In the US Army and as a Norwich trustee, retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan excelled

Two generals meet at Norwich: Army Chief of staff Mark Milley, left, chats with retired General and Norwich Board of Trustees Chairman Gordon Sullivan during the ROTC centennial.

Two generals meet at Norwich: Army Chief of staff Mark Milley, left, chats with retired General and Norwich Board of Trustees Chairman Gordon Sullivan during the ROTC centennial.

“I thought they only named museums after dead guys,” quipped Gen. Mark Milley of Gen. Gordon Sullivan, in a Todd lecture Milley gave while visiting Norwich for the centennial celebration of ROTC.

Milley’s crack about the Sullivan Museum and History Center may have been spot on: Gordon Sullivan has long been the exception, not the rule.

Arguably the most important alumnus of Norwich in its almost two centuries of existence, Sullivan served for 36 years in the army, transitioning the force from post-Cold War excess to a much smaller, readier force in his final assignment as chief of staff of the United States Army.

For the last 21 years, Sullivan has served on the Norwich Board of Trustees, and has been its chairman since 2003. However, he will step down after this spring’s board session, where his successor will be chosen.

Whoever that may be, they have some big shoes to fill. “As the chairman of the board, Dr. Schneider and I worked together as a team and put together the 2019 program, actually the strategy to get us to 2019, and we actually made most of the goals early,” Sullivan said in an interview last week. [Read more…]

For injured Navy SEAL Jason Redman, war’s lessons led to important lessons in life

Cadet Mario Caruso (left) and Cadet Sam DeLong (right) stand with former Navy Seal Jason C. Redman after the Colby Military Symposium on April 6-7.

Cadet Mario Caruso (left) and Cadet Sam DeLong (right) stand with former Navy Seal Jason C. Redman after the Colby Military Symposium on April 6-7.

It was one pity-filled visitor too many that caused him to put pen to paper and let the determination flow from his mind while recovering in a hospital bed.

“Attention to all who enter,” he wrote. “If you are coming into this room with sorrow, or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love.”

The sign continued, “I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20 percent further through sheer mental tenacity. This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid growth. If you are not prepared for that, go elsewhere.”

That sign now hangs framed on a wall at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. “I might have written it,” said the sign’s author, Lieutenant Jason Redman, a retired US Navy SEAL. “But all I did was capture the spirit of overcoming and the mindset our wounded warriors specifically need.” [Read more…]

For architecture students, Berlin offers an eye-opening view of buildings and culture

Left to right, architecture students Shannon Heck, Shaili Patel, Kristen Houghton, Michelle Lee and Katarina Wabrek at Germany’s historic capitol building in Berlin, the Reichstag.

Left to right, architecture students Shannon Heck, Shaili Patel, Kristen Houghton, Michelle Lee and Katarina                Wabrek at Germany’s historic capitol building in Berlin, the Reichstag.

Temporary living in a city that has been developed and reconstructed as it has been battered and divided over time, has proven to be quite an interesting experience.

Having chosen Norwich University based on its School of Architecture + Art, a lack of urban context can be a serious downfall when studying architecture. The department has made up for this by providing juniors and seniors with the opportunity to study abroad at a satellite campus in Berlin, Germany, through CityLAB: Berlin, directed by Architect Christian Dengler. After looking forward to this experience since my freshman year, I have transitioned between various states of being since arriving to Berlin.

Start with culture shock: Berlin is not a “beautiful European city.” After getting over all the graffiti-covered facades, I found a city that has a life like no other, famous for all-weekend-long parties and the fact that beer costs less than water in most establishments, and I grew comfortable in my surroundings. As terror continues to strike in European, I began to analyze the situation I had found myself in the middle of. [Read more…]

After a semester abroad in the Czech Republic, life takes on a different view

Senior Jesse Abruzzi looks out of the landscape of Bohemia in the Czech Republic during one of his excursions while spending a semester abroad.

Senior Jesse Abruzzi looks out of the landscape of Bohemia in the Czech Republic during one of his trips while spending a semester abroad.

Studying abroad is an expansive experience that is talked about in thin and narrow ways. When asked about it in conversation, typically trite and banal phrases are mustered: It was “life-changing” or “mind-broadening” are usual suspects. To be fair, these words are absolutely correct, but so much is packed into each pair of words. It can be difficult to speak about a period in life that can be so sensory overloading. Even for me, it is an experience that I continue to unpack from my mind months later. Still, it’s a disservice to one’s actual experience not to try to provide more substance.

I spent the fall semester in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic — a country self-described as the heart of Europe, situated between Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Poland. The excellent program Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA) was my middleman provider. They settled all document and visa work, lessening all my burdens save the required financial payments. The program was even kind enough to enroll me in Anglo-American University, the school CEA partners with. It was a fascinatingly diverse university, a hodgepodge of Czechs, Germans, Americans, Kazakhs, Palestinians, Syrians, Norwegians, Dutch, Russians, English, Vietnamese, etc, etc. It placed the tired adage of America as a “melting-pot” of cultures to shame. My trip was a veritable trek back to the old world, a reverse Columbus. Unlike Columbus, my interactions with the natives were amicable and ended significantly less bloody. [Read more…]

On Taiwan tour, students and professors visit Chinese military academies

The Norwich delegation in a group picture with faculty and staff at Fu Hsing Kang University in Taiwan.

The Norwich delegation in a group picture with faculty and staff at Fu Hsing Kang University in Taiwan.

I am a sophomore in the Corp of Cadets with the rank of c/Corporal. I am double majoring in International Studies and Chinese (Mandarin) language, the president of Norwich’s Chinese Cultural and Language Club, and a member of the Norwich football team. This past spring break I was selected, following an application process, to represent Norwich University as a part of a Norwich International Center sponsored student delegation that traveled to two military academies on the island of Taiwan, located 110 east of mainland China. The delegation was led and organized by a three-person committee which included Dr. Joseph Byrne, associate vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Alex Chung, assistant professor of economics and finance, and Mindy Ward, the senior coordinator for international student & scholar services of Norwich’s International Center.

The committee had a very selective application process that only chose four students; after applying in November, only 10 students out of roughly 34 applicants were invited for an interview a month later. During finals week, the student delegates were informed of their acceptance. Besides myself, the others chosen were senior Peter Carbone; junior Mickey Walbridge; and sophomore Lauren Lohmiller. [Read more…]

Norwich junior joins with professor to advance cross-cultural learning for ROTC

Junior Cameron Myette, left, is working with Prof. Travis Morris to expand the understanding of foreign cultures in the ROTC program.

Junior Cameron Myette, left, is working with Prof. Travis Morris to expand the understanding of foreign cultures in the ROTC program.    Photo by Evan Bowley

Cameron Myette is a junior who will be graduating this spring, unlike most of his peers in his class. Over the last few months, with the help from faculty, he has set out to accomplish a rather large goal that would not only help the school, but other students, as a way of giving back to Norwich.

As an Army ROTC cadet, with the 100-year celebration of ROTC’s birthday just around the corner, he wondered where the future lies for the program. Myette wanted to know where ROTC has been and where it is going.

In collaboration with Prof. Travis Morris, they have set out to not only change ROTC for the better, but to help junior officers have a better understanding of cross-cultural competencies as well. [Read more…]

The time-honored junior ring tradition has roots going back to 1937

The year is 1973, a Norwich cadet is a junior and is going to be getting something he had been waiting two-and-a-half years for.

April was right around the corner and it couldn’t come any slower. He had been a part of a committee that worked on it all of sophomore year.

Michael Kelly, an associate professor of civil engineering, received his Norwich class ring that year on the annual junior ring weekend.

Kelley described his class ring in 1973, noting it showed peace with doves, knowledge, Jackman Hall, and the clock with hands that were set to 3 o’clock because that was when their parents had to leave on the day they dropped them off.

“The screaming and shouting started,” said Kelley.

“We never officially got recognized so we didn’t put the month and the date like they (students) do now,” said Kelley. “The ring also had bars at the bottom which represented each semester so there were four bars on each side.” It also had the class year on it.

“We worked on the design during the sophomore year and finished it up in the fall,” said Kelley. “Then everyone found out about them and placed their order.” [Read more…]

ROTC centennial anniversary symposium begins April 21 at Norwich

This photo from the Norwich University archives shows army cadets at commencement ceremonies in 1918. ROTC was founded at Norwich University 100 years ago, a remarkable legacy for this private military school  in the hills of northern Vermont. A three day commemoration and symposium on the impact of ROTC will be held beginning Thursday April 21 with a proclamation in the Vermont State House, and a keynote speech by General Mark Milley, chief of staff of the US Army. The Guidon will publish a special commemorative issue to mark the occasion and report on it.

This photo from the Norwich University archives shows army cadets at commencement ceremonies in 1918. ROTC was founded at Norwich University 100 years ago, a remarkable legacy for this private military school in the hills of northern Vermont. A three day commemoration and symposium on the impact of ROTC will be held beginning Thursday April 21 with a proclamation in the Vermont State House and a keynote speech by General Mark Milley, chief of staff of the US Army. The Guidon will publish a special commemorative issue to mark the occasion and report on it.

Longtime Norwich Spanish professor Joseph “Jose” Miana has passed away

From President Richard Schneider:
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of former longtime professor Joseph “Jose” Miana. Prof. Miana began teaching Spanish at Norwich in 2000 and dedicated over 14 years of service to the university. He retired in December 2015. Known for his impeccable dress and passion for teaching, Prof. Miana was beloved by Norwich students, as demonstrated in a March 2014 Guidon article that profiles him. On behalf of the Norwich community, I offer my condolences to Jose’s family and friends.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday, April 6, from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Pruneau-Polli Funeral Home, 58 Summer Street, Barre, VT 05641. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, April 7, at 11 a.m. at St. Monica Church, 79 Summer Street, Barre, VT.
An obituary for Prof. Miana is forthcoming and will be made available in the Times Argus newspaper.
Click on the link for the story on Professor Miana.
http://thenorwichguidon.org/?s=miana

Proposal would open ROTC courses to civilian participation by the fall of 2017

Col. Andy Hird says letting civilians with a focus on leadership take ROTC courses will broaden viewpoints in the classroom and benefit those on the military track.

Col. Andy Hird says letting civilians with a focus on leadership take ROTC courses will broaden viewpoints in the classroom and benefit those on the military track. Photo by Amber Reichart

(Second in a series on ROTC)

Course registration might have a few different options available for civilian students in the near future. Declared leadership studies minors and concentrations, take note.

“There is value in diverse thought,” said Col. Andy Hird, professor of aerospace science at Norwich University and the school’s Air Force ROTC Detachment commander. “We as a military are beholden to civilian leadership, and we as a military have recognized the divide that has grown every decade between the civilian and military population in the defense of the country.”

How can Norwich help bridge that divide? By allowing future military officers and civilian leaders to begin to partner up now in the military classroom.

There are a number of changes being proposed in the lineup to the ROTC curriculum and how it interacts with the students of Norwich. A key one is having civilian students enrolled in ROTC courses along with their cadet counterparts effective fall of 2017.

The idea is well liked by the three professors of ROTC. Echoing each others words, the sentiment was there would be nothing but value-added by taking on civilian enrollment in the military classrooms. This is predicated on space available, explained Col. Eric Brigham, the Professor of Military Science and Dean of the National College of Services.

“If it’s a free elective, if [students] are getting credit for it, if there is space for them, and if they want to take a 300 level class, I am certainly willing to open that up,” said Col. Brigham. [Read more…]