JUNE 2017

News Bulletin
June 2017 
In this Issue....

  • UNC NROTC Awards Day and Commissioning 2017
  • Dawson Library receives Generous Donation & Top NROTC Graduate Honored with Life Membership
UNC NROTC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION       www.uncnrotcaa.org
   Connor Award recipient MIDN 1/C Crucian and Association President Eric S. Schneider '86 
UNC NROTC Class of 2017
with Vice Admiral Morgan
UNC NROTC Class of 2017
Awards Day and Commissioning 

On Thursday, 27 April 2017, the NROTC Unit held the annual Awards Day ceremony at the Newman Center in Chapel Hill. Our Association’s President, Eric S. Schneider ’86 attended the ceremony and was honored to present the UNC NROTC Alumni Association’s Lieutenant Patrick K. Connor Award to the top graduating Midshipman pursuing a career in aviation. This year’s recipient of the Connor Award was Midshipman First Class Jacob Crucian who will report to Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola for flight training for his next assignment.


Pat Connor '87 was among the first American's killed in Operation Desert Storm. Pat (as NFO) and his pilot (Barry T. Cook) were flying an anti-ship strike mission in their A-6E Intruder (Heartless 531 from VA-36, homeported in Oceana and embarked in the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT) over Kuwait Harbor in the opening phase of the conflict. They were shot down by enemy fire on 2 February 1991. Pat was the NROTC Regimental Commander in his senior year at UNC. He was also the first member of the Association to be killed in combat after the Association's formation in September 1990. He is laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery. The award in his name is an engraved Citizens Aviator Watch.


The NROTC Commissioning Ceremony was held on Saturday May 13th at 3:00pm at the Tate-Turner-Kuralt auditorium.

Vice Admiral John G. Morgan, Jr., USN (Ret.) served as the guest speaker.


Our newly commissioned graduates are:


Ensign Carter Bowman (Surface Warfare)

Ensign Peter Buskill (Surface Warfare)

Ensign Cordell Corbin (Aviation)**

Ensign Jacob Crucian (Aviation)

Second Lieutenant  Isaiah Leiva, USMC**

Ensign  Stuart Lyster (Aviation)

Ensign Brian Schmid (Surface Warfare)**

Ensign Samuel Smith (Aviation)

Ensign Sean Standard (Surface Warfare)


Those graduates with ** indicated were 2014 recipients of the three awarded UNC NROTC Alumni Association Scholarships that year.


The UNC NROTC Alumni Association has conferred complimentary 2017 Regular membership for each of our recent graduates. The top graduate, Ensign Brian Schmid, has been presented  a Life Membership in  the Association through the generous gift of Captain Brian T. Smith, USN (Ret.) ’84 (see related story elsewhere in this bulletin).


Please join us in congratulating our recent graduates!

Dawson Library receives Generous Donation & Top NROTC Graduate Honored with Life Membership

Captain Brian T. Smith, USN (Ret.) '84

A native of Mount Holly, North Carolina, Captain Brian Smith is a combat-decorated, retired Sailor and service-disabled Veteran. He works as a Certified Governance Trainer with BoardSource in the Washington DC metro area, supporting a variety of nonprofit organizations. Brian’s military career started in the United States Marine Corps in 1979. While serving as an enlisted Marine, he earned a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in History in 1984 and was commissioned as a Navy Ensign. Brian’s sea tours included assignments from division officer through command of the IWO JIMA Expeditionary Strike Group supporting combat operations.  His command tours included Commanding Officer of Navy Operational Support Center, Warertown, New York; Commanding Officer of USS FREDERICK (LST-1184); Commander, Amphibious Squadron FOUR; Commander, Navy Reserve Region Mid-Atlantic, and Deputy Commander for Expeditionary Strike Group SEVEN / CTF 76 in the Western Pacific. Brian deployed to the Arabian Gulf eight times, supporting Operations Earnest Will, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, and Enduring Freedom. Brian retired in 2013, after thirty-one years of Service. His Marine Occupational Specialty (MOS) and designators (USN) include: Marine Aviation Ordnance, Navy Cryptologist, General Submarine Officer, Surface Warfare Officer and Full Time Support Surface Warfare Officer. Brian and his wife, Lisa, reside in National Harbor, MD and are committed to supporting charitable causes serving service-disabled Veterans and animal welfare.

The UNC NROTC Alumni Association would like to recognize the generous gift to the Captain David P. Dawson Memorial Library and the purchase of a Gift Life Membership in the Association conferred upon the top NROTC graduate from the class of 2017. Captain Brian T. Smith, USN (Ret.) ’84 and Life Member of the Association has purchased 3 copies each of the following titles from the CNO and Commandant’s reading list for inclusion in the Dawson Library:


CNO’s Reading List

Accidental Admiral

Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat

Gordon/Rules of the Game

Haynes/Toward a New Maritime Strategy

In Love and War

Joe Rochefort's War

Military Strategy

No Higher Honor

One Hundred Days: the Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander

Pirate Alley

Rickover and the Nuclear Navy

Some Principles of Maritime Strategies

The Rickover Effect

The Two-Ocean War

Utmost Savagery

Williams/Navigating the Seven Seas

Yoshihara/Red Star Over the Pacific (pb)


CNO’s and Commandant’s Reading Lists

First to Fight (BJB)


Commandant’s Reading List

Assault from the Sea

Fields of Fire

Into the Tiger's Jaw

My Men Are My Heroes

On Yankee Station

Rethinking the Principles of War

U.S. Marine Corps Aviation Since 1912, 4th Edition


In addition, to recognize excellence, Brian purchased a Life Membership in the UNC NROTC Alumni Association to the top NROTC graduate from the class of 2017.


Association President Eric Schneider ’86 presented the gift Life Membership to Midshipman First Class (now Ensign) Brian Schmid at the NROTC Unit Award Day Ceremony on April 27th. ENS Schmid is pursuing a career in surface warfare.


The Association is profoundly grateful for Captain Smith’s generosity.

Captain Brian Smith '84 and Eric Schneider '86

On Sunday, 11 June 2017, the Washington Nationals hosted the Texas Rangers in National Stadium in South East DC. Through the gift of social media, Eric, who was visiting from NC, learned that Brian (a local) was at the same game. So Eric hunted Brian down to personally thank him for his generous contribution to the Dawson Library and for recognizing the top Midshipman graduate with a life membership.

 Seeking Nominations for 2017 Distinguished Alumnus (Alumnae) Award and
Distinguished Service Award
Last call: nominations due 30 June 2017
The UNC NROTC Alumni Association Awards Committee ( Butch Bracknell ’92, Chair, Pat Riordan ‘87 and Dave Jackson ‘87) solicits nominations for the Distinguished Alumnus (Alumnae) Award and the Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Alumnus (Alumnae) Award is a graduate of the UNC NROTC program who has distinguished himself or herself in contributions to our Nation, the armed services, industry or business, the arts, philanthropy, or other social contributions.  This is not a “distinguished member of the military” award, and the individuals need not have been career members of the armed forces.  The board will consider the achievements of a non-military professional with an NROTC pedigree on equal footing with a career officer.  Previous awardees include:

Mr. Travis Porter '53
RDML Janice Hamby, USN (Ret.) '80
CAPT Marshall Ward, USN (Ret.) '44
Col. Michael B. Richardson, USMC (Ret.) '88
VADM Kenneth E. Floyd, USN (Ret.) '80
CAPT Rob Rivers, USNR (Ret.) '73
RDML Ann C. Phillips, USN (Ret.)'83

The Distinguished Service Award is a graduate (or former staff member), usually a Member of the Association who has distinguished himself or herself in contributions to the UNC NROTC Alumni Association.  This criteria is intentionally nonspecific, and can include any manner of contributions to the efforts of the NROTC Alumni Association.  Current Directors are ineligible for selection. Previous awardees include:

Steven P. Fish '85
Willard B. Stubbs '85
Richard G. Cashwell '59
Thomas Brantley Burgiss '84
Donald R. Ledford –staff

Nominations should be forwarded as a narrative describing how the nominee meets the criteria for the award nominated, including supporting documentation such as a CV, published articles or noteworthy judicial opinions, newspaper articles about the nominee, Nobel certificates, Navy Cross citations, or photos of the nominee holding the Claret Jug.  There is no prescribed format; please just provide enough detail to allow the Committee to make an informed recommendation, and the Board to make an informed decision. This is last call for nominations for 2017, please submit nominations NLT 30 June 2017 for consideration at the planned July Board Meeting.

Award presentations will be made at the Annual Meeting, October 7th, 2017
Please email nominations to secretary@uncnrotcaa.org
Please welcome James C. Collins '03 as newest member of the
UNC NROTC AA Board of Directors
At the March 2017 Board of Directors Meeting,  Life Member James C. Collins '03 was elected to fill an unexpired vacancy for the 2016-2017 term.
He has volunteered to serve as Assistant Treasurer and serves on the Member Communications and  Dawson Library Committee.
James loves UNC. He served in the United States Marine Corps as an artillery officer holding practically every junior officer billet. After leaving the Marines, James has held positions with one of the largest uniform suppliers in the country, been a staffing recruiter, and sold enterprise procurement software to some of our nation’s top higher education institutions. He is currently working as a Client Success Manager for Sageworks. James and his wife Jennifer currently reside in Raleigh, NC.  
Annual Meeting, Reunion and Elections
Saturday, 7 October 2017
[UNC v. Notre Dame, Columbus Day Weekend, (active duty & SELRES friendly) meeting time TBD based on game time, not yet announced]
The UNC NROTC Alumni Association Annual Meeting, Reunion and Board of Director Elections will be held on Saturday 7 October 2017. This is UNC v. Notre Dame game weekend over the Columbus Day federal holiday weekend. The time of the event will be announced once the game time has been established, but ordinarily 3 hours prior to kickoff. The event is planned to be held at the Naval Armory, 221 South Columbia St., Chapel Hill, NC

Why Columbus Day Weekend?  The Association tries to schedule the annual meeting on a federal holiday weekend to enable attendance by non-deployed active duty personnel (who often get a "96 hour" shore leave over federal holiday weekends, and for Selected Reservists, who, by policy, do not drill on federal holiday weekend.    

Where should I stay?
A block of rooms set aside at $99.00 room rate at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Raleigh – Durham on Meridian Parkway off I-40 in Durham, For Instructions on how to book your room(s) click  here .

Football Tickets
However it is tricky to get game tickets and there is not the possibility for block seating. The University of North Carolina is only selling tickets to Season Ticket holders and those are expected to be released late summer. The remaining tickets have been turned over to Notre Dame (a condition of getting Notre Dame to play you, apparently). As a result, game tickets are available now for resale on a variety of 3rd party vendor sites. The below sites (not endorsed by the Association) are currently selling UNC v Notre Dame tickets, and stubhub.com actually has a link embedded on the official UNC site www.goheels .com.

o   www.ticketmoster.com

o   www.vividseats.com

o   www.stubhub.com

o   www.ticketliquidator.com

The Annual Meeting
The time for the meeting will be determined once the game time is established.  
  • Briefing from NROTC Unit and Midshipman Leadership
  • Presentation of Association Scholarships including the Captain Alfred M. Koster Scholarship
  • Presentation of the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award and Distinguished Service Award. 
  • Presentation of the 2016 Distinguished Service Award to YNCM Donald R. Ledford, USN (Ret.)
  • Reports from officers and committee chairs on Association activities
  • Elections for Board of Directors for the 2018-2019 term

Other Activities
  • Barbecue / Pig picking hosted by the Battalion of Midshipmen (time TBD once game time established, usually 2 hours prior to game time).
  • The UNC v. Notre Dame Football Game (no host)
  • Reunion activities, if desired: reunion year classes: 5 year (2012), 10 year (2007), 20 year (1997), 25 year (1992), 30 year (1987), 40 year (1977), 50 year (1967), 60+ year (1957 and senior).
  • Friday and Saturday night hospitality activities (no host) at hotel.

Come see your friends and classmates, enjoy the fellowship! Please respond to the following questions as appropriate.

Can you make it to the UNC NROTC AA Annual Meeting?
Naval Armory, 221 South Columbia St., CHapel Hill, NC

10/07/17 - 10/07/17

Scholarships presented, 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award and Distinguished Service Awards presented, Elections, updates, fellowship, fun!
I'll be there!
I can't make it
Reunion year? Are you interested in participating in reunion activity tailored to your class?
TBD, Chapel Hill or RTP area

10/07/17 - 10/07/17

The Association perhaps in conjunction with the GAA may be able to help facilitate your class organizing a NROTC reunion event over the week
Yes, and I can help organize it
Yes I would like to participate
Unfortunately I cannot participate
Elections 2017 and Nominations for Board of Directors
All fourteen seats on the UNC NROTC Alumni Association Board of Directors are up for election at the annual meeting. The following directors are either term limited (3 consecutive terms) or have chosen not to run for re-election: Christen Hayes '09, Stephen Matts and Tim Nichols. Please join us in thanking them for their many years of outstanding service to our association.
The remaining directors are available for re-election:
  1. James C. Collins '03 
  2. Patrick P. Connelly '85
  3. Debra Boyt Davis '83 
  4. Steven P. Fish "85
  5. Robert J. Gionfriddo '86 
  6. David L. Jackson '87 
  7. Steven Levesque '89 
  8. S. Jay Plager '52 
  9. R. Patrick Riordan"87
  10. Eric S. Schneider '86
  11. Willard B. Stubbs '85
All fourteen seats are open, and the Nominations Committee shall propose a slate of directors for consideration no later than 30 days prior to the annual meeting. This is your chance to volunteer or nominate a candidate for election to the board by providing your input to the Nominations Committee.
The term of the elected directors is 1 January 2018 through 31 December 2019
The newly elected directors will elect from among themselves a President, Secretary and Treasurer.
In order to be eligible for election, to nominate or to vote, one must be a regular member of the Association with dues paid for the current year or a life member.

Nominations may be sent to Secretary@uncnrotcaa.org or by using the buttons below.
I would like to nominate a candidate for the Board of Directors 2018-2019 term
I would like to be a candidate for Director
I would like to nominate a candidate for director, please contact me.
The Money Shot

Why should I join or renew as an annual member or upgrade to Life Member?
  • You're vested with a voice and a vote in the association.
  • Access to private site content on the website, including the find a classmate feature. More features coming this summer
  • It's tax-deductible to the extend permitted by law
  • We need your support

Where does my dues money go?
Dues and income derived from the life dues fund go to support the operation of the association, specifically the following budget line items
  • Awards expense (DAA/DSA) (~15%)
  • Banking Charges & Fees including PayPal (~20%)  
  • Constant Contact (~15%)
  • Postage & Shipping (1%)
  • Supplies, Business (1%)
  • Website expenses (45%)
  • Other (`3%)

Where does my dues money NOT go?
  • Scholarships
  • The Dawson Library
  • The Connor Award
Funding for the above items is accomplished through the charitable gifts mentioned in the column to the right. The Connor Award is fully funded, the Dawson Library is well funded at the moment; the Scholarship fund is the Association's top fundraising objective.

How many annual and life member conversions does the Association need to make budget this year?

Our goal this year is 100 annual members join or renew, and 20 members upgrade to life membership.

Throughout most of the decade from 2001-2010, the association had between 100-150 annual members, so that's what we're trying to get back to.

How are we doing so far?
Regular Membership: 24 of 100 (24%)
Life Member Conversions: 7 of 20 (35%)

Who is eligible to join?
Graduates of UNC Chapel Hill who were Commissioned through the NROTC program and staff members (military and civilian) of the NROTC Unit or Naval Science Department at UNC are eligible for Regular and Life Membership in the UNC NROTC Alumni Association.
Parents and friends of the program are eligible for Associate Membership. If you are not currently a member or if you are Regular Annual Member and have not paid your dues yet this year, you can pay by check, fill out a form and send it in.  You can get the form by clicking here. If you'd prefer to pay electronically (Credit card or Pay Pal), click here.

Please help us meet our financial obligations: join, renew or upgrade your membership today.

The Annual Giving program was re-established in 2016 in order to shore up the financial basis for our Scholarship Program. The Scholarship program was established in 2001 and expanded in 2011 to grant three $1,000.00 scholarships per year to Third Class Midshipmen who demonstrate outstanding program potential. As you may recall from previous reports, the Scholarship program from 2001-2015paid out: $21,500  but raised only $9,386 during the same period running a $12,144 deficit which ultimately reduced membership equity (life dues took the hit).

What did we do about this?
  • In 2016 the Association awarded three $1,000.00 scholarships, and raised an additional ~$5,632 over and above that amount for the Scholarship Endowment.
  • The Captain Alfred M. Koster, IV Memorial Scholarship was established with some very generous gifts from benefactors including members of the Koster family.
  • Naming rights for the other two scholarships are available (please contact the President or Treasurer to discuss, if interested)


2017: $18,000.00 in order to make the Koster Scholarship self-sustaining.
Progress: $3,428.12 (~19%)

2016-2019: $60,000.00 in order to make all three scholarships self-sustaining.
Progress: ~$12,114 (~20%)

If you are interested in participating in  
UNC NROTC Alumni Association Annual Giving to the scholarship funds or to the General Fund, you can do so by check using the same form to the left or by paying electronically by clicking here.
Captain Koster was Commanding Officer of the NROTC Unit and UNC and Professor of Naval Science from 1981-1985 . He was one of the first former staff members to join the Alumni Association when it opened the circle of membership to staff alumni; likewise he was the first staff alumnus to convert to Life membership when that option was first offered in 1995.