Three Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumni who saw service in the war on terrorism will share their experiences with corps members at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, March 31, at the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center auditorium.
U.S. Army Capt. Scott Porter, class of 2000, Army 1st Lt. Brande Goracke, class of ‘01, and Army 1st Lt. Patrick Manrique, class of ‘01, will participate in a “gunfighter’s panel” as part of the continuing Leaders in Action lecture series sponsored by the corps. The three officers will discuss roles they played in the ongoing war while assigned in diverse regions of the world and will relate how values of honor and integrity instilled during their corps experience has benefited them in their military careers.
Porter is assigned in the Washington, D.C., area as executive officer for Echo Company of the Old Guard — a special honor guard unit comprised of some 220 soldiers responsible for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Honor Contingent, the Continental Color Guard, and the Presidential Marching Platoon. Porter served with the Third Infantry Regiment in the Horn of Africa region and Ethiopia in 2003-04 as part of a multi-service force tasked to deny safe haven, external support, or material assistance to terrorist groups operating in the region.
Goracke, who is slated for promotion to captain on April 1, is assigned as a battalion personnel officer with the 501st Aviation Regiment of the First Armored Division, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. She served in Iraq in 2003-04 as a platoon leader and Apache helicopter pilot, logging 350 flight hours over Baghdad, Balad, and Babylon/Al Hillah.
Manrique serves as executive officer of C Company, 782nd Medical Service Battalion, located at Fort Bragg, N.C. He previously served a 13-month tour in Korea, where he was the executive officer for Headquarters Service Company, 168th Medical Battalion.
“We always look forward to having our graduates return to share their experiences and ideas with tomorrow’s young leaders,” said Col. Rock Roszak, USAF (Ret.), director of alumni programs for the corps of cadets. “These now-experienced officers are a great resource for instilling in current cadets — through real-life example — the importance of honor, integrity, and the other leadership values taught in our program. Assimilation of these values will serve them well regardless of whether they eventually follow a military or civilian career.”
This is the third panel discussion in the series.