The old saying “Hard work pays off” rang true this year for The University of Toledo Pershing Rifle Troop.Seven students recently represented UT in the 2011 Pershing Rifles National Convention at Ohio State University. The troop competed in the color guard, solo exhibition and knockout events, taking first place in team exhibition for color guard.
“There are over 200 ROTC chapters across the nation,” said Lt. Col. Jonathon Beasley, professor and chair of the Military Science Department. “Around 30 to 40 units sent teams to this year’s competition, so we were pretty excited when we took first place in color guard.”
The 2011 convention was the first time the UT Pershing Rifles Troop has competed in seven years.
“We really want to keep competing now,” said 2nd Lt. Mark Andrews, a senior. “Our chapter has doubled in size since we started this year, and we really want to keep improving.”
Beasley compared the national convention to a track meet and said that while they were excited to take first in the color guard this year, they hope to be named top performers in more of the events at next year’s convention.
“The UT Pershing Rifles is a great way to build leadership,” Andrews said. “This is the time when we are very proficient in appearance and how we act. We are still disciplined when it comes to getting down and dirty out in the field, for example, but this is the more formal side of things.”
The national convention marked a special year as the National Society of Pershing Rifles commemorated the 150th birthday of its founder, Gen. John J. Pershing.