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Amanda Daugherty
University Communications

Cadet Nick Banich
Indiana University Army ROTC

Last modified: Friday, September 19, 2008

Father and son attend U.S. Army Airborne School together

Sept. 19, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- When Indiana University ROTC Cadet Nick Banich found out he would be going to Airborne School last summer, he had no idea he would have the opportunity to parachute with his father, U.S. Army Reserve Col. Joseph Banich. Both father and son spent part of last summer at the US Army Airborne School in Fort Benning, Ga.

Nick and Joseph Banich

Cadet Nick Banich and his father, Col. Joseph Banich, at the U.S. Army Airborne School in Fort Benning, Ga.

Print-Quality Photo

"I was excited beyond belief when I found out I would be going to Airborne School," said Nick Banich. "And the fact that I got to jump with my father was icing on the cake."

Col. Banich, commander of the 2nd Brigade, 70th Training Division, became airborne qualified in 1981, through the same IU ROTC program as his son. Before Airborne School this past summer, though, Joseph Banich had not jumped since 1992. In the interest of regaining his jump status, Joseph Banich decided to seize the opportunity to attend Airborne School with his son.

Both father and son loaded onto the same aircraft and sat next to each other during takeoff. Joseph jumped first, followed closely by Nick.

For Nick Banich, going to Airborne School with his father was a continuation of the training he went through as a young child.

"As a kid, my father and I would drag out the army gear and take the cushions off the couch," said Nick Banich. "My father would run through the jump commands, so that way I could jump off the couch onto the cushions on the floor."

Nick Banich's mother, Jeannie Banich, was there to see both her husband and son jump. Kevin Banich, Nick Banich's brother, was also in attendance.

"I think for my mom it was a little emotional seeing me go from jumping off the couch to jumping out of a plane," said Nick Banich.