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Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa was born in Springfield, Ill., Sept. 28, 1951. After graduating high school in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1969, he was recruited to play football at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. While at The Citadel Rosa was starting Bulldog quarterback in 1970 and went on to earn three varsity letters in football. He graduated from The Citadel in 1973 with a degree in business administration and was awarded a commission in the Air Force.
A command fighter pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours, Rosa enjoyed an illustrious 32-year career in the Air Force. Among his career highlights, he was stationed in Lossiemouth, Scotland, as an American exchange officer flying the Jaguar for the Royal Air Force. He has commanded at squadron, group and wing levels at air bases in South Korea, Idaho, South Carolina, New Mexico and Georgia. He served as inspector general for Pacific Air Forces at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii and commandant of The Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
As deputy director for operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., he was in charge of the National Military Command Center and served as the military spokesman for the Pentagon when U.S. troops were deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002. In July 2003, he was named superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and in September of that year, he was promoted to lieutenant general. He held that position until his retirement from active duty in November 2005.
On Jan. 3, 2006 Rosa returned to The Citadel where he serves as 19th president.
Rosa holds a master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University. He is a graduate of the Air Force Command and Staff College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. And he has studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters. He has flown the A-7, A-10, Hunter and Jaguar aircraft, F-16, F-117A, HH-60G and HC-130.
He is married to Donna Kangeter, a Charleston native. They have two sons, Jonathan and Brad (’03), and a grandson, Michael Bradley, who is the son of Jonathan and his wife, Elisha.