The National Society of Pershing Rifles is the nation’s only pre-professional fraternal organization of the profession of arms. Founded O...
The National Society of Pershing Rifles is the nation’s only pre-professional fraternal organization of the profession of arms. Founded October 2, 1894 as the “Varsity Rifles” at the University of Nebraska by cadets who desired to emulate the leadership example of their Professor of Military Science, Lieutenant John J. Pershing. A majority of the first members had served in the University’s Company A, which under Pershing guidance and training, had won the Maiden Competition at the National Competitive Drills in 1892. The organization’s original intent was simple: to serve as an example for the cadets at the, who were sorely lacking in esprit de corps, motivation, and basic military skills. These experts at unarmed, armed, and exhibition drill were soon the pride of the battalion. By 1 June 1895, as Pershing was departing from the University, they renamed the group the “Pershing Rifles in Pershing’s honor and it had transformed from a simple drill team into a fraternal organization.