FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Jack Cogbill is the Fort Campbell High School Class of 2020 valedictorian, an honor he owes to a supportive military community, his Family and the faculty and staff who have guided him along the way, he said.“It’s truly an honor to be selected as valedictorian,” Jack said. “I can say with confidence that I would not have been able to have the honor of being valedictorian without the support of the coaches, the teachers, and my counselors. They’ve contributed so much to my academic and extracurricular life.”During his high school career, Jack became a member of the Mu Alpha Theta National Honor Society, was on the FCHS student council, was involved in wrestling, soccer and robotics, and became an Eagle Scout. Jack also was a candidate for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. He will attend Harvard University with a four-year Army ROTC scholarship, where he will study computer science and plans to pursue a military career.Jack and the rest of the FCHS Class of 2020 are experiencing an unprecedented time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of social distancing and other safety protocols put in place to stem the spread of the virus, commencement will take place virtually. In lieu of a traditional ceremony, FCHS staff created a video with all the graduating seniors receiving their diploma, moving their tassel, tossing their cap and creating a senior shout out.“In a way, this is not anything really new to a student in the military community,” Jack said. “We have grown up facing different obstacles in life, whether it be having our parents deployed or moving from one community to the next. I think this is just another example of our resilience, and the community we live in. The ability in which the students and the staff have been able to adapt to the situation has been amazing.”His parents, Jennifer and Col. John Cogbill, helped Jack with his speech. Jack’s father who is now stationed with the Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was able to be home to spend time with his Family in the days leading up to graduation. The rest of the Cogbill Family remained at Fort Campbell to finish out the school year and allow Jack to graduate from FCHS before relocating to Fort Bragg in the coming months.“We feel very blessed, we’re very proud of his accomplishments,” John said. “It’s a well-deserved recognition for all of his hard work over the years, but it’s also a reflection of the community that has supported him and the other students to get them to this point.”In his graduation speech, Jack highlights the struggles he and the rest of the class have faced during the atypical end of their senior year, but also included some of the positive things that have come from staying sequestered with your Family.“It stinks to miss an in-house graduation and the celebrations, but at the end of the day we have to thank God and be grateful for what we have,” he said. “We’ve had a very easy experience as opposed to those who have been directly affected by the virus.”Jack also thanks the FCHS staff and faculty for coming out with a creative solution for graduation by filming a commencement video for the Class of 2020, which is something special they can take with them.“Things may seem pretty confusing and difficult during this time, but the message I’m trying to convey is by hope and optimism and community support we can get through this,” Jack said.During the commencement filming, the Cogbill Family experienced Jack’s walk across the stage, listened to his valedictorian speech and presented him with his diploma cover.“I’m extremely proud, proud is probably not a strong enough word for how we feel,” John said. “We’re very excited for his future, but we’ve really loved having him in our Family these last 18 years. This pandemic has given us more time together as a Family and helped us really appreciate the special relationship we have. We’re very appreciative of every additional day we have together.”Jack’s decision to pursue a military career was entirely his own, his parents said – they are happy to support whatever choice he makes.“There were a number of reasons to pursue a military career,” Jack said. “Obviously, growing up in a military community there was some influence, but before deciding to go into the military, I wanted to make sure I was doing it for me. It was a huge decision for me, I didn’t want to pursue the military if I didn’t think I was doing it because I wanted to or because I was persuaded by my father or another member in the community.”Not only will he pursue his military goals at Harvard, he also is eager to explore his academic interests.“I’m really excited to expand my academic horizons,” Jack said. “There are going to be so many opportunities to connect with these very, very smart people. I think it’s going to be so exciting to hear from all of these mentors and experts on both the academic and military side of things. I can’t wait to see all of the organizations and opportunities I’ll be able to be a part of.”He wants to help make the world a better place and serve his community, especially the military community he has grown up in.“One of my greatest excitements and desires is to make an impact in the world and help other people,” Jack said. “I think this is an amazing opportunity and adventure.”His parents say Jack is not only incredibly bright and driven but also is a joy to be around.“I admire his resilience, it’s not just his ability to bounce back and move forward, it’s really his grit,” Jenny said. “He’s a kid who gets things done and he does it with a positive attitude. His faith and his strong values have really given him a foundation for service to others and the country. He brings a lot of joy to our Family and he has a great sense of humor.”His father also praised Jack for his strong leadership abilities.“His ability to build a team and motivate his teammates and classmates is a skill that will serve him all throughout life,” John said. “His sense of duty, his selfless desire to serve a cause larger than himself is something I’ve also come to admire.”No matter where he goes, Jack said he will never forget his classmates and mentors from his time living on Fort Campbell. He considers Fort Campbell home and said he will always hold a special place in his heart for FCHS.“I’m going to miss the people, the classmates and the staff, and all of the relationships I’ve built,” Jack said. “This is the longest place I’ve ever lived at, and it’s only been three years. It doesn’t seem like very long, but for me, it’s meant a lot.”