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University of Richmond student earns highest national award for ROTC grads

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Posted at 11:49 AM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 12:43:41-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- It's been rough waters for college students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But University of Richmond graduate Dilwyn Piner got through it by listening to advice from his dad.

Keep your eye on the prize.

That focus and hard work led to Piner to earn the highest national award presented to graduating seniors in ROTC classes.

"You know a lot of my friends have also been working just as hard and a lot of other cadets in the program have been working just as hard with me. It's just kind of nice to know that at least one of us gets to kind of relish in the accomplishments and show other people what we've been working on and doing," said Piner.

The push to become a distinguished military graduate had Piner working with and competing against some of the best ROTC students in the United States.

"Nice because I feel like I found a good balance between leading and following and then also working with individuals who are also trying to get the same thing done as me," he added.

Piner is staying at UR for law school, in hopes of becoming a JAG officer in the Army.

And he's charging ahead with this advice for himself.

"You know there`s more to school than just getting good grades," said Piner. "It's developing those learning experiences and developing the relationships between your students and your professors in your cadre which I really hope to take into law school."

His dad could see the determination in Dilwyn when he was a young boy playing sports.

"He was encouraging. Never one to get mad at other players. And he's going to carry that over into his service in life I think," said Chuck Koutnik.

Piner can see how being humble, like his dad, can keep a person focused.

"I admire the ways that he handles himself and how kind he is to the world around him," said Piner.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs every Wednesday at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on CBS 6 and is sponsored by Virginia Family Dentistry.

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