In The News – The Citadel Today Fri, 12 Mar 2021 19:41:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 In The News – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 Charleston native transforming warehouse into new fitness site Ethos Sun, 14 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0000 The 34-year-old Citadel graduate is spending about three-quarters of a million dollars to renovate and outfit his own gym on Huger Street.]]>

Photo: Joey Welling talks on March 5 about the space under construction for Ethos Athletic Club, a new 21,000-square-foot fitness center he plans to open in May off Huger Street on the Charleston peninsula. (Courtesy: Lauren Petracca, The Post and Courier)

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Warren Wise

Charleston native Joey Welling has been involved in fitness in one way or another since junior high school when he started playing baseball at Bishop England and later in college.

Now, the 34-year-old Citadel graduate is spending about three-quarters of a million dollars to renovate and outfit his own gym on Huger Street in a rapidly changing part of the Charleston peninsula where nearly 40,000 people live within one mile, many of them in new multistory apartment developments that have sprung up in the past few years.

Ethos Athletic Club, a new 21,000-square-foot fitness center off Huger Street, is expected to open in May. This is what it looked like on March 5, 2021, as construction was underway. (Courtesy: Lauren Petracca, The Post and Courier)

Welling recently leased 21,000 square feet in a barrel-vaulted building beside High Wire Distilling. Construction is underway, and he plans to launch Ethos Athletic Club in May.

For the past few years, he and former business partner Jason Fiutem ran Exemplar Fitness in a 6,000-square-foot space on James Island, but the two parted ways when the lease expired in February and both are now on their own. Fiutem recently started 1014 Fitness in West Ashley.

Welling is temporarily operating out of a 9,000-square-foot space at 483 King St., where the former human resources software startup PeopleMatter once operated in an annex and ugly holiday sweaters could later be found in a pop-up shop.

He lost about half of his 700 clients when he moved operations downtown, but he already has about 300 signed up for the new space and is shooting for another 400.

“Epicenter of positivity’

The new location, an L-shaped shell used more recently by an events company for storage and decades ago as a backup warehouse for the long-gone Sears department store, is undergoing a complete overhaul.

The framework for new interior walls is up, plumbing for new bathrooms with lockers, showers, saunas and steam rooms is being installed and café equipment for smoothies and other healthy items sits along one wall.

Turf will run along a side and back walls over a polished concrete floor, and an elevated cardio area will face a large movie-playing screen. Each cardio machine also will have TV monitors.

“I might put up a few TVs, but they won’t be showing any news programs,” Welling said. “This is meant to be the epicenter of positivity.”

One aspect of the new gym will be a 60-foot, tunnel-like hallway that leads from the front check-in station, café and retail area through the center of the gym to the workout zones.

Joey Welling flips through plans for the space for his new fitness center, Ethos Athletic Club, off Huger Street on the Charleston peninsula on March 5. (Courtesy: Lauren Petracca, The Post and Courier)

“We are trying to create the mindset of an athlete walking into an arena,” he said.

Welling chose the name “Ethos” after reading a book a couple of years ago by Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks and one-time owner of the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team.

The gym owner noticed the word “ethos” in the book, and looked it up for a better understanding of what it meant.

Merriam-Webster describes ethos as “the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature or guiding beliefs of a person, group or institution.” Think ethics.

“I told myself if I ever do another gym, that’s what I’m going to call it,” Welling said. “It perfectly embodies the culture of the gym.” It’s one where he often tells his team, “We are not in the fitness business serving people but rather the people business serving fitness.”

Gem of a gym

Welling tried for several months last year to find a large-enough place with parking and a price per square foot he could afford on James Island, but was unsuccessful and eventually turned to Ross Armstrong with MoRE Commercial real estate in Charleston.

Armstrong showed him about 15 different properties on the peninsula, but when Welling saw the vacant warehouse next to the distillery, he was sold and signed a seven-year lease with an extension option.

“It was love at first site with the unique ceilings and the size and the overall location of it,” Welling said. “I think it’s a very positive and up-and-coming area. The more I visit it, the more I realize how central it is to the entire Lowcountry.”

Joey Welling points out features on a blueprint on March 5 for Ethos Athletic Club, a new 21,000-square-foot fitness center off Huger Street which plans to open in May on the Charleston peninsula. (Courtesy: Lauren Petracca, The Post and Courier)

The fitness facility will offer all of the traditional free weights, treadmills and rowing machines, but it also will come with classes for yoga and high-intensity training and will include a dedicated space for physical and massage therapists. Individually numbered net bagging for sweaty gym clothes also will be offered for on-site laundry service.

The gym space wraps around the rear of High Wire Distilling. There, three large roll-up doors lead to a concrete dock overlooking what will become the Lowcountry Lowline linear park running beside the Interstate 26 offramps next to the distillery. 

The deck can be used for outside training as well, and eventually a canopy will be installed.

At the front of the gym, a garage door opening will be added where Wyatt Morris’s Tres Palmas Açai Café will offer smoothies, salads and açai bowls. Chef Owen Bernstein of Cramer’s Cuisine also will have pre-made meals to grab and go.

Fitting start

Welling credits his longtime interest in fitness to Mike Darnell, the head baseball coach at Bishop England.

“He got me interested in working out and being fit in the seventh grade when I started playing baseball,” he said. “It was his first year there, and he’s still there.”

He also said Donnell Boucher, his strength and conditioning coach when he played baseball at The Citadel, was instrumental as well.

“He was a huge influence on my life and my career,” Welling said.

Joey Welling, owner of Ethos Athletic Club, poses for a portrait on March 5 in what will become a tunnel-like hallway in a 21,000-square-foot space which will house his new fitness center off Huger Street in downtown Charleston. (Courtesy: Lauren Petracca, The Post and Courier)

Welling’s entrepreneurial spirit also runs back a couple of generations.

Some longtime Charleston residents may remember his mother’s late father, Henry A. Kennedy Sr., who launched the former Kennedy’s Economy Drug Store, one of the first pharmacies in West Ashley, in 1954. He, too, was a Citadel graduate.

At the new gym, Basic Projects is doing the interior design work, Stumphouse is the architect, and Interior Woodworking is the contractor.

International African American Museum launches first digital exhibit Sat, 13 Mar 2021 19:00:00 +0000 The IAAM assigned interns to gather history from across the Lowcountry. One of those interns is Keyshawn Gascey, a junior at The Citadel.]]>

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Antonio Stinson

You can now experience the Charleston International African American Museum before its construction is even completed.

The museum launched its first digital exhibit today.

The exhibit gives people a chance to take a closer look at Sol Legare Island located on the coast of South Carolina on James Island. 

Historians say the Sol Legare community is a surviving example of a largely African American community in the South Carolina Sea Islands, where most community members are descendants of its African American Freedmen founders. 

Toni Carrier, Director of the Center for Family History at the International African American Museum, said having a digital exhibit launch before the opening of the museum gives people a chance to see the amount of information that their team is collecting.

“It’s important to us to get out in the community…[and] involved our stakeholders in work that we’re doing,” said Carrier.

One of the methods they use to gather history across the Lowcountry is by assigning interns to certain locations in the area.

One of those interns is Keyshawn Gascey, a junior at The Citadel, who has been assigned to Dorchester and Berkeley Counties.

He’s a part of an upcoming digital project that the museum hopes to open in the future.

“One of the exhibits that they’re going to have is creating a digital map of the state and so the guests…will be able to click the state and then they’ll be able to have information on that part,” said Gascey.

Gascey is lifelong Lowcountry resident, born and raised in Goose Creek, so when he saw there was an opportunity to help provide material for the historic opening of a museum in his hometown, he couldn’t refuse.

“Knowing how many people it’s going to impact…and how many lives it’s going to touch and even changing with the genealogy center. It was kind of a no brainer for me like there was no way I could say no to it,” he said.

This digital exhibit is only the beginning of the rich history that will be presented by the International African American Museum.

“There are so many ways in which the Lowcountry is special. The culture, the history here is very significant and that’s something that the world should know.”

Toni Carrier

The museum is scheduled to open in 2022.

With a Citadel graduate serving as navigator, Coast Guard tall ship ‘Eagle’ to be in Charleston with free port-side exhibits Fri, 12 Mar 2021 19:33:07 +0000 Lt. Will Singletary, the navigator of the Coast Guard tall ship ‘Eagle,’ is a native of Charleston and a 2013 graduate of The Citadel.]]>

Photo: The Coast Guard Cutter Eagle traveling for Charleston Harbor Fest 2009. Fort Sumter is pictured in the background. (Courtesy: Petty Officer 3rd Class Nick Ameen, U.S. Coast Guard)

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Tim Renaud

The Coast Guard tall ship ‘Eagle’ will arrive in Charleston on Friday.

The ship, known as “America’s tall ship,” is scheduled to arrive at the Charleston Cruise Ship Terminal on Friday afternoon and will remain in the harbor through Sunday afternoon.

Those who wish to see the ship can enjoy free pier-side exhibits and discussion with officer candidates and members of Eagle’s crew.

The Eagle’s navigator, Lt. Will Singletary, is a native of Charleston and a 2013 graduate of The Citadel.

You can enjoy the port-side exhibits at the following times:

  • Friday, March 12, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 13, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 14, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

According to a press release from the Coast Guard, the Eagle is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square-rigger in United States government service.

It was constructed in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as the Horst Wessel by the German Navy. Coast Guard officials say the ship was a war reparation for the United States following World War II.

The Eagle is a three-masted barque with more than 6,797 square meters (22,300 square feet) of sail and 9.7 kilometers (6 miles) of rigging.

Citadel Graduate College Masters in Intelligence and Security #10 in U.S. by Best Value Schools Tue, 09 Mar 2021 17:48:08 +0000 Photo above: Citadel Graduate College students meeting with the Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, on campus in 2018 As seen on It is easy for individuals that are]]>

Photo above: Citadel Graduate College students meeting with the Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, on campus in 2018

As seen on

It is easy for individuals that are not familiar with the complex nature of security professions to assume that a security education is part of criminal justice. The truth is that there are many types of security specialists. The growing need for security professionals leads to the need for those interested in security to receive a a high-quality education, such as a masters in security degree. 

Badge for Best-Masters-in-Security

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Security Degree? 

There are a variety of master’s in security programs available to individuals that have an interest in providing security at national and international levels. Pursuing a masters in security in the field that a person wants to enter requires selecting the right program. This helps to determine what a person can do with a master’s degree in security.

Consider a master’s degree in security studies if you want a career that focuses on security leadership, crisis management, or security analysis. Individuals that want a career in cybersecurity or homeland security often find ideal master’s in security programs that fulfill the goals or requirements for working in these fields. Do you want to focus on the security of populations or on security efforts after a disaster? Earning a master’s in security that focuses on human security is an option that leads to a rewarding career.  

The pay and job growth in security is likely a reason that some people choose to earn a master’s degree in security. The 2019 median pay was $99,730 for information security analysts, with an anticipated job growth of 31 percent through 2029. The National Security Agency (NSA) lists the entry level pay for a mid-level investigator at more than $72,000, and the pay for an NSA Forensic Analyst starting at $93,822 a year. 

Some schools allow students to complete program requirements online to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals. Other programs require on-campus coursework and other face-to-face meetings. Exploring the best master’s in security programs allows for determining the best school and program that meets your goals and interests.

About The Citadel Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies: an online program offering real-world skills

DNI Coats speaking during the 2018 Intelligence and Cyber Security Conference at The Citadel
Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, speaking during the 2018 Intelligence and Cyber Security Conference at The Citadel

The Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Intelligence and Security Studies (ISS) prepares students to enhance national security through intelligence and homeland security leadership. Best practices for intelligence collection and analysis and national security combined with current theory, research, and experience give students the background necessary to cultivate critical thinking, concise writing, and effective briefing. By introducing applicable management principles and policy analysis, the program fosters the leadership skills to successfully address security and intelligence challenges facing the United States.

Unlike traditional graduate programs that take a theoretical and conceptual track in preparing students for further academic research, The Citadel’s ISS program combines theory and practice to provide the real-world skills necessary to enter and advance in the public and private intelligence arenas.

This program is entirely online to provide maximum flexibility for students, and at the same time allow the ISS program to attract instruction from intelligence professionals located around the world. Our program is taught by internationally recognized experts, with real-world experience at agencies like the FBI, CIA, DHS and at the White House.

Learn more and find information about how to apply to The Citadel Graduate College here.

Editorial: Celebrate our success on Mars. Another giant leap may be near. Thu, 25 Feb 2021 16:46:32 +0000 This image was taken by EDL_DDCAM onboard NASA's Mars rover Perseverance on Sol 1 34 NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechThis image was taken by EDL_DDCAM onboard NASA's Mars rover Perseverance on Sol 1 34 NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechWhat they’re doing on site with the X-rays, UV and Raman spectroscopy, they can get that information directly uplinked. ]]> This image was taken by EDL_DDCAM onboard NASA's Mars rover Perseverance on Sol 1 34 NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechThis image was taken by EDL_DDCAM onboard NASA's Mars rover Perseverance on Sol 1 34 NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Photo above: NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. NASA/JPL-Caltech.

As seen in The Post and Courier
By the Editorial Staff

After a year of grappling with a deadly pandemic, racial injustice and disturbing political turmoil, the landing of NASA’s most advanced rover on Mars sends an important and timely message of how the United States can still do great things.

Last week’s stunning, near-touchdown picture of Perseverance — NASA’s particularly fitting name for the rover — should instill in us a sense of wonder of our ever-expanding ability to explore new worlds.

The image already is being compared with NASA’s most iconic photos, including Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon and Saturn as seen by Voyager 1.

The spacecraft has 25 cameras and two microphones, many of which were turned on during Thursday’s descent, and still more pictures and even audio recordings were released this week. But its most tantalizing potential goes far beyond photos.

The $3 billion craft was guided to a site only a mile away from an ancient river delta, where it soon will look for signs of ancient life; if Mars ever harbored life, scientists’ best guess is that it occurred about 3 billion to 4 billion years ago, when water flowed on its surface.

The rover ultimately will be able to take rock and soil samples and jettison them back into space for retrieval to Earth by yet another spacecraft within the next decade. (NASA is working with the European Space Agency on that.)

“They’re not just looking at the surface but the subsurface. That turns out to be important too when you think about what was the history of this place,” he said. “What they’re doing on site with the X-rays, UV and Raman spectroscopy, they can get that information directly uplinked. Even if they can’t bring back soil samples, they can do a lot.”

The craft also has a miniature automated helicopter that can fly through the planet’s thin air to capture images the rover can’t. And it will try to convert a small amount of carbon dioxide into oxygen, which, if it works, would be crucial to providing breathable oxygen and fuel for future manned missions.

All signs show Perseverance stuck its landing, and it could start roving around by early March.

Admittedly, NASA has sent rovers to Mars before — this is our ninth spacecraft and fifth NASA rover to land on the planet — and China and the United Arab Emirates also have spacecraft in orbit there.

And of course, we shouldn’t put all our bets on Mars. Venus also deserves more exploration, particularly after last year’s controversial discovery in which powerful telescopes detected faint amounts of the molecule phosphine, which might exist only because something living emitted it.

But our six-wheeled, car-size rover is the most advanced ever and ultimately could provide the first proof of the existence of life outside our own planet. If it does, that would be yet another giant leap for mankind indeed.

Hamilton Baiden, ’91, on how Citadel experience contributed to his career success with Heritage Health Solutions, Inc. Tue, 23 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 Headshot of Hamilton BaidonHeadshot of Hamilton Baidon"In his elevated role, Baiden continues to lead the strategy and execution of Heritage's business development and growth while providing transparent leadership..."]]> Headshot of Hamilton BaidonHeadshot of Hamilton Baidon

Note: Hamilton Baiden graduated as a member of The Citadel Class of 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mr. Baiden emailed these thoughts to the college after we contacted him to congratulate him and to ask what about The Citadel contributed most strongly to his professional success.

“When I look back at all the different influences in my life that have contributed to any success I might have achieved, The Citadel is definitely near the top of the list. Most people that know my personality and learn I went to The Citadel immediately ask “How the heck did you graduate from there?” Sometimes I ask the same question. At the end of the day, at 18 years of age, I needed to learn how to wrangle my energy and use it to the best of my ability. I needed to learn when to listen and when to talk. The greatest thing The Citadel taught me was how to handle all the different things that get thrown your way and solve the problems that really matter. I always look back on my four years at The Citadel with admiration and respect, and I cherish the lasting relationships that were built there.”

Hamilton Baiden, The Citadel Class of 1991, President, Heritage Health Solutions

As seen on PR Newswire

COPPELL, Texas, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Heritage Health Solutions, Inc. (Heritage) has promoted Hamilton Baiden to President effective immediately. In his elevated role, Baiden continues to lead the strategy and execution of Heritage’s business development and growth while providing transparent leadership and expanding upon Heritage’s vast portfolio of services and solutions. His strategic direction and initiatives will cement Heritage’s status as one of the industry’s top Integrated Health Care Managers. Hamilton’s extensive knowledge of the industry will also lend itself to developing new healthcare solutions and services within the Heritage Health Solutions brand.

Baiden first joined Heritage in 2018 as the Executive Vice President and General Manager, where he oversaw business development and strategic planning. He is credited with adding new innovative solutions to Heritage’s already impressive suite, including Heritage CARES, a virtual substance use, suicide prevention, and mental health program, and launching a new corrections division focused on the health and wellbeing of those in confinement.

“I am honored to be asked by the Board to help lead Heritage Health Solutions forward in our mission to improve people’s lives by offering innovative solutions to the health care journey,” said Baiden. “Over the year’s we have created an organization with incredible employees that dedicate their time to the cause and who work tirelessly to make a difference.” 

Prior to joining Heritage, Baiden was Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development at Avella Specialty Pharmacy (Avella), where he grew annual revenues over 1000 percent. During Baiden’s 13 years at Avella, he implemented successful sales strategies at all levels of engagement. He also served in various roles for prominent pharmaceutical sales companies, including MedImmune, Serono, and Daiichi and Sanofi. Baiden received his undergraduate degree from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.

About Heritage Health Solutions, Inc.

Headquartered in Coppell, Texas, Heritage Health Solutions, Inc. is a premier provider of integrated health care management to correctional, public sector, and commercial entities. Heritage meets the demands of an ever-changing health care landscape by providing our clients with comprehensive, customized solutions. We manage costs, utilization, and quality, which leads to optimal health care outcomes. For more information about Heritage, please visit us at

The Citadel to host Minority Contractor Info Session on Feb. 16 for Capers Hall replacement Mon, 15 Feb 2021 20:58:20 +0000 The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,We intend for at least 10% of the work on the new Capers Hall to be awarded to minority contractors,” said Shawn Edwards, chief diversity officer for The Citadel.]]> The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,The exterior of Capers Hall is seen at The Citadel in Charleston,

As seen on

The Citadel has scheduled a Minority Contractor Information Session for February 16, 2021, for its Capers Hall Replacement Project. The Citadel will begin demolishing Capers Hall in the summer of 2021. The Capers Hall Replacement Project will cost $68 million. Of that amount, $50 million will go toward construction. It will be the largest construction project in the history of the college.

“This is an important project for The Citadel community and for the broader Charleston community. We intend for at least 10% of the work on the new Capers Hall to be awarded to minority contractors,” said Shawn Edwards, chief diversity officer for The Citadel. The Capers Hall Replacement project, and the goal of achieving a 10% minority contractor rate are both incorporated into the college’s strategic plan, Our Mighty Citadel 2026.

Edwards and representatives from the college’s Departments of Finance, and Facilities and Engineering are working together to grow the number of minority contractors the college has as resources to bid on services and projects, including the Capers Hall Replacement Project. One of the ways they are doing this is by hosting The Citadel Minority Contractor Information Session with several community partners including the Hispanic Business Association Charleston, the National Action Network Southeast chapter, and the Charleston Trident Urban League.

The college also has a program to increase the number of Veteran contractors, and plans to conduct similar events for Veterans.

About the session

The Citadel Minority Contractor Information Session will be held from 5:30 – 7p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, in the college’s Altman Center, which is the building at the end of the football stadium facing Fishburne St. The address is 68C Hagood Ave., and there is complimentary parking just outside of the building.

The session is open to all minority contractors in South Carolina.

Registration for in-person attendance is requested, but not required, by calling Nate Spells, Jr. at (803) 754-3395, extension 316, or by emailing

The session can be attended virtually by registering at this link.

In 2019, Edwards began working with community partners to develop a list of minority contractors in the Lowcountry and the state. She says there are 25 now, and there is plenty of room for growth.

“We would like to engage many more minority contractor and suppliers. You do not need to be certified by the state to come to the session or to bid on some of the smaller projects. And, if you wish to become certified, The Citadel has plans to help you through that process.”

According to Edwards, helping minority contractors navigate the state procurement process benefits The Citadel and the state, because those contractors can subsequently bid on other state projects, increasing competition, which helps control costs.

More information about the session is in the flyer below:

Details on the Capers Hall Replacement Project

At least 75% of cadet and students at The Citadel take classes in Capers Hall at some point during their educations. It houses the college’s largest school, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, which includes seven academic departments providing many required general education courses.

Constructed in the 50s and updated in the 70s, the building is the largest on campus. It cannot be affordably or effectively retrofitted for contemporary needs. The replacement project was approved by the city in 2020.

“The Citadel is a public college, we’re an iconic part of the Charleston city community and we want this to be an inviting space. This facility is going to be consistent with the Moorish design elements for which our campus is known,” said Col. John Dorrian, USAF (Ret), vice president of Communications and Marketing. “It will become the welcoming point for everyone entering Lesesne Gates.”

The Capers Hall replacement will be 40% larger than the current building. Some of the features will include 37 classrooms, 200 offices, collaborative work spaces and a 250-seat theater. Current plans call for Capers Hall to be demolished in June 2021 and for construction to be complete on the new building in 2023.

The Nixon Precedent: Lawyer, author reviews book by Citadel Intelligence professor Mon, 15 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 Melissa Graves, Ph.D., arranged the Watergate panel held at The Citadel as part of the Intelligence and Cybersecurity conference in Feb 2020.]]>

Photo: Melissa Graves, Ph.D. (left) arranged the Watergate panel, held on The Citadel campus in February 2020 as part of the Department of Intelligence and Cybersecurity’s two-day conference. (Seated left to right: Melissa Graves, Ph.D., John Mindermann, John Clynick, Paul Magallanes, Daniel Mahan and Angelo Lano.)

As seen in Washington Decoded, by James Robenalt

Nixon’s FBI: Hoover, Watergate, and a Bureau in Crisis
Melissa Graves
Lynne Rienner Publishers. 246 pp. $85

Exactly one thousand twenty-five words comprise Article II of the Constitution, and most of them are devoted to how to select a president of the United States.

The two hundred or so left over describe a president’s substantive powers. That the key phrase—“executive power shall be vested in the president of the United States”—has been interpreted generously is an understatement. It has become the basis for vast power since it confers unenumerated powers. By contrast, Article I, which governs the Congress, only vests all legislative powers “granted herein”—a limiting qualifier.

Add sweeping clauses like “commander in chief,” and “he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and you arrive at the dilemma posed in Melissa Graves’s new book, Nixon’s FBI, Hoover, Watergate, and a Bureau in Crisis. What are the limits of a president’s control over federal law enforcement, especially when the crimes at issue may involve the president in either his/her private or elected capacity? This issue, in turn, raises the question of the government’s power to surveil its citizens, including citizens who may be considered political dissidents and not seditious criminals. That question is at the heart of the present danger posed by domestic extremists or terrorists who have grown exponentially during the Trump administration.

This makes Nixon’s FBI an important read.

Melissa Graves, Ph.D.

An assistant professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies at The Citadel, Melissa Graves started out to write about the fundamental conflict between the FBI’s duties, as the premier federal investigative agency, and the fact that it answers to the president while also investigating said president from time to time. Her focus was the Nixon administration, when this conflict was in sharper relief, owing to the Watergate scandal, than at any other time save for the past four years. Eventually her research encompassed the courageous FBI agents who pursued the Watergate investigation despite all the headwinds from higher-ups to constrict the search for the truth—including, as it turned out, a higher-up named Richard M. Nixon. Special agents like Angelo Lano, John Mindermann, Daniel Mahan, Paul Magallanes, and John Clynick are profiled in an important chapter about the investigation of the break-in by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. These agents are depicted, correctly,  as being many steps ahead of Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. While Woodward and Bernstein are celebrated in history as the “intrepid” reporters who cracked the Watergate case, in reality it was the hard work of these FBI agents who simply would not be waylaid.

But the wider context of the Watergate investigation, naturally, dominates the book. In that ambitious endeavor she sought to explore the issue of presidential control over law enforcement, and the concern that unlimited presidential power could lead to a surveillance state where political speech and thought become crimes against the state. Concern over government overreach goes all the way back to the founding of the nation as shown through the passage of the Bill of Rights, which included the First Amendment rights of free speech, a free press, freedom of religion and assembly, and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures as delineated in the Fourth Amendment.

These rights, though guaranteed, have been tested continuously in American life, almost always under the banner of national security, which is seen as the province of the president. During Watergate, the Vietnam war provided the pretext for political repression not only of real bomb throwers but true dissenters. What Graves shows is that a president inclined to authoritarianism and corruption will manipulate weak actors around him to use law enforcement to attack political opponents in the name of national security.

Graves rightly points to Tom Huston as her first example. Huston, a low-level White House lawyer, was asked to create a coalition of intelligence-gathering agencies to address the anti-war violence of students and Black activists who were rising in urban areas because of abhorrent living conditions and repressive police power. While this kind of federal intelligence-sharing was exactly what happened following 9/11 and the passage of the Patriot Act, the tactics envisioned by the Huston plan were much more invasive and dubious constitutionally, involving “black bag” jobs, wiretaps, and bugs. The plan also touched off internal fights in the Nixon administration. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover initially approved and then withdrew his sanction of the Huston plan, likely because he did not want to share such powers with rival agencies like the CIA. Attorney General John Mitchell likewise got his nose out of joint because he wasn’t informed of the effort until after most of the meetings had already taken place.

This tension exacerbated relations between an aging Hoover and Nixon. According to Graves, Hoover was taking heat in the press for domestic intelligence-gathering that had the approval of the Nixon administration, but the White House was not backing up the director in public. The alienation grew to a point where Nixon spent hours of his time trying to figure out how to get Hoover to resign after more than forty years as director. Nixon failed to pull the plug out of fear of repercussions in the 1972 elections. But he had every intention of removing Hoover if and when he was re-elected to a second term.

Initially it appeared as if Hoover had done Nixon somewhat of a favor by dying in early May 1972, weeks before the Watergate break-ins. Nixon looked for a weak character to replace Hoover, one who he imagined he could easily manipulate. There was no weaker actor than L. Patrick Gray, who had never served in any capacity in the Bureau. Gray was a middling lawyer at the Department of Justice with a military background, a crew-cut former Navy officer who would cheerfully follow orders while trying to appear to be in control. His appointment as acting director, as with everything in this story, sparked a surreptitious revolt by longtime Hoover acolyte W. Mark Felt, who thought he had been denied his rightful anointing as the next director. Felt undertook to subvert Gray’s tenure by leaking details about the Watergate investigation to Time magazine and The Washington Post, making it seem to Nixon that Gray could not control the FBI.

After his landslide victory in November 1972, Nixon miscalculated and sent Gray’s name to the Senate for confirmation in February 1973. The hearings, a preview of the Watergate hearings to come, were a complete disaster. Gray was not a facile man. He tried to show the Senate that he was his own man and in the process threw White House counsel John Dean under the bus. He testified that he had kept Dean informed of the Watergate investigation, provided FBI files to him, and allowed him to sit in on FBI interviews of officials in the White House, such as Charles Colson. Behind the scenes, Nixon fumed, eventually plotting to destroy Gray’s credibility with planted questions through a friendly senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

While Graves has it right about Gray’s incompetence, a deeper dive into the White House tapes from the time would have added substance and color to her narrative. Chief domestic advisor John Ehrlichman, for example, famously quipped to John Dean that Nixon should let Gray “twist slowly, slowly in the wind” after Gray had implicated the White House in what appeared to be a cover-up. Even worse, when Dean broke ranks, one tape from the evening of 15 April 1973, shows Gray telling Ehrlichman that he intended to lie if asked about receiving files given to him by Dean and Ehrlichman early in the investigation. The files were from Howard Hunt’s safe in the Executive Office Building, and consisted of political sabotage materials that were highly embarrassing, but had nothing to do directly with the Watergate break-in per se. Gray had been given the files so that the White House could say that everything in Hunt’s safe had been handed over to the FBI. Yet later, without being specifically asked to do so, Gray had destroyed the files while burning Christmas wrappings.

Graves’s final chapter is also a good start but could have profited from a more complete and nuanced discussion of executive power and national security. She points out that post-Watergate reforms and the Church Committee’s review of FBI and CIA secret operations almost led to an FBI charter that would have defined and limited domestic spying by the FBI. This leaves the reader wondering what the answers may be when the nation confronts a lawless president, or when the intelligence agencies, engaged in combating foreign or domestic terrorism, begin to gather information about everyday citizens via clandestine surveillance.

Graves also might have analyzed the 16-page memo written by William Barr about the Mueller investigation in June 2018, which Barr composed to burnish his credentials in his quest to return as attorney general. In that memo, Barr argued that Trump’s request of FBI director James Comey to “let it go” when it came to then national security adviser Michael Flynn was a proper exercise of power by the president and not an obstruction of justice. Barr and other proto-authoritarians base such arguments on what they refer to as the “plenary law enforcement powers” granted the president by the Constitution, mainly the “take care” clause. This, Barr submitted, allows a president to supervise criminal investigations directly, including the firing of officials, without ever running afoul of the Constitution. The “unitary executive” theory favored by those like Barr is exactly the kind of unfettered authority Nixon believed he had, and sought to exercise, with respect to the Huston plan and in the effort to gum up the FBI’s Watergate probe. As Nixon himself succinctly described the theory in 1977 during an interview with British journalist David Frost, “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

History has much to teach us in these fraught days. It is good to have a book that reminds us of a time when law enforcement stood up to unconstitutional efforts and pursued justice without fear or favor.

James Robenalt is a lawyer and author of four nonfiction books, including January 1973: Watergate, Roe v Wade, Vietnam, and the Month That Changed America Forever. He is also a contributor to The Presidents and the Constitution, A Living History (ed. Ken Gormley). He has taught a Continuing Legal Education Course on Watergate with John Dean.

The FBI Watergate Panel, featuring Angelo Lano, Daniel Mahan, John Clynick, Paul Magallanes, and John Mindermann, moderated by Assistant Professor Melissa Graves, takes place during the 2020 Citadel Intelligence Ethics Conference in Mark Clark Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)
Dr. Melissa Graves, John Mindermann, John Clynick, Paul Magallanes, Daniel Mahan and Angelo Lano at the Watergate panel held on The Citadel campus in February 2020.
Citadel professor finds not all plastic is equal in study on decomposition Sat, 13 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 Weinstein said there are only about 100 of these composters, begging the question of whether someone who chooses a PLA product as a green option would actually be able to dispose of it properly.]]>

As seen in The Post and Courier
By Chloe Johnson

Photo above: Former Cadet John Deckle collecting samples for PLA research spring 2018

A new study by a Citadel professor shows that some plant-derived plastics, meant to replace traditional fossil fuel products, may present their own problems for the environment.

The research, led by Biology Department Chair John Weinstein, was conducted on the banks of the Ashley River. It’s one of the few field studies documenting how plastics break down. While there are many estimates of the time it takes for plastic bottles, bags or cups to fully disintegrate, there is relatively little real-world observation of this debris disintegrating. 

A citadel research project placed a board with small strips of various plastics in salt marsh along the Ashley River to observe how the products disintegrated.

But in testing several conventional and plant-derived plastics, Weinstein observed something surprising: the slowest decomposer was a material made from corn. 

The compound, called polylactic acid, or PLA, is one of the most common bio-plastics used today. But it’s also the most resistant to breaking down, “with almost no change observed between the control and 32-week sample,” according to Weinstein’s study.

The experiment, conducted in 2017, involved attaching small strips of the various plastics to a wooden board, and placing the device in salt marsh along the Ashley. Samples were examined and compared with unexposed pieces of the same plastics after four, eight, 16 and 32 weeks outside. The resulting paper was published in November in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Professor John Weinstein at microscope
Professor John Weinstein at microscope

The intent, Weinstein said, was to simulate a likely scenario — what would happen to plastic trash that ends up entangled in a marsh?

“It really was meant to be like a backyard study and really, the Ashley River was like the backyard of The Citadel,” Weinstein said.

The study included seven materials, all chosen because Weinstein said they were “readily available” to consumers. Two were classified as biodegradable, and two were bio-based, like PLA. Researchers compared these bio-plastics with three more conventional materials, like the HDPE used in jugs of laundry detergent, or foamed polystyrene commonly known as Styrofoam.

Sangwon Suh, an industrial ecologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said Weinstein’s study “confirms our understanding” of PLA’s persistence in the environment.

Part of the issue is the material is designed for industrial composters, facilities that use temperatures in excess of 120 degrees to break down waste. Weinstein said there are only about 100 of these composters in the United States, begging the question of whether someone who chooses a PLA product as a green option would actually be able to dispose of it properly.

Oil-based plastics, by contrast, are degraded by the sun’s UV rays. 

Plastic decomposition rates also vary widely depending on the environment. Suh recently helped conduct a review of existing scientific work on plastic decomposition. A PET bottle, like the kind that might be filled with soda, takes an estimated 2,500 years to decompose halfway if buried in a landfill, but just 2.3 years if exposed to sun and water while floating in the ocean, Suh said.

Still, Suh acknowledged that there’s a dearth of studies actually observing these breakdowns in the real world, something Weinstein’s work addresses.

Mark Hahn, a toxicologistat Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, said Weinstein’s study was soundly designed.

The question, however, is whether it’s a good thing at all to find plastics that break down quickly. While larger debris can entangle sea creatures, decomposing plastics shed tiny particles that spread throughout the water and air.

“People have found (microplastics) wherever they’ve looked,” Hahn said. “Deep sea sediments, arctic sea ice … they find microplastics.”

Weinstein’s own past work has found that shrimp will readily eat these microplastic pieces, introducing them into the food chain.

“It’s a real challenge to know what the right balance is between degradability and persistence,” Hahn said.

It’s still unclear what the health effects are of these invisible-to-the-eye plastics, which sometimes attach to other pollutants in the environment.

Hahn said he’s at the beginning of work now to suss out how these particles are taken up by the animals that consume them, and whether some are tiny enough to infiltrate the circulatory system. Some animals have been observed expelling the plastics that they eat

As for Weinstein, he said his next focus is to estimate how much extra litter has been released in the area from protective equipment like gloves and masks used and discarded during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Previously, Weinstein has estimated that 7½ tons of plastic trash was floating in Charleston Harbor. 

This Citadel ROTC instructor just became a Guardian in the new US Space Force Thu, 11 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 Col. Morand, US Space Force The CitadelCol. Morand, US Space Force The Citadel“I love space,” Morand said. “So there’s no reason I wouldn’t have done it. I’m excited to do this new opportunity.” ]]> Col. Morand, US Space Force The CitadelCol. Morand, US Space Force The Citadel

As seen in The Post and Courier
By Thomas Novelly

For 25 years, Col. Matthew Morand wore the Air Force patch on his military uniform. 

But in January, the ROTC instructor at The Citadel was told by his superiors he needed to transfer to the newly created Space Force because of his long background working with satellites and missiles. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to stay with the Air Force.

At first, the 1995 alumnus of the historic military college in Charleston was taken aback by the change. But to him, the decision to join the new branch was a no brainer. 

“I love space,” Morand said. “So there’s no reason I wouldn’t have done it. I’m excited to do this new opportunity.”

Morand is one of roughly 16,000 new Space Force service members — dubbed by the Pentagon as Guardians — who are dedicated to protecting U.S. and allied interests in space. 

Since the Space Force is a branch under the Air Force, Morand kept his pension, his rank and his accolades. 

Space Force was created when the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law on Dec. 20, 2019. It is the first new military service in more than 70 years, following the establishment of the U.S. Air Force in 1947.

First Space Force Salute.jpg
Col. Matthew Morand (right) swears an oath to the Space Force given by Col. Giles Boyce, the commanding officer for the Marine Corps ROTC detachment at The Citadel. The Citadel/Provided

Then-President Donald Trump prioritized creating a Space Force during his one-term. Following Joe Biden’s victory in November, some people were concerned about the longevity of the newly created branch.