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Nearly 200 Years—Learn More About Norwich

U.S. Army Alaska Commanding General, NU Alum, to Speak at Norwich ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University’s graduating future officers will hear remarks from a fellow alum at this spring’s joint services commissioning ceremony. U.S. Army Major General Mark J. O’Neil ’86 returns to the Norwich campus to speak to ROTC commissioning officers during a formal ceremony to mark the occasion at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 12 in Shapiro Field House.

Currently O’Neil serves as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Alaska, of which he assumed command in 2017. He graduated from Norwich University in 1986 earning his commission as an Infantry Officer from Norwich University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). He began his career as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer and Scout Platoon Leader with the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

O’Neil’s deployments include peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and 15 deployments in support of overseas contingency operations in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom and in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

Throughout his career, O’Neil has served in key staff and command positions for both Army Units and Special Operations organizations. He served as a Battalion Logistics Officer and later Rifle Company Commander with the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. In April 1994, he joined the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga., where he served as a Battalion Training Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, and Rifle Company Commander, and later as a Liaison/Plans Officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment.

In 1998, O’Neil joined a special operations organization where he served in key leadership positions from Troop Commander, Selection and Training Commander, Squadron Commander, Deputy Commander for Operations, and finally as the Commander of the organization from July 2009 to July 2011. He also completed an assignment as the Chief, Current Operations Division for the Joint Special Operations Command.

From August 2011 to December 2012, O’Neil served as the Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff, United States Army. He then transitioned to Fort Drum, New York, to serve as the Deputy Commanding General – Operations for 10th Mountain Division. In March 2015, he became the Deputy Commanding General – Training for the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, From May 2016 to June 2017 he served as the U.S. Army, Pacific Chief of Staff.

O’Neil’s military awards and decorations include the following: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (Three Oak Leaf Clusters), seven Bronze Star Medals (one Valor device), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters), Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

O’Neil holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Norwich University and a Master’s of Military Arts and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

At Norwich University’s May 12 joint services commissioning ceremony, O’Neil will address students commissioning into the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines and their families. The event, which begins at 9 a.m. in Shapiro Field House, is part of Norwich University’s Commencement Weekend and is open to the public.

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Commencement and Commissioning


About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). 

Norwich will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.

Media Contact:
Daphne E. Larkin M’17
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office: 1 (802) 485-2886
Mobile: 1 (802) 595-3613
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