Monday, May 12, 2014
U.S. Navy Captain Eugene F. Paluso, will be the new commandant for the S.C. Corps of Cadets at The Citadel, the school announced last week.
The commandant of cadets is a vice presidential position responsible for the command and oversight of the 2,300-member Corps of Cadets. Paluso graduated from The Citadel in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
He is currently a U.S. Navy SEAL officer on active duty as the commander of the Naval Special Warfare Group Three at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The group consists of 700 specialized SEAL and fleet personnel. Paluso will retire from the Navy after serving for approximately 25 years, before taking his post as Commandant at The Citadel.
During his career, Paluso has held leadership roles commanding special operations forces in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He has led men and women in combat at all levels.
His service awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze star, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Joint Commendation Medal (2), Navy Commendation Medal (5), Joint Achievement Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.
The position of commandant reports directly to The Citadel’s President, Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa.
“I am confident that Captain Gene Paluso will be successful as the new Commandant of the Corps of Cadets. As a highly decorated officer in the U.S. Navy, he brings a wealth of experience that will help shape our young men and women into principled leaders for all walks of life,” said Rosa.
Paluso, who will start mid-summer, will replace Col. Leo A. Mercado, USMC, (Ret.), who is a member of The Citadel Class of 1979.
Mercado, who joined The Citadel as commandant in 2009, is retiring from the college.
His tenure is marked by the implementation of a single standard for all cadets that stresses the school’s core values of honor, duty and respect.