Archive for June, 2014

New Vice President Named

June 30, 2014
Lt. Col. Ashworth

Lt. Col. Ashworth

The top U.S. Air Force external communications leader will join The Citadel as the new vice president for communications and marketing in mid-July. Lieutenant Colonel William Brett Ashworth becomes a member of the college’s team of vice presidents after stepping down from his position as Chief of Air Force Media Operations at the Pentagon. He currently serves as principal spokesperson for global and defense industry media as well as an advisor and strategist to top Air Force commanders.

Ashworth has 21 years of experience in military public affairs including an assignment from 2006 – 2010 as director of public affairs at the U.S. Air Force Academy. “Brett Ashworth comes to The Citadel with an impressive background in communications and marketing. His work in public affairs in the military and at the Air Force Academy gives him the ideal blend of experience to help The Citadel move ahead with strategic initiatives while also enhancing our relationships with all constituencies,” said Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, President of The Citadel.

In addition to his current assignment at the Pentagon, Ashworth commanded the 344th Recruiting Squadron in Arlington, Texas, where he led a squadron of eight flights and 102 people covering a four-state area. He served as chief of public affairs at the 509th Bomb Wing during Operations Allied Force and Enduring Freedom where he was spokesperson to national and international media on the B-2’s first-ever use in combat and support of overseas contingency operations. He has deployed twice since 9/11, to Afghanistan as strategic communication advisor to the Afghan government and to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia where he coordinated Air Force public affairs for the Central Command area of operations.

Ashworth is a 1993 distinguished graduate of the Southwest Texas State University Reserve Officer Training Corps program where he earned a degree in journalism. In 2006 he obtained an M.A. in Integrated Strategic Leadership from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB. He earned an M.B.A. from Webster University in 2000. Additionally, Ashworth completed Squadron Officer School (1998), Air Command and Staff College (2004) and Air War College (2010). His military awards and decorations include Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster; Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; Joint Service Achievement Medal, and Air Force Achievement Medal.

The Citadel’s Board of Visitors recently changed the name of the college’s marketing function from The Office of External Affairs to the Office of Communications and Marketing to better reflect the services provided by that unit. The position of vice president for communications and marketing is responsible for strategically communicating the college’s institutional priorities and overseeing the college’s internal and external communications, media relations, public relations, and marketing functions while working closely with The Citadel Alumni Association, The Citadel Foundation and The Citadel Brigadier Foundation. Ashworth was among more than 75 applicants and three finalists for the position.

He replaces Citadel communications professor Patricia McArver who has served as interim vice president after the departure of Jeffrey Perez in early 2014. Perez joined Winthrop University as public affairs strategist and communications advisor to the president. Ashworth will bring his family of five to live in Charleston. He and his wife Katy are the parents of 11-year-old triplets: Drew, Kara and Libby.


Citadel Athletic website going dark during upgrade

June 30, 2014

Published in the Orangeburg Times-Democrat 6/30/14

CHARLESTON — As The Citadel’s athletic department transitions to a new Internet presence through Sidearm Sports, the current website will be “going dark” on July 1 for a period of approximately six weeks. In the interim, information on Bulldog athletics can be accessed via our social media platforms on Facebook ( and Twitter (@citadelsports) or by emailing The Citadel media relations office at

To purchase tickets for Citadel football games, call 843-953-DOGS or stop by McAlister Field House from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday. The new website will be launched prior to the start of the 2014 fall athletic season and will include expanded video capabilities for event streaming and postgame highlights, more extensive live statistics features and enhanced graphics to create a more aesthetically pleasing Internet experience for Bulldog fans.

“Citadel athletics engaged in a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of several high-quality website providers, and we are very excited about our new venture with Sidearm Sports” said Rob Acunto, interim athletic director. “More importantly, we believe Citadel fans will be impressed with the new website and the additional features it will offer.”

The Citadel looking for cheerleaders for football games

June 30, 2014


Jun 26, 2014 6:31 PM EDT
By Ray Rivera
The Charleston Post and Courier

Get your pom poms and mega phones ready! The Citadel is looking for cheerleaders. The school wants to enhance the game day experience for its fans and cadets. The Bulldogs’ have six home football games this fall and they want cheerleaders for those games. They’re looking for current cadets, graduate students as well as interested locals with cheerleading experience. Both men and woman are encouraged to apply.

The Citadel released the following statement information on Thursday: The Citadel’s Department of Athletics has enlisted the support The Stray Dog Society to develop, recruit and train a cheerleading team to enhance the game-day experience for fans and cadets during the Bulldogs’ six home football games this fall. The team will include current cadets and graduate school students as well as interested locals with cheerleading and public relations experience. With plans to have eight-to-12 individuals (both men and women) participating, the cheerleaders will be directly involved with the promotion of Citadel Football in addition to adding spirit at the home games, which begin on Saturday, August 30, when Coastal Carolina comes to Johnson Hagood Stadium for the first time. Kickoff is set for 6 pm.

The Citadel had sponsored cheerleaders for many years and most recently had a “spirit squad” of cadets only. “We are appreciative of The Stray Dog Society for stepping up and again show a willingness to assist,” said Interim Athletics Director Rob Acunto. “We had a situation with our cheerleaders that simply wasn’t ideal and were searching ways in which to improve it when the Stray Dog Society came along. We very much like the potential with this unique partnership.” “We’re happy to help,” said Stray Dog Society founder and president Joe Nuttall ’68. “The Stray Dog Society is positioned to help our beloved college in a multitude of areas, and we think this will help significantly with the spirit at our home football games. “While the cheerleaders’ primary focus will be on the football games, they will also be positioned to help the Department of Athletics with a multitude of opportunities,” Nuttall added.

With soon-to-be-designed uniforms provided by the Department of Athletics, the group will be led by Stephanie Slan ’08, who will be responsible for recruiting, training and coaching the squad. Slan, a native of Wadmalaw Island, was a Citadel cheerleader from 2004-08 and is currently a clinical research coordinator at the Medical University of South Carolina.

For more information and to coordinate an interview and audition, please contact Slan at

Citadel names Acunto interim athletic director, sets search committee

June 23, 2014

By Jeff Hartsell The Charleston Post & Courier
Jun 20 2014

The Citadel has set up a search committee and will hire a firm to help find the school’s next athletic director, and hopes to have an AD in place by the end of August.
Meanwhile, compliance director Rob Acunto will act as interim athletic director, school officials said this week.

The committee appointed by Citadel president Lt. Gen. John Rosa will be chaired by Tee Hooper, a 1969 graduate and former Bulldogs basketball player who is a member of the Board of Visitors. Stanley Myers (1998), another Board of Visitors member and a former quarterback for the football team, also is on the committee.

The rest of the committee includes Citadel graduates Lamont Melvin (Class of 1991), Matt Watson (1997) and Wade St. John (1964) as well as Citadel Foundation executive director Jay Dowd; Daniel Bornstein, who is the faculty in Health and Exercise Sports Science; and registrar Sylvia Nesmith. Hooper said the school plans to use an executive search firm to help find a replacement for Larry Leckonby, who left after six years to be the new athletic director at Catawba College in North Carolina. The Citadel’s search committee is due to meet for the first time next week.

Acunto, a 1992 graduate of Bryant College, came to The Citadel in 2010 after working at American University, Cornell and Vanderbilt. He was promoted to associate athletic director for administration and compliance at The Citadel in May 2013.

Rumored candidates for the job include Bill D’Andrea, executive senior associate AD at Clemson; Geoff Von Dollen, associate AD for business and operations at The Citadel; and Bulldogs baseball coach Fred Jordan

Richard E. Black III, ’79

June 23, 2014

Romeo Company Taps

Richard “Rick” Eugene Black, III, 58, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, husband of Edy R. Norris Black entered into eternal rest Wednesday, June 18, 2014. His Funeral Service will be held Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12 Noon in J. HENRY STUHR INC., MOUNT PLEASANT CHAPEL 1494 Mathis Ferry Road. The family will receive friends in Stuhr’s Mt. Pleasant Chapel Friday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Richard was born April 30, 1956 in Fort Knox, Kentucky, son of Martha Joyce Escontres Black Gentry and the late LTC. (Ret) Richard Eugene Black, Jr . He was a graduate of the University of South Carolina and also attended the Citadel. Rick was a Sales Associate with Brooks Brothers Clothing Store. He is survived by his wife, Edy R. Norris Black of Palm Beach Gardens, FL; step-mother Inez Black of Columbia, SC; step-father Alan Gentry of Mt. Pleasant, SC; sister, Melissa Black of Mt. Pleasant, SC; brother, Randy Black and his wife Lee and two nieces, Taylor and Hannah of Gastonia, NC. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Hebron Colony Ministries, Inc, 356 Old Turnpike Road, Boone NC 28607. A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at Visit our guestbook at charleston –

Citadel players in the pros

June 18, 2014
Chris Swauger has hung up his cleats.

Chris Swauger has hung up his cleats.

Mason Davis, Bo Thompson make debuts as Chris Swauger retires

    By Jeff Hartsell, The Charleston Post & Courier 6/16/14

    Two former Citadel baseball player made their professional debuts last week, while another one retired to end a seven-year pro career.

    Ex-Bulldogs second baseman Mason Davis, drafted in the 19th round by the Florida Marlins on June 7, made his pro debut Sunday with the Batavia (N.Y.) Muckdogs, the Marlins’ team in the short-season New York-Penn League. Davis was 2 for 3, scored a run and drove in a run while playing third base and batting second in a 6-3 win over Auburn.

    Davis’ Citadel teammate, first baseman/designated hitter Bo Thompson, also played his first game as a pro after being drafted in the 13th round by the Yankees. Thompson played first base and batted fifth for the Staten Island Yankees on Sunday, going 0 for 3 with a walk in a 2-1 win over Brooklyn in the NY-Penn League.

    Meanwhile, former Citadel standout Chris Swauger announced his retirement to end a seven-year pro career. Swauger, a 26th-round pick of the Cardinals in 2008, hit .277 over his career, almost all of it in the St. Louis organization, but never made the Major Leagues.

    Swauger became a popular figure as he played parts of five seasons with the Cardinals’ AA team in Springfield, Missouri, and that’s where he announced his retirement last Wednesday at age 27. Swauger is now a hitting coach with the Cardinals’ Class A team in Johnson City, Tennessee.
    Springfield manager Mike Shildt said Swauger, who finished with 2.067 at-bats in 613 minor-league games, was a valuable player to the Cardinals even though he never played in a Major League game.

    “You’re talking about a senior sign that’s played parts of five seasons in Double-A and helped two clubs win championships,” Shildt told the Springfield News-Leader. “He’s helped grow some of the players that have gone on to help St. Louis win championships. That’s why he’s going to be so valuable (as a coach).”

    Former Citadel pitcher Asher Wojciechowski continues to battle injury problems this season. A first-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2010, Wojciewchowski spent the early part of the season recovering from a right lat strain. After pitching in one game for Class AAA Oklahoma City on May 21, Wojciechowski suffered a strain in his right forearm and has been sent back to the Astros’ spring-training complex in Florida for rehab.

    Ex-Bulldog catcher Joe Jackson is off to a great start in his second pro season. Jackson, a fifth-round pick of the Rangers last year, is batting .357 with two homers and 24 RBI in his first 27 games with Class A Hickory in the South Atlantic League. The Crawdads are due back in Charleston to play the RiverDogs Aug. 11-13.

    Former Citadel pitcher Austin Pritcher (James Island), drafted in the 19th-round by the Tigers last year, has yet to pitch in the minors this season.

    Ex-Citadel first baseman Chris McGuiness, also from James Island, is batting .254 with five homers and 25 RBI for the Pirates’ Class AAA team in Indianapolis. McGuiness played in 10 Major League games for the Rangers last season.

The Citadel names new director of alumni affairs

June 17, 2014
Col. Laurence Hutto

Col. Laurence Hutto

Citadel alumnus and professor of military science moves to the head of alumni relations

Col. J. Laurence Hutto, Jr., U.S. Army, will be The Citadel’s new director of alumni affairs, as well as executive director of The Citadel Alumni Association. Hutto retires from active service when he assumes his new role at the college in July. He graduated from The Citadel in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and after serving in numerous Army leadership roles, returned to the college in 2010 as a professor of military science and head of The Citadel’s Army ROTC unit.

One highlight of Hutto’s achievements at the college includes operational improvements leading to a 40 percent increase in the number of Army commissioned officers since 2010, making The Citadel the largest producer of commissioned officers out of all of the nation’s ROTC programs.

“Laurence’s experience, integrity and passion for The Citadel put him in the ideal position to lead our alumni association,” said Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, The Citadel’s president. “His familiarity with the campus culture and supporting organizations, such as The Citadel Foundation and The Citadel Brigadier Foundation, will allow the Association to take on an even greater role in the future success of the college.”

Upon graduating from The Citadel, Hutto was awarded a commission in the Army as a second lieutenant in field artillery in the 3rd Armored Division. During combat in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he held various duty positions, including company fire support, battery fire direction officer and firing battery platoon leader. Early in his career Hutto served as assistant battalion operations officer for 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment at Ft. Campbell, Ky., and the targeting officer for the 327th Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne Division there. In 1995 he was reassigned to Ft. Bragg, N.C., and the 82nd Airborne Division as the division artillery assistant operations officer; division artillery adjutant; battalion fire support officer for the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment; division assistant fire support coordinator; and the division artillery headquarters and headquarters battery commander.

Hutto’s work within an academic community began in 2000 when he became an assistant professor of military science at the University of Hawaii and aide-de-camp to the commanding general of the U.S. Army, Pacific. Hutto transitioned from there to Ft. Hood, Texas, with the 4th Infantry Division and the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, serving as the battalion executive officer during combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He went on to hold numerous other leadership roles that included a combat deployment to Afghanistan as a battalion commander with the 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment during Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2010 Hutto was named professor of military science at The Citadel.

Hutto’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal (4th Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Saudi Arabia Medal, Kuwait Liberation Kuwait Medal, Southwest Asia, Iraq, and Afghanistan Campaign Medals, NATO ISAF Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the Senior Parachutist and Air Assault Badges.

In addition to The Citadel, Hutto attended U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Hutto replaces Michael F. Rogers who is retiring after serving 13 years in the alumni affairs roles.

“While we’re sorry to see Mike Rogers go, we recognize that he has earned some well-deserved time with his family after serving his alma mater, the FBI and the U.S. Air Force,” said Scott Tucker, president, The Citadel Alumni Association. “We look forward to welcoming Col. Hutto who is an active alumnus, and has served as the Army’s representative with The Citadel Alumni Association for four years. He’s the right person to build relationships with our contingent of more than 12-thousand Association members across the nation.”

Hutto is married to the former Carrie Konitzer of Colorado, and they have three children—John, Lauren, and Meghan. He was born and raised in the Providence community near Holly Hill, S.C., between Charleston and Columbia.

Mercado retirement video

June 14, 2014

A tribute to one of our own, Col. Leo Mercado, Romeo ’79 upon his retirement as Commandant of Cadets. Too short but still a worthy tribute to a man I am proud to call my Citadel/Romeo Company brother.

McWherter gets reprimand after Admiral’s Mast

June 4, 2014
Capt. McWherter

Capt. McWherter

Capt. Gregory McWherter, graduate of Top Gun school, was relieved of his post in April amid misconduct allegations

By Snejana Farberov

Published: 22:37 GMT

A former Blue Angels commander tolerated inappropriate sexual comments and naked pictures in the cockpits of the team’s planes during his time as its leader, the Navy said Tuesday. Capt. Gregory McWherter was found guilty of violating two articles under the military’s code of justice during nonjudicial proceedings convened Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The articles were failure to obey an order or regulation and conduct unbecoming of an officer by fostering a hostile command climate and failing to stop ‘obvious and repeated instances of sexual harassment, condoning widespread lewd practices within the squadron and engaging in inappropriate and unprofessional discussions with his junior officers,’ the Navy said in a statement.

He will be given a letter of reprimand that will go in McWherter’s permanent file and is widely seen as a career-ender in the service. The Navy said his command had explicit pornography, including photos of naked women, in aircraft cockpits; the painting of giant male genitalia in blue and gold on the roof of the center point trailer at the Blue Angels’ winter training facilities in El Centro; and sexually charged, raunchy, and homophobic humor on maps and itineraries.

According to the Navy’s 63-page report obtained by Washington Post, newly hired pilots were hazed by being forced to wear ‘foam penis’ hats. Crew members also kept binoculars in the cockpits to help them spot scantily-clad women in air show crowds. The report stated McWherter, whose call sign was ‘Stiffy,’ encouraged a sex-obsessed environment more common in a fraternity house than a flight team.

McWherter was relieved in April from his duty as executive officer of Naval Base Coronado in California amid the allegations during his second stint as the Blue Angels’ leader from May 2011 to November 2012. The Navy said it did not find problems during his first stint as the flying team’s commanding officer from 2008 to 2010. ‘The investigation concluded that McWherter witnessed, condoned, and encouraged behavior that, while juvenile and sophomoric in the beginning, ultimately and in the aggregate, became destructive, toxic, and hostile,’ the Navy said in a statement. The Navy said investigators found no evidence the behavior led to sexual assault.

Harry Harris Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, ordered the investigation after a service member filed an official complaint with the Navy on March 24. The Blue Angels’ mission is to publicly represent the best of Naval Aviation and Harris said ‘the actions of Captain McWherter jeopardized that mission.’ ‘Commanding officers have an enduring obligation to maintain a proper work environment at all times and in all places and spaces; and they will be held accountable as appropriate when they fail,’ Harris said.

Ousted: McWherter was relieved in April from his post amid the allegations during his second stint as the Blue Angels’ leader from May 2011 to November 2012

Several junior personnel who served under McWherter received formal written counseling for their behavior, but McWherter was held accountable for the actions of those in his command, the Navy said. The Blue Angels are reviewing procedures, said Vice Adm. David Buss, commander, Naval Air Force Pacific, and its new commanding officer, Thomas Frosch, started implementing measures to clean up the workplace. McWherter also was president of the Tailhook Association for about eight months before he resigned amid the probe. The San Diego-based nonprofit aviator fraternity said it knew nothing of the allegations against McWherter. The group dealt with its own scandal in 1991 when Navy pilots at its Las Vegas convention were accused of sexually abusing female officers.

McWherter, a graduate of the Citadel military college in South Carolina, served in the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and western Pacific, and was an instructor at the famed Top Gun school.

An update on the flag in Summerall Chapel

June 4, 2014


On June 3, the Charleston County Council voted to approve $975,000 in accommodations tax funding for The Citadel. This was the second of three budget hearings on the appropriation. However, the County Council stipulated that The Citadel would have to wait for the Attorney General’s ruling on whether or not the Confederate Naval Jack in Summerall Chapel is subject to the state’s Heritage Act before the tax revenues would be released to the college.

That AG ruling could come before the final time the council reviews the accommodations tax funding at its next meeting on June 17th. State Senators Larry Grooms and Danny Verdin wrote the Attorney General’s Office earlier Tuesday asking whether the Confederate Naval Jack in Summerall Chapel is a memorial protected by the Heritage Act and must remain there.

The Council’s action would give The Citadel its funding immediately if AG decides that the Naval Jack presented to Citadel President General Charles P. Summerall in April 1939 is a memorial that is protected by the Heritage Act. If the AG decides that the flag is not subject to the Heritage Act and could be moved, the council agreed that it would take up the issue at that time.

Thank you for your continued support on this matter.