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Army ROTC Commander to Become VMI Commandant

FullTextImage/img/@altU.S. Army Col. William J. Wanovich ’87

LEXINGTON, Va., Jan. 28, 2014 – U.S. Army Col. William J. Wanovich ’87, commander of VMI’s Army ROTC unit since 2010, has been appointed commandant of the VMI Corps of Cadets. He will take up his duties this summer, following the retirement of Col. Thomas Trumps ’79. Trumps has been commandant since March 2007.

“Colonel Wanovich’s experiences throughout an impressive Army career give him the skills and perspective to develop the leadership capabilities of young men and women,” said Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, superintendent. “Given his familiarity with the VMI philosophy and the daily challenges that cadets face, I expect he will seamlessly transition into and build upon the great program Colonel Trumps has put into place.”

Wanovich takes this position following a 27-year career in the U.S. Army. Commissioned upon graduation from VMI in 1987, Wanovich deployed to Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1991 and, the next year, served as a battalion supply and logistics officer in Homestead, Fla., providing humanitarian assistance as part of Operation Hurricane Andrew. He served in a number of leadership and staff positions in Egypt, Africa, and Iraq.

He served as the Special Troops Battalion commander in Headquarters, XVII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, deployed to Iraq for 15 months, including serving as the Task Force Dragon commander providing support and services to more than 4,100 members of the Multi-National Force and Multi-National Corps staff.

He is a graduate of the United States Army War College.

His awards and decorations include Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (7), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Wanovich and his wife, Tina, have two daughters, Regan, 12, and Grace, 11. Tina Wanovich teaches students with learning disabilities at Rockbridge County High School.

Wanovich also has two stepchildren, Katie, 25, who is attending nursing school in San Antonio, Texas, and Jordan, 22, who is an emergency room nurse technician in Zanesville, Ohio.

“We’re excited. We’re thrilled to stay here and be a part of the VMI community,” said Wanovich of his transition from the Army ROTC unit to the commandant’s post.

Approximately two-thirds of the Corps of Cadets is enrolled in VMI’s Army ROTC unit. As commandant, Wanovich will be responsible for the entire Corps. “Now I get the other third,” he commented.