Expect Challenge. Achieve Distinction.

Navy ROTC Staff



GySgt Zachary R. O’Connor 

Gunnery Sergeant Zachary R. O’Connor was assigned as the the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor for the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps unit at Norwich University in March 2022.  GySgt O’Connor is a Marine Aviation Ground Support Equipment Technician from Rochester, NY.  He enlisted in the Marine Corps on 22 February 2007 and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), Parris Island Beaufort, South Carolina.  After graduating recruit training, he attended Marine Combat Training (MCT) at Camp Geiger Jacksonville, North Carolina. 

Following completion of MCT, he attended MOS “A” school at NAS Pensacola, Florida, to begin his education toward becoming an Aviation Ground Support Equipment (GSE) Mechanic.  Upon completion of “A” school he attended “C” school at NAS Coronado, California, for GSE Electrician/Refrigeration Mechanic Course.  Upon completion of his training he was assigned the MOS 6073 Aviation Ground Support Equipment Electrician/Refrigeration Mechanic.

In February of 2008, Private First Class O’Connor reported to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 (MALS)-31, Marine Aircraft Group-31, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort.  He served as an aviation ground support equipment electrician and was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal in March, 2008.  In June, 2009 he deployed with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 533 (VMFA-533) to Iwakuni, Japan.  In June 2010 he was promoted to the rank of Corporal.  
In October of 2011, Corporal O’Connor received orders to MALS-26 Jacksonville, North Carolina.  While there he served as the Work Center Supervisor (WCS) and Collateral Duty Inspector (CDI) for multiple work centers throughout the GSE division.  In April 2013, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.  In June 2013, Sergeant O’Connor deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with MALS-40 at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  While deployed, he served as the GSE Training and Licensing Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, WCS and CDI.  Upon returning to MALS 26, Sergeant O’Connor served as the 900 Division Quality Assurance Representative.
In October of 2016, Sergeant O’Connor received orders to Drill Instructor School class 1-17 aboard MCRD San Diego.  In December 2016 Sergeant O’Connor graduated Drill Instructor School and then immediately attended the Marine Corps Instructor of Water Survival (MCIWS) School.  Upon his completion of MCIWS School he checked in to Company B, First Recruit Training Battalion.  Sergeant O’Connor was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant in October of 2018.  During his time as a Drill Instructor, Staff Sergeant O’Connor served as a Drill Instructor, Experienced Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor, and Chief Drill Instructor.
In January of 2020 Staff Sergeant O’Connor reported to MALS-31, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina.  There he served as the Support Equipment Planned Maintenance System (SEPMS) coordinator and Tool Room Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge.  In October of 2020 he was selected to serve as the MALS-31 Squadron Gunnery Sergeant.  He was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant in February of 2022.

His personal decorations include the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with one gold star in lieu of second award), Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with 2 gold stars in lieu of third award).

Room & Board

Cadets that earned an ROTC scholarship received an additional $15,000 annually from Norwich for Room & Board.

3.0 and 90%

To improve your AFROTC scholarship chances, you’ll want to carry a 3.0 gpa and 90% fitness score or better. Learn More scholarship tips.

Leadership Pays

NROTC Scholarship Tip: Seek out leadership opportunities in the Corps of Cadets, athletic teams, clubs or volunteer work on and off campus.

Meet our Cadets and Graduates

  • Jack Brennan ’23, environmental science major

    Jack Brennan ’23, environmental science major

    "I wanted to come to Norwich and join the U.S. Marine Corps to be a part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to build a good foundation so that I can give back to my community and my country. The Norwich NROTC Battalion has pushed me to become a more confident and competent leader so that I achieve those goals to the best of my ability, and one day, lead Marines."
  • Ryan Litch ’23, mechanical engineering major

    "From a very young age, I had a love for the U.S. Navy. I chose to come to Norwich and its NROTC unit because I knew it was unparalleled by any other. The level of training and knowledge I have received from this program has done a great job of preparing me for the fleet thus far. If you are looking to challenge and set yourself apart from others, NROTC at Norwich is the right place to do it."
  • Sebastian Martin ’22

    “Following graduation and commissioning, I will be attending Basic Division Officer Course and Junior Officer of the Deck schools to learn ship handling and seamanship. Afterward, I go to Yokosuka, Japan, to serve as a surface warfare officer on the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19, an amphibious command ship for all of Seventh Fleet. After qualifying as officer of the deck (OOD) onboard, I will be laterally transferring to designator 1810, cryptologic warfare officer. This highly selective community specializes in cryptology, space, signals intelligence, cyberspace operations and electronic warfare to achieve global military objectives. ”
  • Jasmine Wilkerson ’23, architecture major

    "When applying for colleges, Norwich's appeal came from its ability to balance life within the Corps of Cadets while also participating in an ROTC, all within a climate with which I was unfamiliar. The Naval battalion (in conjunction with the Corps) has not only given me opportunities to develop my leadership skills, but has also shown me what options are available career-wise while in the service and once I leave the service."
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The only way to truly know if Norwich is for you is to experience it for yourself. So come explore our campus, talk with faculty, meet our students, and see for yourself how ROTC makes the most of beautiful Vermont.

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Not sure which service branch you are interested in, need help determining if Norwich is the right fit, or confused by what ROTC offers you, reach out to one of our dedicated Norwich Admission Counselors.

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Whatever you think you're capable of, you can achieve here—and more. Learn how a Norwich education prepares you to lead in a career you love.

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Navy & Marines Reserve Officers' Training Corps


Jackman Hall, Room 103



LT Andrew Kline
NROTC Nuclear Power Officer
1 (802) 485-2193 or


Capt Edward Pingel
NROTC Marine Officer Instructor
1 (802) 485-2194 or

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