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Pershing Rifles to host military drill competition March 9, 10

Kesha Green, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The University of Illinois’ Pershing Rifles, a fraternal service organization of the Reserve Officer Training Corps, will host a military drill competition on March 9 and 10.

University and high school teams from around the nation will participate in the 54th Pershing Rifles Annual Illinois Invitational Drill Meet at the UI Armory Building, 505 Armory Ave., Champaign.

The meet, which has more than 40 events, will involve university ROTC units competing on March 9 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and high school JROTC units competing on March 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Champaign Centennial High School Orchestra will perform during the afternoon break on March 9.

As a second lieutenant, John J. Pershing founded Pershing Rifles in 1894 at the University of Nebraska. His legendary military career earned Pershing the title of General of the Armies of the United States, which made him the highest-ranking military official since President George Washington. Pershing went on to help construct a permanent framework for the Army before his death in 1948.

Pershing Rifles is a military social and service organization that promotes professionalism and leadership among members through drill and ceremony as well as fellowship. Pershing Riflemen are students enrolled in the ROTC programs of the Army, Navy and Air Force. There are more than 135 Pershing Rifles companies on campuses across the nation. The UI Pershing Rifles unit is 71 years old.