Citadel cadet named top Naval ROTC cadet in the United States

The Citadel Photo

Note: Citadel Cadet Grayson Gasque, ’22, (photo left) was named Navy ROTC Student of the Year by Navy Federal Credit Union.

From Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union recently announced the recipients of its ROTC All-American Scholarship Program. The program honors the best and brightest ROTC seniors across the nation. Launched in 2018, the recipients are chosen by a panel of judges based on the pillars of the ROTC program: Leadership, Military Excellence, Scholarship and Service.

In its first year, the program highlighted outstanding senior ROTC students from 10 universities. In 2021, the program expanded to 500 universities from across the nation. Since launching the program, Navy Federal has donated over $250,000 to ROTC All-Americans via its scholarship program and has seen over 10,000 ROTC student submissions.

Watch the moment when three of the ROTC All-American Scholarship Program Finalists found out they are the 2021 Students of the Year

From the collective group of nominees, Navy Federal selects 15 to become ROTC All-American Scholarship recipients. Out of the 15 finalists, the top Air Force, Army and Navy/Marine students are selected and honored as the three ROTC All-American Scholarship Program Students of the Year. This year’s recipients are:

– Ean Buffington, Missouri University of Science and Technology Air Force (Student of the Year)
– Andrew Bainbridge, Texas A&M Air Force
– Skylar Chase, Utah Air Force
– Andrew Wang, Embry-Riddle Air Force
– Dejha Nixon, North Carolina State Air Force
– Zachary Glanz, University of Massachusetts Amherst Army (Student of the Year)
– Jimmy Hayburn, Loyola-Maryland Army
– Rachel Verdow, Dayton Army
– Austin Grabill, Kansas State Army
– Kathryn Porter, Washington University School of Law Army
– Grayson Gasque, The Citadel Navy (Student of the Year)
– Sarah Stevens, Vanderbilt Navy
– Clayton Reppert, Florida Navy
– James Hickman, Auburn Navy
– Caleb Plumley, Marquette Navy

“This scholarship program is supporting students at the beginning of their military careers, highlighting those who will go on to be exceptional leaders,” said Vice President of Branch Operations at Navy Federal, Matt Lawson. “As a graduate of Army ROTC, I know the hard work each of these students puts in the classroom and for their units. We’re proud to recognize them for their military service, and for becoming exemplary members of their communities.”

To learn more about the scholarship program, please visit

About Navy Federal Credit Union: Established in 1933 with only seven members, Navy Federal now has the distinct honor of serving over 11 million members globally and is the world’s largest credit union. As a member-owned and not-for-profit organization, Navy Federal always puts the financial needs of its members first. Membership is open to all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, veterans, civilian and contractor personnel, and their families. Navy Federal employs a workforce of over 20,000 and has a global network of 350 branches. For more information about Navy Federal Credit Union, visit Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Opportunity Employer.