest in the country.

For North Georgia College & State University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, 2010 is off to a great start.

The university’s Corps of Cadets has been named a top Army ROTC battalion in the nation by Cadet Command and the MacArthur Foundation.

North Georgia was one of just eight programs in the nation honored Feb. 2 during the annual U.S. Army Cadet Command Winter Commander’s Conference.

“It’s a great honor to receive this,” said Maj. Richard Neikirk, assistant commandant of cadets.

The awards recognize unit performance based on the ideals of the late Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

“What it means is that we were successful in meeting all the mission and training requirements, commissioning, all the standards set up by Cadet Command,” Neikirk said. “Also the MacArthur Foundation, the programs that demonstrate the standards of Gen. MacArthur — duty, honor, country.”

The other schools honored this year are Rochester Institute of Technology, University of North Dakota, Campbell University, Cameron University, Georgia Southern University, University of Cincinnati and Santa Clara University.

“Across the nation there’s probably 270 schools that still have ROTC programs, so if you’re one of the eight schools out of that, that’s a pretty good recognition if you ask me,” Neikirk said.

This is not the first time North Georgia has been honored; the ROTC program also received the MacArthur Award in 1991 and 1995.

“That puts us at the top of our brigade for one thing and makes our cadets’ performance and everything we do that much more appreciative across the nation, I believe,” Neikirk said. “It’s a great group of cadets we got here.”

Two students have also been recognized for their accomplishments.

Cadet Col. Ashlie Shrewsbury received the individual MacArthur award for exemplifying the ideals of MacArthur and Cadet Sean Paul Adams’ excellent shooting scores have advanced him to the All-Army Championships.

“(Adams) has beat almost every active duty soldier and National Guard reservist in shooting, and now he goes to the all-Army competition at Fort Benning,” Neikirk said. “We expect him to come back a winner too.”

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