Distinguished Alumni

One of the best ways to see if Army ROTC is right for you is to learn how alumni have benefited from the experience.  See how the skills they have learned in ROTC have helped them build successful and satisfying careers.

Richard E. Mack

Commissioned in 1949 as part of the first graduation class of Kent State University Army ROTC, his first assignment began in September 1950 as a platoon leader to Company C, 8th Calvary Ret, 1st Cavalry Division on Nekton River, Korea.  He was wounded at Un San, North Korea and afterwards served as a liaison officer to the 1st Cavalry Ret.  Later he was assigned as the commander of Company B, the Infantry School Detachment in Fort Benning, GA.  As Lieutenant Colonel, he was assigned to the Deputy Chief of Staff Intelligence as the manager of Army intelligence programs in Heidelberg, Germany until 1968.  He also was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam's Central Highlands as Deputy Commander, 3rd Brigade and also as Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff, US Army Headquarters Area Command in Saigon.  Colonel Mack is a graduate of the Army Airborne School, Army Language School for Runnian and Vietnamese language courses, Infantry Officer's Advanced Class, Command and General Staff College, and also the Army War College.  As a civilian, COL Mack is the successful author of the book Memoir of a Cold War Soldier and also takes time to enjoy his wife and four children.

Colonel Robert S. Patton 

A 1952 distinguished graduate of Kent State University ROTC program earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education.  He also received a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science for Auburn in 1972.  As an infantryman and Aviator, Colonel Patton served his nation with distinction in World War II, the Korean War, and in the Vietnam War.  His military education included the Army Command and General Staff College and the Air War College.  In 1974, he returned to Kent State University as the Professor of Military Science and completely revitalized the ROTC program following the tragic shootings of May 4, 1970.    By 1977 the program had grown to be the largest in Ohio.  Following his retirement in 1977, he continued to serve Kent State University as the Director of Community Relations and as Fund Raiser for the Blue and Gold Club.  He passed away on April 25, 1985 leaving a legacy of selfless service and dedicated leadership.

Dr. James A. Hales

Dr. Hales completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Education in 1957, followed by a Masters of Art degree in 1960.  His Doctoral studies in Curriculum and Instruction were completed at West Virginia University in 1972.  After being commissioned in 1957, Dr. Hales served in the Army Signal Corps in Ft. Monmouth and completed his military service as a member of the Army Reserve in Akron, Ohio.  Dr. Hales began his teaching career in Aurora, Ohio in 1955 before receiving his BS degree.  He moved into higher education in 1964 and now serves as Professor of Technology and Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at East Tennessee State University.

Coach Lou Holtz

Mr. Holtz commissioned as a reserve officer in the Field Artillery upon graduating in 1959, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in History.  In 1960, he began his illustrious coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa and used the next then years to develop and hone his coaching skills.  His first head coaching position came in 1969 at William and Mary.  In the twenty-four season career as a collegiate head coach, Lou Holtz earned an outstanding reputation as a builder of football programs and men, always elevating their performance a level or two.  In 1986, he became the 27th Head Coach of the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame, where his team won more games under his leadership than any other Notre Dame coach for the same period.   He coached a National Championship team, one Heisman Trophy winner, and a myriad of collegiate All-Americans and professional football players.  Additionally, eighteen of his assistant coaches have gone on to become collegiate head coaches.  Nationally recognized and honored, Coach Holtz epitomizes the words: mentor, motivator, and leader.

Tom A. Jones 

As a distinguished military graduate, Mr. Jones commissioned in the Regular Army as an Infantry Second Lieutenant upon graduating in 1962.  He served seven years of Active Duty in varying troop leading and staff assignments including combat duty with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1966.  He completed the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and participated in the Command & General Staff College Corresponding Studies Course.  Among his military awards and decorations are the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Ranger Tap and Airborne Qualification Badge.  On resigning his commission, Tom initiated a civilian career in the Transportation operations field, serving in management capacities with such firms as Roadway Express, Preston Truck Lines, and Leaseway Transportation.  He incorporated his own business in 1984 and is currently engaged as founder and partner of Link Transportation Service in Akron, Ohio.

Richard E. Vinciquerra 

Mr. Vinciquerra is a Cleveland native and a 1963 graduate of Kent State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.  Upon commissioning, he served on active duty as a Platoon Leader, and Company Executive Officer with the Transportation Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington.  After his discharge in 1965, he continued to serve his nation in the Army Reserves until 1969.  During this period he also started his own business career as an Estimator/Customer Service Representative with W.S. Tyler, Inc.  Thereafter, he served in carious positions including Sales Manager, Vice President Sales, and Vice President General Manger.  In 1981, he was made President of Tyler Elevator Products, Inc., and in 1986 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Elevator Contractors.

General George A. Landis 

General Landis retired from the US Army and, after a second career, from Raytheon Company.  His Raytheon assignments included Director of Missile Logistics in Bedford, MA and Vice President and General Manager of Integrated Logistics Services in Burlington, MA. He was subsequently appointed by Raytheon Technical Services Company (RTSC) to be Executive Liaison to the US Army Program Executive Office, Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO, STRI) and Vice President for Business Development, Logistics & Training Systems, Orlando, Florida.  He continues to serve the Defense Industry as President, Landis Consulting Services in Orlando.   

Active in industry, DoD, and community affairs, he is a Member of the Board of Directors and Immediate Past President of the Board, Rebuilding Together Orlando; Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Uniformed Services (NAUS), Alexandria, VA; Member, Advisory Board, NorthWind Search Partners, LLC, Nashville, TN & Washington, DC;  Member, Board of Advisors (Emeritus), The International Society of Logistics (SOLE);  Member, Board of Advisors, Central Florida Chapter, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) and he serves in the Homeless Food Ministry at the Ocoee Christian Service Center.  

General Landis brought to industry more than thirty years of successful military experience, including key assignments as Commanding General, US Army Personnel Information Systems Command; Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Department of the Army; Deputy Commanding General for Operations and Transportation, 22nd Theater Army Area Command, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Commanding General, Military Traffic Management Command, Western Area; Assistant Commandant, US Army Transportation School; Commander, 25th Infantry Division (Light) Support Command; and Chief, International Logistics Division, J4, US Pacific Command.  He also served in airborne assignments for seven years at Ft Bragg, NC, including more than five years with the 82d Airborne Division.   

He received an Army ROTC commission and a Bachelor of Science degree from Kent State University and later earned an MBA from Texas Tech University. He was also graduated from the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management, the US Army War College, and the Senior Managers in Government Program of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  

General Landis' awards, decorations and honors include: the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge, Ancient Order of St Christopher, Order of St. Barbara, Royal Thai Army Balloon Parachutist Badge, National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) Distinguished Service Award (1991), Distinguished Member of the Regiment (Transportation Corps) (1991), Distinguished Alumnus, KSU Army ROTC Program (1992), the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Silver Medal (2000); the Zeta Gamma of Sigma Nu "Legends" Class of 2007 for outstanding lifetime achievements in service to the Fraternity, Alma Mater, Profession and the Family of Mankind; and Distinguished Alumnus, McKinley High School, Sebring, Ohio (2008).  

He and his wife, Sandie, reside in Orlando where they delight in spoiling their children and grandchildren from San Francisco and Boston as frequently as possible.

General Larry Lehowicz 

A native of Rome, New York, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology from Kent State University in 1964, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Syracuse College.  He has served in a wide variety of command and staff positions to include Commander, Second Battalion Thirteenth Infantry, and Commander, Third Brigade, Eighth Infantry Division, U.S. Army, Europe; Director of Training, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Washington DC; and Assistant Division Commander for Operations, Tenth mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York.

Colonel Mike Sunshine

He commissioned a reserve officer upon graduation in 1965 earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.  The distinguished military graduate spent two years on active duty including a tour in Vietnam.  In his military career, he has served as a platoon leader, supply officer, personnel management officer, aide-de-camp and public affairs officer and has commanded units as major, lieutenant colonel and colonel.  He is branch qualified as an Assistant General, Quartermaster and Civil Affairs officer.  The Colonel is a graduate of the Command General Staff College and the Army War College.  As a civilian, Mike Sunshine is and advertising consultant and partner in a market research company.

Steven C. Bell 

Graduated in 1967 earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.  After serving on active duty with the Corps of Engineers in Ohio and Vietnam, he left the military in 1973 and started a civilian career with Ross Laboratories, a Division of Abbott Laboratories, in Columbus, Ohio.  In the subsequent twenty years, he has progressed through various manufacturing management positions, thereby gaining a broad background in manufacturing operations, finance, and computer systems.  Now as Project Manger, Packaging Engineering and Development, he is responsible for managing multi-disciplinary project teams in the implementation of multi-million dollar packaging projects.  Mr. Bell has been recognized often for his work, most recently with the Ross Award of Excellence in 1990 and Engineering Excellence Awards in 1991 and 1992.

Major General James T. Jackson 

MG Jackson graduated from Kent State University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering.  His first duty assignment took him to the 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as a Platoon Leader.  Later he served as a Weapons Platoon Leader and Company C Commander in the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis, Washington.  From 1978-81 he was the Assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse.  He later commanded the 1st Battalion, 505th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division from 1987-89 at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and served a tour as Commander for the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Ft. Benning, Georgia.  Upon finishing the United States War College, he became the Strategic Planner, United States Special Operations Command, Mac Dill Air Force Base and Commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment.  On July 28, 2000 GEN Jackson became the 30th Commanding General, U.S. Army Military District of Washington.

Colonel Michael P. Donnelly

He commissioned as a regular army officer upon graduating in 1971 earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Law Enforcement Administration.  This distinguished military graduate has over 25 years of combined active and reserve duty service with duty locations overseas and in the states.  In his military career he has commanded at the company and battalion level, served as a training officer, tactical officer, operations officer, executive officer, Chief of plans and programs - Military Police Branch, Maneuver Proponent Officer, Chief of Military Police Branch (ARPERCEN), USARC Provost Marshall, and currently serves as Inspector General, Human Resources Command, Colonel Donnelly is a graduate of the Command General Staff College, the Army War College, and holds a Masters in Business Administration.

General Josue Robles, Jr.

He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Kent State University in 1972.  His military education includes the United States Army Command and General Staff College, the Spanish General Staff College, and the United States Naval War College.  He has served in a wide variety of command and staff positions to include Assistant Division Commander, 1st Cavalry Division, with participation in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, and Director of the Army Budget, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management), Headquarters, Department of the Army.

Elaine H. Lafferre 

A 1984 graduate of Kent State University earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Elaine joined the Department of Defense civilian work force in 1969 as the Military Technician with the Kent State University Army ROTC, Military Science Department.  She is a graduate of United States Cadet Command's Human Resources Assistant Course at Fort Monroe, Virginia.  Throughout her distinguished 39 year career, Mrs. Lafferre has been responsible for the management of thousands of cadets and has been directly responsible for ensuring the commissioning of over 700 officers into the United States Army.  Her timeless devotion to the cadets and the ROTC department has left an indelible mark of distinction on Kent State University and the United States Army.  Mrs. Lafferre is a lifetime resident of Northeast Ohio and continues her public service with the ROTC Department at Kent State University.

Congressman Darrell Issa

First elected to Congress in 2000, Darrell Issa currently serves on the House Government Reform Committee where he is Ranking Member of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where he serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management, and the House Judiciary Committee. He is also on a temporary leave of absence from the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Representative Issa founded Directed Electronics, the Vista, California based industry-leading manufacturer of automobile security and convenience products. Issa has served as Chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association, served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Electronics Industry Association, and as Director of the San Diego Economic Development Association and the Greater San Diego County Chamber of Commerce. In 1994, Issa received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young, and The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Darrell Issa is perhaps best known as the leader of the successful effort to recall former California Governor Gray Davis in 2003. In 1996, he also co-chaired the campaign to pass the California Civil Rights Initiative that ended racial and gender preferences and quotas in state contracting and college admissions.

Issa enlisted in the Army during his senior year in high school.  He attended Kent State University Stark in North Canton, Ohio and Siena Heights College in Adrian, Michigan, on an ROTC scholarship, earning a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1976. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a US Army Officer, serving as a tank platoon leader and a computer research and development specialist, among other command roles. He left the Regular Army in 1980 with the rank of captain. He later moved to Vista, California, a suburb of San Diego, where he now lives.