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Norwich University’s Medal of Honor Day:
Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Edward Byers

March 22, 2023 | 7:30PM EST
Location: Plumley Armory
Free and open to the public.

Norwich University and Todd Lecture Series will host its inaugural Medal of Honor Day with guest speaker Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Edward Byers, a 2016 recipient of the Medal of Honor and 2018 graduate of Norwich’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

Norwich University to Host its First Medal of Honor Day Event

Norwich University announced today will host its inaugural Medal of Honor Day on Wednesday, March 22,2023. The guest speaker will be Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Edward Byers, a 2016 recipient of the Medal of Honor and 2018 graduate of Norwich’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. MCPO Byers will give a keynote presentation at 7:30 PM in Plumley Armory.  The program is free of charge and open to the public.

The Medal of Honor is awarded by the sitting President of the United States to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action again an enemy of the United States; engaged in military operations involving conflict with opposing foreign force; or serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.  More than 3,520 Medals of Honor since thedecoration's creation in 1861.  Norwich University has had nine Medal of Honor recipients in its 203-year history.

Byers was presented the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony February 29, 2016, for his efforts during a hostage rescue while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012. He is only the 11th living service member to receive the Medal of Honor for bravery displayed in Afghanistan. 

Byers joined the Navy in September 1998; he has 11 overseas deployments with nine combat tours.  His personaldecorations include the Bronze Star with Valor (five awards), the Purple Heart (two awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor, the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards, one with Valor), the Combat Action ribbon (two awards), and the Good Conduct Medal (five awards). He retired as a Master Chief in 2020. 

Byers is the Founder & CEO of Minerva 6 Solutions, an executive consulting and advisory firm that specializes in the cross-domain space between corporate and government. His charitable work includes serving on the board of the C4 Foundation and on the honorary advisor board of the Navy SEAL Foundation. He holds a National Paramedics License, a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis from Norwich University, and an MBA from The Wharton School.

Maj. Gen. Bryan Watson (USA Ret.) is a 34-year U.S. Army veteran and a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. An engineer by trade, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy with concentrations in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering. He also holds a Master of Science degree in administration from Michigan University and a Master of Science degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Past command assignments ranged from platoon level to brigade commander in the 16th Engineer Battalion, 70th Engineer Battalion, 588th Engineer Battalion, and 1st ID Engineer Brigade. He also served as an engineer officer observer and coach at the National Training Center and chief of staff, 1st Armored Division. MG (Ret.) Watson was the 93rd commandant of the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment and School. His other flag officer assignments are: theater engineer for ISAF/IJC and USFOR-A in Afghanistan, vice director Joint Force Development (J7) the Joint Staff, and operations director (J3) U.S. Africa Command. He has combat tours in operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

His awards and decorations are the Defense Distinguished Service Award, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Bronze Star Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), and French National Defense Medal (Gold Award.) MG (Ret.) Watson has also earned the Ranger and Sapper Tabs. In 2022, he received the Gold DeFleury from the Corps of Engineers. He also serves as the Engineer Regiment’s honorary colonel.

We invite the entire Norwich University community to read the book before attending the lecture.

The Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of US Army retired Major General and Norwich President Emeritus W. Russell Todd ’50 and his late wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to Norwich University and the Northfield community. The series is funded by a generous donation from Ellen and John Drew, the Todd’s daughter and son-in-law, and the Drew Foundation. The series aspires to serve not only the Norwich University campus community but also residents of Central Vermont and beyond.

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Todd Lecture Series

Since 2008, the Todd Lecture Series has brought revered, provocative and surprising speakers to campus in spring and fall. Free and open to all.


The views expressed by presenters and guest speakers are those of the presenter/speaker and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of Norwich University.

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