Jan. 2022 Veteran of the Month: Dr. Richard L. Brownell

Published 4:00 am Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Born: Worcester Massachusetts February 17, 1931

Submitted by his granddaughter, Heather



June 1949: Enlisted in Worcester Massachusetts US Marine Reserves after graduating high school.

July 1950: Ordered to extended active duty at start of Korean War after first year of college.

October 1950: Graduated as Private First Class from Marine Bootcamp Parris Island, South Carolina

January 1951 – December 1951: Participated in combat operations during the 1951 year long series of five major extended battles that successfully liberated South Korea from Chinese Communist invasion. Coordinated artillery fire supporting frontline infantry.

October 1952: Commissioned Second Lieutenant USMC

1954: Commissioned First Lieutenant USMC

January 1954 – December 1954: Served as Intelligence Officer for Kimpo Provisional Regiment Republic of South Korea

May 1954 – June 1957: Commanding Officer 8 Inch Artillery at 29 Palms California

12 July 1956: Commissioned Captain USMC

September 1958: Commanded 8 Inch Artillery during the Marine Amphibious Landing in Lebanon during the Suez Canal Crisis. Subsequently, served as an Artillery Commander with the Sixth Fleet Mediterranean Area deployment of 1958-1959.

July 1961: Completed BA Degree at George Washington University

June 1962 – August 1962: Commanded Headquarters Company 3rd Marine Expeditionary Unit in Udorn, Thailand in support of classified operations.

November 1963: Commissioned Major USMC

July 1966 – June 1967: Distinguished Graduate of United States Naval War College, Newport Rhode Island.

October 1967: Commissioned Lieutenant Colonel USMC

July 1967 – July 1968: Participated in operations against insurgent communist Viet Cong forces as a member of General Westmoreland’s Vietnam Command Staff. Received the Secretary of the Navy Meritorious Achievement Award with Combat V.

Towards the end of Marine career, was recruited by the Duke University Doctoral Program for College Leaders.

July 1970: Retired from US Marine Corps to complete Doctorate.

Subsequently, served as an Associate Director of the National Laboratory of Higher Education, then as Director of Planning and Research for the South Carolina Two-Year College System, and later as Vice President of the College of the Low County in Beaufort, South Carolina. In 1977, assumed the Presidency of Rowan Tech, which was then a small Technical Institute in Salisbury. Served 31 years and retired in 2008. During that time, the small 900 student Technical Institute transformed into a large 20,000 student multicampus Community College serving both Rowan and Cabarrus Counties. Trustees bestowed the lifetime appointment and title of President Emeritus.


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