Meet the Corps of Cadets' leaders for fall
October 11, 2023
Each semester, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets selects new cadet leaders to maximize the opportunities for students to lead during the academic year.
They make up the cadet chain of command and are responsible for the planning and operations of the corps every day. With about 1,200 cadets in the corps, running the regiment is no small task. The fall semester leadership was chosen at the end of the spring semester, and these cadets will complete their command on Upper Quad as the spring semester begins.
The 2023 fall semester regimental commander is Cadet Isaac Lerner from Madison, Connecticut. A political science major in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a senior in Army ROTC, Lerner is the highest-ranking cadet at Virginia Tech, and he works to embody the university's motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), in his leadership every day.
“The single best thing a cadet can do in this organization is spend time helping others reach their goals. The choice to serve others and to take on the spirit of Ut Prosim is crucial to the success of this organization and the accomplishment of our mission,” said Lerner.
The cadet regiment is divided into four battalions, each with a battalion commander who is responsible for the training and operations of roughly 300 cadets.
The 1st Battalion commander is Cadet Aidan Byrnes from Charlottesville. A senior in Air Force ROTC, Byrnes is majoring in industrial and systems engineering in the College of Engineering.
Inspired by the opportunity to hone his leadership skills, Byrnes said, “The most impactful lessons I have learned while serving as a battalion commander so far have been to trust my instincts, be confident in my command, and always look out for my people.”
The 2nd Battalion commander is Cadet CJ Girts from Erie, Pennsylvania. A member of Naval ROTC, Girts is majoring in industrial and systems engineering in the College of Engineering, and he imparts a servant leadership mentality on his battalion.
“Leadership is a hollow action if it isn’t rooted in genuine care for the well-being and development of those around you. It is always my intention to find out what it is that my battalion or my team in general needs and to prioritize that,” said Girts.
The 3rd Battalion commander is Cadet William Sosnowski from Fairfax Station, Virginia. An aerospace engineering major in the College of Engineering, he is a member of Air Force ROTC who looks to the Pylons for inspiration in leadership.
“The Sacrifice Pylon is my favorite at Virginia Tech. When seeking a life of service, the first thing you have to do is sacrifice. Sacrifice is what adds meaning to the work you do. Each day is a chance to sacrifice some of your time and energy to better those around you,” said Sosnowski.
The 4th Battalion commander is Cadet Camden McCullough from Powhatan, Virginia. A member of Air Force ROTC, she is double majoring in chemistry in the College of Science and chemical engineering in the College of Engineering.
Because of corps growth in recent years, 4th Battalion was reactivated in 2022. McCullough is focused on continuing to build the foundation of the battalion. “My biggest goal is to stabilize the battalion. We are in our second year of activation, and this is our first opportunity to evaluate best practices. It is a privilege to work with and develop the young leaders under my command,” said McCullough.