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Meet the company commanders
Commander: Scott Joseph Dowd
Hometown: Southborough, Mass.
For Joseph Dowd, dreams of entering medical school have been the driving force behind a busy four years at The Citadel. A biology major, Dowd has spent time as an emergency room volunteer, an intern in the University of Massachusetts’ Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, a caretaker for an Alzheimer’s patient, and a lab assistant at both The Citadel and Worcester State College (Worcester, Mass.). Each of these experiences has been valuable as he prepares for a career in the medical field.
Dowd has twice been the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, and he has been named to the Dean’s List, President’s List and Commandant’s List. Along with his duties as company commander, Dowd is a member of the Biology Club and participates in sailing, lacrosse and soccer.
According to Dowd, very strong bonds between classmates and a deep respect for seniority characterize Alpha Company. He said the company functions much like a family, and Alpha cadets know the company stands behind each individual at all times, especially in times of need.
Commander: Daniel Spellacy
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
“Hometown” is a term that Daniel Spellacy uses loosely, as he is originally from Greensboro, N.C., with stops in Miami and Tampa before finally landing in St. Louis. His travels are most likely far from over, as his long term goal is to join the CIA, Drug Enforcement Administration, or Secret Service. As a business major with a special interest in finance, Spellacy’s short term goals include joining either a financial firm or a company with specific interests in the intelligence field.
A member of The Citadel Honor Court, Spellacy has been awarded Gold Stars, has been named to the Dean’s List and has received both the President’s Award and the Commandant’s Award.
Described as “the boys from the beach” because of the laid back nature of Bravo cadets, Spellacy believes closeness and loyalty describe the company. Much of the company is composed of out-of-state cadets, which encourages an extended family atmosphere within Bravo. Phone calls and emails between Bravo members during holidays and furloughs illustrate Spellacy’s point that by senior year the company has truly become a family.
Commander: Christopher John Hafner
Hometown: Juniper, Fla.
Christopher Hafner, a business administration major, is a four-year Army scholarship cadet with plans of being commissioned into the Army’s Field Artillery Branch following graduation. He has been named Distinguished Military Student, received Gold Stars and placed on the President’s List, the Dean’s List, and the Commandant’s List.
Hafner is a member of the Honor Court and the Summerall Guards, and he enjoys surfing, SCUBA diving and ocean kayaking. During time away from The Citadel, he serves as an ocean lifeguard in nearby Palm Beach.
Charlie Company is known as the “Casual Cats,” and the company’s unofficial image is the Pink Panther. Charlie’s support for varsity athletics is very strong, as nearly 33 percent of Charlie Company cadets are Corps Squad athletes. Hafner says that this year the company is placing particular emphasis on academics and improved military discipline.
Commander: Rodney Baum
Hometown: Managua, Nicaragua
Rodney Baum says that travel is one of his greatest interests, a trait that may have been fueled by several moves during his youth. After being born in Honduras, Baum lived in Costa Rica, Bolivia, Botswana and Nicaragua. Though his parents now reside in Gainesville, Fla., Baum considers Nicaragua home since he graduated from high school there and enjoyed living there most.
A political science major who is fluent in Spanish, Baum plans to enter the National Guard as a military intelligence officer following graduation. He also has interests in working for an international non-governmental organization or joining a federal law enforcement agency, such as the National Criminal Intelligence Service or the Drug Enforcement Administration. Baum gained some international experience during the summer of 2002 while working as a consular assistant at the American Embassy in Nicaragua.
Baum is the vice president of the Spanish Club and an active member of Toastmasters, Knights of Columbus and Scipio Africanus. He is also a Spanish tutor and served as Delta Company’s recruiting sergeant during his junior year.
Commander: Austin Lee Fenwick
Hometown: Charlottesville, Va.
Austin Fenwick’s time at The Citadel is quickly approaching an end as he will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in history this month. After working for a semester, he hopes to enter law school to prepare for a career in federal law enforcement.
In his free time, Fenwick enjoys reading, playing tennis, and participating in church activities. However, the past few years have produced a new interest: marathons. Fenwick’s interest in marathons increased when he excelled in his first competition, placing third in his age group and 40 th overall in a field of approximately 1,000 runners. His success has inspired him to pursue more competitions following graduation.
Fenwick’s honors include being named to the Dean’s List, Gold Stars and Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society. He is also a presidential aide and a member of The Citadel Round Table.
Though he will soon pass the reigns to a new commander – Jay Renquist – Fenwick has taken great pride in leading Echo Company. He said that devotion to discipline and thoroughness in completing tasks are qualities that make Echo Company stand out within the Corps.
Commander: Terrence Jackson
Hometown: Fayetteville, NC
One might say that Terrence Jackson was predestined to join the military. Growing up with his father in the Army, Jackson says he always knew that the military would be part of his life. An Army contract cadet, Jackson is currently in the simultaneous membership program (SMP) for the Army National Guard and Army, and he recently learned he will enter the Infantry after being commissioned in May. He values his Citadel experience noting, “The Citadel is a four-year challenge, but the benefits are well worth the effort.”
Jackson, a business administration major, has been named Distinguished Military Student, received Gold Stars and has been named to the President’s List and Commandant’s List. He serves as the executive officer of the Cordell Airborne Rangers, vice president of the African American Society and is a Summerall Guard.
Jackson said that Foxtrot, commonly referred to as F-Troop, takes military proficiency very seriously and prides itself on being in the top five in the readiness report, which measures punishments, grades and military performance.
As company commander, his goal is to instill military discipline and focus on academics while maintaining morale. He says he has learned that “leading by example and using positive encouragement is much more effective than using negative measures.” He guides F-Troop by that philosophy.
Commander: Todd Berry Mattox
Hometown: Winnsboro, S.C.
A civil engineering major, Berry Mattox has been working toward his career goal of becoming a transportation engineer for quite some time. During the summers of 2003 and 2004, he served as an engineering assistant with the S.C. Department of Transportation, and he spent last summer as a transportation research assistant at the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduation he plans to enter a graduate program for transportation engineering.
Mattox is the recipient of the George McCormick Class of 1935 Scholarship, has earned Gold Stars and has been named to the Dean’s List five times. His military achievements include twice being named to the Commandant’s List and the President’s List.
Mattox says his company is sometimes viewed as the black sheep of Second Battalion because they tend to be a bit less strict militarily. However, he said that what makes Golf Company great is that its cadets know how to balance working hard and playing hard.
Though his schedule is usually packed with his duties as company commander, vice president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, company representative for the Board of Directors, and an active member of The Citadel Rod and Gun Club, Mattox tries to find time to do the things he loves: fishing, reading, camping, mountain biking and SCUBA diving.
Commander: Larry Poole II
Hometown: Stanford, Ky.
Larry Poole is a business administration major with a minor in Spanish. Poole’s cumulative 4.0 GPA has earned him many honors including Gold Stars and being named to the Dean’s List, the President’s List, and the Commandant’s List. He has also been awarded the Regimental Commander’s Cup and is the recipient of The Citadel Scholars Scholarship and the Class of 1919 Scholarship.
Poole’s extracurricular involvement is as impressive as his academic achievement. He is the Hotel Company representative on the Honor Court, president of The Citadel’s Round Table Society, vice chairman of The Citadel delegation of South Carolina Student Legislature and an active member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi Hispanic Honor Society and Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society.
Poole says that Hotel Company is unique because of its proud tradition of excellence. He says emphasis is placed on professionalism in Hotel Company and that every member truly cares about the company.
Commander: Richard Ray
Hometown: Thomasville, Ga.
Richard Ray credits an alumnus in his hometown with introducing him to The Citadel. Upon graduation from high school, he accepted a four-year Naval ROTC scholarship and entered The Citadel with plans of majoring in history. However, those plans changed his freshman year when he decided - with some encouragement from a professor - to major in English with a focus on pre-law. He has been successful in carrying out those academic plans, earning the Col. Tony Redd Scholarship and receiving Commandant’s List honors three times.
Along with his duties as company commander, Ray is the midshipman commander of the Navy Battalion, a member of the Summerall Guards and a member of the Honor Court.
As commander of India Company, Ray wants to foster traditions of success in order to prepare underclassmen for future leadership in the company. He also hopes India cadets will attain a heightened sense of duty and ownership in the Corps – qualities that will promote professional leadership. He says India is unique in that its cadets know the important balance between work and play and he hopes they will be able to repeat last year’s success in winning the Presidential Cup. He promises that India is not content in resting on its laurels, as they are striving for continued improvement in all areas of cadet life: academics, parades, community service and intramurals.
Commander: James Nash
Hometown: Tomball, Texas
In May 2006, James Nash will celebrate two important events: his graduation from The Citadel and his commissioning into the United States Marine Corps. During his decorated career at The Citadel, Nash has been named Distinguished Naval Student and last summer graduated in the top 3 percent of his class at Officer Candidate School.
An English major, Nash is a member of The Citadel Round Table, Honor Court and Summerall Guards.
Nash believes that effective leaders must stress the importance of taking care of those in their charge, and it is that mindset that drives the leaders in Kilo Company to place subordinates before themselves.
Commander: John Bergmans
Hometown: Saline, Mich.
John Bergmans is an Air Force contract cadet with plans of becoming a pilot. He is a political science major and serves as the Air Force wing commander. Bergmans boasts a cumulative 3.7 GPA which has placed him on the President’s List, Dean’s List and Commandant’s List with regularity. He has also been awarded Gold Stars and numerous Air Force honors including the Air Force Field Training Athletic Award, the Air Force Field Training Superior Performer Award and the Air Force Field Training Warrior Spirit Award. In addition, Bergmans received the Society of the War of 1812 Student Award and the Regimental Commander’s Best Commander Award.
Bergmans was a participant in the National Character and Leadership Symposium at the U.S. Air Force Academy last spring and the Virginia Tech Leadership Conference. During his junior year, Bergmans served as head editor and writer of the Gold Star Journal. He is an active member of the Gun and Rod Club, Officer’s Christian Fellowship, and the Bulldog/Bullpup program. In his spare time, Bergmans can be found fly-fishing on the Pere Marquette River in Northern Michigan.
Bergmans points out that his company’s nickname, “Lazy Lima,” is undeserved and strengthens his argument by pointing out that Lima currently leads the Corps in both grades and community service.
Commander: Joseph Miller
Hometown: Chattanooga, Tenn.
If all goes as planned, Army contract cadet Joseph Miller will be serving as an Infantry Officer with the Army’s 82 nd Airborne Division this time next year. He even mentions the possibility of joining the Special Forces within the next five years; however, Miller explains one of his greatest goals is to fulfill his dream of coaching Little League Baseball. Regardless of what the future holds, Miller says he intends to make the most of his time at The Citadel and to enjoy every minute.
His positive outlook and hard work as a political science major have earned him various awards. Miller is the recipient of the Todd L. Dorney Memorial Sword, the Widder Award, a three-year Advanced Designee Army ROTC Scholarship and Gold Stars. He also stays busy as a member of Summerall Guards, the Honor Committee, Cordell Airborne Ranger Company, Eagle Scout Association and club soccer.
Miller says “Mighty Mike” is a company that seeks perfection in all that it endeavors and prides itself on military excellence. He notes that these attributes have established Mike Company as a benchmark within the Corps, and he plans to uphold that tradition under his leadership.
Commander: Heith Robinson
Hometown: Greenville, S.C.
Heith Robinson, originally from Bountiful, Utah, is a civil engineering major and an Army contract cadet with hopes of joining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers following his commissioning. Robinson attended the Army’s Airborne Jump School in Ft. Benning, Ga. in 2004 and recently completed his Army ROTC training at Warrior Forge in Ft. Lewis, Wash.
Robinson is a member of the Summerall Guards, has been named to the Commandant’s List, and has held an Army ROTC Scholarship since his sophomore year. He has also held various positions in November Company, including company clerk, squad corporal and first sergeant.
November Company cadets call themselves the “Company of Pride.” Robinson explains that rather than motivating by fear of being punished, his company has set up a system in which cadets cooperate with one another to for greater achievements. Robinson says through that system his company has risen from the depths of a “problem company” to being among the top companies in the Corps.
Commander: Nicholas Van Dyke
Hometown: Gilroy, Calif.
Nicholas Van Dyke, the son of an apricot and cherry farmer, found his way to The Citadel as a Navy contract cadet. Upon his commissioning in May 2006, he plans to apply for a position in either the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition School (BUD/s) or the Navy SEAL program in his home state of California. His Navy accomplishments include being awarded the NROTC’s Highest Semester Technical GPA Award and the NROTC Certificate of Excellence for displaying military bearing and professionalism.
Van Dyke’s leadership and 3.76 cumulative GPA as a physics major have earned him numerous awards, including Gold Stars, Dean’s List, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, American Legion Award for Academic Excellence, National Sojourners Award, and a nomination for Who’s Who Among American College Students. He is also the recipient of the John J. and Bonny B. Motyl Scholarship, the General Wallace E. Anderson Scholarship and the USS Langley Scholarship.
An avid sportsman, Van Dyke has competed in numerous marathons and triathlons, and he is a member of The Citadel’s Triathlon Club. He is also a member of The Round Table, which consists of a select group of cadets who discuss and debate current events and politics.
Van Dyke says pride and professionalism define Oscar Company and the company’s goal is to produce ambitious leaders, regardless of whether their post-Citadel plans include military or civilian aspirations.
Commander: Lawrence Foster Girard
Hometown: Simpsonville, SC
Foster Girard is majoring in business administration with a concentration in accounting. He hopes to attend law school after graduation. He has been named to both the President’s List and Dean’s List multiple times.
Along with leadership, organizational and logistical skills, Girard displays his entrepreneurial skills through co-owning G & W Boat Works, LLC, which is a boat cleaning and maintenance service in Charleston, S.C. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and boating in his spare time.
Under his leadership, Romeo Company has earned the Regimental Commanders Cup.
Girard describes Romeo Company as a tightly knit group of cadets with many long-standing traditions, including a special song that is sung after each parade and a special staff that is carried on each spirit run. He also points out that some well-known Citadel graduates are Romeo Company members, including author Pat Conroy. Finally, Girard notes that Romeo continues to feel the loss of Cadet Blake Mitchell. His fatal accident earlier this semester has reminded the company of the importance of living life to its fullest every day.
Commander: Brian Brennan
Hometown: Howell, N.J.
Brian Brennan is a man who has been determined to defy the odds since birth…literally. Brennan was not expected to live after being born three months premature, but he did. Many would predict that a student who never stepped foot on The Citadel’s campus until the day he was scheduled to report had little chance of making it all four years, but Brennan has beat the odds and excelled. Brennan, who has been named to the Commandant’s List three times, is an Army contract cadet and a criminal justice major who hopes to join the Secret Service, FBI, or Drug Enforcement Administration.
Brennan is pleased to lead a company marked by athletic achievement. Many Tango cadets are Corps Squad athletes, and the company is proud to boast the title of intramural champions. He also notes that Tango Company was ranked third in the most recently released readiness report.
Commander: Andrew Francis Murtaugh
Hometown: Nogal, N.M.
Andrew Murtaugh hails from The Peeking Bear Ranch in New Mexico where he is a professional wildland firefighter. Murtaugh leads the newly added Uniform Company, which is currently in its first semester as an official company. The company was created for those cadets who could not be housed in the regular barracks because of over-enrollment.
The company consists of approximately 85 upper-class cadets from various companies. Murtaugh said that - with the exception of squad sergeants - there is a full chain of command within Uniform Company but that the cadets in his company participate with their home companies during drill, parade, Saturday morning inspection and other required formations.
Murtaugh is an electrical engineering major with hopes of becoming a naval aviator, test pilot or astronaut. He is a member of The Citadel’s NROTC, and he participated in a submarine summer cruise during which he gained valuable experience aboard a U.S. nuclear attack vessel. He also participated in an aviation summer cruise, receiving several hours of flight time aboard a Navy SH-60S Knight Hawk helicopter.
Murtaugh has been named to the Dean’s List twice, and has twice earned Intramural Champion honors. With a deep interest in physical fitness, he enjoys skiing, mountain biking, hiking, camping and SCUBA diving.
Commander: Jason T. Diefenthaler
Hometown: Loris, S.C.
Jason Diefenthaler takes great pride in leading a company in which cadet roles are divided. Members of Regimental Band not only complete day-to-day cadet duties, but they also serve The Citadel at events on and off-campus as the Regimental Band and Pipes. Their performances are critical to Friday afternoon military dress parades and the company also performs at events around the nation. Because of the band’s busy schedule, Diefenthaler believes that Band Company cadets must meet a higher standard of discipline.
During a busy four years at The Citadel, Diefenthaler, who is an electrical engineering major in the Honors Program, has been named to the Dean’s List, the Commandant’s List and the President’s List. He has also received the Murray D. Bonnoitt Award, the Jeter E. Rhodes, Jr. Scholarship, the Citadel Leadership Scholarship, the General H.K Pickett Scholarship and the Santee Cooper Electricity Scholarship.
In addition to the Regimental Band, Diefenthaler’s musical involvement includes The Citadel Men’s Chorale, the Protestant Choir, The Citadel Pep Band, and The Citadel Candlelight Choir. He has also been a part of the Junior Sword Arch Team, Cadre, the Senior Class Board of Directors, and the Rugby team. Though it would seem with such widespread involvement in Citadel activities that “free time” is not a phrase in Diefenthaler’s vocabulary, he is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys horseback riding and four-wheeling.
Commander: Philip Wingo
Hometown: Summerville, S.C.
Philip Wingo is a four-year Army Scholarship cadet who will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant following graduation. After serving his commitment to the Army, he plans to pursue a career in federal law enforcement.
Wingo, an Honors Program student, has received Gold Stars and has been named to the Commandant’s List, the President’s List and the Dean’s List. He has also been awarded two Army ROTC awards: the General Society of the War of 1812 Award and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. A criminal justice major and Spanish minor, Wingo is a member of the Honor Committee and Sigma Delta Pi, which is the National Hispanic Honor Society.
Palmetto Battery is responsible for all Citadel color guards and the raising and lowering of the American and Corps flags each day. Palmetto Battery cadets also fire the cannons at all parades. Wingo said that his company is having a great year - it has already been awarded the Summerall Cup, the Regimental Commander’s Bowl and the Kelly Cup.