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By: Cadet Lynsie Schwerer
pershing rifles in action
The Pershing Rifles perform a highly sophisticated rifle maneuver that requires perfection in movement and poise.

For over one hundred years, the National Society of Pershing Rifles has maintained a reputation of military excellence for developing its members into great leaders, entrepreneurs and, most importantly, friends. Founded in 1894 by then 2nd Lt John J. Pershing, who would go on to become General of the Armies, Pershing Rifles began as a military fraternity with emphasis on drill, military bearing and warrior ethos. Now with companies all across the nation, Pershing Rifles is a society that continues to push its members towards their maximum potential while granting them lifelong friends and memories as well.

At Ohio State, Company A-1 of Pershing Rifles carries on the strong traditions of fraternity, service and military excellence set forth by its founder. Members are pushed to better their best during a challenging training period that produces phenomenal progress in physical fitness, problem solving, military bearing, drill and tactical knowledge. Even after the training period, Pershing Rifles are constantly pushing themselves to better their best whether its practicing a drill exhibition routine for National Conclave or training together to compete for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge. Our members have a proud history of producing exceptional military members to include pilots, Special Forces operators, sniper selects, and cadet wing and battalion commanders. The A-1 drill team has also won accolades for their drill performances at National Conclaves throughout the country.

Most importantly, Pershing Rifles creates lifelong friendships. While much of the knowledge the society has to provide benefits those in the military, active military service is NOT required to be a member. Our company is often comprised of a patchwork of officer candidates, enlisted members, veterans and civilians simply interested in being a part of what the fraternity has to offer. 60 years after they graduated from Ohio State our alumni STILL keep in touch to check in on the company, stop by for tailgates and regale current members with stories of "the good old days".

For more information about membership or the activities of Pershing Rifles at Ohio State, please contact Air Force ROTC or Army ROTC leadership.


This quote does an excellent job to sum up what Pershing Rifles is all about:

My experience in high school, on basketball and track teams, and briefly in Boy Scouting had never produced a sense of belonging or many permanent friendships. The Pershing Rifles did. For the first time in my life I was a member of a brotherhood...The discipline, the structure, the camaraderie, the sense of belonging were what I craved. I became a leader almost immediately. I found a selflessness within our ranks that reminded me of the caring atmosphere within my family. Race, color, background, income meant nothing. The PRs would go the limit for each other and for the group. If this was what soldiering was all about, then maybe I wanted to be a soldier.

--General Colin Powell