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Austin Peay State University ROTC student Zachary Labas has deployed Five Times

November 16, 2020 | Email This Post Print This Post
 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) ROTC program this fall has 37 veteran soldiers, and each brings professional, tactical and technical knowledge and experience to their fellow cadets.

Zachary Labas, a senior at APSU, is one of the 37 veteran soldiers in the program. He is also the ROTC’s battalion commander (top-ranking cadet) this fall.

Zachary Labas, right, works with an Austin Peay State University ROTC cadet during a field training exercise prior to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (APSU)

Zachary Labas, right, works with an Austin Peay State University ROTC cadet during a field training exercise prior to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (APSU)

Prior to attending Austin Peay State University, Labas served in the 3rd Ranger Battalion and the Regimental Special Troops Battalion in Fort Benning, Georgia, for 10 years. During this time, he deployed five times to various locations.

Being a veteran cadet, he had the opportunity to enroll in the Green to Gold program, which he took. This program allows soldiers to get their baccalaureate degree or a two-year graduate degree and earn a commission as an Army officer.

“The Green to Gold program allows me to further my education while continuing to serve our country, and community,” Labas said.

The Green to Gold program also strengthens Austin Peay State University’s ROTC program by bringing real-world knowledge and experience to the school’s cadets.

“Knowing when to lead, and knowing when to follow, is extremely important,” Labas said. “Every leader is going to fall short from time to time.

“Failure is an opportunity, an opportunity to grow and develop one’s self,” he continued. “A room full of leaders has the potential to be counterproductive. Everyone must know their role and work as a team to achieve a common goal.”

Coming to Austin Peay State University

Zachary Labas with his family following an airborne operation on Fryar Drop Zone, Fort Benning, Georgia. (APSU)

Zachary Labas with his family following an airborne operation on Fryar Drop Zone, Fort Benning, Georgia. (APSU)

When Labas decided to pursue the Green to Gold program, he quickly noticed APSU’s strong pedigree.

“Right away, I was greeted with enthusiastic faculty that answered every question I had,” he said. “Every person I spoke to was genuine and did everything they could to lead me to success.”

Labas is seeking a degree in leadership and organizational administration. After graduation, he plans to serve the country for many more years.

“The (ROTC) cadre do an amazing job at bringing out the best in everyone,” Labas said about Austin Peay State University’s program.

 


 

He had one last message to share, for anyone looking to join:

“I can guarantee that you will become a better student, leader and human being because of it,” he said. “There is something very special when you are surrounded by a diverse group of volunteers that want to serve others. Step outside your comfort zone and start pursuing excellence today.”

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