Tuesday, February 9, 2010


The Triphibian Guard was founded in 1959. It is a Historical Fraternity and U.S. Army Officer Training Corps Drill Team of Seton Hall University.

Until 1959, no organization at Seton Hall would compete with the leadership and rigorous training provided to ROTC Cadets by the Pershing Rifles National Drill Team and Fraternity.

In 1959, a few courageous Cadets who comprised the K-8 Company of Cadets of the Pershing Rifles at Seton Hall University challenged the position held by the daunting Pershing Rifles. They formed a completely new and distinct Military Unit and Fraternity called the Triphibian Guard.

The name Triphibian was chosen because it represented Land, Sea and Air Forces. Although the unit was organized under the U.S. Army Officer Training Corps of Cadets, U.S.Army Reserve, it served all cadets of every training company of all services.

Once established, the Triphibian Guard quickly grew in stature and respect at the University.
It became the Official Honor Guard of the University President. Members wore a distinctive Patch and Fourragere (Gold Cord) on the left shoulder of their uniform.
The distinctive patch was triangular in shape. It was the Army colors of black and gold and depicted a African male lion with a gold crown on the forehead.

The unit quickly organized Drill teams patterned after the Pershing Rifle drill team from which it was born.
All drill teams are schooled in Drill and Ceremonies that are authorized by the U.S. Army Field Manual FM-22-5 (1967).
There are generally two types of Drill teams that are organized. A "Basic Drill" using the M-1 Garand military rifle and the "Trick Drill" or fancy stylized Drill teams.

Trick Drill teams are more colorful in uniform and weaponry. They usually use an M-1903 Springfield rifle wooden stock that is highly smoothed and prepared with a gloss varnish and topped with a 14" Chrome Bayonet. Both types of Drill Teams use weapons that have the firing mechanisms removed and are not able to fire ammunition for safety of both Cadets and Drill Competition audience. For more information on Drill Meets go to Wikipedia, "Drill Team" or "Exhibition Drill".

The TRIPHIBIAN GUARD was Chartered by SETON HALL UNIVERSITY and the Department of Military Science, U.S. Army, ROTC. Officer Candidate students had the same strict academic requirements of any University student organization on campus to include leadership, outstanding academic performance and high moral standards. Most Officer Candidates were Commissioned as Officers of the United States Army concurrently with the Cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Many graduates received the highly honored DISTINGUISHED MILITARY GRADUATE (DMG) at the time of Commissioning and Graduation of the four year University program at Seton Hall.

Officer Candidate students of the Triphibian Guard were full time students of Seton Hall University. Many were also leaders in all aspects of University life to include the Student Union, Student Government, Traditional Greek Fraternity participation and part time employment to meet the rigorous financial demands of modern College curriculum.

The Unit disbanded in the late 1970's due to lack of student interest at the end of the hostilities in Viet Nam. It is presumed that the original Charter is still active and has never been revoked by Seton Hall University or the Department of Military Science (ROTC).

The Commissioned Officers of the Triphibian Guard of Seton Hall University have gone on to become successful leaders of both Military and Civilian sectors of their Community, Business, Law, Government, Sports and Religious organizations world wide.

At this writing, the unit is maintained in name only. The Alumni Director and CEO is Dennis A. Sommese, Esq. of Sacramento, California. Attorney Sommese is Retired, U.S. Army, Judge Advocate General's Corps, (JAG).

Attorney Sommese owns the Domain name, TriphibianGuard.Com.

The TRIPHIBIAN GUARD remains in close contact with Alumni, Seton Hall University and U.S. Army Military Science department. It is hoped that this information will be of continuing interest to Alumni and young college or college bound people.

For further information go to:
http://www.triphibianguard.com/ ;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exhibition_drill ;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drill_team ;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pershing_Rifles .