History of Bear Battalion

Mercer University has been producing military leaders since 1833, nearly a century before the establishment of Army ROTC. Most noteworthy among these men are Major General Blanton Winship, the Army's first Judge Advocate General, and Rear Admiral Richard E. Hawes. Although ROTC program was established in 1916, it wasn't until the passage of the National Security Act in 1947 that a full time ROTC program was established at Mercer University. The program quickly took hold on campus and numbered more than 100 Cadets for most of the 1950s and early 1960s. For more than sixty years, the Mercer ROTC program has produced a number of successful officers, many of whom left the military and were extremely successful in civilian careers. Take a few moments to honor those that have cleared a path for all future cadets by exploring the photo albums and news articles on this page.


Notable Alumni

The Honorable Nathan Deal, Current Governor of Georgia, 2011-Present

LTG (Ret) Claude M. Kicklighter, U.S. Army, Commanding General, Pacific; Assistant Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs, 2001-2005; Inspector General, Department of Defense, 2007-2008

BG (Ret) Ross W. "Bill" Crossley, U.S. Army, Former Chief of Staff V Corps, Frankfurt, Germany

LTG Perry Wiggins, Commanding General, U.S. Army North (Fifth Army)

BG (Ret) George J. Walker, Former Director of Intelligence/J2 of Forces Command

COL (Ret) Steven M. Boylan, Former Aid to GEN David Petraeus

Mr. Tony E. Calloway, Vice President, Primerica Financial Services

BG Michael L. Howard, Deputy Commanding General of Operations, 10th Mountain Division

Mr. Robert Hurt, Professional Staff Member in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate

BG William T. Thielemann, Georgia Army National Guard, Commander, 48th Infantry Brigade

BG (Ret.) Charles Stewart Rodeheaver, U.S. Army - Deputy Commanding General

Alumni Recollections


Photograph albums of both current and past ROTC Cadets and events are viewable on Flikr and can be accessed by clicking on the links provided below by year.  As we find both time and photographs, we will continue to upload and identify the event or time the photo was taken to the best of our ability.  If you have photos to contribute or can identify yourself or others, please send us an e-mail.  With ongoing staff changes and an ever changing Class of Cadets, information and specific details can be misplaced or overlooked.  We appreciate it!

Articles, Media and Links

We've attempted to gather media related to former and current cadets to share with our Alumni and future Cadets.  We urge our Alumni to keep us up to date on their "post Mercer" careers and lives by emailing us at with any career or personal announcements you wish to share on our social media pages or our web page.

The Cluster Archives

Over the years, Mercer University's student based newspaper, The Cluster, has featured various aspects of the ROTC program. From letters to the editor to awards and activities, there's no doubt Mercer is proud of Bear Battalion.  Take a look and see what each article has to offer about the Bear Battalion at that given time period and see how it's changed or maybe, remains the same.  We've selected a few articles to share and spotlight the achievements reached over the years.  The Cluster archives are digital and can be access through the Digital Library of Georgia, a GALILEO initiative that shares Georgia's history and culture online.


ROTC Band Organized

Cadets Tour Robins Air Force Base


ROTC Advertisement - Gold Bars Worth It?

DMS Certificates Awarded

Stop Rallying Around

Deal Named Cadet Colonel

Cadets Get Pay Boost


Letter to Editor, Steven Agee

Cadets Honored at Awards Day

PMS Awarded Meritorious Service Medal



ROTC Cadets, The Cauldron, 1990

ROTC Staff, The Cauldron, 1991

The Bugle, 1991

ROTC Cherry Blossom Parade 1996


Zieglar Sister Act 2000

Cadet Christian Airborne Qualified 2001

ROTC Cadets Participate in Korean War Memorial Ceremony 2003

ROTC Cadet Takes Top Honor at Training Course

Mercer ROTC Cadets Quickly Climbing Military Ranks

Press Release: Commissioning 2004

Press Release: Commissioning Ceremony 2006

Change of Command Alumni Fisher 2006

Commissioning Video 2008

Photo Gallery - Commissioning Photos 2009

Cadet Fuller Commissions 2009


Photo Gallery - 2010 Homecoming (Rappel Tower)

Photo Gallery - 2010 Commissioning

Photo Gallery - 2011 Commissioning

Professor Spotlight:  CPT Jason Miller

Alumni LTC John Taylor Speaks at Veteran's Day Ceremony

Mercer Memories:  Charles Weston, Sr.

Mercer Memories:  Dr. Garland Crawford

ROTC hosts Paintball Event

Training at Ft. Gordon

Founder's Day Key Note is former ROTC Cadet

Cadets Train for Bataan Memorial Death March

Cadet Receives Study Abroad Scholarship to Morocco