The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and the Virginia Tech football team continue their proud partnership to highlight the colors during the pre-game ceremony at every football game.

Three football players are selected, because of their performance in the last game or during practice, to carry the American flag, the state flag, and the team’s spirit flag as they lead the team onto the field. They carry the flags the length of the field and deliver them to cadets at the south end of the field. 

The cadets performing this honor are also selected based on their performance during their training. The cadets render honor to the flags and then securely carry them off the field. At home games three freshman cadets are selected and one or two upper-class cadets travel with the team and receive the flags at away games. 

Cadet 1st Sgt. John Rogalo of Stanhope, N.J., a junior majoring in environmental resources management in the College of Natural Resources and Environment who is pursuing a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development was selected to receive the flags at the University of Alabama game in Atlanta, Ga. 

Rogalo is a Marine Option cadet in the Naval ROTC program and is a recipient of the Renae C. ’90 and James A. Pearson ’87 Emerging Leader Scholarship. He will travel and lodge with the team, as well as participate in all team meetings and meals.

Rogalo was selected as the outstanding cadre member during New Cadet Week training last week. More than 100 upper class cadets serve as the cadre responsible for training the newest members of the Corps of Cadets. His service as the first sergeant for Golf Company was lauded by his battalion commander, Cadet Col. Jordan Disney of Owings Mills, Md., a senior majoring in psychology in the College of Science who is a member of Army ROTC and is a recipient of an Emerging Leader Scholarship and the Major John B. Byers Commandant's Scholarship.

Disney’s nomination stated, “There is not a more disciplined and professional person in this regiment. He embodies what the Corps of Cadets is all about, including every tenet of [the Regimental Commander's] leadership philosophy and each of the Pylons. I guarantee you that no other cadre cares more for their freshmen nor raises them as future leaders as well as this individual.”

Rogalo explained why he interviewed to be a first sergeant, “ I interviewed for Golf Company cadet first sergeant last semester because I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. I remember my cadet first sergeant motivating my training company to be the best they could possibly be. And although some are no longer in the program, I know that those who stayed and more than likely those who left are still motivated and changed by what he and the cadre taught us. I want to pass that on to another generation, and instill in a group of freshmen some life altering experiences. I want to be able to teach them how to better themselves and how to live a life without regrets.”

He says he plans to serve as a combat engineer officer in the Marine Corps after graduation.

Future cadets will continue to be selected for this honor based on their performance in the cadet regiment. The program is part of the proud partnership the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets has with the Virginia Tech Athletic Department and the Virginia Tech football team.