When attempting to put into words exactly what the Pershing Rifles can do for a cadet or midshipmen preparing to enter the United States Military, or the civilian workforce – one often finds it difficult to summarize all of the benefits available to them. However, there are certain aspects of the Society that immediately come to mind:
Unique Leadership Opportunities
As already discussed, the National Society of Pershing Rifles is unique in the fact that its structure is one that allows for its members to serve in leadership positions not regularly found in ROTC. Pershing Riflemen have the opportunity to serve not only as a Drill Team Commander, Unit NCOIC, and Unit Commander, but in Regimental and National leadership positions as well. Depending on the position a Riflemen serves in, they may have the opportunity to lead dozens if not hundreds of their peers.
The staff organization of the Society also allows for a unique leadership training opportunity. Based similarly off of that of the United States Military, members of the Society will find themselves often serving in a variety of staff positions. There they are taught the basics of mission management and staff organization, and are asked to execute what they have learned on a daily basis. The in-depth understanding of the relationship and responsibilities of a commander and his or her staff is often something not even taught until a student’s senior year in ROTC.
Upon induction, the Pershing Rifleman will place over his heart a ribbon signifying membership in the Society. The ribbon is blue, with six white stripes, each representing one of the key values associated with the Pershing Riflemen. They are devotion to duty and country, a bold and true heart, readiness to meet any situation, leadership, military proficiency, and scholarship.
The Society’s dedication to Military Proficiency is most often portrayed through the induction process. Prospective members are generally given a six to eight training period in which focus on basic and advanced military skills is emphasized. Pershing Rifles Units continue developing Military Proficiency through the establishment of specialized teams, such as an exhibition drill team (in which proficiency in military bearing, conduct, and drill and ceremonies is often a basic fundamental) – or tactics team (which utilizes a focus on military tactics).
Community Service Opportunities
Across the nation, Pershing Riflemen are actively involved in their communities. The range of community service projects undertaken by a Pershing Rifles Unit however, does vary. Most units will participate in Color Guards and Honor Guards for their local communities by serving in details for professional sports teams, government officials, or military functions (such as reunions for veteran organizations). Other units will also engage in programs such as Habitat for Humanity, raise money for a local charity, or will organize Red Cross Blood Drives.
The United States Military has rightfully been called the world’s largest fraternity. As the nation’s premier undergraduate military fraternal organization, members of the National Society of Pershing Rifles have the unique opportunity to share in the bonds of Brotherhood with some of the most outstanding cadets and midshipmen the United States Military and the Reserve Officer Training Corps has to offer.
Through the Pershing Rifles, these individuals learn the understanding of Brotherhood, and will be able to better understand the fraternal nature of the United States Military and all of its branches of service at an earlier stage in their careers. With this perception, the leadership abilities of cadets and midshipmen developed through the National Society of Pershing Rifles will serve as examples for their peers to follow.
Pershing Rifles Alumni are some of the most respected, and renowned individuals in the nation. Many of our alumni have served in high positions within the Department of Defense, and other branches of government at the local, state, and national levels.