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July 2016 - Our President, Tom Principe inducted into U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Fame

Did you know our president, Thomas Principe, is a Retired Army Brigadier General? Friday, June 10, 2016 was a proud day for BG (R) Thomas J. Principe, NYARNG, and others of U.S. Army ROTC’s (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) most impressive alumni as they were inducted into the inaugural class of the U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Fame, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ROTC program. The U.S. Army Cadet Command inducted its first group of 326 former ROTC Cadets (including many distinguished posthumous awards) into its Hall of Fame during an ROTC Centennial Ceremony on Brooks Field Parade Ground at Fort Knox, Kentucky. BG (R) Principe began his ROTC service upon admission to St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, NY. He received his Basic Training at Fort Knox 46 years ago, then went on active duty after graduating law school in 1973. He attended the Adjutant Generals Corps Basic Officers Course and serving in the US Army Reserves as a Company Commander of the 237th Maintenance Company, at Fort Totten, NY before joining The Judge Advocate Generals Corps in May, 1976, as an Army JAG Officer, assigned to the 42d Division. He was The Staff Judge Advocate of 53rd Troop Command, NYARNG at the time of his retirement on June 24th 2006, a position he held for 10 years, which included 9/11 service. He remained in the NYARNG for over 30 years and is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and a Brevet Promotion to Brigadier General. All during his time in the Army Reserve and National Guard, he worked as an attorney, first as an Assistant District Attorney in Queens County serving in the Homicide Bureau as a trial attorney, rising to the position of Deputy Bureau Chief of the Supreme Court Bureau, before leaving to enter private practice in 1979 as a civil trial lawyer. Since 1989, he has been a partner at Kramer, Dillof, Livingston and Moore in Manhattan, representing injured parties in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury lawsuits. Of the 326 former Cadets inducted into the Hall of Fame, more than 120 were in attendance for the ceremony to be recognized for their service to the country. Maj. Gen. Christopher Hughes, commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, opened the ceremony by sharing his pride in the role each of the ROTC alumni played in developing leaders for 100 years. "General George Washington once said, "There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy," and that is what ROTC is all about -- developing leaders who are prepared, who are ready to meet any enemy, on any battlefield, at any time, and win," he said. He went on to say it was humbling to learn about the history of each inductee and what they had done with the training they had received at their respective ROTC programs -- starting with one of its most well-known alumni. "When I opened the first folder, I was awestruck and as I sat back in the chair. It was then that it dawned on me the significance of today -- I was about to sign the certificate to induct General George C. Marshall into the ROTC National Hall of Fame. I didn't feel qualified," he said. Gen. (retired) Carter Ham, former commander of the U.S. Africa Command, was the key note speaker for the event. He said it was an honor to serve his country, and to be a part of the first group inducted into the U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Fame. "We are simply 326 representatives of 650,000 Army ROTC graduates -- examples of what ROTC has done for our Army and for our nation for 100 years," he said. "Officers commissioned through ROTC bring a depth and breadth of experiences to the ranks which make the Army stronger." BG (R) Principe felt “a sense of overwhelming honor” to be selected for induction into the inaugural class of the U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Fame and hopes for a closer attachment to both the Cadet Corps at Fort Knox, KY and to the ROTC unit with which he served, the Red Storm Battalion ROTC at St. John’s University in Queens, NY.

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