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Making history
CMA Blackjacks is first ROTC unit to lay Pershing wreath
U.S. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan (far right) stands with the CMA Blackjacks drill team near WWI Allied Forces commander U.S. U.S. Gen. John Joseph Black Jack Pershings gravesite on Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery. The Blackjacks are (from left) Sgt. 1st Class Ray Brown (TAC), Cadet Charles Kloetzli of Rehoboth Beach, Del.; Cadet Cameron Carr of Canton, Ohio; Cadet Beau Oswald of Mount Juliet, Tenn.; Cadet Nicholas Hillesheim of Woodstock, Ga.; Command Sergeant Major Othel Terrell; Cadet Kevin Phillips of Mooresville, N.C.; Cadet Griffin Bach-Davis of Parker, Colo.; and Cadet Thomas Azrelyant of Hartsdale, N.Y. - photo by Provided by CMA
Each Nov. 11, a ceremony is held at the gravesite of U.S. Gen. John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing, commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War I. For the first time in Arlington National Cemetery’s history, officials chose a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) unit to lay a wreath at Pershing’s gravesite. The honored unit: Camden Military Academy’s (CMA) “Blackjacks” Pershing Rifle drill team, which was also “sworn in” by the officer in charge of the event, U.S. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan. The team is also the first high school Blackjack drill team in South Carolina.