Georgia National Guard Does Drill Weekend at GMC
Georgia National Guard Uses Georgia Military College Facilities for Drill Weekend
Over the weekend between 25-30 Georgia National Guard (GANG) soldiers descended on Georgia Military College (GMC) for drill, June 23rd and 24th. The soldiers got started Saturday morning as training was conducted on the GMC obstacle course and leadership reaction course at the Oconee River Greenway. Sunday morning the soldiers took a tour of Georgia Military College and were briefed on the Corps of Cadets program. For some of the soldiers, this was their first time participating in drill with the Georgia National Guard.
“It was challenging but it made me explore different ways of doing things and I learned how to do things with a team,” Private Deja Holland said. “I didn’t think that I could do this but the challenge of the course made me a better person and made me work with other people as a team.”
This is the first time in five years the Georgia National Guard has used Georgia Military College’s facilities, and GMC President, Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV, says he hopes this won’t be the last.
“We have a really great partnership with the Georgia National Guard and we want them to know that anything we can to do help support their efforts, we are all about,” Caldwell said. “This was a great opportunity for us to show these soldiers what we do here at GMC and show them how we can make a positive impact in their lives if they choose to come to school here with us.”
The focus of the weekend was to execute drill procedure for the Georgia National Guard, but it was also an opportunity to introduce soldiers to GMC’s Corps of Cadets program. Some of GMC’s new recruits were participating in a mini-camp over the weekend during GANG’s visit, getting acquainted to GMC, where they’ll begin courses in the fall. The Georgia National Guard soldiers got to see what cadet-life is like at Georgia Military College.
All of the soldiers that visited GMC over the weekend are in the Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP), an opportunity to get an introduction into the military and to prepare for basic training, and to learn how they can pursue higher education opportunities at schools that offer scholarships to students looking to join the military, like at Georgia Military College.
“We get to offer these kids a free $50,000 scholarship, and it’s remarkable that we’re able to do that,” Master Sergeant, Retired Joseph Thomas, Cadet Admissions Recruiter at Georgia Military College, said. “We can give them a free college education and help them commission as officers so that’s incredible.
Thomas says the goal is to give the soldiers information about Georgia Military College’s program and to show them what life would look like in the GMC Corps of Cadets program.
“They get to sleep in the rooms, they get to hang out in the barracks, and they get a feel for what their college life is going to be outside of their classes.” Thomas said.
Among the 25-30 Georgia National Guard soldiers that visited GMC over the weekend, five of them have already committed to joining the Corps of Cadets when they return from basic training, including Holland.
“Really just the options that GMC has makes me want to come here,” Holland said. “I really feel like GMC is going to help me get to where I want to go and where I see myself in the future.”
As a part of the Recruit Sustainment Program, Georgia National Guard Recruiters, Staff Sergeant Damon Boyd and Sergeant First Class Akii Myers say bringing the soldiers to colleges like GMC and showing them what the program has to offer is “taking care of their soldiers.”
“We had an awesome time and we’re definitely looking forward to doing this again,” Myers said.
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