Many of you know Brother Quincy Banis. Having pledged Chi Phi back in 2005, he served the Delta Zeta Chapter in many capacities – as Gamma, Beta, Delta, Zeta, Pi, and Recruitment Chair. But since leaving USF, Brother Banis has gone on to serve not just his fellow Chi Phi Brothers, but the entire country in the United States Army.
Currently a Captain, Brother Banis has had the privilege of serving in Fort Drum, NY; Fort Jackson, SC, Fort Bragg, NC, as well as overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whether here in America or on foreign soil, Brother Banis has never shirked his patriotic duty of serving this country and protecting the many freedoms and liberties that we enjoy and so often take for granted. Recently, he returned to Florida and is stationed in Miami, which leaves him close enough to visit his fellow Delta Zetas (and once again serve the Fraternity, this time on the Chapter Advisory Board).
Brother Banis is quick to acknowledge that his time as an Active Delta Zeta Brother helped him while serving the military. “As an officer in the Fraternity, it gave me my first experiences with real leadership,” he says. “In ROTC, you train at a platoon, squad, and sometimes, at a company level. But training is different from real life. The Fraternity showed me leadership and the real-world consequences. It gave me confidence to go to my first unit, and it gave me experiences that I could relate back to when I was starting I the Army.” He does admit that while the military and the college fraternity have similar types of Brotherhoods, in that both Chi Phi and the Army brought him together with people I felt he could trust and are still connected with to this day, they do have some very distinct differences, with different focuses. He does wish he had met more people in the active military who are in Chi Phi. “We are a pretty small Fraternity in comparison with other organizations,” he adds, “but Chi Phi did a pretty good job of getting me prepared for the future, regardless of what I was going to do.”
Thinking back over his time in the Army, Brother Banis recalls one of his best experiences was when he came back from his first deployment. “My friend Aaron (Poidevin) had won a credit card contest and won a free trip with some spending money (I think it was something like $2,000),” Banis shares. “So he, Eric Dixon, and I decided to go visit one of our friends from Chi Omega, Chelsea Spalding. I don’t want to tell all of the details here because it would be a long story, but the summary is that we had a great time. It was such a great feeling coming back from deployment and having my friends from college there to greet me and welcome me back (including a friend from one of my favorite sororities). To me, that was part of being a Brother – having Brothers there through everything, through the year of being away and welcoming me back when I returned as if no time had gone by at all.”
To those Brothers who may currently be in the ROTC program, Brother Banis has some advice to share. First, you should stick with it. “ROTC and Chi Phi are two great organizations,” he states, “and they have helped me develop so much.” Second, you get what you put into it. “If you take a lot of leadership positions, and you are willing to learn, and you have the right intentions in mind,” he adds, “these organizations will take you far. But if you don’t put anything into it, then that’s what you will get.” Third, soak it all in and enjoy it. “These times go away,” Brother Banis says, “a lot quicker than we’d like them to. I can’t count how many times I have said that I miss college and I miss the Fraternity. Some day, you will end up out in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country, surrounded by people who don’t speak the same language with nothing but the equipment you are wearing and the Soldiers to your left and right, and I guarantee you will miss the days when you could sleep in until five in the afternoon, wake up, and party until the sun came up with your Brothers.”
Finally, Brother Banis simply encourages everyone to stay in touch with your Brothers in Chi Phi. “Some of the best experiences I have had with my Fraternity Brothers have happened after I graduated college.”
The DZAA would certainly like to thank Brother Quincy Banis – not just for his sage advice, but for his willingness to put his life on the line in service for this country and each and every one of us that live here.