Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Col. Christopher Ireland, U.S. Air Force who earned a degree in political science from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in 1991 was named the Hokie Hero for the football game versus Boston College on Saturday.

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Hokie Hero program started in 2006 by IMG College, honors Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumni who are currently deployed. Recipients of this honor are highlighted by Bill Roth and Mike Burnop during the radio broadcast of Virginia Tech football games, on the Corps of Cadets website and in the Corps Review magazine.

Ireland is currently deployed for one year as the Commander of the 1st Expeditionary Special Operations Wing and the Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component Afghanistan, providing airpower to special operations forces across Afghanistan.

Over his 22-year career, Ireland has flown multiple variants of the C-130 aircraft, mostly supporting special operations forces around the world.

Ireland is from Wayne, Maine, and is a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1991. He served as the Golf Company Commander his senior year after three years in Echo Company.

He cites his experience in the Corps of Cadets as the critical foundation of his professional success, and more importantly, the opportunity to meet his wife of 22 years, Vickie Karolchyk Ireland, a fellow cadet from the Class of 1991 who was a member of the Highty-Tighties and who also earned her degree in political science. He sends his love to his wife, his daughters Meghan and Hannah, his friends and family, and to his fellow E-91 buds.

“I want to thank the university and IMG College for making time to recognize Hokies serving their nation in uniform, and in harms way. Most importantly, I ask that you all take time to thank the families of all deployed service members. They are the true heroes--without their love and support, our service would be twice as difficult,” Ireland shared.

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