In The News – The Citadel Today Thu, 24 Jun 2021 12:36:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 In The News – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 The Citadel to upgrade scoreboard, video at Johnson Hagood Stadium Thu, 24 Jun 2021 12:36:08 +0000 A rendering of the new scoreboard at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium. ProvidedA rendering of the new scoreboard at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium. ProvidedThe gift from Bill Varner (Class of 1973) will pay for a new system.]]> A rendering of the new scoreboard at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium. ProvidedA rendering of the new scoreboard at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium. Provided

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jeff Hartsell

Photo above: A rendering of the new scoreboard at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium.

A gift of $1.2 million from a graduate of The Citadel will fund an upgrade of the scoreboard and video board at Johnson Hagood Stadium, the school announced June 23.

The gift from Bill Varner (Class of 1973) will pay for a new system with six LED displays and a new audio system from Daktronics to replace the aging scoreboard at the football stadium.

The donation is part of the Class of 1973′s 50th reunion campaign, and the class also aims to create an endowment of $300,000 to maintain the system. The new board will be known as the “Class of 1973 Scoreboard.”

“The Citadel is looking forward to working with Daktronics on this very exciting project,” said Mike Capaccio, director of athletics for The Citadel. “This is the next step in our stadium enhancement project at Johnson Hagood Stadium and will provide our fans a great experience with the newest technology available for a video board.”

The new board will be in place for the 2021 season, with a center video display measuring 26½ feet high by 51½ feet wide, with four side displays measuring 15½ feet by 13 feet. An auxiliary display measures about 7 feet by 18 feet. The six displays feature 15HD pixel layouts for enhanced clarity and contrast, the school said.

A Sportsound 2000 audio system will be integrated into the video and scoring system, providing “full-range sound reproduction” and “clear and intelligible speech for an exceptional listening experience for those in the stadium.”

The main video display and auxiliary display are capable of “variable content zoning,” allowing each display to show one large image or multiple zoned images including any combination of live video, instant replays, up-to-the-minute statistics, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages.

Daktronics will also be including its “Show Control” solution with the installation. It provides a combination of display control software, video processing, data integration and playback hardware to form a user-friendly production solution.

The Class of 1973 is aiming toward a $7.3 million fundraising goal for its 50th reunion, the highest goal ever for a 50th reunion campaign, according to Jonathan Walker of The Citadel Foundation.

The Citadel’s home opener is set for Sept. 11 against Charleston Southern, and the Bulldogs will have six home games in 2021. 

Lt. Col Kenneth Reed, Citadel Class of 2004, takes command of the California Medical Detachment Wed, 23 Jun 2021 15:59:15 +0000 Madigan Army Medical Center Acting Commander Col. Scott Roofe hands the colors of the California Medical Detachment to Lt. Col. Kenneth Reed in a change of command ceremony held on Soldier Field on the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., on June 18. Madigan has most of its clinics in the Pacific Northwest, with its main hospital on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash. CAL MED falls under its command. (Kirstin Grace-Simons)Madigan Army Medical Center Acting Commander Col. Scott Roofe hands the colors of the California Medical Detachment to Lt. Col. Kenneth Reed in a change of command ceremony held on Soldier Field on the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., on June 18. Madigan has most of its clinics in the Pacific Northwest, with its main hospital on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash. CAL MED falls under its command. (Kirstin Grace-Simons)"Reed has been deeply involved in the Army Medicine response to COVID..."]]> Madigan Army Medical Center Acting Commander Col. Scott Roofe hands the colors of the California Medical Detachment to Lt. Col. Kenneth Reed in a change of command ceremony held on Soldier Field on the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., on June 18. Madigan has most of its clinics in the Pacific Northwest, with its main hospital on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash. CAL MED falls under its command. (Kirstin Grace-Simons)Madigan Army Medical Center Acting Commander Col. Scott Roofe hands the colors of the California Medical Detachment to Lt. Col. Kenneth Reed in a change of command ceremony held on Soldier Field on the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., on June 18. Madigan has most of its clinics in the Pacific Northwest, with its main hospital on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash. CAL MED falls under its command. (Kirstin Grace-Simons)

Change of command ceremony doesn’t take a holiday at CAL MED

As seen on, by  Kirstin Grace-Simons

Photo above: Madigan Army Medical Center Acting Commander Col. Scott Roofe hands the colors of the California Medical Detachment to Lt. Col. Kenneth Reed in a change of command ceremony held on Soldier Field on the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., on June 18. Madigan has most of its clinics in the Pacific Northwest, with its main hospital on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash. CAL MED falls under its command. (Kirstin Grace-Simons)

MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – It is unusual to see a change of command ceremony take place on a federal holiday. The California Medical Detachment took the opportunity to acknowledge the new holiday, Juneteenth, and merely add to the celebration as Lt. Col. Kenneth Reed took command of CAL MED from Col. Zack Solomon in a ceremony on Soldier Field on the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., on June 18.

“Thank you for being here on this very first observance of Juneteenth as a national holiday; it aligns with our values- supporting freedom,” said Col. Scott Roofe, Madigan Army Medical Center’s acting commander who traveled down to preside over the ceremony. CAL MED falls under Madigan’s command.

COL Roofe

Typically, CAL MED’s civilians would add a formation on the field for such an occasion. But, given the holiday, those in attendance were audience members.

CAL MED is more than the clinic on the sunny hill at the Presidio of Monterey. It is so much more. It encompasses Naval Support Activity Monterey, as well as five other army installations spread across approximately 250 miles providing behavioral health, industrial hygiene, and environmental and occupational health services. One of its outposts is the Major General William H. Gourley VA-DoD Outpatient Clinic, which houses CAL MED’s pediatrics and family medicine clinics. It is only the second fully integrated VA-DoD facility in the nation. Solomon took command on the same field in June of 2019.

Roofe enumerated just a few of Solomon’s many command highlights.

“He led the team to successfully and safely implement the DoD’s new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS. I see some knowing nods out there. And not only did they do a great job here, the team with Col. Solomon navigating it expertly and flawlessly, but the work they did here has served as a template for all the other like-sized clinics throughout the enterprise,” shared Roofe. “As evidence of his genuine commitment to quality and safety, he led CAL MED to a very successful Joint Commission survey with the lowest number of findings in the history of this clinic’s existence, phenomenal work.”

Solomon’s healthy ability to build relationships was commented on by Roofe and Reed and his affable nature welcomes people with a smile and good humor.


“My wife was worried about parking today, I made some calls. So, it’s not an issue. Cleared the installation for this,” Solomon joked, starting his remarks with a nod to how quiet the installation was on the new holiday.

His humor continued as he pondered what his speech would consist of had the COVID-19 pandemic not intruded on everyone’s plans for the past year and a half.

He noted how such an alternate universe would have seen the transition to MHS GENESIS as the big story of his command and he and his family would have enjoyed attending all the festivals and events the Monterey area typically has to offer.

“But we don’t live in an alternate universe; we live in the now. The past year and a half was one that we could never have anticipated- a complete lockdown, confusion and fear worldwide. There was so much uncertainty. But when we needed them most, heroes revealed themselves. From the beginning of the COVID pandemic, our CAL MED team sprang into action. Our mission changed in epic fashion; failure was not an option,” said Solomon. “CAL MED, when I say you’re heroes, I mean it quite literally. I could spend the rest of the day speaking about each of you individually and how you poured your hearts and souls into this organization, and most importantly, the service members and families in your care. I will be forever grateful for having served alongside you. To say I’m proud of all of you is an understatement.”

Reed has been deeply involved in the Army Medicine response to COVID as well as he has worked in U.S. Army Forces Command. He also comes to CAL MED with significant operational experience with the 44th Medical Brigade and the 28th Combat Support Hospital, both headquartered in Fort Bragg, N.C., prior to that.

“His work at FORSCOM (U.S. Army Forces Command) operations has been broadly impactful and instrumental in coordinating the UA MTF (urban augmentation medical task force) and the vaccine augmentation medical task force deployment since COVID started. So, [he] really has been on the frontlines of COVID coordinating across the nation and across the world,” said Roofe.


Reed is from Port Norris, N.J. He commissioned in the Medical Service Corps through the ROTC program at The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina. He earned a master’s degree in business and organizational security management. He has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and is a member of the Official Order of Military Medical Merit.

With such a hearty resume behind him, Reed nevertheless leads with gratitude, noting the impacts of others on his professional successes.

“A special thank you to a friend and Army pentathlete who is here from JBLM- Lt. Col. Mike Moore. He was my commander when I was a young second lieutenant in Iraq. And Mike, I know it didn’t seem like it at the time, but you had a major impact on my career during that difficult deployment. It’s leaders like yourself, and many others throughout my career, that professionally developed a young officer who needed some purpose and direction. And I know the Army appreciates the 39 years of service you’ve given to the nation,” Reed said.

Noting the size of the shoes he is now charged with filling, Reed recognized the respect with which POM installation leaders view Solomon, seeing following him as a distinct challenge.

“Sustaining those relationships and lines of communication you’ve built is one of the most important things I can do to help CAL MED continue and excel in supporting the readiness and the health of the force and families here at the Presidio of Monterey,” Reed said.

Reed with troops

Reed also relished the prospect of leading the CAL MED team.

“To the families, Soldiers, civilians and staff for the California Medical Detachment, it is an honor and a privilege to be your commander. I’m excited to lead and learn from all of you, and I look forward to our time together,” he said.

The assembled audience retreated from the sun to a reception welcoming the Reed family and the remainder of the new holiday.


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Citadel begins demolishing historic Capers Hall and will construct a new academic building Fri, 18 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffDemolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffPhoto above: Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/Staff As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Novelly The Citadel started demolishing its]]> Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffDemolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/Staff

Photo above: Demolition begins on The Citadel’s Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/Staff

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Novelly

The Citadel started demolishing its largest and most historic academic buildings on campus to make space for a new, updated space to be used by cadets in 2023.

Capers Hall was built in 1949 and has housed classrooms and offices for the English, history and political science departments for generations of Citadel students. But on June 8, a demolition crane began to poke holes in the walls and rip plaster from the fortress-like white building, slowly removing it from campus one chunk at a time. 

Demolition will continue through the summer.

Citadel officials plan to build a 107,700-square-foot replacement in two years which will house classrooms, a 250-seat performing arts auditorium, an art gallery and a computer lab for the school’s Center for Cyber, Intelligence and Security Studies.

The project carries a $67 million price tag. About $15 million of that will be provided by the S.C. General Assembly, with the rest coming from state institution bonds and capital reserve funds. The Legislature also had to approve the renovation. The Citadel Foundation is also soliciting donations to offset some of the construction costs. 

Jeff Lamberson, vice president for The Citadel’s Office of Facilities and Engineering, said the seven- decade-old academic building lacked a lot of modern amenities needed for students and teachers. While he’s sad to see some of the campus history disappear, he said he’s eager for the school to provide more modern space.

“The classrooms will be much bigger and more flexible in nature,” Lamberson said. “You will be able to move around the furniture and you’ll have all types of audio and visual computer aids for students.”

Some historic elements from the old version will be repurposed for the new building. 

Concrete, masonry and stucco from demolition will be hauled off-site, crushed and recycled into the new building’s site foundation and parking area. And the distinctive iron-frame light fixtures will be used in the new offering. 

The Citadel originally sought approval from the state to do extensive renovations at Capers Hall but opted for a total rebuild after conducting a structural evaluation in 2014. Rather than spend an estimated $7 million to $8 million reinforcing those walls to meet modern international building codes, the school decided to start from scratch.

The construction of a new academic space puts a slight burden on faculty members for the upcoming school year.

Employees with Thompson Turner Construction and The Citadel watch as demolition begins on Capers Hall on June 8, 2021. Lauren Petracca/StaffLauren Petracca

Brian Jones, dean for The Citadel’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, said some classrooms will relocate to the library, other campus buildings and even mobile trailers while the renovation is taking place.

“We’ve already transitioned the faculty, and they’re already up and running in their new spaces,” Jones said.

Capers Hall was named for two brothers, Confederate Brig. Gen. Ellison Capers and Maj. Francis W. Capers, who was superintendent of The Citadel from 1853 to 1859.

The demolition comes amid a nationwide reckoning of Confederate imagery in public spaces and in the U.S. military. Retired Marine Corps Gen. Glenn M. Walters, president of The Citadel, said in a memo last year he was “establishing a committee to further study historical figures for whom structures are named.” 

The committee’s progress on researching and identifying buildings was sidelined by COVID-19, but they will resume their duties in the fall.

Presently, there are no plans to change the name of the hall when it is rebuilt. 

Blacksburg grad gets ‘full ride’ to The Citadel Thu, 17 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 Zac Painter will enter The Citadel honors program in prestigious company when the Blacksburg High graduate heads to the military college.]]>

As seen in the Gaffney Ledger, by Scott Powell

Zac Painter will enter The Citadel honors program in prestigious company when the newly minted Blacksburg High graduate heads to the military college in August.

Painter was among eight students to receive a full ride to attend The Citadel’s premier program for intellectually and academically gifted students. The scholarship will cover the full cost of attendance at The Citadel, which was $30,400 for an incoming freshman cadet last school year.

Painter became interested in the military college when his dad toured the campus with a group of students enrolled in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.

Painter was ranked fourth in his Blacksburg High graduation class. He played on the Blacksburg High varsity football, basketball and baseball teams while enrolled in challenging courses.

“I plan to major in electrical engineering,” Painter said. “I took an electronics class at the Institute of Innovation and fell in love with it.”

The Citadel School of Engineering currently has the 17th best engineering program in America, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report.

“There is a 100% job placement rate for students in their engineering school within three months of graduation,” Painter said. “This was a big deal for me when I thought about where I wanted to go to college.”

The Citadel is best known for its Corps of Cadets and draws students from 45 states and a dozen countries to live and study in a class military system focused on leadership and character development. The military college founded its Honor Program in 1987 to provide a community of curious students with interesting and challenging academic coursework.

After he was accepted in October, Painter said he decided to apply for scholarships available through The Citadel to see if he could help his family with his college costs. He was required to write three essays and do a personal interview with a professor before the Blacksburg native was selected to receive a full scholarship.

Painter has gotten an early morning wake-up call to go on 5:30 a.m. runs in recent weeks so he can improve his conditioning and fitness in preparation for life as a cadet at The Citadel.

“There will be no free time. I will take eight classes a year in the Honors Program,” Painter said. “I managed a tough academic schedule in high school while working and playing three sports. I feel my work ethic and how I managed my time helped me prepare.”

Book excerpt: ‘The Other Face of Battle: America’s Forgotten Wars and the Experience of Combat’ Wed, 16 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 David Preston, a coauthor of the book, is General Mark Clark Distinguished Professor of History at The Citadel.]]>

Photo: Cover of “The Other Face of Battle” by Wayne E. Lee, David L. Preston, Anthony E. Carlson, and David Silbey. (Oxford University Press)

Note: David Preston is General Mark Clark Distinguished Professor of History at The Citadel. He is the author of “Braddock’s Defeat,” which won the Gilder-Lerhman Prize in Military History and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.

As seen in Military Times

Taking its title from “The Face of Battle,” John Keegan’s canonical book on the nature of warfare, “The Other Face of Battle” illuminates the American experience of fighting in “irregular” and “intercultural” wars over the centuries. Sometimes known as “forgotten” wars, in part because they lacked triumphant clarity, they are the focus of the book. David Preston, David Silbey, and Anthony Carlson focus on, respectively, the Battle of Monongahela (1755), the Battle of Manila (1898), and the Battle of Makuan, Afghanistan (2010) — conflicts in which American soldiers were forced to engage in “irregular” warfare, confronting an enemy entirely alien to them. This enemy rejected the Western conventions of warfare and defined success and failure — victory and defeat — in entirely different ways. Symmetry of any kind is lost. Here was not ennobling engagement but atrocity, unanticipated insurgencies, and strategic stalemate.

War is always hell. These wars, however, profoundly undermined any sense of purpose or proportion. Nightmarish and existentially bewildering, they nonetheless characterize how Americans have experienced combat and what its effects have been. They are therefore worth comparing for what they hold in common as well as what they reveal about our attitude toward war itself. The Other Face of Battle reminds us that “irregular” or “asymmetrical” warfare is now not the exception but the rule. Understanding its roots seems more crucial than ever.

Lieutenant Williams’s Tough Box: Remembering and Forgetting the Other Face of Battle in Afghanistan

The Muslim call to prayer and the muffled sound of digging interrupted the night’s stillness, alerting Captain Brandon Prisock’s American soldiers of the famed 101st Airborne Division that Taliban insurgents were awake and busy planting mines around them. After the day-long fight on September 15, 2010, for control of the Afghan village of Makuan, strategically located in Kandahar province’s Zhari district, the American arsenal of tracked breaching vehicles, trucks, armored vehicles, bulldozers, helicopters, and A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack aircraft was now being matched by the enemy’s two most effective weapons: improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and darkness. To Staff Sergeant Joshua Reese, the sound of digging triggered “a really sickening feeling.”

Prisock, a 2004 West Point graduate from Louisiana, knew the sounds meant that the Taliban were reoccupying Makuan. He also knew that their dilapidated Soviet-era weapons and homemade bombs could neutralize his company’s firepower, even as his soldiers struggled under seventy pounds of gear in temperatures that topped 105 degrees Fahrenheit. More, the Taliban were fighting on familiar ground. The Americans weren’t. First Lieutenant Nicholas Williams, one of Prisock’s three rifle platoon leaders, summed up his feelings upon entering the alien, ominous world of Makuan: “We were strangers in a strange land fighting someone on their home turf. . . . The call to prayer was a constant reminder that this wasn’t our world.”

The battle for Makuan, which lasted for three days in mid-September 2010, was the opening thrust of Operation Dragon Strike, at the time the largest single U.S. Army operation of the decade-long war in Afghanistan. After trading blows with the Taliban for nearly nine years, U.S. commanders intended for Dragon Strike to finally deliver a knockout punch. The operation involved more than 8,000 American and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers fighting for control of the strategically-important Zhari district. Prisock’s Bravo Company, which consisted of 230 men, was given the campaign’s first mission: clearing insurgents from Makuan, a small village of some twenty acres, consisting of dirt streets and walled adobe compounds.

The Taliban welcomed the forthcoming offensive. “We are not scared of NATO, or of the Americans,” Taliban commander Mullawi Mohammadi boasted. “Whoever comes, we will kill them.” Taliban leaders dismissed the Americans as only “briefly emerg[ing] from the high walls behind which they barricaded themselves,” and unlike their old Russian opponents, as one Taliban fighter put it, “the Americans were afraid to fight on the ground and their bombing was indiscriminate.” In Makuan, Taliban fighters proved eager to pit their pressure-plate, trip-wire, and remote-control IED tactics against Bravo Company’s impressive assortment of firepower. As darkness settled in on the night of September 15, the Taliban sprang into action. Even as his soldiers heard the sound of digging in the distance, Prisock, who had only commanded the company for ten days, prepared to counter it.

* * * *

The Taliban’s resort to guerrilla tactics should not have surprised the U.S. Army. During its long war in Vietnam, the Army had struggled against exactly those techniques and exactly that blend of political and military actions. Like the Vietnamese, the Taliban, unable to match American firepower and control of the skies, attacked their opponents’ political will.

By September of 2010, Zhari district was an insurgent hotbed. IED assembly points, ammunition caches, concrete bunkers, and tunnels were scattered throughout the villages and dense agricultural terrain. But the Taliban did more than build defenses and ambush military patrols and convoys. They were fighting to rule the country, and they systematically built shadow governing institutions. Exploiting the corruption and dysfunction of the Afghan government, they instituted sharia courts to adjudicate disputes and dispense justice. Insurgent leaders also collected zakat taxes from farmers and formed committees to investigate complaints of abuse and corruption against heavy-handed commanders.

Although in many ways the U.S. military had been unprepared for the shift to guerrilla war in Afghanistan, one key lesson from earlier conflicts, whether “insurgencies,” “proxy wars,” or imperial wars, was not forgotten: the indispensability of local allies. In military doctrine, virtually the whole point of a counterinsurgency strategy is to train indigenous military, paramilitary, or police forces so that they could assume combat responsibilities. It was in this context that more than 3,000 soldiers from the newly minted Afghan National Army’s (ANA) 3rd Brigade, 205th Corps, joined Operation Dragon Strike. The plan was to pair U.S. and ANA units to conduct combined operations— shohna ba shohna, “shoulder to shoulder.”

Afghanistan provided not only enemies and allies, it also presented a uniquely challenging physical environment. Zhari’s agricultural landscape was ideal for the Taliban’s tactics of drawing U.S. forces into belts of IEDs. Captain Luke Rella, Prisock’s executive officer, marveled at how the district’s eight- to ten-foot tall earthen grape rows, which were separated by narrow irrigation waterways, created their “own climate bubble” intensifying the heat of the summer. Each morning, soldiers observed a thick haze rising from the rows. The humidity triggered extreme perspiration on men already loaded down with combat gear, and the moisture often ruined night vision goggles, radios, and IED frequency jammers. Soaking wet combat uniforms frequently tore at the crotch; as a result, soldiers were forced to patrol “commando,” with exposed undergarments and genitals. Since the Taliban’s preferred tactic was to bury pressure-plate IEDs at choke points, the Americans were forced to crawl methodically up and over every mound rather than walk on the fixed paths at the base of the rows. The resulting physical exhaustion and mental fatigue constricted the pace of operations and dramatically reduced opportunities to kill or capture insurgents.

Captain Prisock’s men advanced into this environment at sunrise on September 15. At 7:15 a.m., he radioed for howitzers to rain down smoke rounds to obscure the initial route into Makuan. In short order, Prisock’s lead Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) moved into position and fired its first Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC)—a 100 meter “rope” of explosives designed to detonate unseen IEDs. The rope uncoiled and snapped onto the dirt, prompting two insurgents armed with AK- 47 assault rifles to dart out from the maze of grape rows and investigate it. After a hurried look, they ran toward Prisock’s men and unleashed a hail of bullets. Seconds later, the MICLIC detonated, kicking up a thick pall of dust, fire, and smoke as it shook the earth. The blast all but incinerated the insurgents, hurtling one detached torso two hundred yards into the air.

By 10:00 a.m., after a little over two and a half hours of work, the ABVs had breached a lane just under a kilometer long and Prisock’s soldiers stalled at a bridge spanning a canal north of Makuan. Rocked by the titanic explosions, the insurgents hastily retreated to prepared firing positions and defenses inside of the village. They had no answer for the MICLICs, but the battle was only beginning.

At the canal, the Americans were forced to destroy the bridge, which was riddled with IEDs. Moments later, the area began to flood and the Americans and their Afghan allies became easy targets of sporadic AK-47 fire and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs). American wounded accumulated. Specialist Anthony Bower complained that Zhari insurgents were “ghosts on ‘banker’s hours,’ as they would attack us early in the morning, seemingly sleep in the heart of the day, and then hit us again just before darkness sat in.” He explained that in the daytime the insurgents typically cloaked their movements and hostile intent by using children as spotters, dressing as women, and “maneuvering with sheep.” Eventually, the Americans and Afghan compatriots secured two compounds on the northern edge of Makuan, setting up strongpoints from which to plan future operations. Nothing, however, got simpler.

At around 7:30 p.m on the assault’s second day, Prisock was ordered to complete the clearance of Makuan before noon the next day, September 17. Time was of the essence. The higher headquarters intended to pull critical assets that had supported Prisock’s initial attack. Resigned, Prisock prepared for the most daunting challenge of his young command: driving insurgents from a village littered with homemade bombs in the darkness.

As a cloak of darkness descended on the evening of September 16, Prisock ordered Lieutenant Williams to take fifteen Americans, six Afghans, and an Air Force bomb-sniffing German shepherd, named Blek, to search a series of compounds and grape huts (multi-storied, thick-walled buildings used for storing grapes). At the second compound, an American soldier waved his mine detector over a set of stairs, finding no metal signature. Blek’s handler directed him to walk up the staircase to sniff for IEDs in the upper story. The dog found nothing. With the staircase seemingly cleared, three ANA soldiers ascended it in a compact single-file line. The first two Afghans reached the top of the staircase just as the third triggered an IED buried in the fourth step. The gigantic blast punctuated Makuan’s unnerving silence, engulfing the ANA soldiers in a flash of flames and smoke. Temporarily blinded and deafened, Williams struggled to regain his bearings, composure, and vision. “As the blast hit me, [the Afghans] all disappeared in a wall of dust and smoke,” he recalled. “The ringing in my ears eventually gave way to the sound of my own voice repeating that nobody move. I would move to them.” Over the past months, Williams had learned the hard way that the enemy often grouped IEDs together: “Where there is one IED there is always another.” He feared that panicked, concussed soldiers would stumble onto other nearby IEDs.

Moving as best he could toward the blast site, Williams soon found a macabre, chaotic scene, demonstrating the devastating effectiveness of IEDs. Through his night vision goggles, he spotted a “crumpled heap of charred, bloody ANA uniforms and body armor a few meters from the stairs.” At that exact moment, the “crumpled heap”— a wounded ANA soldier— regained consciousness and in a desperate, shrieking tone called out for Allah. Moving closer, Williams discovered that the detonation had severed both of the Afghan’s legs above the knees; only eight- inch fragments of his fleshless, jagged femurs remained. Williams dragged him to a casualty collection point inside the compound his men had just searched, but they soon uncovered additional IEDs. He needed to find a new rally point.

As Williams dragged the ANA soldier’s scorched torso out of the first compound, the other Afghans’ poise and discipline vanished. They staggered toward the lieutenant, wildly pointing their M16s at him and each other. Williams attempted to restore order and assuage their fears, but his Afghan translator, wounded in the blast and frozen from fear or a concussion, had “forgotten every English word he knew.” Williams admonished the Afghans in broken Dari to remain calm and still, but they inched forward. When they were within feet of Williams and the heinously-wounded Afghan, they triggered another IED. The explosion mangled two more ANA soldiers and knocked the wind out of Williams. Struggling to regain his balance and gasping for air, he moved to the blast site, cut away the Afghans’ charred uniforms, and applied tourniquets. He now tallied eleven wounded.

Prisock, Williams, and the rest of Bravo Company would struggle on for hours more, evacuating the wounded, fending off Taliban attacks, enduring more casualties, and combating the confusion. They “held” the village, but could they keep it? And if they did, would it matter? At battalion headquarters, the commander and his staff, worried about the IED threat and the rapidly deteriorating situation, grappled with how to end the battle. After much deliberation, they reached the decision after midnight on September 17 to simply destroy much of the unpopulated village. At sunrise, a barrage of several dozen artillery rockets slammed into the village. In the words of one American sergeant, Makuan became a “parking lot.”

* * * *

Now a field-grade officer and a father, Nicholas Williams remains ambivalent about whether Makuan was worth the sacrifice. Tucked away in Williams’s basement is a tough box full of mementos and objects from Zhari: “I have a ‘tough box’ full of gear . . . that just smells like Afghanistan. Nine years later, Afghanistan feels like a lifetime ago, a story that happened to someone else, somewhere else, but that box always brings me back.”

That box in storage offers a metaphor for the experiences hauled home from war—the things that were carried. The box is there and it is real, whether it is opened or left untouched. That last choice—leaving it unopened—seems to dominate today’s military. Williams remembers. The institution he serves prefers not to. Retelling the story of Makuan, as well as the battles of Monongahela (1755) and Manila (1899) in our larger book, is to assemble a sort of tough box of experiences. And if we take the time to open the box and examine its contents, it may suggest some broader issues relevant to understanding our past and to dealing with the future of the U.S. military.

Our larger book examines three battles in American history: Monongahela, Manila, and Makuan. In each case we seek to explore the human experience of combat in fundamentally intercultural settings, in large part because the vast majority of American wars have in fact been against enemies from different cultures; enemies who often chose to fight in very different ways. Although each battle revealed experiences and issues specific to its historical context, we uncovered some general lessons that may help inform how our nation prepares for future wars.

The first lesson is about leaning too heavily on assumptions about who the next enemy will be. Civilians and professional soldiers alike have almost always prepared for the next war based not on the last war (despite the popular adage) but on the assumption that the next war will involve someone like themselves. Techniques, tactics, training, weapons acquisition programs, and, most crucially, expectations have all been built on assumptions of cultural and tactical symmetry. In the 1980s, for example, instead of learning and institutionalizing what it meant to fight an insurgent enemy in Vietnam while propping up an unpopular government, the American military prepared to meet the Soviets on the plains of Germany. We tend to prepare for the expected enemy, and we are too often surprised.

Second, in all of the many examples of intercultural warfare in American history, it has been necessary to work with allies from that other culture. At Monongahela, despite the myth that the British commander ignored his Indian allies, he made a real effort to enlist them, and that pattern held for virtually every Anglo-Indian war in American history. The important role of Indian Scouts in the plains wars of the late nineteenth century was no doubt one reason behind the eventual creation of the Filipino Scouts and then the Filipino constabulary, both of which played key roles in the American effort to control the Philippines. The outcome of the fight at Makuan was profoundly shaped by ANA soldiers, who in that instance proved brittle and unreliable under fire. Despite this, American strategic goals could not (and cannot!) be achieved without them.

Third, despite this historical dependence, American soldiers and American planners have often dismissed the value of local allies, but even worse, they have been dismissive of the combat capabilities of enemies they did not understand. The Americans at Makuan had enough experience with the Taliban to know what to expect. But they couldn’t let go of conventional thinking about warfare. They continued to scorn the Taliban as “cowards” who failed to fight traditionally and who insisted on blending in with civilians. The tendency to misjudge the enemy’s capabilities in intercultural combat is not a problem unique to Americans. In one sense it is simply a variation of a nearly universal ethnocentrism in war. China’s ruling dynasties long saw themselves as the center of the world and considered all outsiders to be barbarians. Japan famously based its strategy in 1941 on an assumption of American “softness” and lack of will, and they clung to that belief for almost the duration of the war, structuring their tactics and political aims accordingly.

Lastly, “more” is not always more. At the outset of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, American planners depended heavily on local factions already opposed to the Taliban. Even so, the distinct and not unreasonable preference has always been to rely on one’s own forces. When the environment proves challenging or shifts, however, Americans have tended to seek solutions in technological superiority, believing that more is better: heavier guns, more rounds per minute, more precise targeting, thicker armor, helicopter insertion, and so on. Those are things that can be measured, produced, delivered, and deployed. Very often they can indeed be decisive, especially in conventional warfare. In our view, however, the record has been decidedly mixed.

The current U.S. Army’s singular focus on “Large Scale Combat Operations”—anticipating that contingency with “peer threats” such as Russia, China, North Korea, or Iran—has prompted a host of modernization efforts and organizational changes—many no doubt necessary and even long overdue. In 2017, the Army prioritized six new conventional capabilities: long- range precision fires, the “next- generation combat vehicle,” future vertical lift, the Army network, air and missile defense, and soldier lethality. In short: “more.” The current Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General James C. McConville, tweeted on October 15, 2019, that “America’s Army will never be out-gunned, it will never be out-ranged, and it will never be over-matched.” This replicates precisely the spirit of Vietnam-era officers who claimed that the Americans had won all of the battles.

All of these developments suggest that today’s military, as in the past, may lack the introspective spirit necessary to study, apply, and codify its rich experiences with low-intensity, asymmetric, and all too often, intercultural conflict. Rather, it has aligned itself for a future of great power conflict that its own history suggests was the exception rather than the norm, and in which culture will somehow be less relevant. History suggests otherwise. The other face of battle will likely again be the face America sees.

“The Other Face of Battle: America’s Forgotten Wars and the Experience of Combat” is available for purchase.

Wayne E. Lee is the Bruce W. Carney Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, was the 2015-16 Harold K. Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College, and is author of many books including most recently, “Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History.”

David Preston is General Mark Clark Distinguished Professor of History at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He is the author of “Braddock’s Defeat,” which won the Gilder-Lerhman Prize in Military History and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.

Anthony E. Carlson is an associate professor of history at the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Having previously served as an historian and analyst at the U.S. Army’s Combat Studies Institute, Carlson has interviewed hundreds of soldiers who fought in Afghanistan.

David Silbey is the associate director of the Cornell in Washington program and an adjunct associate professor in the Cornell History Department. He has written books on the British Army in World War I, the Philippine-American War, and the Boxer Rebellion in China.

Editor’s note: This is an op-ed and as such, the opinions expressed are those of the author. If you would like to respond, or have an editorial of your own you would like to submit, please contact Military Times managing editor Howard Altman,

Charleston County School District appoints new Academic Magnet principal Mon, 14 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 Jacob Perlmutter, the new principal for Academic Magnet, earned a Master's of Education degree through The Citadel Graduate College in 2009.]]>

Note: Jacob Perlmutter, photo above, earned a Master’s of Education degree from The Citadel in 2009. The college recently asked him to reflect on the value of education from The Citadel Graduate College.

In my studies in the graduate program at The Citadel’s Zucker Family School of Education, I learned about school law, educational policy and project management, but I was really learning about character, about conviction and about integrity. The school has a reputation for leadership but for me, those late night classes in Capers Hall were all about service…about finding a way to make a meaningful contribution to the world.

Jacob Perlmutter, The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2009

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Libby Stanford

Academic Magnet High School will be under the leadership of Jacob Perlmutter, starting July 1. 

The Charleston County School District announced Perlmutter as the new principal on June 3. Perlmutter is taking over the position from Catherine Spencer, who is leaving the school to open an international school in Cairo, Egypt. 

Perlmutter is no stranger to the district or Academic Magnet. He graduated from the high school in 1995 before going on to study at the College of Charleston, Fordham University and The Citadel. 

Most recently, he worked as the principal of Jerry Zucker Middle School in North Charleston, a position he has held since 2011.

In Perlmutter’s time as principal, the school was awarded four consecutive National Showcase School Awards from Capturing Kids Hearts, a program that helps schools improve social and emotional learning and culture. 

The middle school was recognized for having outstanding focus on social-emotional well-being, relationship-driven campus culture and student connectedness, according to a news release.  

The principal also teaches as an adjunct professor in the school of education, health and human performance at the College of Charleston. 

Before returning to Charleston to teach, Perlmutter taught at Harry S. Truman High School in New York City. In all, he has taught students from sixth grade to graduate school, according to the news release. 

Perlmutter will be entering Academic Magnet after the school experienced four years of success under Spencer’s leadership. In 2020 and 2021, the school placed second in the U.S. World News and Report’s ranking of high schools across the nation. In 2019, it placed first. 

In 2021, the school produced 16 of the district’s 21 National Merit Scholars, who competed against students across the country to receive college scholarships. One of those scholars, Lily Lassiter, was also awarded the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholarship.

Lassiter was one of 14 students from the school to be a semifinalist for the scholarship program, which is only awarded to one male and one female student in each state. She is also the second student from the school to receive the distinction in the past four years.

In the news release, Joseph Williams, the district’s associate superintendent of secondary learning, said the district chose Perlmutter because of his experience as a former student of the school and as “his natural ability to build community.”

Valor & Value: Veterans talk about their business traits Thu, 10 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 Brown attended The Citadel on an Army ROTC scholarship. He was an Army captain for six years and served in Special Forces as a Green Beret.]]>

Note: Dave Brown, photo above, earned a degree in Civil Engineering from The Citadel in 1996. The college recently asked him to reflect on the value of his education from the Military College of South Carolina.

“The Citadel prepared me very well by instilling leadership skills and a solid understanding of how to build a ‘team first’ culture. The organizational leadership skills I learned as a cadet at The Citadel have significantly contributed to my ability to lead both military and civilian organizations through challenging times.”

Dave Brown, Citadel Class of 1996, founder and CEO of ROVE

As seen in the Charlotte Business Journal

After a year of dynamic changes in the workplace and marketplace, hiring managers are looking for employees ready to react and respond.

Veterans are likely to lead the pack in understanding how to gain situational awareness and flex to the situation.

“Sometimes you just have to work out of your Humvee,” says Bernie Funck, president and founder of Ranger Construction. “Veterans are not scared to exit the moving aircraft,” Funck says. “They are not afraid of change. They just adapt to the situation. And they can command from anywhere.”

Funck spent 21 years in the Army as an artillery officer, 6 years active duty and 15 in the National Guard, and he values the leadership and decision-making skills he sees in the veterans he hires.

Funck made his comments as part of a panel discussion sponsored by Veterans Bridge Home and presented by the Charlotte Business Journal. Joining Funck on the panel discussion veterans in the workplace were Dave Brown, Founder and CEO of ROVE, a technology systems integrator, and Arnold Evans, enterprise ethics officer for Truist Financial.

Blake Bourne, executive director of Veterans Bridge Home and a former captain in the US Army, moderated the event. The discussion was held at Veterans Bridge Home’s new office at 5260 Parkway Plaza Boulevard, near the South Charlotte VA Center. The new location offers more space for the transition center, training and operations.

On joining and exiting the military

A family history of military service was common among the panelists.

Funck’s grandfather served in World War I and his father in World War II. While they were both Navy veterans, Funck joined the Army after joining ROTC in college. His service included a tour in South Korea/DMZ, the 82nd Airborne Division and command of a Field Artillery Battalion. Today he is a Lt. Colonel in the Inactive Ready Reserve.

Evans grew up in north Georgia and then attended West Point, where he hoped to continue his family’s strong military legacy and distinguish himself by serving others. Evans was on active duty from 1988 to 1993, serving in Air Defense Artillery and earning the rank of Captain. His service took him to El Paso, Texas, Germany and Saudi Arabia. After his service, Evans attended both law and business schools at the University of Virginia before pursuing a career in investment banking. He has been with SunTrust – now Truist – since 2005 and serves as the bank’s enterprise ethics officer.

Brown is a fifth generation military officer who knew from a young age that he would serve in the military. Brown attended The Citadel on an Army ROTC scholarship. He was an Army captain for six years, served in Special Forces as a Green Beret. Brown transitioned into the civilian marketplace selling technology on Wall Street. He started ROVE, a systems integrator, in 2016.

On what experience translates to business

While all the panelists have college degrees, their path from college to the military to business was not direct. Brown majored in engineering but leads a technology company. Evans majored in engineering and then earned multiple graduate degrees before entering finance. And Funck majored in communications and later an MBA when he left active duty.

“Basic organizational leadership skills are really what helped me transition fairly well into the civilian workforce,” Brown says. He was initially in sales and business development so while he did not have people working for him, he had to be able to craft campaigns and lead people through the sales process. He eventually moved up into sales leadership roles and executive management roles.

“I look back to my time in the military, and I’ve applied the basic leadership skills that I learned as a brand new Lieutenant in Army, to the more strategic skills I honed as a Special Forces Captain, that have assisted me in founding, growing and thriving in entrepreneurial business endeavors.” said Brown.

Funck says his role in artillery direct support meant he was always supporting others, and that experience providing support taught him how to serve customers.

“We work for developers and do everything from construction, mechanical, electrical and plumbing. It’s shoot, move, communicate and survive,” Funck says. “We still do those same things.”

As the ethics officer for Truist, Evans focuses on ensuring that the bank’s operating practices and processes are fully aligned with the company’s purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. While it may sound straightforward, converting that description into practical activities has been more complex.

“My newly created role was a bit amorphous when I first took it on at SunTrust,” Evans says. “The most critical success factor has been my ability to shrug off failures, reset based on experience and then guide my team forward until we achieved our objectives. I learned persistence in the Army and believe every successful veteran brings some version of that drive to the table.”

On military skills valued in private sector

Even the disruption of a pandemic didn’t derail veteran employees who understand how to adapt quickly to change, panelist say.

Evans says the skills he gained around situational awareness have also served him well in a large, global corporation.

“You have to understand the facts on the ground, then plan properly and execute,” Evans says. “If the facts change, the sooner you pick up on that, the greater the chance of success. We pick up a high level of attentiveness in the military that helps us execute successfully in the private sector.”

On roles where veterans succeed

At ROVE, 30% of the employees are veterans from different branches of the military, a rate four times what is typical in a company. Some have come directly from military service and others were in the private sector before joining ROVE.

Brown says veterans have the communications skills needed to serve clients. All of ROVE’s project managers are former Army Captains.

Because the business is so heavily veteran, Brown says the culture of the company is very patriotic and mission driven.

“The accountability level for everyone is increased because it is built into our culture now,” Brown says.

At Truist, Evans says veterans are valued for their trustworthiness.

“You know they are going to get it done the right way,” Evans says.

Veterans with technical cyber security skills easily translate those skills to the private sector. Veterans serve in a number of client-facing roles, from retail banking, private wealth, commercial banking and investment banking.

“They are valued because they just know how to get things done,” Evans says.

On negative perceptions of hiring veterans

Evans says he has previously heard that some organizations may have concerns about hiring veterans, given the potential of stress-related disorders.

“As a practical matter, we know suicide rates for veterans are materially higher than for non-veterans, given the amount of trauma they have experienced—whether it’s a result of serving in long-term wars, being separated from families, experiencing isolation, or not having access to health care,” Evans says.

However, Evans also points out that veterans are no different from broad swaths of society that dealt with stress, anxiety and depression—especially during the global pandemic.

“Employers need to understand that while veterans may seem to need unique assistance, they are a microcosm of our broader society,” he continues. “If anyone does deserve the extra assistance, veterans who served our country are an extremely important focus. In exchange, you benefit from extraordinarily loyal and hardworking teammates who are committed to helping you achieve your organization’s objectives.”

On balancing National Guard duty

National Guard duty or Reserves is widely advertised as a commitment of one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Veterans know the reality is a much larger commitment.

“You have to support them and their family,” Funck says. “People don’t realize that the National Guard deploys to hurricanes and floods. You can be gone for three months on a hurricane. In the National Guard, you have to literally keep your bags packed.”

In return, Funck says, those service members have an obligation to minimize the impact of their service on their employer as much as possible.

“There are benefits of having National Guard and Reserve members on your team, and if you don’t support them, they will leave if the job is not compatible with their service,” Funck says.

On small businesses hiring vets

The number of veteran-owned businesses has declined in recent decades. Only 4.5% of veterans have opened businesses since 9/11, according to a study by the New York Federal Reserve Bank and Small Business Administration. But close to 50% of World War II veterans and 40% of Korean War veterans opened businesses.

Brown says being a certified small business by the Department of Veterans Affairs opens opportunity to ROVE. Larger companies with supplier diversity programs provide business opportunities. ROVE has gained relationships with aerospace, banking and manufacturing companies and grown with those sectors.

“As a small business, getting through the pandemic was tough,” Brown says. “We did some pay reductions and headcount reductions and had to tighten the books. But we survived it. Our team is tighter now than ever having gone through this experience together.”

Funck says Ranger Construction survived the pandemic just fine given that construction was allowed to continue. But he says he looks out for subcontractors who are veteran-owned businesses.

“We have been known to loan money or ‘pay forward’ to those that we know, subcontractors and others, trying to get into the business.”


Dave Brown, CEO, ROVE

As CEO of ROVE, Dave guides the company’s vision to become the fastest growing IT Systems Integrator in the region—with specific expertise in helping clients navigate the changing digital landscape via the strategic deployment of Cloud, Networking, CyberSecurity & Hybrid Workplace solutions.  Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, ROVE is a certified Veteran Owned Small Business, and services Enterprise, Commercial and Public Sector clients across the Southeast region.

Prior to founding ROVE, Dave served as the President of CDI Southeast and Area Vice President at EMC Corporation, where his responsibilities included building and leading sales, solution architecture and professional services teams who delivered virtualized cloud, unified communications and security solutions.

Dave began his career as an officer in the United States Army, where he achieved the rank of Captain in Special Forces (Green Berets). David earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.

Bernie Funck, President, Ranger Construction

Bernie Funck is the owner and President of Ranger Construction Company, a commercial general contractor specializing in industrial, office and healthcare upfits in North and South Carolina. Bernie started Ranger Construction 21 years ago and the company has grown to over 40 employees.  Ranger Construction is a trusted partner for many developers and businesses in the area. Bernie’s career began over 30 years ago in commercial property management at Trammell Crow, where he later became a partner running the Charlotte construction division. Starting his career in real estate development, management and leasing gave Bernie a uniquely qualified understanding of the business needs of Ranger’s clients. His background in the Army gave him the sense of mission he and his team bring to all of Ranger’s jobs. In 2003, Bernie retired from the Army National Guard as a Lt. Colonel, having served as the Commander of the 1/113th Field Artillery Battalion. His active duty years included service at the DMZ in South Korea, in the 82d Airborne Division, the Ranger Brigade, and certification as Jump Master and Air Assault training. Bernie has an MBA from the University of North Carolina Charlotte, and an undergraduate degree from Indiana University. He serves on the Board of the Carolinas Freedom Foundation, which promotes patriotism and supports soldiers and veterans.  Bernie has also had leadership roles in the community as a Boy Scout Scoutmaster and a youth football and rugby coach.  

Arnold B. Evans, Executive VP / Enterprise Ethics Officer, Truist Financial Corp.

Arnold Evans is the Enterprise Ethics Officer for Truist Financial Corp. He is responsible for ensuring that Truist’s operating practices and risk culture are consistent with the Company’s Purpose, Mission and Values. To do so, he and his team own and provide oversight of a series of programs receiving heightened regulatory scrutiny, including: business/sales practices, client complaints, teammate concerns, incentive compensation and reputational risk. Prior to the merger, Mr. Evans served as the first Enterprise Ethics Officer for SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Arnold’s prior financial services experience includes three years as a Division and Region President for SunTrust, and 17 years as an investment banker at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and J.P. Morgan. He is also a former commissioned officer (Captain) in the US Army.

Arnold earned a BS from The United States Military Academy. He also earned both MBA and JD degrees from The University of Virginia.


Blake Bourne, Executive Director, Veterans Bridge Home

Blake Bourne, a former Army Infantry Officer who is passionate about the opportunity to strengthen local communities by engaging and empowering our veterans.  Blake joined Veterans Bridge Home (VBH) in 2013 and was named the Executive Director in 2016.  Leaving at the rank of Captain, he served from 2006-2012, was Airborne and Ranger qualified with two deployments to Iraq.  Prior to his military service, Blake worked on Capitol Hill. In addition to administrative oversight, strategy, and sustainability, Blake has been directly involved with the design and implementation of VBH’s programs.  In 2019 Blake was recognized as one of Charlotte’s 40 Under 40 by the CLT Business Journal.  Founded in 2011, VBH was a small Charlotte based non-profit organization connecting military & veteran families to community-based resources to assist them in achieving their unique goals.  VBH is now a regional leader in Veteran services, operating across NC & SC, and a model nationally of Veteran Community Integration.  Focused on achieving outcomes which build “A Stronger Community, one Veteran at a time.”  VBH has demonstrated impact, leadership and advocacy on how to empower communities to collectively identify, engage and support Veterans where they live, work and play.   

MUSC, The Citadel’s Innovation Lab strengthen collaboration Tue, 08 Jun 2021 16:45:33 +0000 A core team of medical students, residents and Citadel cadets and students will develop innovative products focused on improving health in South Carolina.]]>

Photo: 3D-printed pieces of the protective masks made for MUSC, by faculty and staff at The Citadel, to address the mask shortage in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As seen in the Moultrie News

The MUSC Department of Surgery Human-Centered Design Program and The Citadel Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business Innovation Lab recently announced a partnership that will promote the enrichment of both program’s innovation, teaching and learning missions.

Through a memorandum of agreement, the two programs will work together to form a core team of medical students, residents and Citadel cadets and students to develop innovative products focused on increasing the health of South Carolinians.

The MUSC residents and students will collaborate with the Baker School of Business Innovation Lab cadets and students to work toward patentable or registerable projects.

The HCD program, led by Joshua Kim, was established under the leadership of chief of Surgical Oncology David Mahvi, M.D., and vice chair of Research Michael Yost, Ph.D., to cultivate innovative approaches to solve unmet surgical and medical needs.

The BSB Innovation Lab has a similar mission – it is dedicated to teaching students the value of innovative thinking along with offering the opportunity to pioneer innovations and business ideas, learn how to build out a business plan and pitch their ideas to investors.

In March of 2020, with the threat of a shortage of protective masks looming as the coronavirus pandemic grew, MUSC’s Kim innovated with a team of biomedical engineers and medical professionals to develop plans for 3D-printed masks. Once the design was available, the BSB Innovation Lab collaborated with MUSC and printed more than 500 masks to help to resolve the N-95 mask shortage in the region.

“The relationship the BSB Innovation Lab built with MUSC during the height of the pandemic provided an opportunity for us to partner and continue working toward improving the lives of medical professionals and the patients they take care of,” said Capt. James Bezjian, Ph.D., director of the Innovation Lab and an assistant professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship in the Baker School of Business. “By working with the MUSC Human Centered Design team, we are able to assist with projects that have life-changing capability.”

Kim will work with design teams of surgeons, residents, engineers and business development trainees based on design initiatives presented by surgeons and residents. “Through this new partnership, we can seamlessly innovate a design, develop a business plan and produce products that improve patient care,” said Mahvi.

The collaboration also provides an opportunity for academic growth. Residents and medical students gain knowledge and experience in business and entrepreneurship skills, and business students are exposed to new product ideas in the health care arena.

Citadel boxing is returning to the ring Mon, 07 Jun 2021 14:44:53 +0000 “I would say this is the new beginning of something that began back in the 1940s. Boxing at The Citadel Military College is alive.”]]>

As seen in Charleston Mercury, by Josh Baxa

Dating back to the 1940s, boxing at The Citadel has always been a cherished tradition that has been used to mold cadets into confident soldiers and citizen leaders. Citadel graduate of 1952 and future Carolina Hall of Famer Harry Hitopoulus was one of the first roughneck champions that the school produced, lettering in the sport for three consecutive years during his tenure at The Citadel. After his graduation, he returned to Rutledge Avenue once again — but this time to coach a team that was, at the time, at best mediocre. To give the boys additional training inside the ring, Coach Hitopoulus recruited Michael Golemis as a sparring partner, a local boxing star who fought for the College of Charleston. Golemis was soon invited to coach alongside Hitopoulus on The Citadel team, solidifying a club that would soon climb the ranks of national recognition.

From 1980 to 2007, Coach Hitopoulus and Golemis created an elite program that routinely won tournaments at the Naval Academy, The University of Kentucky, UNLV, Shippensburg and VMI among many other universities. After Coach Hitopoulus’ passing in 2007, Coach Golemis continued the club’s legacy producing three All Americans — Sam Greenwood, Ronal Clifton and Israel Cordova — until the sport was defunded in 2009 by the school’s sporting administration, citing health reasons. Twelve years later, in the spring semester of 2021, the sport was reintroduced on campus with Coach Golemis once again at the helm — this time completely self-funded through fundraisers and donations.

At the first informational meeting, over 240 cadets attended online and in person. Although this isn’t the first time that the club has attempted to restart on campus since funding was cut in 2009, this writer, also the club’s student president, thinks that this time feels different. The momentum and support that we have found behind this club after just one semester feels surreal. It’s obvious, to me at least, that The Citadel finally wants boxing back on campus — I just hope that the administration in Deas Hall is listening. Deas Hall, the school’s sporting administration office, has yet to recognize the Boxing Club as an official sports club (like rugby or sailing), forcing The Citadel Boxing Club to operate under the status of an “academic club” that receives zero travel funding or coach stipends from the school’s athletic budget. This hasn’t seemed to stop the club from moving forward, however.

In a fundraiser to promote an end-of-semester spring match, the club raised more than $7,000 and went 4-0 on the night of the event. Although boxing at The Citadel certainly has had a storied past, only time will tell whether the future holds as much promise for the sport. Coach Golemis certainly thinks so. “I would say this is the new beginning of something that began back in the 1940s. Boxing at The Citadel Military College is alive. So here we go again.” Visit the club’s website,, for more information on The Citadel Boxing Club or how to get involved.

Joppatowne graduate Madison Matos hopes to aim high with Air Force following college at The Citadel Fri, 04 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 "I really found a love to be in the Air Force," she said. "I kind of wanted to branch out; I wanted to do something different."]]>

As seen in Yahoo News, by James Whitlow

Joppatowne High School’s Madison Matos just walked across the stage to receive her diploma on Tuesday, but she already has eyes on what’s to come after her college graduation — following her passion for flight into the Air Force.

Matos, 18, plans to enroll at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, South Carolina. Though the college offers civilian tracks for its graduates, and military conscription is not mandatory, Matos wants to join the college’s ROTC and the Air Force after her graduation there.

She plans to study computer science and wants to focus on space and terrestrial flight after college. She has always found space flight interesting and wants to apply herself to it.

“I really found a love to be in the Air Force,” she said. “I kind of wanted to branch out; I wanted to do something different.”

Matos’ graduating class was on the small side — around 160, she said — and many students had been classmates since middle school. Seeing familiar faces, she said, was a highlight of high school that she knows will soon change when she is eight hours away from the familiar and required to wear a uniform at The Citadel.

“This is like a very, very, very different college,” Matos said with a laugh. “My first day, I think I have to run two miles.”

But she thinks the most difficult part of attending college and leaving high school behind will “probably be not seeing anyone I have been seeing for the last 10 years of my life,” she said.

Matos looks back fondly on her high school experience, but there were challenges to overcome before she took the stage and was handed her diploma. She was a serious soccer player, but the long practice hours and injuries made keeping up with her schoolwork a challenge.

So, in her junior year, she stopped playing soccer and committed to hitting the books, earning a 4.0 GPA every quarter since, along with scholarships.

Her drive and determination is what her mother, Anita Matos, said she is most proud of. Her daughter has been a determined athlete and student, through multiple concussions and injuries, and her next step to college is a culmination of Madison’s hard work.

“She will keep at it, that’s how I know she’s going to be successful at The Citadel,” Anita Matos said.

Madison Matos’ senior year has been thrown askew because of COVID-19, as have many of her classmates, but she said the walk across the stage was well worth it — the next step she has aspired to for a long time.

“I literally have been talking about this day since eighth grade,” she said. “I did it.”