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Manhattan, KS 66506
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Sources: Ryan Hofstra, 785-532-6681, hofstra@k-state.edu;
and Steph Jones, jones6@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Calin Cooney, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Monday, March 21, 2011

PERSHING RIFLES COMPANY G-7 COMPETES IN NATIONAL DRILL CHAMPIONSHIPS

MANHATTAN -- It's an award-winning return for Kansas State University's chapter of the National Society of Pershing Rifles.

The military drill company, known as Company G-7, has been unanimously voted the best in the nation for the 2010-2011 school year. The award was announced at the annual convention and drill championship of the National Society of Pershing Rifles, March 10-13 at Ohio State University. The honor comes just a year after Company G-7 returned to K-State after a hiatus of more than 30 years.

The award recognizes Company G-7's patriotism, community service and dedication to excellence, according to Maj. Ryan Hofstra, assistant professor of military science and the company's faculty adviser. It's the first honor received by the company since winning the 1969 national drill championship.

"We're a young company with a very deep history," Hofstra said. "To return to the national convention and compete for the national championship is a tribute to all G-7 alumni. It's an honor and privilege to carry on the tradition of excellence that they established. The active members of G-7 are aware that every time they perform the memories and support of those alumni follow them."

The National Society of Pershing Rifles is an honorary fraternity whose members perform precise military drills with non-firing rifles. The K-State chapter is open to all students and develops leadership and appreciation for military bearing and discipline. The majority of the company's current members are affiliated with K-State's Army and Air Force ROTC units.

Stephanie Jones, senior in criminology and digital arts, Manhattan, is executive officer of Company G-7 and a cadet lieutenant colonel in K-State's Air Force ROTC. Because K-State's chapter is new, Jones said the national competition was an opportunity to establish the chapter's credibility on a national scale.

"By competing at the national convention, Company G7 has formally established itself as a full member of the National Society of Pershing Rifles," she said. "A lot of hard work and dedication has been put in bringing back Pershing Rifles to K-State. We've already established ourselves within the K-State community, but competing at the national level was our opportunity to show the nation what K-State is all about.

"Our riflemen have worked diligently, getting up to drill or do physical training at 6 a.m. every day to become better leaders, proficient drillers and masters of the rifle. Then they beg to practice some more. This was an opportunity to showcase all that hard work," Jones said.

Along with the best chapter award, Company G-7 also won the platoon exhibition honor and was national runner-up in the color guard event. Several Company G-7 members also won individual honors at the convention, including Jones, who was awarded the Pershing Rifle's Gold Achievement Medal.

Along with Jones, the following K-State students are members of Company G-7 and attended the convention; any awards received are listed after the student's hometown:

Mark Bohme, sophomore in mechanical engineering, Atwood; Eric Budy, sophomore in mechanical engineering, Basehor; Henry Huguley, senior in geography, Lawrence Moss, sophomore in psychology, and Anthony Magallanes, sophomore in sociology, all from Junction City.

From Leavenworth: Garrett Jennings, senior in construction science and management; Travis Jennings, senior in architectural engineering, Pershing Rifles Bronze Achievement Medal; Robert Samson, freshman in computer science, third place in solo exhibition; and David Thomas, senior in computer engineering.

Alexander Kendrick, freshman in biology, Manhattan; Jacob Mattern, freshman in sociology, Olathe; and Zachary Dodd, freshman in civil engineering, Wamego.

From out of state: Alexis Filippo, freshman in history, Frankfort, Ill.; and Alexander Copeland, senior in economics, St. Peters, Mo.