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Title UA64. College of Education & Behavioral Sciences Series 25 Military Science Subseries 4. Student Organizations 1. Pershing Rifles
Creator Pershing Rifles
Description Records created by and about the Pershing Rifles.

Collection WKU Archives
Object Name Records
Year Range From 1937
Admin / Biog History The WKU Rifle Team applied for and received membership in the national organization of Pershing Rifles in February 1937. As reported in the February 19, 1937 issue of the College Heights Herald the group was designated Company B, Third Regiment. A program honoring members and formal installation of the unit was held February 18, 1937 which was followed by a dance. [College Heights Herald, 2/19/1937]

In September of 1964, Pershing Rifles Company B-3 initiated sponsorship of a female auxiliary organization known as the Rebelettes. This organization provided honorary sponsors for the ROTC cadet corps and established a female drill team to compete in organized drill meets against other universities. The Rebelette drill teams have been highly successful in exhibition drill competitions and were selected as the National Champions in 1967, 1973, and 1975. The famous Rebelette "Garter Salute" and silent drill routines highlight their excellence in drill and ceremonies and their contributions to the esprit de corps.

In 1964 "Western Kentucky State College" dedicated a new rifle range for use by the cadet corps. In 1968 the National Rifle Association would become the sponsor of the team and in 1979 the varsity rifle team would become affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association continuing the long history of excellence in marksmanship at Western.

Western's ROTC program added another extracurricular organization in October 1967 when the Special Forces Company was formed. Prospective members were challenged with an intensive pledge training program. Chartered to further military excellence in tactical skills, small unit leadership, physical fitness, and techniques of unconventional warfare, the organization provided an opportunity to apply classroom skills and knowledge to realistic training situations under arduous conditions in all types of terrain and increased tactical proficiency of the corps.

In August 1983 a difficult decision to retire the Pershing Rifles Company and Rebelette Auxiliary was made by the Professor of Military Science. Replacing these units was the Organization of the Red Knights. Although not affiliated with a National Association, the Red Knights continued the excellence in drill and ceremonies, presentation of the official colors, and demonstration of the highest standards of military bearing within the Corps of Cadets.

[History from website]
Subjects Western Kentucky University
Search Terms Military Science (WKU)
U.S. Army
Pershing Rifles
Finding Aids TopScholar -
Related Materials UA1F Military Bibliography -
UA1F Military Vertical File -
UA1C11/12 - Pershing Rifles Photograph Collection
UA94/6/1 - Dessie Barlow Student/Alumni Papers
UA94/6/1 - Roy Bell Student/Alumni Papers
Catalog Number UA64.25.4.1
Dates of Creation 1937-1983
Caption WKU Archives Logo
Number of Images 1
Access Conditions no restrictions
Parent ID UA64.25.4
Level of Description Subseries
Containers Drill Team, Fairdale High School - Film/Video/Audio File
Pershing Rifles Movie - Film/Video/Audio File
Pershing Rifles Collective Memoir
The Leader
Drill Meet Programs
Pershing Rifles Ball