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ROTC cadet achieves dream as honorary Airborne member

WKU ROTC cadet Shawn Sattazahn is the newest honorary member of the US Army Airborne Community.


WKU ROTC cadet Shawn Sattazahn became an honorary member of the US Army Airborne Community after completing a tandem jump on Nov. 13.

Sattazahn, a Russellville native, is an active member in the Military Science program as an MS level 2 and aspires to serve the military community.

His family has lineage with the Airborne Community within the Army, including the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell and 173rd Airborne Brigade in Del Din, Italy.

Sattazahn has always wanted to join the elite fraternity of Paratroopers and brought his dream to fruition. He was born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, though, so it didn’t come easy.

Sattazahn saw his physical limitations as a personal challenge and was determined to overcome it. He saw his medical provider and was medically cleared to conduct a tandem jump with a local skydiving organization. On Nov. 13 in Tullahoma, Tennessee, Sattazahn jumped from a perfectly good aircraft from 14,000 feet just like those soldiers who earned silver wings as US Army Paratroopers.


To honor Sattazahn’s tenacity, audacity, persistence and resilience, the Department of Military Science reached out to the 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia, where every Army Paratrooper is trained, in order to induct Sattazahn as an honorary member of the Airborne Community.

During a halftime ceremony at the WKU basketball game on Nov. 14, LTC Thomas MacMillin pinned silver parachutist wings on Sattazahn’s uniform, which he will be authorized to wear at ROTC functions.

LTC MacMillin also presented him with a certificate that reads:

“Be it known that Cadet Shawn Sattazahn is awarded the honorary US Army Parachutist Badge at the 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Airborne Ranger training Brigade, and that in testimony thereof is awarded this certificate on the 14th day of November, 2015 at Fort Benning, GA. Signed Korey E. Brown, Lieutenant Colonel, Infantry, Commanding.”

More: View the video and additional photos on the WKU ROTC Facebook page.

Contact: ROTC, (270) 745-4293

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