Each year, Pershing Riflemen, Pershing Angels, and Blackjacks, past and present, as well as guests, friends, and supporters gather for the annual convention. This year’s Pershing Rifles National Convention and Pershing Angels General Assembly will take place in Knoxville, Tennessee from March 14th – 17th 2024.
While the weekend will include a number of business meetings, tourism events, and socials, the highlight of the event is the John J. Pershing Memorial Drill Competition. Here, Riflemen, Angels, and Blackjacks from around the country will compete against each other in numerous regulation and exhibition drill events. Please read more below or view our schedule of events to learn more!
Celebrating its 129th year as the nation’s premier, military-orientated fraternal organization, the National Society of Pershing Rifles traces its origins to 1891, when 2nd Lt John J. Pershing, then a military instructor at the University of Nebraska, organized an elite group of cadets to, among other things, “promote the highest ideals of the military profession,” especially through excellence in military drill. The original group became The Pershing Rifles in 1894, named by the cadets in honor of their drillmaster. Over the years, the organization expanded from its Nebraska roots to become the oldest national military fraternal organization for ROTC cadets and has carried on the Pershing tradition for over 120 years. The Pershing Rifles has found its way to hundreds of college campuses across the country, training tens of thousands of American leaders in the art of leadership. Today, the Pershing Rifles stands as the nation’s premier undergraduate leadership development organization dedicated to military drill. It continues its important public service as envisioned by General Pershing: developing our nation’s finest young leaders.