Coed Affiliates Pershing Rifles

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Coed Affiliates Pershing Rifles
Patch of the Coed Affiliates Pershing Rifles
Founded January 1, 1966; 50 years ago (1966-01-01)
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Type Drill Coed Affiliate (Military)
Scope National
 United States
Colors  Blue  White 
Flower White Rose
Homepage CAPERS Alumni Association

The Coed Affiliates Pershing Rifles (CAPER) was established in 1966 as the first officially recognized female auxiliary to the National Society of Pershing Rifles. It was disbanded in the early 1980s when women were fully integrated into Pershing Rifles. The organization has also been called the Coed Affiliates of Pershing Rifles and CAPERS over the years.


Like Pershing Rifles, the Coed Affiliates Pershing Rifles was focused on drill and ceremony and CAPER teams competed in local and national drill meets.


Over the years various women's auxiliaries to Pershing Rifles were formed at the local level. One of the earliest coed group know to be associated with Pershing Rifles was the Cadence Countesses established at the University of Nebraska in 1959.

In 1963 women at the University of Oklahoma asked to start a female drill group affiliated with Pershing Rifles Company H-7. This led to the formation of the Kaydettes drill team. By the fall of 1965, the Kaydettes members thought that there should be a national level organization for coed groups affiliated with Pershing Rifles. They petitioned the National Headquarters of Pershing Rifles in Lincoln, Nebraska and were given permission to establish such an organization. They then contacted existing coed groups across the country to start the foundation for a nationwide organization.

On January 1, 1966 the Kaydettes were established as the national female auxiliary for Pershing Rifles under the supervision of the Seventh Regimental Headquarters. However the Kaydettes name was not acceptable because it would cause already established coed groups to change the unique names of their local units. So on November 26, 1966, at the Pershing Rifles Fall Little National Convention the organization's name was changed to the Coed Affiliates Pershing Rifles (CAPER) and came under the direct supervision of Pershing Rifles National Headquarters.

The first CAPER National Convention was held in Washington DC in the spring of 1967 in conjunction with the Pershing Rifles National Convention and Drill Meet. Five CAPER Companies were present, as well as observers from universities considering charting with CAPER. By the end of the 1967 school year seven companies had been chartered with CAPER. By 1968 the number of chartered companies had doubled to 14.

In 1969, several CAPER Regiments were established and they aligned with existing Pershing Rifles Regiments which provided some oversight. Establishment of CAPER Regiments allowed for more concentration on unit expansion and better support to local CAPER Companies. That same year, Colonel Iris Rodriguez was promoted to CAPER Brigadier General to elevate her to a rank above that of the regimental commanders.

On February 5, 1972 CAPER Headquarters moved to the Kansas State University. At this time the National Staff consisted of 17 officers which had oversight for 4 Regiments and 35 Companies. At the 1973 National Convention CAPER held a separate drill meet for the first time.

Around 1976 CAPER National Headquarters moved to Auburn University, In 1978 it moved to Appalachian State University and in 1979 when it again moved to Seton Hall University.

The U.S. Armed Forces move towards fully integrating women signaled the beginning of the end of the CAPER organization. By the mid 1970s, female students were able to take Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) classes at their universities and soon were able to join Pershing Rifles. Around that same time Pershing Rifles units started allowing non-ROTC cadets to join. Eventually Pershing Rifles Companies integrated CAPER members into their organization. Although the exact date is unknown the CAPER was disbanded in the early 1980s.

Some CAPER Companies chose not to join Pershing Rifles and established a new national organization called Pershing Angels that still exists today.


CAPER units were predominantly on the East coast and in the South. Many CAPER companies shared the same numbering as their affiliated Pershing Rifles Company.

Known Coed Affiliates Pershing Rifles (CAPER) units and other female auxiliaries to Pershing Rifles:

CAPER 1st Regiment

Units affiliated with 2nd Regiment Pershing Rifles

Units affiliated with 3rd Regiment Pershing Rifles

CAPER 4th Regiment

CAPER 5th Regiment

Units affiliated with 6th Regiment Pershing Rifles

Units affiliated with 7th Regiment Pershing Rifles

  • University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS) E-Co "Berets" affiliated with Pershing Rifles Company E-7
  • Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS) CAPER Company G-7 and CAPER National Headquarters (1972–76)
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK) "Kaydettes", CAPERS Headquarters Company H-7 and CAPER National Headquarters (1966–72)
  • Lincoln University (Jefferson City, MO) PA com A-7-5 affiliated with Pershing Rifles Company M-7

Units affiliated with 8th Regiment Pershing Rifles

CAPER 9th Regiment

Units affiliated with 10th Regiment Pershing Rifles

Units affiliated with 12th Regiment Pershing Rifles

Units affiliated with 16th Regiment Pershing Rifles

Units affiliated with 17th Regiment Pershing Rifles


  • 1966 – COL Gloria Robinson / COL Tanya (McDonald) Miller
  • 1967 – COL Patricia Gail (Todd) Kish / COL Kathryn "Kay" Sykes
  • 1968 – COL Nina Rose Jacoby / COL Gwen Coley
  • 1969 – BG Iris Rodriguez
  • 1970 – BG Linda Grissette
  • 1971 – BG Paulette (Kikugawa) Lum
  • 1972 - BG Gwen (Howell) Kelly /BG Susan Linholm
  • 1973 – BG Rhonda (McGuire) McCommons
  • 1974 – BG Elizabeth Cramer
  • 1975-77 - Unknown
  • 1978 – BG Susan B. Rice
  • 1979 – BG Cheryl Beers-Cullan
  • 1980 - BG Sharon Sanders
  • 1981 – BG Shirley Jones

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