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Saturday February 6th, 2016 6:53AM

New cadets swell UNG corps to record 800-plus

By Staff
DAHLONEGA - For the 260 recruits gathered in the Student Recreation Center on the University of North Georgia's Dahlonega Campus, the mission was clear: no one left behind.

"This run is not to see who can run the fastest; this run is to see who can start as a unit and finish as a unit," Cadet LTC Theresa Bucco, deputy commander of the Boar's Head Brigade, told recruits and hundreds of family members and friends gathered prior to the traditional Crown Mountain run on Aug. 18. "We are a team. There will be no cadet left behind this morning."

"The individuals before us now conquered their fears and fought through to victory. I could not be more pleased. Well done, FROGs," Cadet COL Blake Schaper, commander of the Corps of Cadets and a role model to the 800-plus cadets he leads, said during FROG Week graduation. "Don't lose sight of why you're here; your goal, first and foremost, is to get an education and attain a degree."

Schaper, a biology/pre-med major from Alpharetta, Ga., has been involved in corps specialty units and student government, is a member of a national biology honor society and carries a 3.5 GPA. He will commission into the Georgia National Guard, a requirement of his Georgia Military Scholarship, and plans to attend medical school. Schaper admits that he wasn't a "squared away" recruit when he began three years ago with no military background.

"Actually, I was quite the 'un-squared away' FROG: wearing parts of the uniform on the wrong side and wearing my hat indoors," he said. "The corps has developed me into a more confident leader. The military staff are great mentors and by being a sponge, absorbing all of that information, you can become a great leader in UNG's 'leadership lab.'"

Schaper was pleased with the organizational pride he witnessed during FROG Week.

"We're going to build on that motivation and foster that throughout the year," Schaper said. "We want to give everyone a sense of pride in their unit, so they want to succeed for their units and themselves."

"As Bravo Company commander, my goal is to get this group to become a family. They may not know anybody, but these cadets are their new best friends," he said. "Our job is to tell them how to be successful in upholding corps standards."

On the last day of FROG Week, the most motivated recruits are chosen to carry the company guidons
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