Pershing Rifles

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Pershing Rifles
The Coat of Arms of the National Society of Pershing Rifles
Founded October 2, 1894; 119 years ago (1894-10-02)
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Type Professional/Honorary/Service (Military)
Scope National
 United States
Colors  Blue  White 
Symbol Pershing Rifles Coat of Arms
Flower White Rose
Publication The National Shield
Headquarters Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Homepage Pershing Rifles National Headquarters

The Pershing Rifles is a military fraternal organization for college-level students founded in 1894 as a drill unit at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It is the oldest continuously operating US college organization dedicated to military drill. Originally named Varsity Rifles, members renamed the organization in honor of their mentor and patron, 2nd Lieutenant (later General of the Armies of the United States) John J. Pershing, upon his departure from the university in 1895.

Pershing Rifles became a National organization in 1928 expanding to include several other universities, with companies consisting of drill teams as well as tactical units. Together, these units form what is known as the National Society of Pershing Rifles.[1]

Pershing Riflemen in 2014. Drill, Leadership, Service and Camaraderie are the foundation of Pershing Rifles


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 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs. To further the purpose, traditions, and concepts of the United States 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.[2]


The symbols of Pershing Rifles are:[3]

Pershing Rifles Membership Shoulder Cord (Fourragère) and Membership Ribbon on a uniform from the late 1970s.
  • Official Colors - Blue and white are the official colors of Pershing Rifles. These colors have traditional national significance and each represent the cornerstones of the Society and its members. Blue is symbolic of Loyalty, Devotion, Friendship and Truth. White symbolizes Purity, Cleanliness of Life and Rectitude of Conduct. All are qualities in which Pershing Rifles looks for in its members.
  • Coat of Arms - The shield, crossed rifles and torch design with "P" and "R" had been used by Pershing Rifles as early as 1928. The coat of arms was adopted at the 1932 National Convention by the National Legislative Body. The official coat of arms consists of a Grecian helmet and torse over the shield, crossed rifles and torch with the inscription “Pershing Rifles” and the founding date “1894.”
  • Membership Ribbon - The Membership Ribbon, adopted by Pershing Rifles in 1951, is identical to the Army Good Conduct Medal (except it is blue rather than red), which denotes exemplary conduct at all times. It is worn on the left breast of the uniform. The six white stripes on the membership ribbon, from the wearer’s right to left stand for; Devotion to Duty and Country, A Bold and True Heart, Readiness to Meet any Situation, Leadership, Military Proficiency and Scholarship.
  • Membership Shoulder Cord (Fourragère) - The Shoulder Cord is a symbol of honor bestowed to the Pershing Rifles member upon initiation and is to be worn on the left shoulder. First worn by Pershing Riflemen at the University of Nebraska as early as 1924, The original colors of the cord were blue and white – the colors of the Society. The Cord has been purple and white with the tip bearing the Pershing Rifles Crest since the late 1950s. There is no documented evidence as to why this change was made.
  • Official Flower - The White Rose. Traditionally, this flower represents the most important man or family of the era. The white rose symbolizes the great life of the Society's patron, General of the Armies John Joseph Pershing, who made the ideals of the Pershing Rifles a reality.
  • Jewel - There is no official Jewel of Pershing Rifles, however both pearls and diamonds were used in early fraternity style badges.

Focus on drill[edit]

Pershing Rifles is a leadership development program with a foundation in close-order and exhibition rifle drill. Excellence in drill, whether armed or unarmed, is a function of discipline and dedication that translate into other endeavors in life. These traits are put to work on a regular basis by Pershing Rifles units which typically perform as color guards, exhibition drill teams, honor guards, funeral details, or ceremonial duties. These services are usually in support of the local ROTC detachment or school, but are sometimes requested by alumni, local governments, or active duty military units. Through all of these activities, in addition to the skills gained by the students, positive publicity is also received by the unit’s host school, host ROTC detachment, and ultimately the military in general. Pershing Rifles hosts the John J. Pershing Memorial Drill Competition each spring which attracts some of the finest college and high school level drill teams in the nation.



In 1891, General Pershing, then a 2LT in Troop L, 6th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, became the Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of Nebraska. Pershing wished to increase the morale and discipline of the battalion there, as well as to increase support for the Cadet Corps throughout the university's staff and community. To this end, he formed a hand-picked company of men, known as Company A, and made them his premier drill unit.[4][5]

The following year, Company A won the Maiden Competition at the National Competitive Drills held at Omaha, Nebraska, earning the "Omaha Cup" and $1,500 for the group. The spectators were so excited by the event that they left their seats and carried the cadets off the field.[6] On 2 October 1894, former members of Company A formed "Varsity Rifles". A total of 39 picked cadets and alumni met in the University's armory to hold their first meeting, Lieutenant Pershing consented to act as temporary drillmaster for the organization.[7] In 1895, the organization, in appreciation of the initiative and cooperation of LT. Pershing, changed its name to the "Pershing Rifles." Under Pershing's leadership, the organization won the Army Silver Cup for drill team competition, coming in second place after West Point.[8] When Pershing left Nebraska in 1895, at the request of a committee, he gave to the company a pair of his cavalry breeches. These breeches were cut into small pieces and were worn on the uniform as a sign of membership.[9]

The first decade of the 20th Century saw the Pershing Rifles reach the height of its existence prior to the First World War. It was one of the most important features of University of Nebraska military and social life. Membership was considered a great military honor. Its influence in the Military Department continued strong until just before World War I.[10]

As war clouds gathered over Europe in 1915, Pershing Rifles membership began to decline. By 1918 the Reserve Officer’s Training Program (ROTC), that had just been established two years earlier in 1916 was suspended. It was temporarily replaced by the Students’ Army Training Corps (SATC) which had a mission of rapidly training and commissioning new officers for service in World War I. As a result the Pershing Rifles activities at the University of Nebraska were suspended and its records were burned.[11]

The end of World War I saw the disbandment of SATC and the return to campus of ROTC and Pershing Rifles.


A 1918 photo of General of the Armies John J. Pershing. Pershing maintained a deep and abiding interest in Pershing Rifles for his entire life.

In 1919 the Pershing Rifles, like the phoenix, was reborn. Out of the ashes of the organization there sprang a corps with new life and activity. As organized in 1919, the Pershing Rifles became an organization for junior officers. It regained its status as a fraternal organization for ROTC basic course cadets. The presence of Scabbard and Blade on the Nebraska campus probably prevented its growth as an officer’s organization.

By the 1920s the prestige of the organization was once again on the rise. This was in no small part due to the popularity of General of the Armies John J. Pershing, now one of the most famous people in the World as the result of his skilled leadership of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I. Special drill units across the nation began to seek admittance into the Pershing Rifles.

The present National Society of Pershing Rifles owes its existence to Ohio State University (OSU). In the spring of 1924 it applied for affiliation with the Pershing Rifles, but the Nebraska organization refused. The Ohio State group, seeing the need for a national organization for basic course ROTC men, threatened to nationalize “The President’s Guard” and leave Nebraska out of it if the two organizations could not work together. Finally, after a year of negotiations, Nebraska's Pershing Riflemen approved Ohio State's formal application of 13 May 1925. Ohio State's company was chartered on 22 May 1925, marking the beginning of a nationwide organization.

The year 1928 brought the establishment of an official National Headquarters at the University of Nebraska which was organized along the lines of a US Army Brigade headquarters. P/R Colonel John P. McKnight was the first National Commander. National Headquarters used 1928 to plan the foundation for an expansion at the company level which would ensure a strong national organization. In the summer of the same year, a number of circulars were sent to universities that did not hold a Pershing Rifles units, inviting their crack drill units to apply for charters from the National Headquarters. Those who knew the value of the Pershing Rifles as an organization capable of promoting interest in drill work for basic students heeded the circulars. During that summer, officers attached to the schools where Pershing Rifles chapters were hosted met with officers from other institutions and as such, the organization received excellent publicity.

By 1929 five companies formed the original nucleus of the Pershing Rifles national organization:

National Headquarters – University of Nebraska

First Battalion

  • Company A – University of Nebraska -1894
  • Company B – Ohio State University – 1925
  • Company C – University of Tennessee – 1927
  • Company D – University of Iowa – 1929

Second Battalion

  • Company E – Northwestern University – 1929
  • Company F – Indiana University -1929

By 1935 the Pershing Rifles had grown to 22 Companies. The 1930s were the first Golden Age of Pershing Rifles, which saw so much sustained growth that it had expanded its structure to emulate the organization of the World War I US Army Infantry Division.

Pershing Rifles again closed it’s doors in 1943, this time as a result of World War II. Active and alumni Pershing Riflemen went off to war, serving with distinction and valor. On example is Lt Richard Joyce an alumnus of Company A-2 at the University of Nebraska, who piloted a B-25 that bombed Japan as part of the famous Doolittle Raid on 18 April 1942.

Post World War II history[edit]

The Society was reactivated in January 1946, heralding the second Golden Age of Pershing Rifles which lasted to the early 1970s. During World War II many Pershing Riflemen were drafted directly from college and served as enlisted men to meet urgent wartime manpower requirements. After the war they returned to finish their college education using their G.I. Bill education benefits. It was this nucleus of WWII combat veterans that spearheaded the rebirth of Pershing Rifles.

The late 1940s and the 1950s were years of great expansion for the Society. By 1948, just two years after reactivation, Pershing Rifles had grown to 38 companies in seven Regiments. It was now larger than its prewar strength. By 1957, Pershing Rifles had grown to 130 units in twelve Regiments an over 300% increase in size in just 11 years.

With the establishment of a separate US Air Force on 18 September 1947, Air Force ROTC cadets joined the ranks of Pershing Rifles. The Pershing Rifles National Assembly in November 1947 agreed to accept Navy ROTC cadets making the Society a true multi-service organization.

With the President’s Executive Order 9981 of 26 July 1948 that abolished racial discrimination in the US Armed Forces, Pershing Rifles rapidly integrated African American cadets and Historically Black units into the Society. As a result today the Society counts among its alumni many African American military leaders such as General Colin Powell former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and United States Secretary of State.

Over the next several decades, the Pershing Rifles continued to grow. In 1961, the Society had 139 active units with nearly 4,100 initiates for that year alone. Then Pershing Rifles disappeared from many college campuses during and following the Vietnam War with the dissolution of ROTC programs and the end of compulsory ROTC basic courses. In response to the shrinking number of units and Riflemen within these units, the National Headquarters increased the emphasis on tactics and marksmanship. By 1974 the Pershing Rifles was organized into thirteen regiments comprising 137 units.

The Coed Affiliates Pershing Rifles (CAPERS), established in 1966, were the first officially recognized female auxiliary to the Society which established units alongside Pershing Rifles units for decades until it was disbanded in the 1980s. The 1970s saw the introduction of women into the National Society of Pershing Rifles as full members, with the first female pledge at Company L-4 (North Carolina State University) in 1971 and the first female active member from M-16 (Florida State University) a year later.

The high school auxiliary to Pershing Rifles, The National Society of Black Jacks (a tribute to General Pershing's nickname), was founded in 1967 as an after school programs that provide positive leadership experience through drill.

The late 70s through the 1990s was a period where the number of Pershing Rifles units continued to decline. After Desert Storm both the US Military and Pershing Rifles were hard pressed to attract members. However the spirit, strength and traditions of the Society continued on in a few strong Pershing Rifles units across the country.

The 9/11 attacks created a groundswell of support for the US Military brought on by a new spirit of patriotism in the American public. This was echoed in the sense of duty and service amongst college students which has sustained the growth and popularity of Pershing Rifles from 2001 to present.

After more than 120 years Pershing Rifles is going strong and continues to inspire students and create future leaders in the military, business, industry and the arts.[12]

Membership and competitions[edit]

Pershing Riflemen in formation before the John J. Pershing Memorial Drill Competition during NATCON 2014 held in Richmond, VA.

Active membership is restricted to college students enrolled at an institution that hosts a Pershing Rifles company. Members may be either male or female and while a majority have affiliation with the military (especially ROTC), it is not a prerequisite for membership.

Each company has latitude in selecting their uniform and weapons. They vary from company t-shirt and BDU or ACU pants to more formal uniforms, like the Army's service uniforms, or "Class A's". Many companies wear berets, in a wide variety of colors. The only real consistencies within companies are the wear of a Pershing Rifles rank shield and, on dress uniforms, a shoulder cord and the Pershing Rifles Service Ribbon, which is blue with six vertical white lines, symbolic of the six core values held by a Pershing Rifleman.

Pershing Rifles Company W-4 at The College of William & Mary may wear uniforms based on those of the Scots Guards as recognition of their role as the Queens' Guard, the College's ceremonial guard unit, twice mustered upon visits by Queen Elizabeth II to the College.

Most Pershing Rifles companies use older battle rifles (especially the M1903 Springfield or M1 Garand) in performing routines. At the annual National Society of Pershing Rifles National Convention and Drill Competition (NATCON), active companies compete in various categories of regulation drill (like proficiency at performing a color guard) and exhibition drill (also known as trick drill, involving spinning or throwing the rifles).

Other Pershing Rifles companies, such as Company B-9[13] (University of Colorado at Boulder), Company C-9[14] (Colorado School of Mines), Company B-12 (Boston University) and Company C-12(ABN)[15] (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), focus on tactical training. These companies teach their members skills such as escape and evasion, survival skills, rappelling, hand-to-hand combat, and marksmanship. Company C-4(Clemson University) practices and focuses on regulation D&C, and a mastery of exhibition drill.

Pershing Rifles Group[edit]

The Pershing Rifles Group exists to encourage, preserve, and develop the ideals of leadership and teamwork espoused by the National Society of Pershing Rifles as taught by General of the Armies John J Pershing via its member organizations, to continue the bonds of professional fraternity established by the National Society of Pershing Rifles and National Society of Blackjacks while undergraduate and secondary ROTC cadets, and to overlay a not for profit corporate structure across our various member organizations in order to provide benefits to the members and insure the organization’s financial future.

The Pershing Rifles Group (PRG) is a Delaware Not for Profit Corporation, is an approved IRS 501(C)10 domestic fraternal organization, and is the parent corporation for five member organizations including The National Society of Pershing Rifles, The Pershing Rifles Alumni Association, The CAPERS (Co-Ed Affiliate of Pershing Rifles), The National Society of Blackjacks and The Blackjacks Alumni Association. These organizations maintain the legacy of General of the Army John Joseph Pershing and provide mentoring, leadership and learning opportunities for their members in a military fraternal environment. The PRG is a member of the Delaware Association of Not for Profit Agencies (DANA), The Professional Fraternity Association (PFA), and the Association for Fraternity and Sorority Advisors (AFA). Although the PRG is independent, they work closely with the Department of Defense Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and host Universities, High Schools, and Middle Schools throughout the county.

The PR Group is led by a Board of Directors elected from its member organizations, and a volunteer staff. The National Society of Pershing Rifles National Commander is a permanently appointed board member, and the National ROTC Adviser (The ROTC Professor of Military Science at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln) is a board observer.

All Pershing Riflemen and member organizations are automatically members. Members in good standing have paid their dues to the corporation, either as an alumni group, or as members at large.

The Pershing Rifles Group has taken on a large role in the organization of the Pershing Rifles National Convention (NATCON), through a Joint Planning Committee with Pershing Rifles National Headquarters. They have played a large part in reestablishing the Black Jacks Drill Competition for JROTC, CAP, and other youth drill units, as part of their efforts at reconstituting Blackjacks at the high school level.

Pershing Rifles Group goals[edit]

The goals of the Pershing Rifles Group are to:

  • Continue to foster the bonds of brotherhood among alumni members of the National Society of Pershing Rifles by coordinating, supporting, and sponsoring alumni events at the local, regional, and national levels.
  • Assist in the establishment of local, collegiate level alumni associations.
  • Provide a medium through which alumni at large can interact with fellpw Pershing Riflemen, connect with former classmates, and participate in Pershing Rifles active and alumni events.
  • Assist the active leadership of the National Society of Pershing Rifles in the accomplishment of their mission without interference into the daily operations of the undergraduates.

Pershing Rifles Foundation[edit]

The Pershing Rifles Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded for the purpose of promoting leadership, scholarship, and military excellence among the young men and women who make up the National Society of Pershing Rifles and its high school equivalent, the National Society of Blackjacks. The Foundation supports the legacy of General of the Armies John J. Pershing by providing a medium through which our alumni and benefactors can contribute to the Societies’ missions of building our nation’s best leaders.

The foundation provides grants and financial support for such things as scholarships, providing assistance to individual Pershing Rifles and Blackjacks units, as well as supporting the Pershing Rifles Group’s national efforts in expansion and operations, to include events such as the annual Pershing Rifles National Convention and Alumni Reunion (NATCON) and various regimental drill competitions and alumni reunions.

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Nelson Gibbs - Company R-8 - Assistant Secretary of the Air Force
  • Sid McMath - Decorated Marine, attorney, 34th Governor of Arkansas
  • Colin Powell - Company A-8 - Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State
  • George L. Sheldon - Commander of Company A - founding member of Varsity Rifles, 14th Governor of Nebraska
  • Elvis Jacob Stahr, Jr. - Company C-1 - Secretary of the Army 1961-62, president West Virginia University & Indiana University, president National Audubon Society


  • Lieutenant General Bob Coffey - Company A-1, Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Europe
  • Major General Arthur Dean - Company J-8
  • General Larry Ellis - Company J-8 - Commander, Forces Command
  • Major General Galen Jackman - Company A-2
  • Major General Joe Gray - Company G-6
  • First Lieutenant Richard O. Joyce - Company A-2 - Pilot in Doolittle's WWII Tokyo Raid on 18 April 1942
  • General Jack Keane - Company D-8 - Vice Chief of Staff of the Army
  • General Curtis LeMay - Company A-1 - Chief of Staff of the Air Force
  • Colonel Charles McGee - Company F-3 - Fighter Pilot, Tuskegee Airmen
  • Lieutenant General Paul Mikolashek - Company D-1 - Army Inspector General
  • General Colin Powell - Company A-8 - Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State
  • Lieutenant General Michael Rochelle - Company C-15 (today H-4) - Army G-1 (Personnel)
  • General Hugh Shelton - Company L-4 - Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Lieutenant General Michael Spigelmire - Company G-15 - Commander, U.S. Army Special Operations Command
  • Lieutenant General William E. Ward[16] Company J-8 - Commander, Africa Command


  • Geary Eppley - Athletic Director, University of Maryland 1937-47, won seven national championships
  • Elvis Jacob Stahr, Jr. - Company C-1 - Secretary of the Army 1961-62, president West Virginia University & Indiana University, president National Audubon Society



Company E-16 performs a Color Guard for Colin Powell
  • "The purpose of the National Society of Pershing Rifles is to develop, to the highest degree possible, outstanding traits of leadership, military science, military bearing, and discipline within the framework of a military oriented, honorary fraternity." — Attributed to General of the Armies John J. Pershing but not verified
  • "To foster a spirit of friendship and cooperation among men in the military department and to maintain a highly efficient drill company." - Pershing Rifles 1951 Pledge Manual, earliest known use of this quote
  • "For the first time in my life I was a member of a brotherhood," [Colin] Powell would later say about the Pershing Rifles. "The discipline, the structure, the camaraderie, the sense of belonging were what I craved. . . . I found a selflessness within our ranks that reminded me of the caring atmosphere within my family. Race, color, background, income meant nothing."[18]
  • "It was The Pershing Rifles and Army ROTC at Fordham that got me interested in the Army as a possible career and I have maintained an association with many of them all these years." - General John M. "Jack" Keane, Former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army,
  • "I waited until my junior year to pledge for a military fraternity, The Pershing Rifles. This was later than most other students, but all my life I was a late bloomer. The pledging was tough and physical, but also military. I received a lot more exposure to weapons and military discipline than I would otherwise have obtained. My brother was in Vietnam and I believed I would wind up there, too." - Stephen J. Candela [19]


Known Pershing Rifles units past and present (Note that some company numbers were used by more than one university or college over time) + denotes active units:

  • National Headquarters (Originally at the University of Nebraska Lincoln)
  • 1st Regiment Headquarters - University of Toledo, Toledo, OH / The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • +Company A-1 - The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH[20] (Founded: 1925)
  • +Company B-1 - The University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
  • +Company C-1 - The University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
  • +Company D-1 - The University of Akron, Akron, OH
  • +Company E-1 - The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH[21]
  • Company F-1 - Ohio University, Athens, OH
  • +Battery G-1 - Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
  • Company H-1 - West Virginia State College/University, Institute, WV
  • Company H-1 - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (1948)
  • +Company I-1 - Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH[22]
  • +Company J-1 - Wright State University, Dayton, OH
  • Company K-1 - Kent State University, Kent, OH
  • +Troop L-1 - University of Toledo, Toledo, OH (Founded: February 5, 1951)
  • +Company M-1 - John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH
  • Company N-1 - Marshall University, Huntington, WV
  • Company P-1 - Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH
  • +Company R-1 - Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY
  • Company S-1 - West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
  • Company T-1 - Central State University/College, Wilberforce, OH
  • Company W-1 - Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
  • Company Y-1 - Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Clarion, PA
  • Company X-1 - Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
  • Company Z-1 - Capital University, Columbus, OH
  • 2nd Regiment Headquarters - Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI / University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • +Company A-2 - University of Nebraska at Lincoln (Pershing's Own), Lincoln, NE[23]
  • Company B-2 - State University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • Company B-2 - Washington University, St. Louis, MO (Has also been N-3, B-7)
  • Company C-2 - University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
  • Company D-2 - University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
  • Company D-2 - University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (1948)
  • Company E-2 - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • +Company E-2 - South Dakota School of Mines, Rapid City, SD
  • Company F-2 - University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (Company D-2 in the 1930s & 40s)
  • Company F-2 - North Dakota State College, Fargo, ND (1948)
  • Company G-2 - Iowa State University, Ames, IA (Founded: 1929)
  • Company H-2 - St. John's University, Collegeville, MN
  • Company I-2 - Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
  • +Company K-2 - South Dakota State College/University, Brookings, SD
  • Company L-2 - Ripon College, Ripon, WI
  • +Company L-2 - Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO (Was L-7)
  • Company M-2 - Wisconsin State University – Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI
  • Company M-2 - Kemper Military School and College, Booneville, MO
  • Company N-2 - Wisconsin State University – Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI
  • Company O-2 - Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
  • Company P-2 - Creighton University, Omaha, NE
  • +Company W-2 - University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (Company A-7 in 1948)
  • 3rd Regiment/Brigade Headquarters - Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • +Company A-3 - Indiana University, Bloomington, IN[24] (Founded: 1929)
  • +Company B-3 - Western Kentucky State / Kentucky Teachers College, Bowling Green, KY
  • +Company C-3 - University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Champaign, IL[25]
  • Company D-3 - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Company E-3 - Purdue University, Lafayette, IN
  • Company F-3 - University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
  • Company F-3 - West Virginia State College, WV (1948)
  • Company G-3 - Murray State Teachers College, Murray, KY
  • Company H-3 - Western Michigan College of Education, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Company I-3 - DePaul University, Chicago, IL
  • Company K-3 - Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
  • Company L-3 - Michigan State University, Lansing, MI
  • Squadron M-3 - Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
  • Company N-3 - Washington University, St. Louis, MO (Currently B-2, was B-7)
  • 4th Regiment Headquarters - Clemson University, Clemson, SC
  • +Company A-4 - Saint Augustine's University, NC
  • Company A-4 - Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC
  • Company A-4 - University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (1930s & 40s, 1948) (Founded: 1927)
  • Company B-4 - Tennessee Polytechnic Institute, Crossville, TN
  • Company B-4 - University of Alabama, University, AL (1930s & 40s, 1948)
  • +Company C-4 - Clemson University/Agricultural College, Clemson, SC[26]
  • Company D-4 - Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Company D-4 - Louisiana State University, University, LA (1930s & 40s, 1948)
  • Company E-4 - Mercer College/University, Macon, GA
  • Company E-4 - Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, VA (1949)
  • Company F-4 - Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
  • Company G-4 - Auburn University, Auburn, GA
  • Company G-4 - University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (1948)
  • +Company H-4 - Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL
  • Company I-4 - Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL
  • Company J-4 - University of North Alabama, Florence, AL (Formerly Florence State University)
  • +Company K-4 - South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC[27]
  • Company K-4 - University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • Company L-4 - North Carolina State University/College, Raleigh, NC
  • Company M-4 - University of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN
  • +Company M-4 - Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • +Company N-4 - North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro, NC
  • +Company O-4 - Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA
  • Company P-4 - Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, AL (Now P-6)
  • Company Q-4 - University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • +Company R-4 - Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA (Was C-15)[28]
  • Company S-4 - Furman University, Greenville, SC
  • Company T-4 - Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
  • +Company U-4 - Hampton University, Hampton, VA (Was D-15)
  • Company V-4 - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • +Company W-4 - College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA[29]
  • Company X-4 - Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
  • +Company Y-4 - Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA
  • +Company Z-4 - University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
  • 5th Regiment Headquarters - Pennsylvania State College / University, Altoona, PA
  • Company A-5 - Pennsylvania State College / University, Altoona, PA
  • Company A-5 - Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburg, PA
  • Company A-5 - University of Syracuse, Syracuse, NY (1930s & 40s, 1948)
  • Company B-5 - Pennsylvania State College/ University, University Park, PA
  • Company C-5 - University of Maryland, College Park, MD (1930s & 40s, 1948)
  • Company D-5 - College of the City of New York, NY (1930s & 40s, 1948)
  • Company E-5 - Cornell University, Ithica, NY (1930s & 40s, 1948)
  • Company F-5 - Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
  • Company G-5 - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (1948)
  • Company H-5 - Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, PA
  • Company H-5 - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1948)
  • Company I-5 - Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
  • Company I-5 - Fordham University, New York City, NY (1948)
  • Company K-5 - University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Company K-5 - New York University, New York City, NY (1948)
  • Company L-5 - Duquesne University, Pittsburg, PA
  • Company M-5 - Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
  • Company O-5 - Gannon College, Erie, PA
  • Company P-5 - Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (1952-late 1950s)
  • Company Q-5 - Pennsylvania Military College, Chester, PA
  • Company R-5 - Scranton University, Scranton, PA
  • Company X-5 - Lafayette College, Easton, PA
  • Company Y-5 - Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
  • 6th Regiment/Brigade Headquarters - Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA / University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
  • Company A-6 - Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Company A-6 - University of California - Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (1948)
  • +Company B-6 - East Tennessee University, Johnson City, TN
  • Company B-6 - University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, PR
  • Company B-6 - University of California, Berkeley, CA (1948)
  • Company C-6 - Florida A&M College, Tallahassee, FL
  • Company C-6 - University of Idaho, Moscow, ID (1930s & 40s, 1948)
  • Company D-6 - Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA (Now D-17)
  • Company D-6 - Utah State Agricultural College, Logan, UT (1948)
  • Company F-6 - University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
  • Company I-6 - Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
  • Company K-6 - Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
  • Company M-6 - Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
  • +Company P-6 - Tuskegee University, Tuskeege, AL (Was P-4)[30]
  • Company P-6 - College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, Mayaguez, PR
  • Company S-6 - Stetson University, DeLand, FL
  • Company V-6 - McNeese State College, Lake Charles, LA
  • Company W-6 - Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL
  • Company Y-6 - Northeast State College, Lake Charles, LA
  • Company U-6 - University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
  • 7th Regiment/Brigade Headquarters - Oklahoma State University
  • Company A-7 - Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS (Formerly Kansas State College)
  • Company A-7 - University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (1948)
  • Company B-7 - Washington University, St. Louis, MO (Has also been B-2, N-3)
  • +Company C-7 - Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK (Formerly Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (Oklahoma A&M))
  • Company D-7 - University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
  • Company E-7 - University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  • Company F-7 - Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
  • +Company G-7 - Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS[31]
  • Company H-7 - University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • Company I-7 - Arkansas State College, Little Rock, AR
  • Company K-7 - Missouri University of Science & Technology, Rolla, MO (Formerly University of Missouri at Rolla/Missouri School of Mines)
  • Company L-7 - Missouri State University, Springfield, MO (Currently L-2)
  • Company L-7 - Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, TX
  • Company M-7 - Missouri Southern State College/Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO (Unit Disbanded)
  • Company N-7 - Quachita Baptist College, Arkadelphia, AR
  • Company P-7 - University of Texas Station, TX
  • Company Q-7 - Prairie View A&M College, Prairie View, TX
  • Company R-7 - University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO (Formerly Central Missouri State)
  • Company S-7 - Henderson State Teacher’s College, Arkadelphia, AR
  • Company T-7 - Midwestern University, Wichita Falls, TX
  • +Company X-7 - University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK
  • 8th Regiment Headquarters - City College of New York then Seton Hall University
  • Company A-8 - City College of New York, New York, NY
  • Company B-8 - Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Company C-8 - St. Bonaventure University, Bonaventure, NY
  • +Company D-8 - Fordham University, New York, NY
  • Company E-8 - New York University, Bronx, NY
  • Company E-8 - Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (1974-1981, 1984-2006, 2012, Was E-15, Now T-8)
  • +Company F-8 - Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  • +Company G-8 - Howard University, Washington, DC (Founded: 8 March 1974)
  • Company G-8 - Siena College, Londonville, NY
  • Company G-8 - Brooklyn College, New York City, NY
  • Company H-8 - Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
  • Company I-8 - Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
  • +Company J-8 - Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD (Was H-15) (Founded: March 15, 1954)
  • +Company K-8 - Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
  • Company L-8 - New York University, New York, NY
  • Company M-8 - Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Company N-8 - Saint Peters College, Jersey City, NJ
  • +Company O-8 - Canisius College, Buffalo, NY
  • Company P-8 - State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime, Bronx, NY
  • +Company Q-8 - Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY[32]
  • Company R-8 - Clarkson College, Potsdam, NY
  • Company S-8 - Niagara University, Niagara, NY
  • +Company T-8 - John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • +Company X-8 - University of Delaware, Newark, DE[33]
  • +Company Z-8 - Rochester Institute of Technology. Rochester, NY
  • 9th Regiment Headquarters - University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Company A-9 - University of Alaska, College, AK
  • +Company B-9 - University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO[34]
  • +Company C-9 - Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO[35]
  • Company D-9 - Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Company E-9 - South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, SD
  • +Company H-9 - Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
  • Company G-9 - Utah State University, Logan, UT
  • 10th Regiment - Headquarters - Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  • Company A-10 - University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • +Company B-10 - Fresno State University, Fresno, CA
  • Company B-10 - California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA
  • Company C-10 - New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
  • Company D-10 - Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  • Company E-10 - University of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
  • Company F-10 - San Jose State College, San Jose, CA
  • +Company G-10 - California Baptist University. Riverside, CA
  • Company G-10 - University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  • Company H-10 - Texas Western College, El Paso, TX (became UTEP, later H-17, now A-14)
  • Company I-10 - University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 11th Regiment Headquarters - Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR (Ended after 1964)
  • Company A-11 - University of Alaska, College, AK
  • Company B-11 - University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Company C-11 - University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
  • Company E-11 - Oregon State University, Eugene, OR
  • Company G-11 - University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
  • Company H-11 - Seattle University, Seattle, WA
  • 12th Regiment
  • Company A-12 - Northeastern University,[citation needed] Boston, MA
  • +Company B-12 - Boston University, Boston, MA[36]
  • +Company C-12 (Airborne)- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA[37]
  • Company D-12 - University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
  • +Company E-12 - Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA
  • Company F-12 - University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • +Company F-12 - Stonehill College, Easton, MA
  • Company G-12 - University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
  • Company H-12 - University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
  • Company K-12 - Providence College, Providence, RI
  • Company L-12 - University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
  • Company M-12 - University of Maine, Orono, ME
  • Squadron N-12 - Lowell Technological Institute, Lowell, MA
  • 14th Brigade Headquarters
  • +Company A-14 - University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX (has been E-7, H-10 & H-17)[38]
  • +Company Z-14 - Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 15th Regiment - University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • Company A-15 - University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • Company B-15 - Virginia State College, Petersburg, VA (now PR Co O-4)
  • Company C-15 - Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA (now R-4)
  • Company D-15 - Hampton University, Hampton, VA (now U-4)
  • Company E-15 - Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (late 1960s-1974, later E-8)
  • Company F-15 - George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Company G-15 - Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
  • Company H-15 - Morgan State University,Baltimore, MD (now J-8)
  • Company Q-15 - Pennsylvania Military College, Chester, PA (was Q-5)
  • Company P-15 - Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (1960s, later E-15)
  • Company R-15 - University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
  • 16th Regiment/Brigade Headquarters - University of Tampa, Tampa, FL
  • +Company A-16 - Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA
  • +Company B-16 - Georgia State University. Atlanta. GA
  • Company B-16 - University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, PR (was B-6)
  • Company B-16 - Alcorn State University, Lorman, MS
  • +Company C-16 - Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL (was C-6)[39]
  • Company E-16 - Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL (temporarily defunct)
  • Company M-16 - Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
  • Company P-16 - College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico (was P-6)
  • Company S-16 - Stetson University, DeLand, FL
  • Company T-16 - University of Tampa, Tampa, FL
  • Company U-16 - University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL (was U-6)
  • 17th Regiment Headquarters - Prairie View A&M University[40]
  • Company A-17 - Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
  • +Company B-17 - Alcorn State University, Lorman, MS
  • +Company D-17 - Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA (was D-6)
  • +Company G-17 - Grambling State University, Grambling, LA
  • Company H-17 - University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX (Now A-14)
  • Company L-17 - Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, TX
  • Company M-17 - Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX
  • Company M-17 - Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, NM
  • Company Q-17 - Prairie View A & M University, Prairie View, TX
  • Company R-17 - Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
  • Company T-17 - Midwestern University, Wichita Falls, TX
  • Company T-17 - Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX


  1. ^ Colin Powell, by Geoffrey M. Horn, p. 18, Gareth Stevens, 2004. ISBN 0-8368-5267-2.
  2. ^ The Pershing Rifles Group Website
  3. ^ Pershing Rifles Symbolism
  4. ^ Five Stars, by James F. Muench, p. 83, University of Missouri Press, 2006. ISBN 0-8262-1656-0.
  5. ^ Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, by David J. Wishart, p. 833, University of Nebraska Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8032-4787-7.
  6. ^ Pipe Clay and Drill, by Richard Goldhurst, p. 42, Reader's Digest Press, 1977. ISBN 0-88349-097-8. This work goes on to note "These cadets constituted themselves as the Varsity Rifles, later changing their name to the Pershing Rifles, an organization which spawned hundreds of chapters on other campuses in the coming decades."
  7. ^ Pershing Rifles History
  8. ^ Five Stars, p. 83
  9. ^ Black Jack, by Frank Everson Vandiver, p. 135, Texas A&M University Press, 1977. ISBN 0-89096-024-0.
  10. ^ Pershing Rifles History
  11. ^ Pershing Rifles History
  12. ^ Pershing Rifles History
  13. ^ B-9 homepage
  14. ^ C-9 homepage
  15. ^ C-12 homepage
  16. ^ metroherald page
  17. ^ Patricia Morrisroe, Mapplethorpe: A Biography, illustration. (Da Capo Press, 1997. ISBN 0-306-80766-1)
  18. ^ Colin Powell, by Reggie Finlayson, p. 28, Twenty-First Century Books, 2004. ISBN 0-8225-4966-2.
  19. ^ Veteran of a Foreign War, by Stephen J. Candela, p. 16, St. John's Press, 2004. ISBN 0-9710551-4-9.
  20. ^ A-1 webpage
  21. ^ E-1 webpage
  22. ^ I-1 webpage
  23. ^ A-2 webpage
  24. ^ A-3 webpage
  25. ^ C-3 website
  26. ^ C-4 webpage
  27. ^ K-4 webpage
  28. ^ R-4 webpage
  29. ^ W-4 webpage
  30. ^ 6th Brigade Roster
  31. ^ G-7 article
  32. ^ Q-8 webpage
  33. ^ X-8 webpage
  34. ^ B-9 webpage
  35. ^ C-9 webpage
  36. ^ B-12
  37. ^ C-12 webpage
  38. ^ 14th Brigade Roster
  39. ^ C-16 webpage
  40. ^ 17th Regiment

External links[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]