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Army Aviator Selected to Command Widener Army ROTC Dauntless Battalion

Lt. Col. Justin J. Shaffer takes command of the Dauntless Battalion based at Widener, one of the largest Army ROTC programs in the region.

Lt. Col. Justin J. Shaffer, who has had a distinguished career as an Army aviator, has assumed command of the Dauntless Battalion, Widener University’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, which also serves as central command for Army ROTC cadets from seven other colleges and universities in the Philadelphia region.

Shaffer replaces Lt. Col. Matthew F. Ignatovig.  He comes to Widener after serving as the operations officer responsible for training at the United States Army Special Operations Aviation Command located at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Shaffer earned a bachelor’s degree in international business at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, where he was also commissioned as an Army officer. He later earned a master’s degree in military operational arts and science from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base.

“My experiences during ROTC molded me and prepared me for every challenge I’ve faced in my career,” Shaffer said. “ROTC is the largest leadership laboratory where cadets are coached and mentored while learning the art of leadership.” 

Since his commissioning, Shaffer has had a long, distinguished military career. Highlights include international deployments to Iraq and Korea, and domestic assignments Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia, Fort Rucker in Alabama, and Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

Since beginning his most recent assignment at Widener, Shaffer and his wife, Betty, and three children, Isaac, Audrey and Chloe, have relocated to West Chester, Pa.

Widener is the host institution for Army ROTC cadets from Widener, Penn State-Abington, Penn State-Brandywine, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Immaculata University, Neumann University, Villanova University and West Chester University of Pennsylvania. These partnerships help make Widener’s ROTC program one of the largest in the region with 125 active cadets this academic year.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. are proud to be tobacco free. Visit the university website,