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Chain of Command

Cadet Battalion Commander - Josh Albertus

  • Cadet Josh Albertus is a Senior at Vanderbilt University, studying Political Science. As the Battalion Commander, CDT Albertus is responsible for everything that the Battalion does or fails to do.  

Cadet Executive Officer - Caroline Byars

  • Cadet Caroline Byars is a Senior at Vanderbilt University, studying Psychology and Philosophy. As the XO, CDT Byars is responsible for the management of day-to-day activities, freeing the commander to concentrate on strategy .

Cadet Sergeant Major - Ben Nissing

  • Cadet Ben Nissing is a Senior at Vanderbilt University, studying History and German Language. As Sergeant Major, CDT Nissing is responsible for supervising fitness, standards, discipline, doctrine, and training of the Cadets.

Cadet Company Commanders - Ally Spence and Lauren Harmon

  • Cadet Ally Spence, Alpha Company Commander, is a Senior at Belmont University, studying Nursing. Cadet Lauren Harmon, Bravo Company Commander, is a Senior at Vanderbilt University, studying Mechanical Engineering.  As Company Commanders, they are accountable and responsible for the training, discipline, administration, and overall welfare of their individual companies.  

Cadet S1 - Alyssa Powell

  • Cadet Alyssa Powell is a Senior at Belmont University, studying Political Science. As the S1, CDT Powell is the principal staff officer for personnel support.

Cadet S2 - Cheyenne Jones

  • Cadet Cheyenne Jones is a Senior at Tennessee State University, studying Criminal Justice. As the S2, CDT Jones is  the unit's security officer.  

Cadet S3 - Sean Cleaver

  • Cadet Sean Cleaver is a Senior at Belmont University, studying Economics. As the S3, CDT Cleaver is responsible for every aspect of the battalion's operations.  

Cadet S4 - Devon Williams

  • Cadet Devon Williams is a Senior at Tennessee State University, studying Business Marketing. As the S4, CDT Williams is in charge of the supplies of the battalion. 

Cadet S5 - Grant Bowlds

  • Cadet Grant Bowlds is a Senior at Vanderbilt University, studying Computer Science and Math. As the S-5, CDT Bowlds is in charge of recruiting and acts as the liaison between the battalion and Vanderbilt University for coordinating external events. 

Cadet S6 - Erin McConnell

  • Cadet Erin McConnell is a Senior at Vanderbilt University, studying Computer Science and History. As the S-6, CDT McConnell is in charge of running the battalion social media platforms, as well as maintaining outreach through the use of the Newsletter and website. 

Cadre and Staff


Lieutenant Colonel Demetrios Ghikas

LTC Demetrios Ghikas was commissioned May 1999 from Marion Military Institute. Prior to entering Active Duty, he served as a Stinger Fighting Vehicle Platoon Leader in 2-202 ADA (IL-ARNG) and completed his Bachelor’s Degree in 2001 at Northern Illinois University. Upon graduating the Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic Course he was assigned to 3-2 ADA Battalion (Patriot), Fort Bliss, Texas.  

In 2006 he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom on a Military Transition Team as a Logistics Advisor. Upon return to Fort Bliss, he attended the Air Defense Artillery Captain’s Career Course, completing his Master of Arts Degree in Leadership Studies from the University of Texas, El Paso. Upon graduation, he assumed command of Alpha Battery, 3-2 ADA Battalion, deploying his battery to Osan Airbase, Korea. 

After command, he served as an instructor in the Directorate of Cultural Influence and Counterinsurgency, 162nd Infantry Brigade, Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he trained Military Advisors and Security Force Assistance Teams deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. He then deployed to US Army Central Command, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, and upon redeployment was assigned to the Mission Command Center of Excellence (MC-CoE), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

In 2014 he graduated the Command and General Staff Officer Course at Fort
Leavenworth, and was assigned to 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Fort Bliss, Texas.
He served as Brigade Operations Officer, 11th ADA Brigade (Forward), Qatar, and upon
redeployment was assigned to 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command, serving as
Deputy G-3 and later as Deputy Commanding Officer of 108th ADA Brigade (Forward),
Qatar. Most recently, he served on the Army Staff as the Counter-Unmanned Aircraft
Systems Division Chief, later as interim Chief of Staff of the Joint Counter-Small
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, HQDA G-3/5/7.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, five Meritorious Service
Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, three Army Achievement Medals, the Army
Basic Space Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

He is married to the former Melissa Anne Curlee, of Birmingham, Alabama. They live
together in Nashville, Tennessee.

MSG SimsMaster Sergeant Jeremy C. Sims

Master Sergeant (MSG) Sims is the Senior Military Science Instructor at Vanderbilt University Army ROTC.

Master Sergeant Sims is from Cleveland, Mississippi, and entered the United States Army on 20 Feb 1998. He completed One Station Unit Training as a 19D, Cavalry Scout, at Fort Knox, Ky.  He transitioned to the Air Defense branch as a 14J, after a 16-month break in service in 2004.

Master Sergeant Sims’s assignments include the following: First Sergeant, 11th Missile Defense Battery; Operations NCOIC for US Northern Command - J3; Operations Sergeant, 14th Missile Defense Battery, JBPH-H, Hawaii; Detailed Recruiter -Station Commander, Martin, Tennessee; Operations Sergeant, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Assistant Operations Sergeant, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Assistant Operations Sergeant, I CORPS G3 AMD, Fort Lewis, Washington.

Master Sergeant Sims has deployed in support of the following operations: Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia-Herzegovina); Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and “Other” Named Operations.

Master Sergeant Sims has completed numerous military schools and courses to include Space 200, Sensor Manager Leader Development Course, Army Recruiter Course, Airborne School, USMC Scout Swimmer Course. His Non-commissioned Officer Education includes the United States Naval War College – Primary Enlisted  PME course, the Joint Special Operations University – Enterprise Management Course, Senior Enlisted Joint PME 1&2, and the Senior Leaders Course.

His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (2OLC), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (4OLC), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3 OLC), Combat Action Badge, Basic Parachutist Badge, Army Basic Space Badge, Army Recruiter Badge. 



Captain Adam Lee 

CPT Adam Lee is an Assistant Professor of Military Science for Vanderbilt Army ROTC. He attended the University of Colorado Boulder as an ROTC Cadet, graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Media Studies and a commission as an Armor Officer.

CPT Lee took his first assignment in April 2018 to Ft. Campbell, KY with the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team (Bastogne), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Upon his arrival, CPT Lee served as a Squadron Assistant Operations Officer, assisting in the planning and execution for the unit’s Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) rotation at Ft. Polk, LA. In September 2018 he became the Platoon Leader for 3rd (Blue) Platoon, Apache Troop, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment and soon later deployed with them to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. While serving as part of the Combined Joint Task Force, CPT Lee led a Security Forces Platoon of US and Canadian Scouts and served as a Base Defense Operations Center Battle Captain for both a joint Coalition/Iraqi Forward Operating Base and the US Embassy in Baghdad. 

Upon return from the deployment in September 2019, CPT Lee continued serving as the Executive Officer for Apache Troop, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, where he assisted in the certification of the unit for its next JRTC rotation. In May 2020 he was assigned to Vanderbilt University as an Assistant Professor of Military Science and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Higher Education Administration from the University of Louisville. 

CPT Lee’s military training and education includes the Armor Basic Officers Leaders Course, Army Reconnaissance Course, Basic Airborne Course, Air Assault School, Master Educator Course, and Common Faculty Development Instructor Course. 

His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (1OLC), Basic Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold).

Mr Bautch

Mr. John Bautch

Mr. John Bautch is currently serving as the Scholarship & Enrollment Officer/Recruiting Operations Officer for Vanderbilt University AROTC, he can be reached by phone at (615) 343-7616 office, (615) 389-3247 cell or by email at  john.bautch@vanderbilt .edu.

 Mr. Bautch joined the “Go Gold” Battalion in March of 2020 after serving for nearly seven years as the Recruiting Operations Officer for the “Blue Raider” Battalion at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN.  Mr. Bautch has been with Cadet Command for over fifteen years as a Recruiting Operations Officer in government contractor and Department of the Army Civilian capacities.   After receiving his commission through Army ROTC at Fitchburg State University, he served as a Medical Service Corps officer on active and reserve duty for twenty-seven and a half years. During his career, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (LTC).  He retired from uniformed service in January 2012.  Mr. Bautch’s total time in service to the Department of Defense and the US Army proudly spans over forty years.

Mr. Bautch’s duty positions include roles as a Battalion Commander, Brigade Executive Officer, Senior Staff Officer, Military Instructor, Company Commander, and Platoon Leader. Mr. Bautch served with distinction with the 82nd Airborne Division, Ft, Bragg, NC, 2d Infantry Division, Camp Casey, Korea, the 2d Armored Division, Ft Hood, TX, and 2d Army, Ft Jackson, SC. 

Mr. Bautch is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, the AMEDD Center and School Basic and Advance Courses, Master Fitness Trainer Course, and US Army Airborne School.  Mr. Bautch earned his Masters of Arts in Management from Webster University and his Bachelor’s degree in English (Cum Laude) from Fitchburg State University.

Mr. Bautch’s military awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Army Commendation Medal (two awards), Army Achievement Medal (two awards), National Defense Service Medal (two awards), Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/Campaign Star, the NATO Afghanistan Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (three awards), Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device (two awards), Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (two awards), Expert Field Medical Badge and Master Parachutist Badge.


Mr. ThompsonMr. Darrell Thompson

Mr. Darrell Thompson is currently serving as the Human Resource Technician for Vanderbilt University AROTC, he can be reached by phone at (615) 343-7616 office, (615) 389-3247 cell or by email at

Mr. Thompson joined the “Go Gold” Battalion in May of 2018 after serving as the Marketing and Advertising Manager for 7th Brigade Army ROTC HQ.  Mr. Thompson has been with cadet Command for ten years since his retirement from active duty (US Army) with 21 years of service to his country. During his career, he achieved the rank of Master Sergeant (MSG). 

Mr. Thompson’s duty positions while on active duty included: Senior Military Science Instructor, Army ROTC (Tennessee Tech University), Platoon Sergeant, US Army Recruiter, TOW Anti-Tank Missile crew instructor, Equal Opportunity Officer, TOW Master Gunner Course Instructor, Squad Leader, and Track Vehicle Operator. Mr. Thompson’s assignments included 1/327th IN, and 1/502nd IN, Fort Campbell, KY, 2/29th IN, Fort Benning, GA, 1/503rd IN, Camp Casey Korea, 1/15th IN, Kitzingen, Germany, Iraq and Wichita, KS. 

Mr. Thompson, is a graduate of the Recruiting Operations Officers Course, Human Resources Assistant course, Advanced NCO Course, Equal Opportunity course, US Army Recruiting/Retention course, Basic NCO Course, Primary Leader Development course, TOW master Gunner course, Instructor Trainer Course, Master Fitness Course, US Army Airborne School, and US Army Air Assault School.  Mr. Thompson is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a Bachelor’s degree in education.  He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Organizational Development and Leadership.  

Mr. Thompson has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; Recruiter Ring; National Defense Service Medal; Korean Defense Service Ribbon; Global War on Terrorism Medal; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) and earned the Expert Infantry Badge (EIB).

Mr. Thompson’s Civilian awards include the 2014 Brigade Civilian of the Year and the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.

Mr. HuletteMr. Robert Hulette

Mr. Hulette is a native of Franklin, TN, and has held a Commission in the Medical Service Corps,  U.S. Army Reserve for the past 16 years. He is a graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy, and has degrees in both Biological Science and Environmental Policy from the University of Tulsa and attend graduate schools in Public Health and Epidemiology at the George Washington University, and completed his Master of Business Administration from Columbia Southern University. He is Board-certified in Biological Safety Microbiology, is a Registered Sanitarian, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Project Management, as well as being a FEMA-Certified Continuity of Operations Planner and Advanced EMT. He completed the ISDA/Johns Hopkins Infection Control Fellowship and was a Volunteer Research Fellow in Microbial Ecology at the NIH.

He began his military career as a Field Medical Officer for the 429th MEDEVAC BN in Savannah Georgia, and then on the Brigade Special Staff of the 332nd Medical BDE. He then took command of the 452nd PM Detachment (ENTO) in Perrine, FL leading its activities through hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Mr. Hulette was then selected as a special projects officer to stand-up the Southeast Medical Area Readiness Support Group (SE-MARSG), the first unit of its kind. After the stand-up of the unit was complete, Mr. Hulette Served as the Commander, HHD, SE-MARSG. 

Mr. Hulette was then assigned as a staff epidemiologist at the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center in Silver Spring, MD working on both global infectious disease and mental health problems for the Department of Defense. 

Following this assignment, Mr. Hulette was assigned to Support Operations for U.S. Army Public Health Command, at APG, MD where he was the Global Continuity of Operations Planner for all Army Public Health Operations.

Mr. Hulette is presently assigned as OIC, CTAC3 for the USAR Consequence Management Unit, part of the DoD's primary response to any CBRNE incident Worldwide.

Mr. Hulette has served in Ecuador, Korea, Canada, and the UK and is a graduate of numerous military schools including the Military History Instructor Course, the Medical Care for Chemical and Biological Casualties course, the Continuity of Operations train-the-trainer course, Introduction to Medical Intelligence Course, Introduction to Military Preventive Medicine Course, the Diseases of Military Importance Course, The Unit Safety Management Course, The Deployment Occupational and Environmental Health Surveillance Course, The Military Operations Other Than War course (MOOTW), the Junior Officer Leadership Development Training Seminar, Risk Communication Course, the Environmental Officer Course, the Company/Detachment Pre-command course, AMEDD Officer Basic Course, and holds a basic Nuclear weapons certification and an incident management certification, as well as numerous other courses

His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, The Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC), The Army Achievement Medal (1OLC) The Military Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Medal, and 6 ODT ribbons as well as others, and has received two citations form the Army of the Republic of Korea and one from the Republic of Ecuador.

As a civilian Mr Hulette has worked in corporate, government, and consulting contexts primarily in healthcare and R&D. He holds academic appointments at Vanderbilt and Meharry Medical College and has published numerous academic articles.

Mr. BradleyMr. Bruce D. Bradley

Mr.  Bradley is currently serving as the Supply Technician for Vanderbilt AROTC. He can be reached by phone at (615) 322-8556, or by email at

His previous assignments include Logistics Management Specialist, Logistics Management Specialist (Ammo), and Squad Leader, C Company, 1st Battalion, 3d US Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard (TOG). 

Mr. Bradley is a graduate from Ammo Hazmat Course, Six Sigma, Advance Noncommissioned Officer's Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer's Course, Unit Supply Specialist Course, Primary Leadership Development Course, Unit Prevention Leader Course, Leadership Development Course, Airborne School, Jungle Survival Course, Ranger Indoctrination Program, Infantry Combat Basic Course. 

Additionally, he graduated with an Associate's Degree in Business from Calhoun College, and a Bachelor's Degree in Management Information Systems from Columbia College, Columbia MO.

walden photoMr. Kenneth Walden

Mr. Kenneth W. Walden is currently serving as the Administrative Assistant for Vanderbilt AROTC. He can be reached by phone at (615) 322-8550, or by email at

Mr. Walden joined the “Go Gold” Battalion as an Administrative Assistant in March of 1997 after his retirement from active duty military with 22 years of service to his country. During his career, he achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class (SFC). 

He began his career in the Army as an enlisted Soldier in the branch of Field Artillery and after his initial enlistment changed his branch to administration. SFC Walden entered the Army in 1975. He attended Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  

SFC Walden's assignments include Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; United States Army Detachment, Izmir, Turkey; Headquarters and Headquarters Company Division Support Command, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Headquarters Company, 8th United States Army, Yongsan, Korea; 86th Evacuation Hospital, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; United States Army MEDDAC, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; 23rd Area Support Group, Camp Humphreys, Korea, and Vanderbilt University Army ROTC Detachment, Nashville, Tennessee.    

His military schooling includes the Inspector General Orientation Course; Advanced Noncommissioned Officer's Course; Senior Leadership Refresher Course; Primary Leadership Development Course; Battalion Training Management Course; SIDPERS Unit Level Training Course and Field Artillery Basic Course.

His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal 8th Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Good Conduct Medal 7th Award.Mr. Kenneth Walde