For the 15th consecutive semester, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is bringing back corps graduates who have served a combat deployment to speak to the regiment.

The Spring 2011 Gunfighters Panel will be held on Thursday, April 7, at 3:30 p.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom in the Squires Student Center. All are welcome to join the corps for this motivational event. The panel will last about an hour and no tickets are required.

The corps will welcome back a former Army officer, a Marine officer and for the first time a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy for the spring panel.

Each semester, three or four alumni are welcomed back to campus to sit on the Gunfighter Panel, which is one of the four programs in the Leaders in Action lecture series hosted each term by the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and the Maj. Gen. W. Thomas Rice Center for Leader Development. They will share their combat deployment experiences, their lessons learned and leadership challenges, while also sharing how the corps experience prepared them for life after college.

The Gunfighter Panel series started in 2004, shortly after the United States entered combat in Iraq. With the war came the increased potential for our cadets to be in combat shortly after graduation, and this series evolved to help prepare them for their future in an uncertain world. Each semester's panel allows the corps to teach future leaders and to honor those who are already serving the nation in harm’s way.

This semester, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets welcome the following panel members

  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumna Brande Goracke Reeves, who earned a degree in forestry from the College of Natural Resources and Environment and a minor in leadership studies in 2001 and served as an aviation officer in the U.S. Army flying AH-64A helicopters;
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Maj. Lawrence Lowman, U.S. Marine Corps, who earned a degree in political science from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in 1999; and
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Cris Lake, who earned a degree in electrical engineering from the College of Engineering in 2006 and serves as a civilian employee at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Divison.

Reeves served as the Delta Company Executive Officer her senior year in the corps. She has over 1,000 hours of flight time. Reeves first deployed from 2003-2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom and again from 2006-2007 during Operation Enduring Freedom accumulating 500 hours of combat flight time. Reeves and her husband, Capt. Adam Reeves, U.S. Army, who is currently serving on the Army ROTC staff at Virginia Tech, are expecting their first child.

Lowman served as the Alpha Company Commander during his senior year. He has four combat deployments, one each of the last three years. Lowman currently as Inspector Instructor, Company B, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in Frederick, Md. He and his wife Janna have two children, Charlie and Ailee, and are expecting another child.

Lake served as the 2nd Battalion Executive Officer his senior year in the corps and also spent a semester abroad in Austria. Prior to coming to Virginia Tech, Lake served as an enlisted member in the U.S. Air Force. He deployed in 2007-2008 as a civilian employee in support of Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Science and Technology Section. Lake brings a unique perspective for the Civilian Track cadets, representing the many civilians who deploy with our armed services in combat zones.

With a visitor’s pass, parking is available in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street, or the Architecture Annex Lot also on Otey Street. Parking meters within the Squires Lot will need to be paid. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center, located on Southgate Drive. Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.