Citadel alumnus, SEAL officer named incoming commandant

By Ashley Barker
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published April 30, 2014

A 1989 graduate of The Citadel will become the new commandant of the S.C. Corps of Cadets.

U.S. Navy Capt. Eugene F. Paluso was picked Tuesday to replace the retiring commandant, Col. Leo A. Mercado. Paluso will be responsible for the command and oversight of the 2,300-member Corps of Cadets and will report directly to The Citadel’s president, Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa.

Paluso

Paluso

“I am confident that Captain Gene Paluso will be successful as the new commandant of the Corps of Cadets,” Rosa said in a statement. “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.”

Paluso is a Navy SEAL officer on active duty as the commander of the Naval Special Warfare Group 3 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The group consists of 700 specialized SEAL and fleet personnel.

He has held leadership roles commanding special operations forces in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. Paluso’s service awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Achievement Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.

He will retire from the Navy after serving for about 25 years before becoming commandant, according to The Citadel. Paluso is expected to join The Citadel in midsummer.

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker.

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