BLACKSBURG, Va. – A four-legged Corps of Cadets ambassador at Virginia Tech will soon be turning in his badge.
Growley II, whose call sign is Tank, is set to retire at the end of Virginia Tech’s fall semester after five years of serving as the corps’ faithful canine ambassador.
He serves as a cadet brigadier general, which is the highest-ranking cadet. The sweet pup can be found making several appearances a month in the cadet residence halls and across campus, sporting a “tankerchief” that matches the uniform of the day for the cadets.
From telling the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets story to lifting spirits, the 8-year-old yellow Labrador will soon have a forever home. The university says corps’ alumni who served as Growley’s handlers or those on his 12-member team are already working to have the pup adopted.
Since Growley II arrived on campus during summer 2016 as a 3-year-old Lab, he has done nothing but bring smiles to people’s faces. The idea to bring him in as the ambassador was inspired by the fact that the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M had a dog. Virginia Tech’s corps also had a dog several decades prior.
Later that day, then cadet Zack Sever, who was a junior at the time, went to Col. Patience Larkin, who retired from the U.S. Air Force to serve as the corps’ alumni director, and explained why they needed a dog. He explained that it would help better the mental health of cadets.
Five years later, Growley II has helped boost the mood of cadets and is adored by all of Hokie Nation.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been five years,” said Sever, now a U.S. Navy lieutenant and F-18 pilot with Strike Fighter Squadron 103 at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
If you see Growley II on campus, Virginia Tech encourages you to give him a few extra pets to thank him for his service to the corps and the campus
Growley II is on Instagram and Facebook as @vtgrowley. His website is vtcc.vt.edu/growley.