Summer 2017 Corps Review    |    Back

Senior cadets toss their covers in the air after the spring change of command ceremony.

2017 Change of Command
Senior cadets toss their covers in the air after the spring change of command ceremony.

By Cadet Leeann Jones ’19

In May, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets congratulated 264 graduates of the program as they crossed the stage in Burruss Auditorium.

Of that total, 149 received their commissions with others continuing on to complete their studies before commissioning in 2018.

Sixty cadets graduated from the Citizen-Leader Track program, and 75 percent of them already had career-starting jobs or acceptance into graduate schools.

The keynote speaker was Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Sharpy, the U.S. Air Force’s vice commander for Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The command is responsible for the unit’s strategic transportation mission from 12 major air installations in the U.S. and nearly 100 locations worldwide. 

Sharpy’s son was among the Corps’ graduates. Dylan Sharpy ’17 earned his degree in industrial systems engineering and commissioned into the U.S. Air Force. 

The evening capped off several spring celebrations, including the change of command ceremony and pass in review on April 29 and the Military Awards Ceremony on April 20. 

During the Military Awards Ceremony, the Corps, the university’s ROTC units, and various military and veteran’s organizations handed out more than 150 awards in recognition of cadets’ outstanding efforts.

Golf Company received the Beverly S. Parrish Award, also known as the Gold Cord. This highly competitive award goes to the top company in the Corps, and it is the most anticipated and prized award of the ceremony. Criteria includes academic performance, recruiting efforts, cadet retention, discipline, room and uniform inspections, and drill performance. Nathan Sipantzi ’17 commanded Golf Company this spring. 

Alpha Company received the Jaffe Eager Squad Trophy. This trophy goes to the winner of the Eager Squad drill competition, an annual tradition performed in honor of Jeff Jaffe ’42. Cadets practiced the drill sequence for weeks leading up to the event so that they could perfect it. 

Cadet Benjamin Taitano ’18 led the winning squad. Each of the 11 squad members received a $200 award from a trust established by Jaffe.

The best-drilled freshman and sophomore cadets receive the Eager Individual Award each year. Cadet Aydan Mortensen ’20 was the Lt. Edward Raney Freshman Proficiency Award winner. Cadet Jacob Davis ’19 was the John E. Hill Memorial Sophomore Proficiency Award winner. 

Alpha Company earned the Glenn Wyatt Memorial Recruiting Award. This award goes to the company that performed the most recruiting at high schools over Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Peter Wilson ’17 commanded Alpha Company this spring.

Alpha Company also earned the Kohler Cup, which recognizes the best drilling company. Inspectors graded each company’s marching before every football game and during parades.

William Brannen ’17 was awarded the Earle D. Gregory Award for outstanding leadership and for the ability to organize and allocate resources. The Corps gives this award in the name of Virginia Tech alumnus Earle D. Gregory, one of seven Medal of Honor recipients from Virginia Tech. 

James Tucker  ’17 received the Lacy O. Brumback Award for his outstanding performance as commander of Band-B Company in the fall semester. In keeping with tradition, Tucker received an engraved pocket watch with his award.