by Kim Keelor-Parker for The Island Connection
The Citadel is searching for the college’s next commandant of cadets, a vice presidential position that is responsible for the command, leadership development and oversight of the 2,300-member South Carolina Corps of Cadets. Citadel President Gen. Glenn Walters initiated the search Nov. 2 to identify the next leader for a role that is crucial to the success of the college.
The search follows an announcement by Walters about the upcoming retirement of current commandant Capt. Geno Paluso at the end of the current academic year.
“Since arriving in July 2014, Capt. Paluso demonstrated the same professionalism, grit, energy and determination as commandant that made him a highly successful and decorated U.S. Navy SEAL officer. He was a superlative, dynamic leader and brings the same each day to his alma mater as commandant,” Walter said.
Paluso graduated from The Citadel in 1989 with a bachelor of science in mathematics. He retired from military service in 2014 as commander of the Naval Special Warfare Group Three
at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During his 25-year military career, Paluso held leadership roles commanding special operations forces in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has led men and women in combat at all levels. His service awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Achievement Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.
Search Committee members include Col. Tom Philipkosky, senior vice president for operations and administration; Col. Pete McCoy, vice chair for The Citadel Board of Visitors; Faith Rivers-James, J.D., assistant provost for leadership; Col. Leo Mercado, former commandant of cadets; and Jay Dowd, Ph.D., president and CEO of The Citadel Foundation.
The committee intends to begin the first round of interviews early in 2021 and have the new commandant in position before the end of the 2020-21 academic year.