Four Fordham graduates were inducted into the University’s Army ROTC Hall of Fame on March 6 in a ceremony that honored their distinguished service as military officers.
Three of them gave decades of service, and one made the ultimate sacrifice as a young officer in Vietnam, just after graduating from Fordham.
“Those of us who still wear the uniform look to those of you who have gone before us with admiration and gratitude,” said Lt. Col. Randy Powell, chairman and professor of military science at Fordham. “You have taken the idea of a free nation and turned that into a reality.”
The Hall of Fame recognizes Fordham’s military veterans and graduates from ROTC programs in the New York area. The reception and military ball, held at the Marina del Rey in the Bronx, honored the four officers and the 27 members of the New York City Army ROTC Class of 2009. The program is based at Fordham and trains students from a number of colleges in the region.
The first Hall of Fame inductee was 1st Lt. Frank Deusebio (CBA ’66), a Fordham graduate who was commissioned through its ROTC program. He died in combat against the Viet Cong in 1968 at the age of 22 while commanding an armored reconnaissance unit, earning the Silver Star posthumously.
“1st Lt. Deusebio’s extraordinary heroism in close combat against a numerically superior Viet Cong force was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army,” according to a prepared ROTC statement. The honor was accepted by Deusebio’s brother, Nelson Deusebio.
The next inductee was Maj. Gen. Michael Scotti (FCRH ’60), who passed away in 2007 after serving 30 years as an Army officer, including a year in Vietnam as a battalion surgeon in active combat. He earned the Bronze Star for his front line service in Vietnam. In his later years he served in the Persian Gulf War and organized international humanitarian aid. The honor was accepted by his wife, Susan Scotti.
The third inductee—retired Air Force Col. William McGuth (FCRH ‘56)—earned the Distinguished Flying Cross during combat service in Southeast Asia and served in other fields including logistics and contract maintenance. In his remarks, he said Fordham’s Jesuit values dovetail with the values conveyed by the ROTC program.
“The commitment to live our lives with integrity comes from the opportunities to which we’ve been exposed in our formative years—the foundation of the moral values of Jesuit education and the development of those values in the disciplined environment of a military organization,” he said.
The fourth inductee—retired Army Reserve Col. Daniel Cremin (FCRH ’65)—served in various intelligence and counterintelligence posts during 30 years of service and supported the Defense Intelligence Agency during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, earning various awards including the Army Commendation Medal.
He gave the graduates advice on how to handle their first commands. He told them to seek the input of noncommissioned officers in their units when making decisions, and told them to pay attention to the needs of rank-and-file soldiers, among other advice.
“If you take care of your soldiers, they’ll take care of the mission,” he said.