For the 16th consecutive semester, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is bringing back Corps of Cadets graduates who have served a combat deployment to speak to the regiment.

The Fall 2011 Gunfighter Panel will be held on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 3:30 p.m. in the Burruss Hall Auditorium. All are welcome and no tickets are required. The panel will last about an hour.

The Corps of Cadets will welcome back two Army officers, an Air Force officer and a Naval officer for this semester’s 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 alumnus 1st Lt. Darren Zega, U.S. Army Reserves, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering and a minor in leadership studies from the Maj. Gen. W. Thomas Rice Center for Leader Development in 2008;
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Capt. Mike Ryan, U.S. Army, who earned a degree in history from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a minor in leadership studies from the Maj. Gen. W. Thomas Rice Center for Leader Development in 2005;
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Capt. Travis Sheets, U.S. Air Force, who earned a degree in economics from the Pamplin College of Business and a minor in leadership studies from the Maj. Gen. W. Thomas Rice Center for Leader Development in 2005; and
  • Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Lt. Cmdr. Todd Mills, U.S. Navy, who earned a degree in political science from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in 1996.

Free parking is available in Perry Street Lots and the Perry Street Parking Garage near Prices Fork Road with a visitor’s pass. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center, located at 965 Prices Fork Road, near the intersection of Prices Fork and University City Boulevard next to the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. A visitor’s pass may also be obtained from the Virginia Tech Police Station, located on Sterrett Drive, outside of the Visitor Information Center hours.  Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200.

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