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The journey into Sigma Pi at The University of Texas wasn’t immediate for Bradley Poronsky (Texas ’01). However, it was driven by his profound fascination with the unity and shared purpose he observed within the fraternity. The camaraderie and strong sense of community drew him in, and he soon found himself surrounded by a group of passionate individuals who were wholeheartedly dedicated to making a positive impact. Although Gamma-Theta, their chapter, wasn’t the biggest or the oldest on campus, its members possessed a clear vision of their identity and purpose, placing significant emphasis on caring for one another, their university, and the community.
For Bradley, being a part of Gamma-Theta wasn’t just a college experience; it was a foundation for his future as a leader. As he said, “Being brought up in a military family and with a passion for athletics, I understood the value of teams working towards a common purpose.” The Chapter, initially consisting of around 50 members, presented him with numerous opportunities for growth and development. As Bradley and his fellow brothers transitioned from college to the broader world, their bond grew even stronger as they were together watching national events unfold.
“On September 11, 2001, I was in a calculus class with one of the brothers, Chad R., who received and shared a text about the news,” Bradley said. “In the Spring of 2003, we had moved to a larger 20-room house and I watched coverage of the United States’ maneuvers into Iraq on one of those old 55” CRT televisions with wheels. In mid-2005, we watched the same TV, in a new house, as Hurricane Katrina pushed over Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico, and towards Louisiana.” These profound experiences not only solidified their friendships but also instilled enduring values that continue to shape Bradley’s life today.
Upon completing his college years, Bradley embarked on a path of public service by joining the United States Air Force. His initial aspiration was to serve in the military, which led him to explore Army ROTC. However, his dedication to football and his massive 320+ pound lineman physique steered him in a different direction. Eventually, Bradley discovered the JAG Corps, a specialized branch of the Air Force for attorneys. This opportunity allowed him to blend his legal expertise with his unwavering commitment to serving his Nation.
Today, Bradley holds the role of Chief District Defense Counsel, leading a dedicated team of approximately 60 active duty defense lawyers, paralegals, and investigators stationed across 24 military installations in the United States. In this pivotal role, he plays a fundamental part in defending military members who have been accused of misconduct, handling a wide spectrum of cases, ranging from investigations to felony-level trials. Bradley finds profound fulfillment in his duty to represent those who have devoted their lives to defending the Nation.
Bradley’s commitment to service extends beyond his military role to his involvement with Sigma Pi. Upon returning to Texas and learning that his alma mater’s Sigma Pi chapter had disbanded, he felt compelled to contribute to another chapter. He assumed the role of Chapter Advisor for Iota-Delta at UTSA, aiming to provide guidance and support to the Fraternity’s undergraduate members. Bradley firmly believes that involved alumni can offer valuable perspectives and contribute to the growth and prosperity of fraternity chapters.
In acknowledging that life can lead people in different directions, Bradley emphasizes that the bonds formed during those transformative college years remain robust. The shared experiences and values that bind fraternity brothers together create lasting connections that can be rekindled at any time. Bradley encourages alumni to get involved. These types of contributions, he believes, can significantly strengthen the Fraternity’s mission and impact.
“I don’t believe we have to be at the helm of every organization to which we belong, but we owe our best to each other and those we serve,” he said. “Whether it’s time, talent, or treasure, everybody has something upon which to build their community.”
Bradley leaves us with a poignant message that he received during the celebration of his college football team’s national championship victory. This message, though rooted in sports, carries profound wisdom that extends to all aspects of life: “Don’t let one achievement be the best thing that ever happens in your life.” Just as winning a championship is a remarkable sports achievement, life offers countless opportunities to be a great citizen, role model, parent, and leader. Bradley’s extraordinary journey through Sigma Pi and the U.S. Air Force stands as a testament to his unwavering commitment to lifelong service. His story serves as an inspiring reminder of the enduring power of brotherhood, shared values, and a relentless dedication to making the world a better place.