Board Members and Committee Chairs
Cheryl is the third daughter of Col Douglas C. Dillard and Virginia Dillard and is inspired and driven to keep the memory of the brave men of the 551 Parachute Infantry Battalion alive. Cheryl grew up as an Army brat, which took her around the world with her parents and enjoying being part of a military family.
Cheryl is an award winning film producer and co-founder of Orama Filmworks, a film and production company based in the US and Bermuda. She is a board member of the Leadership Advisory Board, John Hopkins Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and the co-founder of The Global Film Fund a non-profit that supports film projects that have positive impact on the world.
Ginni has been in real estate since 1985, beginning her career in Fairfield, CT and moving to and continuing in San Diego, California. Throughout all but two years in real estate Ginni served in leadership positions in both locations with her largest office consisting of 250 agents creating profitable real estate offices in each case. Ginni has also served as Vice President Leadership Development for an international real estate franchise sales company where she developed leadership courses for agents and franchisees.
Over her career, Ginni has received many awards and has served on multiple boards of directors at both state and national levels including being inducted into the Hall of Fame for the National Association of REALTORS in 2013.
Eric Buchanan, a native of Lebanon, Virginia, was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Math and Chemistry from Emory & Henry College in 1994. Upon graduation, he worked in the civilian world in the Geographical Information Systems field for five years. Searching for a new challenge he joined the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School and reported to VT-10, NAS Pensacola, FL, for primary and intermediate Naval Flight Officer training in September of 2001. In July 2012 he graduated from the Naval War College in Newport RI, earning a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic studies.
During his military service he accumulated 950 combat flight hours as well as over 1000 flight hours and 150 carrier arrested landings in the E-2C. He is the recipient of the Air Medal (8 Awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (3 Awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and is authorized to wear the Humanitarian Service Medal and various unit campaign and service awards.
In 2014 Eric learned his grandfather, Les Meade, started WWII with the 551stParachute Infantry Battalion, prior to that discovery he assumed his grandfather was with the 505thof the 82ndAirborne throughout WWII. At the age of three Eric wandered into his grandfather’s bedroom to share his Christmas list, it was in December of ’74, his grandfather was paralyzed in a coal mining accident in ’56. That memory was Eric’s first memory as a child and his only memory of his grandfather, as his grandfather passed away a few weeks later, December 20th, due to complications from the mining accident. Although a temporary setback the accident didn’t come close to slowing Les Meade down, as he didn’t just meet life’s challenges, he crushed them to the end. Already Eric’s hero, the news of his grandfather’s original unit ignited a passion to learn all details of his grandfather’s Lost Battalion of WWII.
Rodney Roycroft, from Pensacola, Florida has a degree in military history and has been a life-long WWII history buff. In 2005 he joined the WWII AIRBORNE DEMONSTRATION TEAM (non-profit 501 C3) whose mission is to REMEMBER, HONOR and SERVE WWII veterans. By performing authentic WWII airborne jump operations throughout the US, and around the world, the team teaches the public WWII history and strives to keep alive the memory of what our veterans accomplished. Through this outreach Rodney learned of the GOYAS and the fact that, historically, they are a “lost battalion”. After getting to personally know a dozen or so GOYAS, Rodney was compelled to launch on a mission to focus his efforts on promoting the remembrance of the 551st PIB and has been doing so for the past 6 years.
Rodney served as a US Navy pilot before starting his present career as a pilot for Delta Air Lines based out of Atlanta, GA.
LTC Paul Narowski-Board Member 551st Parachute Infantry Association
Originally hailing from Buffalo, NY, Paul attended US Army Airborne School while still an ROTC Cadet at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. After graduation and commissioning, he attended the Infantry Officer Basic Course and graduated from the US Army Ranger Course. Later, he attended the Parachute Rigger course.
Paul has served in Airborne assignments through 19 of his 27 years of service, including assignments to the 503rd, 504th and 508th Parachute Infantry Regiments. He commanded Paratroopers at the Company and Battalion levels and served as the 59th Division Parachute Officer of the 82nd Airborne Division. Paul has four combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, served overseas in the Republic of Korea and the Federal Republic of Germany, and deployed to Central America in support of disaster relief operations.
Paul’s awards and decorations include the Combat Action Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Rigger Badge, the Ranger Tab, the Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Citation and the Bronze Star Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters). Paul has been recognized by the 82nd Airborne Division Association as a Centurion Paratrooper with over 100 military jumps.
CSM Chris Lewis – Historian, 551st Parachute Infantry Association
Originally from Foxboro, Massachusetts, entered the Army in June 1987 at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he completed One Station Unit Training (OSUT) as an 11C Indirect Fire Infantryman, followed by the Basic Airborne Course at the United States Army Airborne School.
During his career, Chris has served over 11 years with the “All Americans” of the 82d Airborne Division, as well assignments with the 3rd Infantry Division, 1st Infantry Division, 1st Armored Division, and 10th Mountain Division. He also served as an Army Recruiter in Waterville, ME., and a Drill Sergeant with the 193d Infantry Brigade at Fort Jackson, SC. He currently serves as the Battalion CSM for 1st Battalion 50th Infantry, 198th Infantry Brigade at Fort Benning, GA. CSM Lewis’ combat deployments include three times to Iraq (including Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm), and three times to Afghanistan. He has also deployed on peacekeeping operations in Bosnia (NATO), Macedonia (U.N.), and security assistance missions to Kosovo and Slovenia.
CSM Lewis’ awards and decorations include: Combat Infantryman Badge (2nd Award), Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Bronze Star Medal (3 Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (4 OLC), Army Commendation medal (5 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (4 OLC), Good Conduct Medal (8th Award), Gold Recruiter Badge, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, German Army Parachutist Badge (Bronze), and the Order of Saint Maurice from the National Infantry Association.
CSM Lewis has completed an Associate’s Degree in General Science from Excelsior College, and is a member of the 551st Parachute Infantry Association, 82d Airborne Division Association, 505th Panther Association, National Infantry Association, Sergeant Audie Murphy Association and Veterans of Foreign Wars.