Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TRIPHIBIAN GUARD @ SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

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 .

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. John Thomas Mlynarski

    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/deridderdaily/obituary.aspx?n=john-thomas-mlynarski&pid=144639808

    Ski was a Triphib when he was a cadet at Seton Hall. He came back as a Capt in the ROTC Cadre and was the moderator for P/R K-8.

    A fine officer and a good man. He was also a "good guy" and a friend to the PR's. He is someone who will be sincerely missed.

    Sincerely,

    Paul Judge

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  3. Thank you Paul for your fine tribute to John Thomas Mlynarski.

    John and I were part of the Pledge Class of 1967 of the Triphibian Guard. We shared all the Fun and Pain of Pledging a Military Fraternity in those years before any moderators.

    John and I were also part of the Legendary Trick Drill Team of 1967-1969 have won a few Trophies for the Team Trophy Case.

    TG and PR Companies always shared a friendly rivalry and respect on Campus. K-8 has a fine website. I would urge all former TG members to contact me on my website anytime.

    Captain John Thomas Mlynarski will truly be missed. Thanks again for your fine comments.

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  4. Thank you Paul for your fine tribute to John Thomas Mlynarski.

    John and I were part of the Pledge Class of 1967 of the Triphibian Guard. We shared all the Fun and Pain of Pledging a Military Fraternity in those years before any moderators.

    John and I were also part of the Legendary Trick Drill Team of 1967-1969 have won a few Trophies for the Team Trophy Case.

    TG and PR Companies always shared a friendly rivalry and respect on Campus. K-8 has a fine website. I would urge all former TG members to contact me on my website anytime.

    Captain John Thomas Mlynarski will truly be missed. Thanks again for your fine comments.

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  5. We began to contact Archives, Walsh Library, Alumni and Military Science Departments of Seton Hall University in February 2010.

    The Pershiing Rifles K-8 Company was also a very valuable help as well.

    We were able to accomplish a small permanent Article on Wikipedia - Exhibition Drill. This took great effort. They refused to accept our citations at first. Now we are on Wikipedia.

    We don't use the older short name "Triphibs" any longer. We are using the more commonly acceptable "Tri Phi's" because it sounds more like a typical Greek Frat that is known in the Public eye.

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  6. Context is important. This was the era of the Late 1960's. In the wake of the death of President Kennedy, students began to QUESTION AUTHORITY. ROTC was not popular on any College Campus in America.

    ROTC at Seton Hall was a representation of the Government. There were three groups at Seton Hall University between 1967 and 1971. ESTABLISHMENT, UNCOMMITTED AND RADICAL LEFT.

    These CADETS were not at WEST POINT. We were not in a SECLUDED ENCLAVE. We were wearing CREW CUT WHITE WALLS in the midst of the HIPPY MOVEMENT.

    We were also FULL TIME STUDENTS. We Worked at Jobs and were FULL TIME CADETS on top of all that. That was a full commitment. After two years as Cadets we got a small $50.00 check from ROTC. Everything else was privately financed.

    You have to give Credit where Credit is Dhue. We were a minority.

    On the Night of September 22, 1969, a faction of the SDS, Students for a Democratic Society attacked the ROTC TRAINING BARRACKS on SETON HALL Campus.

    They tried to set fire to several ROTC Buildings on Campus. PR K-8 Cadets and TG Company Cadets rang the Alarm in the DORMS to rally the vigilant. There was a brief scuffle before Campus Security Police and South Orange Police arrived to put out the fire.

    THAT IS CONTEXT often neglected.

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  7. Posse Comitatus

    There was no violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 18, 1878, because the PR K-8 Cadets and TG Company Cadets had no actual Federal Authority to stop the terrorist attack of 9-22-69. They were not ordered by the Cadre to do anything. Neither did the University have any immediate knowledge of their Emergency Response to the THREAT. They were merely acting as PRIVATE CITIZENS until the Campus Security, South Orange Police and Fire Department arrived. Hence NO POSSE COMITATUS violation was indicated.

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  8. Since this site is about the history of the Triphibian Guard, you should include something about 1LT Brian Conlan.

    http://www.njvvmf.org/BRIAN-D-CONLAN-vetmemorial1787

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. SOMMESEJanuary 25, 2013 at 6:33 PM
    SOMMESEJanuary 25, 2013 at 6:27 PM
    Thank you for your Comment.
    We apologize for any delay in commenting.
    We had to take time to research and seek family approval.
    For myself and the Brothers of the Triphibian Guard (Tri-Phi's) of Seton Hall University, 1959-1975, we Cherish and Honor the Memory of First Lieutenant Brian D. Conlan,Jr., USMC. Brian was a Senior Cadet. He was one of the founding members of the TG. We will always cherish his participation in Seton Hall ROTC and TRIPHIBIAN GUARD. We refer you also to the Film: "Rules of Engagement" with Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, (2000) Paramount Pictures, USA. In that film Tommy Lee Jones states that the average life span of an Army or USMC Lieutenant was 14 minutes.
    Also see:
    http://www.vvmf.org/thewall/Wall_Id_No=10087

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