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Cadet Zachary Lepley named 2017 Command Sgt. Maj. Darol Walker Award winner

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — ROTC Cadet Zachary C. Lepley was presented the 2017 Command Sgt. Maj. Darol Walker Award during a breakfast ceremony held April 27 at Austin Peay State University.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — ROTC Cadet Zachary C. Lepley was presented the 2017 Command Sgt. Maj. Darol Walker Award during a breakfast ceremony held April 27 at Austin Peay State University.

Lepley is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in political science with a minor in military science from APSU. A high-achieving student earning his degree through the University’s Green to Gold ROTC program, Lepley holds a cumulative GPA of 3.94. Upon graduation, Lepley will serve in the U.S. Army’s field artillery branch before transitioning to the military intelligence branch, after acceptance to the Captains Career Course.

Lepley has been on active duty in the U.S. Army for eight years. He has served three combat tours, including two to Afghanistan and one in Iraq. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, NATO Medal, Air Assault Badge and Combat Infantryman Badge.

As a member of APSU’s Governors Guard Detachment ROTC program, Lepley served as the Blitz Mentor in the spring semester and as PT Mentor during the fall semester.

A native of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, Lepley is the son of Buddy Lepley and Claire Laney. He is married to Paloma Lepley, a teacher at Kenwood Elementary School in Clarksville.

Fort Campbell Garrison Commander, Col. James R. Salome served as the keynote speaker for the event.

Lepley is the sixth ROTC cadet to receive the Command Sgt. Maj. Darol Walker Award, following Jose Ramos-Lopez in 2016, Kevin Doss in 2015, Daniel Davis in 2014, Nathan Brewer in 2013 and the first recipient, Nicholas Shumpis, in 2012.

The Command Sgt. Maj. Darol Walker Award was established by local businessman, Jack B. Turner, in honor of Turner’s long-time friend and business partner, Darol Walker, retired vice president of Jack B. Turner and Associates, Inc. in Clarksville.

Before retiring from service and starting his career with Turner in 1977, Walker served as a command sergeant major in the U.S. Army, was a highly-decorated Vietnam Veteran and later served as senior military instructor for APSU’s ROTC program. Walker served two tours in Vietnam, and received the Bronze Star with V Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, four Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Medal, China Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantrymans’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and Ranger Tab.

For more information, contact Bill Persinger, executive director of Public Relations and Marketing at 931-221-7459.