Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blog Post #12

                After looking through many pictures on various databases, it made me wonder what all the symbols and badges on the Pershing Rifles uniforms stood for so I decided to do my final research blog over the various insignia of the Pershing Rifles.  First off, the official colors of the Pershing Rifles are blue and white.  These two colors have great significance and each stand for different characters.  The color blue stands for loyalty, devotion, friendship, and truth to the Pershing Rifles while the color white stands for purity, cleanliness of life and rectitude of conduct.  Moving on to the insignia on the uniforms; depending on your ranking you will have different symbols on your uniform.  The first insignia is called “The Crest” or the “Coat of Arms.”  This pin consists of a shield, rifle and torch.   I have attached a picture to the bottom of this post so that you can see what this symbol looks like.  This is the official “logo” of the Pershing Rifles.  The next insignia is “The Rank Shields,” it is simply a blue shield with crossed rifles with the letters P and R on the sides.  The officers in the Pershing rifles get to wear these.  The rank of the officer can be found about the crossed rifles.  All members of the Pershing Rifles also get “The Membership Shoulder Cord.”  This is a very prestigious cord because of how difficult it is to get into this organization.  The cord symbolizes honor, and is also worn on the left shoulder.  These cords were worn from the very beginning when the first company of the Pershing Rifles was created at the University of Nebraska.  The cord was blue and white until the 1950s, then it changed to purple in white.  There is no evidence on this change of colors but experts do believe that in World War II there was a short in blue dye so they changed it to purple.  The last insignia I will go over in this post is “The Membership Ribbon.”  This also is worn by all active members of the organization.  This ribbon means that the member will display good conduct at all times. There are six stripes on this ribbon, each stripe standing for something different.  They stand for: devotion, true heart, readiness, leadership, proficiency, and scholarship.  I thought that finding this information would be very helpful in the rest of my research project.

Work Cited 
“P/R Symbolism.” Pershing Rifle History. 2014. Web. 16 October 2014.

Pershing Rifles @MIT: C12 (ABN).  History of the Nationals P/R.  Digital Archive.  16 October 2014.

Blog Post #11

                This week in WRD 110, we had to interview someone that was a member in the organization that we were grouped with.  I interviewed Sarah M. Schmitz who is a commander in the Pershing Rifles here at the University of Kentucky.  The following is the questions that were asked and Sarah’s response.
1.    1.   What made you want to join the Pershing Rifles?
·         Freshman year I was a part of the ROTC Living Learning Community.  It consisted of both Army and Air Force cadets so I did it as a way to be more connected with my Army friends that lived in the LLC. I also joined as a way to get better at ROTC and in better shape.

2.     2.  What is the most rewarding part of being in the Pershing Rifles?
·         The most rewarding part is defiantly the camaraderie that we have within our organization. We are a family honestly. I would be happy to serve next to or do anything for my brothers and sisters in this organization.

3.      3. What is the most challenging part of the Pershing Rifles?
·         The most challenging part is hands down the 10-12 week cycle you have to complete in order to call yourself a Pershing Rifle. You are tested mentally, physically and emotionally and it is easily the hardest thing I have had to push myself through this far in my life. It has really prepared me more for my military career.

4.       4.What is your role in the Pershing Rifles?
·         I am the Executive Officer, so the vice president of the company. I oversee the training of the candidates and the events that actives are participating in. 

5.       5.What is the mission of the Pershing Rifles?
·         To develop to the highest degree possible, outstanding traits of leadership, military bearing and discipline within the frame work of a military oriented honorary fraternity

6.      6. Explain drill meets and what occurs at them.
At drill meets drill teams performs routines that are based off military drill (marching maneuvers). We have our annual drill meet in the spring semester and invite local high school JROTC units to complete in drill and ceremonies here on UK’s campus and be evaluated by us. It is a great event that gets our name out to local perspective cadets.

7.       7.What are some accomplishments of the company here at the University of Kentucky?
·         We are amongst the most prestigious military organizations that you can join. We do many of the color guards for UK sporting events and around the local tri state area. On 9/11 we perform a 9/11 vigil where we put out a flag for every person killed on 9/11 across Admin Field and read off their names throughout the day while guarding the flags with riffle work. Our actives are in the top of their respective ROTC classes and have gotten to do some very prestigious training over the past summer.  The Lieutenants that come out of our company do very successful in active duty military.

8.      8. Is there training you have to go through to be able to join? If so, what does the training entail?
·         Yes, as stated above you have to complete a 10-12 week cycle that is a very physical and mental test. There is a lot of physical work, I was in the best shape of my life after going through cycle. We do campus runs, log PT, many pushups and much more. You also are training on military tactics and knowledge. Much of the training is secret so I hope this is enough to give you.

9.      9. Are there other requirements that a person has to meet to join the Pershing Rifles?
·         Yes, you have to get a certain score on an Army or Air Force physical fitness test and you must maintain a 2.7 GPA.

 Work Cited
Schmitz, Sarah M. Personal Interview. 16 October 2014.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Post #10

                For my second blog post this week, I decided to use the resources the library gave us last week.  These resources have really helped find information on the Pershing Rifles.  It was difficult finding information on just the Pershing Rifles here at the University of Kentucky but I have found the UK Explore have a lot of pictures, yearbooks, and journals that are available.  Most recently, I came across an article in a journal about the “Kentucky Babes.”  The Kentucky Babes are affiliated with the Pershing rifles.  They are an all-female version of the Pershing Rifles.  This article was written in 1975 when the Kentucky Babes won their first intercollegiate drill meet.  The team, in 1975, had thirteen female members in it.  These women went through six weeks of physical training during the fall semester to be able to compete as a member.  They also volunteered around the city of Lexington.  They visited local hospitals and served as the guards that carried the colors at commencement and for the Governor at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky.  I found this information very interesting because, if you read my last post, I talked about interviewing a female member to see how it is different.  I didn't realize that the Kentucky Babes was even a thing.  Although I’m not sure if this group is still around or if females and males all are in just the Pershing Rifles.  I also thought it was cool that they had thirteen active members because normally you don’t find very many females willing to participate in military like activities.  I was very excited to find this article about the females associated with the Pershing Rifles.  The only question that I still do have on this topic is if the Kentucky Babes are still around.  Hopefully by conducting an interview this coming week, I will be able to have this question answered.

Work Cited
"KY Babes Win First Place in Intercolleigante Drill Meet." UK Explore Year Book Collection. 1974. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Post #9

This week in WRD 110 we had to come up with three people that we thought would be interesting to interview. The three people I picked was a member of the Pershing Rifles here at the University of Kentucky because they would know a lot of information about the organization.  The second person I thought would be interesting to interview was a female member of the Pershing Rifles.  I thought this would be interesting because not very many females have the courage to join a type of military based organization.  The last person I thought would be interesting to interview would be the instructor of the ROTC or Pershing Rifles programs.  We also had to think of questions that we would asked if we were to interview them.  These are just some of the questions that I thought of:
  • ·         What made you want to join the Pershing Rifles?
  • ·         Are you also in the ROTC program here at the University of Kentucky?
  • ·         What kind of training do you have to go through to be in the Pershing Rifles?
  • ·         What do competitions consist of?
  • ·         What is the most rewarding thing about being in the Pershing Rifles?
  • ·         What is the most challenging this about being in the Pershing Rifles?
  • ·         What do your uniforms consist of?
  • ·         What is the mission of the Pershing Rifles?
  • ·         What are some of the major accomplishments of the company here at the University of Kentucky?
  • ·         What are other events that the Pershing Rifles put on?
  • ·         What is it like being a female in the Pershing Rifles?
  • ·         How often do you have to go through training?
  • ·         How often are competitions?

These are just a few of the questions that I thought of to ask the members and instructors in the Pershing Rifles.  Hopefully being able to talk with one of these three people will help me gather more research information.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Blog Post #8

Another interesting article that I found was about the Pershing Rifle formal dance.  At this event, they will crown the queen and freshmen members will that completed the training will be official after initiation.  This article goes on to explain that at the time there were twelve regiments in the United States, each regiment contains eight to twelve companies.  These regiments each represent a university.  The companies are then divided into squads and platoons, each of the platoons have a different duty.   There are many other databases and resources that are available through the University of Kentucky libraries.  Having access to these will make writing research papers much easier.  For most of my papers I wrote in high school I always used Google, but now being in college using Google isn't a good source so being able to have access to these will be very useful. 

"Kentucky Kernel." UK Explore. University of Kentucky, 13 Nov. 1959. Web. 3 Oct. 2014

Blog Post #7

This past week, my WRD 110 class got to spend a class period in the library learning all about the online resources and databases that are offered through the university.  These resources have really helped me find more information on the Pershing Rifles, especially the one here at the University of Kentucky.  Probably my favorite information that I came across was the pictures that are on UK Explore.  There are hundreds of pictures of the Pershing Rifles almost every year, doing various activities.  They also have newspaper articles and yearbook articles that are interesting to read through.  These articles date back to the year 1936.  I have always found the historic information on any topic very interesting.  While researching I came across a newspaper article about the Pershing Rifles winning a Dayton University meet in 1939.  This was a record setting win for the Company, this was there seventh victory in the eight years of competition.  I thought the most interesting part of the article is how it talks about when they announced for Company C to step forward that it sounded like the whole Kentucky campus came to support them.  I thought this was really awesome because the University of Kentucky is kind of known for the support that the student body shows for athletics and organizations so to know that even in 1939 this was still the case was really cool.  After the team won this award, they got to stay overnight, and were taken the next day to ride in a new bomber named “The Flying Fortress,” at the Army Air Post.  I think going to the library and getting to learn about these databases really helped me find more information about the Pershing Rifles.

Work Cited:
"Kentucky Kernel." Explore UK. N.p., 16 May 1939. Web. 3 Oct. 2014.