August 11, 2008
08-131

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

Chapman Selected as Georgia AFROTC Cadet of the Year

VALDOSTA - The Georgia Air Force Association recently selected Valdosta State University Air Force ROTC cadet Ryan Chapman as the Cadet of the Year for 2008.

Chapman, who was also chosen as VSU's Outstanding AS300 Cadet for the 2007-08 academic year, was nominated by the active duty cadre members at VSU's Detachment 172 based on his GPA, cadet ranking and his accomplishments during the year in AFROTC, VSU and community involvement.

Ranked number one in his AFROTC graduating class, Chapman is a senior studying physics and holds a 3.10 GPA. He has claimed many scholarships and awards, including the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Scholarship, Cadet of the Semester several times, the Rising Eagle Award and Honor Flight Ribbons at field training, and Most Inspirational POC cadet, a peer-determined award given only to juniors and seniors.

He is also very involved with the university, volunteering for free tutoring, helping freshmen during move-in day and serving as a visitation day tour guide. A leader in community service, he has organized blood drives and participated in valuable causes like Valentines for Vets, neighborhood cleanups, the food bank, the Humane Society and Christmas in the Desert, a local initiative that collected money and necessities for soldiers serving overseas during the holidays.

In addition to his academic prowess and commitment to serving others, Chapman is also a respected and recognized leader in the ROTC program, and will serve over the detachment as the cadet wing commander this fall. Lt. Col. Alan Elledge, detachment commander, describes Chapman in his official nomination as the "epitome of a leader; strong convictions, high moral character" as well as a poster child for the Air Force and a true role model who is always willing to go the extra mile.

"We chose Cadet Chapman because he has an outstanding record of success both in the academic classroom and in our officer training program," Lt. Col. Elledge said. "His intellectual strength is complemented by his servant leader’s heart as demonstrated through several local community service projects and the contributions he has made through multiple VSU campus programs.”

Chapman will receive a plaque to commemorate his honor, which will improve his chances of qualifying for special Air Force programs. This is positive for the hard-working student, who plans to pursue admission into the Air Force Institute of Technology to earn a masters degree. He will also soon be featured as a Visionary on the VSU Web site.

The mission of Air Force ROTC is to develop future leaders for tomorrow's Air Force. The program is open to all accredited majors and scholarships are available. Program graduates receive knowledge, leadership skills and quality education before entering the Air Force as an officer. For more information on VSU’s Air Force ROTC program and Detachment 172, visit www.valdosta.edu/afrotc or contact Capt. Tim Bazzle, at (229) 333-5954.