The University of North Georgia (UNG) military programs are featured in the March issue of Army Magazine, a publication of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). The article, “Mining a Different Kind of Gold: University of North Georgia Expanding ROTC Studies,” focuses on the university’s Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies (ILSS) and the role it has played in the expansion of UNG’s military programs to include cyber and security studies and more international programs. The article highlights the success of individual students and recent record-setting accomplishments of the Corps of Cadets as a whole.
“We’re very proud to gain national recognition for our university and Corps of Cadets, which produces motivated graduates who are well prepared to lead with character; who are agile and adaptive; who solve problems with innovative solutions; and who will win in a complex world,” retired Lt. Col. Keith Antonia, associate vice president for Military Programs at UNG, said of the article. “We have a world-class leadership development program, and our cadets are our credentials.”
Antonia and retired Army Col. Billy Wells, UNG’s senior vice president for leadership and global engagement, both are quoted in the article. Wells highlighted the successful results in the year since the ILSS was created.
“After a year of mission-based functional realignment, academic performance, cadet internships, study abroad, and selection for nationally competitive scholarships have all set new records, well above the norm for the university as a whole,” he said. “Additionally, performance of North Georgia cadets at the Cadet Leaders Course always outstanding has set new records with 32 percent of our cadets ranked in the top 15 percent of the nation.”
As noted in the article, UNG has produced 51 general and flag officers, and cadet alumni include college presidents, politicians, writers and CEOs. Seventy-five percent of graduating cadets become commissioned officers, and many cadets are members of the Georgia Army National Guard while they attend the university. Additionally, all UNG cadets receive in-state tuition, regardless of whether they are from Georgia. Rick Maze, editor-in-chief of Army Magazine and director of media operations for AUSA, visited UNG’s Dahlonega Campus in December to meet several UNG administrators, tour the campus and attend a briefing about ILSS . Maze also had the opportunity to meet several UNG cadets.
Army Magazine has a paid circulation of more than 51,000, including thousands of active duty Army personnel, National Guard, Reserves, military families, and retired soldiers and more than 12,000 defense industry executives. Established in 1950 and with headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, AUSA works to support all aspects of national security while advancing the interests of the U.S. Army and the men and women who serve. AUSA is a private, non-profit educational organization that supports the regular Army, National Guard, Reserve, retired soldiers, government civilians, wounded warriors, veterans, concerned citizens and family members. UNG is one of only six federally designated senior military colleges in the country and is designated by the Georgia Legislature as The Military College of Georgia. With more than 18,000 students on five campuses, UNG is one of the largest public universities in Georgia.
Elaine Blanchard with Memphis Police Director Michael Ralllings at Blanchard’s church last year.(Photo: courtesy of Elaine Blanchard)
Elaine Blanchard is an ordained minister and a proud graduate of the Memphis Police Department’s Clergy Police Academy. Last fall, she welcomed Police Director Michael Rallings as a guest for a Wednesday evening meal at Shady Grove Presbyterian Church.
“Our police officers have such a difficult job. They all need our help,” said Blanchard, who posted a photo of her and Rallings on her Facebook page. She also officiated the wedding of a woman who works for Mayor Jim Strickland. The mayor was in attendance.
“He seems like a nice man,” she said.
Last week, she learned via Facebook that she is one of 81 people who can’t enter City Hall without a police escort. She also learned that she’s one of 43 people barred from visiting Strickland’s home.
“This grammie is a gangsta!” the 5-4, gray-haired grandmother joked on her Facebook page over the weekend. It would be funny, if it wasn’t so absurd.
Blanchard has never been arrested. She’s never been to the mayor’s home. She can’t remember if she’s ever been to City Hall. How did she end up on City Hall’s list of security risks, or the mayor’s list of persona non grata? How did so many others? Why does such a list even exist?
Police aren’t saying. The mayor says he didn’t know about the list even though it bears his signature. The mayor says he did sign an “authorization of agency” form Jan. 4 a list of people he has ordered to stay off his personal property.
In December, a group of protesters organized a “die-in” on his lawn and video showed some peeking through his windows. But many, if not most, of the 43 people on the list Strickland signed did not participate in the “die-in.” That includes Blanchard.
“I would never have done that,” she said. “I felt sorry for the mayor when I heard about that one. It was wrong to do that at his home.”
Blanchard did participate in a public protest last year. That seems to be the only common denominator among most of the people on the list. That might explain why there’s more than one list, as The Commercial Appeal’s Ryan Poe reported Friday.
Memphis City Hall requires police escort for Darrius Stewart’s mother, protesters
The first list is dated Jan. 4 and names 43 people including Blanchard “barred from the premises” of Strickland’s home who “also have to be escorted while in City Hall.”
It doesn’t explain why. But those on the list have participated in one or more recent nonviolent public protests at the Mississippi River bridge, Overton Park, Graceland, Valero refinery, or elsewhere. Strickland’s signature is on all four pages of the list. But three of the pages include Lt. Anthony Bonner’s handwritten note that those on the list “have to be escorted while in City Hall.”
It’s unclear whether the notes were added before of after Strickland’s signatures. The second list is dated Jan. 17 and names 14 people who “have to be escorted at all times while inside City Hall.” It also doesn’t explain why.
Seven of the names are listed as white females; six as white males; one as a black female. The list was signed by Police Lt. Albert Bonner. The third list seems to present some legitimate and specific concerns. It’s called “City Hall escort list” and it’s undated and unsigned. It names 27 people and adds a brief description or reason why each person is on the list. Fifteen are listed as “former employee.”
A dozen others are identified with words like “threats,” “harassment,” or “disorderly conduct” and “vandalism.” One is identified as “Order of Protection.”
Why aren’t the first two lists more specific? Why are public protesters considered a security risk at City Hall?
“It implies that everyone on the list is somehow a threat to city officials,” said Jayanni Webster, a 27-year-old honors graduate of UT-Knoxville. “It’s very upsetting.”
Webster, a community organizer, was one of six protesters handcuffed, detained and cited for blocking the road in front of Graceland last July. Blanchard joined a demonstration outside Graceland in August. It was during the annual candlelight vigil for Elvis. The next day, two local legislators Rep. G.A. Hardaway and Sen. Lee Harris complained that police kept black protesters behind barricades while allowing white protesters free movement.
Blanchard told the press that she agreed.
“I threw my leg over the barricade and a Graceland security officer came over and gave me a hand, lifted my elbow and helped me over the barricade,” she told The Commercial Appeal.
“The police could clearly see that a white woman who had been with the protesters was climbing over the barricade, and no one stopped me.”
Blanchard figures that her public complaint is why her name is on the City Hall security list. She hadn’t thought about going to City Hall anytime soon, but now she feels sort of obligated. Tuesday afternoon, she plans to attend a protest being called the “Weigh In at City Hall.”
First she’ll have to find her way there.
“I’m not even sure which building it is,” she said. “But once I get there, maybe they’ll show me around.”
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- Author: Jeff Mason, Patricia Zengerle, Reuters
- Updated: 3 hours ago
- Published 4 hours ago
Newly named National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster listens as President Donald Trump makes the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON President Donald Trump said on Monday that Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond McMaster would be his new national security adviser, again turning to the U.S. military to play a central role on his foreign policy team. Trump also named Keith Kellogg, a retired U.S. Army General who has been serving as the acting national security adviser, as chief of staff to the National Security Council. Speaking to reporters in West Palm Beach where he spent the weekend, Trump said John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, would serve the administration in another capacity. McMaster is a highly regarded military tactician and strategic thinker, but his selection surprised some observers who wondered how McMaster, who is known for questioning authority, would deal with a White House that has not welcomed criticism.
He replaces a Trump loyalist. Michael Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was fired as national security adviser on Feb. 13 after reports emerged that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about speaking to Russia’s ambassador about U.S. sanctions before Trump’s inauguration. The ouster, coming so early in Trump’s administration, was another upset for a White House that has been hit by miscues, including the controversial rollout of a travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, since the Republican president took office on Jan. 20. Trump spent the weekend considering his options for replacing Flynn. His first choice, retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward, turned down the job last week.
The national security adviser is an independent aide to the president and does not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. The role has varied from administration to administration, but the adviser attends National Security Council meetings along with the heads of the State Department, the Department of Defense and key security agencies. McMaster, 54, is a West Point graduate known as “H.R.,” with a doctorate in U.S. history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2014, partly because of his willingness to buck the system. A combat veteran, he gained renown in the first Gulf War and was awarded a Silver Star after he commanded a small troop of the U.S. 2nd Army Cavalry Regiment that destroyed a much larger Iraqi Republican Guard force in 1991 in a place called 73 Easting, for its map coordinates, in what many consider the biggest tank battle since World War II.
As one fellow officer put it, referring to Trump’s inner circle of aides and speaking on condition of anonymity, the Trump White House “has its own Republican Guard, which may be harder for him to deal with than the Iraqis were.” The Iraqi Republican Guard was ousted dictator Saddam Hussein’s elite military force.
McMaster’s fame grew after his 1997 book “Dereliction of Duty” criticized the country’s military and political leadership for poor leadership during the Vietnam War.