No Obstacle Too High

by Carrie Cox

Amid constant construction on buildings dating back to the 1800s, with housing for cadets split between the Upper Quad and West Eggleston and Main Eggleston on the Lower Quad, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets has emerged from what has certainly been an interesting academic year. All the while, the cadets are finding ways to master the obstacles in front of them.

The cadets continue to excel both individually and as a group. The corps set a record last year with an average GPA of 3.09 in both the fall and the spring semesters. Cadets served more than 12,000 hours of community service for the second consecutive year, and the corps-sponsored blood drive collected more than 1,000 units, an increase of more than 250 from the previous year. The cadets' retention rate continues to rise. Numbering 1,071 strong to begin the 2013-14 year, the corps was proud to graduate 199, award the leadership minor to 143, and see 116 commission into our nation's armed services.

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Jordan Disney (psychology '14), who served as the 2nd Battalion commander in fall 2013 and then as the regimental commander in spring 2014, was recognized with the Caitlin M. Hammaren Award for distinguished service to the residential community for his dedicated efforts to integrate 2nd Battalion into the Eggleston residence halls. Disney helped to create a collaborative environment with the civilian students sharing those spaces, also ensuring that the cadets still experienced the corps' normal activities. His outstanding guidance throughout the year, combined with the cooperative culture of the combined civilian-military community on the Lower Quad, paved the way for the entire corps' success during the next few years of continued construction.

In addition to construction of residence halls and the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building on the Upper Quad, six new obstacles were added this summer to the obstacle course on Smithfield Road. This tremendous addition to the corps' training facilities models what our military-track cadets will see during their ROTC training, giving them an opportunity to practice here at home. More than 330 new cadets were the first to attempt these challenges during their training in August.

New challenges await the cadets in this academic year, but they continue to demonstrate that they will find a way to excel and to lead in their university and community—and that no obstacle is too high.

Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets obstacle course

Maj. Carrie Cox is the executive officer for the Corps of Cadets.

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