EKU Pershing Rifles Company R-1
The National Society of Pershing Rifles was founded in 1894 and is the nation’s premier undergraduate military honor society. The mission of the National Society of Pershing Rifles is to aid in the development of successful officers in the Army, Navy and Air Force; to foster camaraderie and esprit de corps among all three ROTC programs; to further the purpose, traditions and concepts of the US Army, Navy and Air Force; and to give civilians an opportunity to be part of a military organization without a formal commitment to the military.
Eastern Kentucky University’s chapter began probationary status in 1953 and was formally on May 10, 1955 at what was then Eastern Kentucky State College. Since then the EKU Pershing Rifles Company has represented both the university and the Army ROTC program at competitions, formal ceremonies, athletic events and local community events with both color guard and exhibition drill demonstrations.
Many times the question arises as to what makes up a Pershing Rifleman. In this day and age, he/she becomes a member of a drill team, tactical unit or rifle team. They may continue on to a staff position, or perhaps attain the responsibility of command. But, who is this individual, what makes them function? Simply stated, the Pershing Rifleman is an individual, a man or woman who thinks for themselves, but gives up a portion of their individuality for the good of a higher order than themselves. Rather than wait to be ordered to do a task, the individual usually takes the initiative and with foresight accomplishes what has to be done. Should it be any other way? A Pershing Rifleman cannot be explained as being a special breed. They are an individual in a group. They are one of the few who have their eyes on the stars and feet on the ground.
EKU Ranger Company and Challenge Team
The EKU Ranger Company provides Cadets with an opportunity for challenging training and competition. Multiple teams fall under the umbrella of the Ranger Company. These teams include the Ranger Challenge team, Best Ranger teams and the Mountain Man teams.
The Ranger Challenge is the ‘varsity sport’ of ROTC and consists of multiple physical and technical skill competitive events. Cadets on the Ranger Challenge team train throughout the week during the competition season and push themselves to excel at physical training, tactics, marksmanship, ruck marching, first aid and other technical skills. EKU traditionally has placed in the top of the annual Bold Warrior Challenge at Ft. Knox, KY.
The Best Ranger teams compete at the annual Best Ranger competition at Xavier University. The competition consists of multiple technical and physical events completed in two-Cadet teams.
The Mountain Man teams participate in the annual Mountain Man Memorial March in Gatlinburg, TN. The event started as a way to honor local fallen veterans and their families but has slowly grown every year. It consists of a half and full marathon distance run and ruck march with 35lbs of gear.