ETSU ROTC Cadet Chase Baird is an honorary graduate of the US Army Airborne School | New


East Tennessee State University ROTC Army Cadet Chase Baird recently graduated with Honors from the US Army Airborne School, becoming a paratrooper.

Baird, originally from Marion, North Carolina and graduated from McDowell High School in 2018, is studying Rehabilitation Health Sciences at ETSU, where he also plans to earn a minor in Military Sciences. In addition to this recent achievement, Baird, a rising senior at ETSU, also completed Army Air Assault school.

“Attending Airborne School has been a goal of mine for quite some time,” said Baird. “Since I was little, I have been fascinated by the stories of American paratroopers throughout history and the incredible feats they have accomplished that set them apart. I am very grateful to the ETSU ROTC program for allowing me to attend this legendary school, and it has been an honor to be the honorary graduate of the cadets in my class.

Airborne School teaches soldiers parachuting techniques from planes and safe landing. The final test consists of five unassisted jumps. The goal is to qualify the volunteer in the use of the parachute as a means of deployment in combat and to develop leadership, self-confidence and an aggressive spirit through mental and physical conditioning.

To be an Airborne Honorary Graduate, intense dedication and attention to detail is required. Each lesson requires undivided attention, and limited free time should be devoted to studying airborne procedures and jargon.

“The entire ETSU Buccaneer Battalion is very proud of Cadet Chase Baird’s outstanding performance at the Airborne School which has earned him recognition as an honorary graduate of his class,” said Maj. Kent Monas, professor of military science at ETSU. “Chase is one of our best cadets and is the ‘scholar, athlete, leader’ that the Army ROTC strives to develop. He is currently completing summer cadet training at Fort Knox, Ky. When Chase returns to campus this fall for his final year, he will assume the position of Cadet Operations Officer. Chase maintains the proud legacy of the ETSU Army ROTC program which produced 11 Army General Officers and six additional General Officers in sister services. Chase and his fellow cadets volunteered to lead America’s sons and daughters in defense of our freedom, and the ETSU provided the training and resources to transform them into leaders of excellence.

Baird is the son of Col. Jerry E. Baird Jr., who is actively serving in the United States Army, and Leslie Baird.

For more information on ETSU ROTC, visit

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