Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) — The United States Marine Corps’ second highest-ranking officer will take the reigns as the 20th president of The Citadel Military College.
Gen. Glenn M. Walters,61, Citadel class of 1979, was chosen to lead his alma mater by the Citadel Board of Visitors. The announcement was made Thursday.
Walters’ wife, Gail Walters, a communications professional, will become The Citadel’s new first lady.
Current Citadel president John Rosa will be retiring from his 12-year tenure as president of The Citadel on June 30.
Walters, a career aviator, was one of four decorated military leaders who were finalists for president.
Walters will take the position after retiring from the United States Marine Corps. Policy at The Citadel states that Walters must retire from active duty before assuming the role of president.
As the Marine Corps assistant commandant, he oversees a budget of more than $42 billion and approximately 184,000 active duty and 38,000 reserve Marines.
Upon graduating from The Citadel with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, Walters was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
After initially serving as an infantry officer, he attended flight training in Pensacola, Florida, and was designated a naval aviator in 1981. Walters trained and served as a test pilot and also deployed overseas on numerous occasions in the Pacific and Central Command theaters, including Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Walters deployed in support of Operation Earnest Will, the U.S. military's mission to protect Kuwaiti tankers from Iranian attacks and served on land and at sea in the Asia-Pacific region.
“It is an honor and a thrill to be asked to lead one of America’s great institutions of higher education as the 20th President of The Citadel,” said Walters. “I have always been impressed with the passion and commitment of my alma mater’s alumni, faculty, staff, cadets, students and friends who have been so generous with their support.”
Walters has earned many awards and medals, some of which include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with award star, the Air Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Korea Defense Service Medal.
“Gail and I look forward to returning to Charleston and continuing the superb work that John and Donna Rosa have done to advance our beloved institution," Walters said. "I feel like I’m coming home."