U.S. Army Capt. Joseph P. Ryan, a 2009 Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus who earned a degree in history from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a minor in leadership studies from the Rice Center for Leader Development, was selected as the Hokie Hero for the Military Bowl.

The Hokie Hero program honors corps alumni who are deployed. Recipients are highlighted by Jon Laaser and Mike Burnop during their radio broadcast of Hokie football games, on the Corps of Cadets website, and in the Corps Review alumni magazine.

Ryan is deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel. He is the commander of the 264th Engineer Clearance Company, 27th Engineer Battalion (Airborne).

His company is tasked with maintaining lines of communication, neutralizing improvised explosive device threats, and providing convoy security for all ground forces in eastern and southeastern Afghanistan.