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Austin Peay State University celebrates ROTC’s 50th year on Campus: 1st Lt. Kip Stevens

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Austin Peay State University (APSU) is celebrating its 50th year. To mark the occasion, each month through the end of the year, we’ll share one story of a Governor’s Guard alumni or former leader.

This month, we share the story of 1st Lt. Kip Stevens, who died on December 12th, 1985, in the Arrow Air Flight 1285 crash in Gander, Newfoundland, that killed 248 101st Airborne Division soldiers.

Stevens was a model of what Governors Guard cadets strive to achieve.

Born at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and a 1977 graduate of Northwest High School in Clarksville, Stevens served both stateside and overseas as an enlisted soldier before attending Austin Peay State University on an Army ROTC scholarship in 1981.

While attending Austin Peay, he was a member of the Tennessee Eta Tau Chapter, Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, the Inter-Fraternity Council and the Student Government Association. A charter member of the Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, Stevens was also a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society.

In Army ROTC, Stevens served as S-1 and as an executive officer during his senior year.

Upon graduation in June 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in French, Stevens was commissioned on active duty as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps.

As an officer, Stevens attended Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, from July 1984 to January 1985. He was then assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

From there, he would deploy with Task Force 3-502nd (Multinational Force and Observers) to the Sinai Peninsula. He was promoted to first lieutenant shortly before his death.

During their return flight on December 12th, 1985, all 248 soldiers of Task Force 3-502nd on the Arrow Air, including Stevens, were killed in a plane crash in Gander, Newfoundland. He is buried at Fort Donelson National Cemetery, Dover, Tennessee.

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