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Crossed-rifles pin from Arlington Training School links past to future

Lt. Col. Andrae presents the crossed-rifles pin to cadet Ryan Kelly

Lt. Col. Raymond Andrae presented the crossed-rifles pin to cadet Ryan Kelly in October.

A study of UT Arlington's history reveals a storied military legacy. Armed forces training began in 1902 when the University was known as Carlisle Military Academy.

Thanks to former cadet Lloyd Clark ('42), future generations of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps will carry a piece of that history with them.

Among his mother's belongings Clark found a crossed-rifles pin that dates to the early 1900s when UT Arlington was called Arlington Training School. Clark's grandfather was the school's president from 1913-16.

Clark asked that the Military Science Department award the pin to an outstanding cadet. The first recipient, Ryan Kelly, was honored in a ceremony last fall. As cadet command sergeant major, he oversees the Sam Houston Rifles, Carlisle Cannons, Color Guard, Honor Guard and other groups.

"It's truly an honor to be the first to receive the pin," said Kelly, a senior history major who first wore it to the Distinguished Alumni Gala in October. "I hope it will stay implemented in the program for many years to come."

crossed-rifles pin

The pin is the ROTC program's oldest artifact and will be housed in College Hall. A replica will be awarded to a new cadet each year.

"We want to impress in our cadets that they are part of something bigger than themselves," said retired Maj. Ricardo Diaz, the commandant of cadets. "Each generation faces different challenges than those before them, yet the principles of leadership and character do not change."

ROTC at UT Arlington is ranked first out of 21 programs in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico for overall performance, and the number of cadets has doubled in the past six years.

"We are recognizing our heritage, which is very rich in tradition and, more importantly, rich with quality," said Lt. Col. Kevin Smith, an assistant professor of military science. "We have had some tremendous individuals graduate from this program who have made a difference in the world."

— Mark Permenter

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