SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Guards Battalion started the 2006-07 academic year off with the completion of its Introductory Military Science Lab on Wednesday, Sept. 6. The lab served to introduce new and returning students participating in the military science courses to their new Cadet Chain of Command. The program also allowed the new Professor of Military Science, Manuel de Guzman, an opportunity to discuss his vision as he leads the program for the next three years.
After video highlights of the many events ROTC offers to participating cadets, the new cadet battalion commander, George “Parks” Bunch, challenged the students to make the most of the opportunities afforded them through the Military Science Department. Supported by the new Cadet Executive Officer, Michael Wood, the staff talked at length about the numerous social and stewardship organizations, as well as the myriad of training opportunities open to Southern Guards Battalion members. The lab closed with students finishing off the pizza and drinks provided, and with the cadets excited about the upcoming year.
The cadet battalion commander for the 2006-07 academic year is George “Parks” Bunch. A native of Columbia, S.C., and member of the Southern Guards Battalion for the past three years, Bunch is a senior history major at Wofford with aspirations of commissioning into the Infantry Branch in May 2007. His past ROTC highlights include a three-year member of the Southern Guards Battalion Ranger Challenge Team, last year serving as platoon sergeant. As cadet command sergeant major for most of 2005-06, Bunch was a regular at Wofford Terrier home football games as a member of the color guard, which presented the national colors. Bunch participated in cadet training the past two summers, first attaining his Airborne Wings at Fort Benning, Ga., and this past summer as a cadet “platoon leader” assigned to the Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. During this most recent training, Bunch led an aviation platoon for three weeks during preparations for deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. On campus, Bunch has been a member of the Wofford Men’s Glee Club, a Wofford College Ducks Unlimited Chapter member, and an active member of the Order of Kappa Alpha. Bunch also hads taken time to serve as a volunteer with the local chapter of Meals on Wheels.
The cadet executive officer for the academic year is Michael Wood. A native of Cowpens, S.C., and a member of the Southern Guard Battalion for the past three years, Wood is a pre-law tracked economics major with ambitions of attending law school upon graduation and serving as a JAG officer. His past ROTC highlights include two years of Ranger Challenge participation and numerous color guard details. Wood also served as cadet command sergeant major and was distinguished as a member of the Scabbard and Blade Military Honor Society. Wood participated in cadet training the past two summers, first as an opposition force member supporting the United States Special Forces Command training at Fort Bragg, N.C. This past summer, Wood attended the Leadership and Development Course at Fort Lewis, Wash., before being assigned as executive officer of the Southern Guards Battalion. On campus, Wood served as a Wofford College Ambassador, Rifle Team member, Men’s Choir participant, Wofford Singers member, Mock Trial member, and Wofford football team (2nd semester). Along with these activities, Wood also participated in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Debate Society (parliamentarian), PAD member (pre-law fraternity), served as a resident assistant, and served as a member of the South Carolina Student Legislature.
Others in the chain of command are:
Cadet Sgt. Maj. Brian Gomes, USC Upstate
Cadet S1 Adjutant / S6 Communications, Cadet Capt. Ashley Sellers, USC Upstate
Cadet S2 Intelligence / S4 Logistics, Cadet Capt. Sheresa Buchanan, USC Upstate
Cadet S3 Operations Officer, Cadet Maj. Shaun Grey, USC Upstate
Cadet AS3 Assistant Operations Advanced CRS, Cadet Maj. Matthew Campbell, Wofford
Cadet AS3 Assistant Operations Basic Course, Cadet Capt. Sandra Rogers, Wofford
Cadet S5 PAO Recruiting and Retention, Cadet Capt. Alan Lancaster, USC Upstate
Cadet Special Projects Officers, Cadet Capt. Alysia Butler and Cadet Capt. Travis Sartor, both of USC Upstate
The Battalion Cadre also was introduced, including are Maj. Scott Leblond, executive officer; Sgt. 1C Fred Keigley, senior military instructor; Ronald Poston, logistics specialist; and Virginia P. Kearney, human resources assistant. Introduced and presented with an award for his years of service was Lt. Col. Randy Hall, scholarship and enrollment officer, who is retiring this week.
Lt. Col. deGuzman addressed the group about the upcoming year and expectations for them individually and for the ROTC program. He noted that the mission of the program is to recruit, train and commission second lieutenants for the U.S. Army, and his goal is to increase the number of those commissioned from the eight this year to 16 at the end of this academic year. “I envision that this will be the premiere battalion in our brigade (which includes Clemson, Furman, Presbyterian and a number of other Southeastern institutions),” he said. “That is my number one goal.”