Cadet Erin Cross-Kaplan, a senior in Naval ROTC majoring in chemistry in the College of Science, is the honorary flag cadet for Saturday’s football game at Pittsburgh.

The recognition is through a partnership between the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and the Virginia Tech football team to highlight the colors during the pre-game ceremony at every football game.

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

The cadets, also selected based on their performance in the corps, render honor to the flags and carry them off the field. Three first-year cadets are selected for home games.

This year, an upper-class cadet has been recognized as an honorary flag cadet for away games.

Cross-Kaplan is a platoon sergeant for the Corps’ Kilo Battery, where she stands out for her bearing, discipline, and professionalism, as well as her ability to develop young leaders within the unit.

She “cares a great deal about all of her people, always checking in on them to make sure they are staying mentally healthy and are managing a new and stressful academic experience,” said Miles Keane, a senior in Army ROTC majoring in political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, who nominated her for the recognition.

Cross-Kaplan is the recipient of a Corps’ Emerging Leader Scholarship and a senior member of the precision drill team, the Gregory Guard, where she helps teach and mentor junior members.