Gannon University Army ROTC Cadet One of Two in Nation to Win Pallas Athene Award

Kayla AmslerPosted: May 23, 2013

Erie, PA; A Gannon University, newly commissioned Army lieutenant from the Class of 2013 has received one of the two Pallas Athene Awards for the academic year 2012-13.

Second Lieutenant Kayla A. Amsler, has been honored by the Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association as one of the top two senior Army ROTC woman cadets in the nation.

To be eligible for consideration for the award, the Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association requires female cadets to be seniors (at the Military Science IV level) who will graduate and be commissioned within the academic year; be in the top 50 percent of her class academically; have successfully completed the Leader Development Assessment Course or the Nurse Summer Training Program; and embody the "traditions of service, patriotism and loyalty so much a part of the contribution of Army women past and present."

In addition to these distinctions, Amsler became the first Gannon ROTC cadet to be given a commissioning oath via Skype. The oath, which must be administered by an officer, was transmitted by Capt. Payton Holtz from Afghanistan, where he is serving with the 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment. Holtz and Amsler are engaged to be married.

"He was able to listen to the entire ceremony," Amsler said, "and when it came time, he was logged on and he gave me my oath. It was one of the coolest things I've ever done.

"I had 30 family and friends to view the ceremony, and you could hear people crying when he came on the screen. I knew I couldn't look up from my computer because I would be crying, too," she said.

Amsler, who is continuing her education in Gannon's five-year physicians' assistant Master's program, was ranked in the top 10 percent of her class. She was also the Cadet Battalion Commander for Gannon's Army ROTC program - which is one of the top eight Army ROTC programs nationwide, winner of this year's MacArthur Award; Gannon's winner of the George C. Marshall Leadership Award; and ranked number 71 on Army ROTC's national order of merit list, a ranking of all the senior cadets nationwide (almost 5,600).

The Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association has been presenting the Pallas Athene Award to the top female Army ROTC cadets annually since 1983.