Notable Alumni

General Alexander Vandegrift, USMC

VandegriftA native of Charlottesville, Virginia, Major General Vandegrift attended the University of Virginia for three years before winning a commission into the United States Marine Corps in 1908. Along with being a Medal of Honor Recipient, Major General Vandegrift was the 18th Commandant of the Marine Corps, and was the first U.S. Marine to hold the rank of four-star general.
His Medal of Honor Citation reads:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to

MAJOR GENERAL ALEXANDER VANDEGRIFT
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For outstanding and heroic accomplishment above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the 1st Marine Division in operations against enemy forces in the Solomon Islands during the period August 7, to December 9, 1942. With the adverse factors of weather, terrain, and disease making his task a difficult and hazardous undertaking, and with his command eventually including sea, land, and air forces of Army, Navy and Marine Corps, Major General Vandegrift achieved marked success in commanding the initial landings of the United States forces in the Solomon Islands and in their subsequent occupation. His tenacity, courage, and resourcefulness prevailed against a strong, determined, and experienced enemy, and the gallant fighting spirit of the men under his inspiring leadership enabled them to withstand aerial, land, and sea bombardment, to surmount all obstacles, and leave a disorganized and ravaged enemy. This dangerous but vital mission, accomplished at the constant risk of his life, resulted in securing a valuable base for further operations of our forces against the enemy, and its successful completion reflects great credit upon Major General Vandegrift, his command, and the United States Naval Service.

Vice Admiral H. Denby Starling II

Vice Admiral H. Denby Starling II
Vice Admiral Starling commissioned from the unit in 1974 with a degree in chemistry, and traveled from the Grounds of UVA to Pensacola, Florida for flight school. He received his Naval Flight Officer Wings in 1975, and in 1983 was able to also earn his Pilot Wings and thus have unique career experience in both naval aviation designations. During his flight career he flew the A-6 Intruder.
His long service in the Navy included such assignments as a commanding tour during Operation Desert Storm with A-6 Attack Squadron 145, a tour as Captain of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, as well as some time with NATO as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, Intelligence, and Exercises. Vice Admiral Starling finished his naval career as both Commander of Navy Cyber Forces and Commander of Naval Network Warfare, commanding in areas of increasing importance to the mission of the Navy. He retired in 2010 with numerous awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star.

Mr. Avery Catlin

Mr. Avery CatlinMr. Avery Catlin completed the NROTC program at the University and received his commission on 28 February 1944, quickly heading off to join the fight in the Pacific as a new officer. After the end of World War II, Mr. Catlin returned to UVa to resume his studies. Upon completing his BS in electrical engineering, he continued on to earn both an MS and PhD in physics.
After his time as a student Mr. Catlin remained on Grounds throughout his career, contributing in an impressive number of important roles. In addition to teaching, he proved to be a vital proponent of the UVa computer science program, and his constant advocacy and innovative ideas in that department earned him the title of UVa’s “Father of Computing.” Yet Mr. Catlin’s support of the University extended far beyond computer science, as he served in such positions as Associate Dean for the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the University’s first Executive Vice President.

LTJG Charles “Chuck” Woodard

LTJG Charles “Chuck” Woodard attended the University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, graduating and commissioning in May of 1995. After completing his time as a Midshipman, the new Ensign Woodard headed to Pensacola, Florida to train to become a Naval Aviator. Woodard earned his wings as a Naval Flight Officer and joined the EA-6B Prowler community.
In November of 1998, LTJG Woodard was assigned to Tactical Warfare Squadron 130 aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in the Atlantic. On 8 November, Chuck was completing re-qualifications in nighttime landings when an accidental collision with another aircraft on the deck of the Enterprise took the lives of the four-person crew in his Prowler.

Ensign Bo Buchanan, USN

Ernest Trezevant “Bo” Buchanan IV was born in Virginia Beach on May 23, 1982, and graduated from Cox High School in 2000. While at Cox, he served as the student government president, captained the volleyball team, and was awarded the Walter Carroll Award as the outstanding male student leaderathlete in his class. He also attained the rank of Eagle Scout and membership in the Order of the Arrow.
Buchanan was a fourth year History major at the University of Virginia and the NROTC Battalion Commanding Officer when he died March 5th, 2004 in the Kings Bay, Georgia area as the result of injuries suffered in a car accident. After his death, Buchanan was posthumously commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy. Each year, an award for mentorship is given to a graduating midshipman in Bo’s honor.

Captain Bret Hines, USMC

Bret Hines

Bret Hines ’94

Captain Hines commissioned out of the NROTC program in the spring of 1994 with a degree in Commerce. Shortly after, he reported to the Basic School in Quantico, Virginia. Captain Hines then entered flight training at Naval Air Station Whiting Field with the VT-3. He was selected for jet training and sent to Meridian, Mississippi where he flew the T-2C at VT-23, followed by the A-4 Skyhawk for advanced jet training. Captain Hines earned his wings in 1997 and was rewarded with his lifelong dream: being designated to fly the F/A-18 Hornet. After completing Fleet Replacement Squadron Training with the VFA-125 at NAS Lemoore in October 1998, he reported to VMFA(AW)-242, also known as “The Bats.” With “The Bats,” he was part of a six-month deployment overseas and also served as the Assistant Intel Officer, Schedules Officer, and Flight Officer.
Captain Hines was involved in a fatal training accident while flying his F/A-18 over Yuma, Arizona on September 11th, 2000. Each year, an award named in his honor is given to one outstanding Marine Option midshipman.

Richard E. Williams

Mr. Richard E. Williams, a member of the first graduating NROTC class at the University of Virginia, was commissioned in October of 1940 and served during the Second World War. Mr. Williams worked in the marine engine manufacturing industry and was president of the World Trade Club of Detroit and the Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce. He was also a nationally regarded collector of antique automobiles. Fond recollections of NROTC and his early years in the Navy led Mr. Williams to initiate, with his wife Molly, the Williams Scholarship Endowment Fund to aid NROTC Midshipmen at the University of Virginia. The Richard E. Williams student lounge is located in the basement of Maury Hall and named in his honor to recognize his long and continuing legacy of support.

Captain Thomas A. Douglas, USMC

Captain Douglas received the Bronze Star for his achievements in connection with operations against the enemy as Platoon Commander, 5th Force Reconnaissance Platoon, 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, while assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force, from 1 to 15 April 2003. Captain Douglas demonstrated superior leadership, outstanding judgment, exceptional tactical proficiency, and heroic achievement while leading his platoon on 22 reconnaissance missions. On 1 April 2003, Captain Douglas’ platoon provided direct support to the Task Force 20 rescue of an American Prisoner of War from the Saddam Hospital in An Nasiriyah. At times under intermittent fire, Captain Douglas effectively led his platoon throughout the raid, providing constant surveillance on the hospital, establishing controls for the designated landing zone, and providing over watch firing positions during the insert and extract of the Raid Force. On 3 April 2003, Captain Douglas efficiently and effectively planned for, and executed, a text book Direct Action Operation on a Ba’ath Party Residence. Simultaneously coordinating and controlling three separate elements of the Raid Force, Captain Douglas calmly directed these elements throughout the raid, resulting in the capture of two Ba’ath Party officials. He led his platoon on a 140-kilometer route and area reconnaissance mission, and subsequent airfield seizure in Al Kut. By his zealous initiative, courageous actions, and exceptional dedication to duty, Captain Douglas reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

1st Lieutenant Judson Z. Daniel, USMC

1st Lieutenant Daniel received the Bronze Star for his achievement as Executive Officer, Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade while assigned to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, on 23 March 2003, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. During this period, First Lieutenant Daniel performed his duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner. As Company B advanced over the Euphrates bridge and attacked through eastern An Nasiriyah, chaos ensued as M1A1 Tanks, Amphibious Assault Vehicles, and combined Anti-Armor Vehicles became stuck in an obstacle of impassable terrain. Under increasing small arms fire, First Lieutenant Daniel rallied the Marines and established a defensive perimeter around the vehicles. As the Company Commander continued the attack north, First Lieutenant Daniel took charge of the situation coordinating three different units at the obstacle site and held the enemy at bay for over two hours while exposed to intense small arms and rocket propelled grenade fires. He also ensured all the forces under his control rejoined their respective companies as the Battalion continued the attack north to seize an intersection of An Nasiriyah., By his noteworthy accomplishments, perseverance, and devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Daniel reflected credit upon him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and United States Naval Service.

1st Lieutenant Jon T. McGaughey, USMC

Jon McGaughey graduated from the University NROTC program in 2001, commissioning as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He received the Bronze Star with Combat V for Valor while serving as the Executive Officer Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Division in support of Operation “IRAQI FREEDOM” from 8 April to 29 May 2004. Upon hearing a fellow officer was mortally wounded, First Lieutenant McGaughey led a team of Marines through the city streets to the sniper’s position. Although another squad dispatched the sniper, his bold and aggressive action resulted in clearing an entire city block of enemy resistance and distracted the enemy to allow for the medical evacuation of the wounded. In response to sniper fire on 11 April, Lieutenant McGaughey personally led the company React Force through unfamiliar city streets, cornered the sniper and awaited reinforcements. Continuously exposing himself to enemy fire, he ensured two gravely wounded Marines were quickly evacuated. Lieutenant McGaughey withstood daily mortar attacks and improvised explosive devices as he continued to direct the company’s patrolling efforts, resulting in invaluable intelligence. First Lieutenant McGaughey’s initiative, perseverance and loyal dedication to duty reflected credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.