West Virginia University student Lance Cpl. Stephen Wellman, of Chambersburg, Pa., has received the U.S. Marine CorpsCommandants Trophy, the highest award bestowed on officer candidates.
Each summer, college students participate in an intensive six-week program at the officer candidate school in Quantico, Va. Officer training is extremely competitive.
Wellman, a WVU sophomore and Iraq War veteran, will receive the trophy for being the first in his class of about 170. Students are evaluated on their academics, physical fitness (conditioning, endurance and combat readiness) and leadership.
Capt. Fabyan Smithaccompanied by retired Gen. Earl E. Anderson, a Morgantown native and WVU alumnus, and retired Maj. Gen. Kenneth D. Gray, current vice president for Student Affairswill present Wellman with the award duringthe halftime ceremonyof Saturdays (Nov. 25) WVU -University of South Florida football game at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Wellman will then give the trophy, engraved with his name and previous winnersnames, to WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr., who will accept it on behalf of the University.
Only one college has the honor of displaying the trophy a year. WVU plans to house the bronze Marine statue in the Mountainlair Vandalia Lounge in recognition ofhis achievements.
Wellman was deployed for seven months in Iraq with the Company K 3rd Battalion 25th Marine Regiment out of Moundsville. He is majoring in criminology and plans to make a career of serving in the Marine Corps.