FROG Week welcomes new UNG cadets to campus

The University of North Georgia (UNG) Corps of Cadets welcomed 184 new cadets during Freshman Recruit Orientation Group (FROG) Week, which was held recently.

Under the direction of Jacob Lyons, cadet brigade commander, the FROGs were a diverse group, 30% of which are minorities and 23% of which are women. They ranged in age from 18 to 37 and came from 31 U.S. states. There were five international students.

Lyons, a senior from Ringgold, Georgia pursuing a degree in strategic and security studies, said the week went very well. He attributed the success to the cadet cadre.

“Our cadet command staff arrived two weeks early, volunteering a good chunk of their summer so that we could put on a great FROG Week,” Lyons said. “The credit all goes to them because they always remained professional. There were many times they went to sleep super late at night, waking up early in the morning to make sure that FROGs had the absolute best FROG Week experience.”

Among the FROGs was Cleo Johnson, a freshman from Kennesaw, who said the experience exceeded his expectations.

“I expected FROG Week to just be like a new journey for me, a new step into a new chapter in my life. I didn’t expect it to be peaches and cream. I knew was going to be difficult, ” Johnson said. “FROG Week exceeded my expectations in many ways. The cadre did what they were supposed to do. They trained us. They taught us everything that we needed to know.” 

A member of the Hotel Company, Johnson was selected as company icon bearer, an honor bestowed on outstanding FROGs.

Johnson, who had a birthday during FROG Week, said he chose UNG because he saw it as a great opportunity.

Rappelling from a 60-foot rock face at Camp Frank D. Merrill in Dahlonega, Georgia, is just one of the activities during FROG Week.

“I wanted to go from high school straight to college, with academics still fresh in my mind. I felt UNG would be a good opportunity and a good change for me, ” Johnson said. “I prayed on it. I thought about it and talked about it with my parents. We all just believed it was a great opportunity for me to come here and join the Corps of Cadets.”

Johnson, whose high school athletic career helped with stamina, received a full ride through the Georgia Military Service Scholarship. He is pursuing a degree in business administration with a focus on entrepreneurship.  

There was a moment during FROG Week when Johnson knew his decision to enroll at UNG was the right one for him.

“We were at Memorial Wall. The eternal flame hit home for me emotionally because I have a few family members who served,” Johnson said. “It was explained that if you walk in, you must read all the names. They served our country, and it’s sad that they passed away doing it. But they did something that they loved and were passionate about. That’s where I connected most.”

Devin Lansing, from Woodstock, is a pre-med biology major who aspires to be a field surgeon in the Army and was among the 44 female FROGS.

“I liked the corps program, and I know I want to commission,” Lansing said. “UNG has one of the top pre-med programs in Georgia, and it’s only about an hour away from where I live.”

Lansing said mental toughness helped her to graduate FROG Week.

“People should know it’s a mental game, and if you prepare yourself physically over the summer, you can get through it,” she said. “The Crown Mountain Run was fun. I liked getting hosed down at the end. There was a lot of camaraderie. Everyone was in it together. You can’t leave anyone behind.”