Outstanding Southern Maryland Young Man Commissioned an Army Officer at Norwich University in Vermont
In the fine tradition of many great Maryland volunteers who leave home to pursue a college education in an effort to one day becoming an officer in our Nation’s military services, Nicholas Leapley of Lusby recently completed a four year education in military science at prestigious Norwich University near Montpelier, Vermont. In doing so, he achieved his dream of becoming a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. A sharp, impressive young man, Lieutenant Leapley graduated Summa Cum Laude at the top of his class of nearly 350 cadets, most of whom have chosen Army careers. He soon leaves for training in Military Intelligence and evidentially will report to the iconic 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina later this year.
Nicholas was well prepared for undertaking this military life. A graduate of Patuxent High School in 2014, he excelled as a student athlete in all fields of endeavor. He was a standout varsity member of the school’s lacrosse and swim teams. He rose through the ranks of the school’s Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps [NJROTC] to become the unit’s Commanding Officer in his senior year. His outstanding performance in every area he involved himself led to his award of a “full ride scholarship” to Norwich, a 200 year old school that is the first institution in the United States to host a ROTC Program and is the oldest of six senior national military colleges in the country.
Attending the commissioning ceremony held on a beautiful sunny May morning in the small town of Northfield within the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont were his dad Brian Leapley and his wife Ramona and his mother Tina Fratantuono and sister Julia. Joining them was Lieutenant Dave Spigler, USN retired and his wife Deborah. Lieutenant Spigler had mentored Nicholas during his senior year in high school to better prepare him for attending a military academy.
Dave spent 22 years in the Navy and held every enlisted rank and served as a Naval Officer for 8 years. Dave’s daughter Stacy entered the US Naval Academy following graduation from Calvert High and was later commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He was able to impart this experience to Nicholas in an effort to acquaint him with the rigors and challenges he one day would face in defending our country as a military man.
To show his respect for Dave’s efforts, Cadet Leapley asked him to administer his commissioning oath following graduation. Each new cadet repeated the oath before a military officer and then had their 2nd Lieutenant shoulder boards placed on their uniforms. Nick’s parents did the honors following Dave’s administering of the Oath. His mother and father beamed their pride and appreciation of their son throughout the entire ceremony!
Among his many awards and accomplishments during his four years at Norwich, 2nd Lieutenant Leapley made the Dean’s List every year, won the “David l. Anderson Memorial Award” as the top Criminal Justice Student, accumulated 200 hours of community service while leading his Battalion to achieve a total of 3500 community service hours, became the Cadet Battalion Sergeant Major for upper classmen in his junior year and became the Norwich Battalion Commander for the Corps of Cadets in his senior year. He was designated a “Distinguished Military Graduate” a recognition bestowed on the top 20% of all students commissioned in the military nationwide upon graduation. And although he did not win, he was a Rhode Scholar Nominee in his year group!
Nicholas, congratulations on this significant accomplishment. Southern Maryland wishes you much good luck and hope you enjoy a fine Army career in supporting and defending our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Well done, sir!