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100th Infantry Division Scholarship: Supporting a Heritage of Military Leadership

FullTextImage/img/@altThe scholarship supports VMI’s heritage of producing military leaders, a heritage association members believe was exemplified by Gen. Burress’ command of the 100th Infantry Division.

Before he matriculated at VMI, Zachariah Kier ’11 had already made the decision to become a U.S. Army officer.  

“I knew I wanted to serve for one reason:  Liberty doesn’t come free of charge,” said Kier, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry.  “I’d rather pay my own way than enjoy freedom purchased by the blood of superior men.” 

During his cadetship, Kier twice received the 100th Infantry Division Lieutenant General Withers A. Burress ’14 Scholarship, a fund which provides financial support to two members of the rising 1st Class and two members of the rising 2nd Class who plan to commission in the U.S. Army.  

Kier said receiving the scholarship was easy.  The challenge was living up to the example set by members of the venerable 100th Division.  “I felt like I had very large shoes to fill,” Kier said.

So Kier immediately set out to prove himself.    

Besides serving as a member of the cadre that trained new cadets, Kier was a land navigation instructor for New Cadet Military Training.  By the time he graduated, Kier was a platoon leader in VMI's Army ROTC unit, responsible for about 40 Military Science I Army cadets, which included freshmen from Mary Baldwin College and Washington and Lee University.    

This summer, Kier is stationed at Fort Knox, working as a rappelling instructor at the Leadership Training Course, a summer program for college students who are new to the Army ROTC program.  Kier will report to the Army's Infantry Officer Basic Course October 2011.   

“I believe that VMI prepared me well for the military in areas of time management, handling pressure, and developing a healthy aggression for tackling tough assignments,” Kier said. “The 100th Infantry Division Association made it possible for me to complete my education.” 

About the scholarship:

In 2001, veterans of the 100th Infantry Division established the 100th Infantry Division-Lieutenant General Withers A. Burress ’14 Scholarship as a permanent legacy of the unit at VMI.  General Burress, a former VMI Commandant of Cadets, commanded the Division from November 1942 until September 1945. 

The Scholarship supports VMI’s heritage of producing military leaders, a heritage that the Association’s members believe was exemplified by General Burress’ command of the 100th Infantry Division.

In the photo:  Somemembers of the 100th Infantry Division Association meet the cadetswho received Association support in 2010-2011. Marie Mallet ’13, Robert Montague (100th), Darren Waters ’13,Bob Fair (100th), Franklin Banegas ’12, Riley Ewen ’12, Ray Denman (100th),  Zach Kier ’11, Thomas Graybeal ’11, MaryMeidenbauer ’13, Joe Collie (100th), Jeremy Chuidian ’11, and Captain MarkSearles ’06, U.S. Army (prior recipient of support from the Association).