Naval ROTC Auburn University

History of Naval ROTC at Auburn

The Naval ROTC Unit at Auburn University was founded in 1946 and is one of the oldest NROTC Units in the Nation. Currently the unit has over 100 students, which includes both Navy and Marine Option Midshipmen, active duty Navy Officer Candidates, and Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) participants. The NROTC Unit at Auburn is commanded by a Navy Captain. The current Commanding Officer is Captain Matthew Roberts, USN and he is in charge of the respective Battalions at both Auburn University and Tuskegee University.

The NROTC program at Auburn University has produced many officers who have served their country with great distinction and embodied the Auburn spirit. One notable NROTC alumni is ADM Michael S. Rogers, who graduated from Auburn NROTC in 1981 and commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer. In 1986, ADM Rogers was re-designated as a cryptology officer. In 2009, ADM Rogers became the first member of the Information Warfare Community to achieve the rank of Vice Admiral and the first restricted line officer to hold command of a numbered fleet when he took command of Tenth Fleet. ADM Rogers then went on to serve as the Commander of United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), as well as serving as the 17th Director of the National Security Agency (NSA). Other notable Naval officers include John Thomas Walter (the namesake of the Auburn Engineering Thomas Walter Center for Technology Achievement), CAPT Daniel C. Holsenbeck (director of basic enlisted mathematics for the U.S. Navy Nuclear Power School from 1967-69 and now a Vice President of University of Central Florida), and LTJG Grady F. "Buddy" Edwards ('59 Graduate and Salavage Diver who recieved a Letter of Commendation for saving the lives of six civilians trapped onboard the FLORENCE II).

Auburn also has a distinguished history within the US Marine Corps and has produced nine general officers, all of whom have played major roles in the Marine Corps and the military. Notable alumni include: General Holland "Howlin' Mad" Smith, USMC (class of 1901, known as the Father of Modern U.S. Amphibious Warfare); General F. A. Hart, USMC (class of 1915, served in both World Wars and was a Navy Cross recipient); Brigadier General B. D. Godbold, USMC (class of 1936); Brigadier General Joseph Stewart, USMC (class of 1937, served in both World War II and Korea, received the Silver Star for his actions in the Chosin Reservoir Campaign); Major General W. B. Fleming, USMC (class of 1950); General Carl E. Mundy, USMC (class of 1957, served as the 30th Commandant of the Marine Corps); Major General James E. Livingston, USMC (class of 1962, received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam); and Brigadier General Carl E. Mundy III (class of 1983). Alongside of these distinguished general officer graduates are several other notable Marines associated with Auburn University. Captain Robert W. Hubbard, USMC, class of 1963, received the Navy Cross for his actions in the Battle of Hue in Vietnam. Additionaly, Ronald D. Castille, class of 1966, who served as a platoon commander in Vietnam and went on to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Last updated: November 04, 2021