Alumni News

Congratulations!!  to the Tulane NROTC Alumni Association Award winner.

2nd LT Guillermo Salazar(2023) was presented with the Barrow Award for outstanding military bearing.

Marine Helicopter Visits Uptown Campus

Tulane hosted a United States Marine Corps Reserves helicopter display on the Berger Family Lawn on the uptown campus as part of a flyover scheduled on Friday, March 31. The flyover took place during the Green Wave baseball game against the University of Memphis.

Chris Otto (2002), the Executive Officer of Tulane NROTC is moving on to his next duty station.  We wish this alum Fair Winds and Following Seas.

The Unit also said goodbye to the XO, CDR Chris Otto ’02.  Chris was instrumental in achieving the increase in enrollment and was a staunch supporter of the Association.  His efforts went above and beyond in helping the Association meet it’s goals.  We will miss him and wish him well in his new assignment as the XO at Whiting Field, FL.

We welcome the new XO, CDR Jeremy Braun, who will come aboard in August.

Don Vinci (1979) and John McGaha (1970) were on the board for the 2023 Tulane Engineering Forum.  The event was held on Friday, March 31, 2023 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.    Several more TUNROTC alumni attended the event which featured speakers, information, and provided Professional Development Hours.

Notre Dame Naval Leadership Weekend 2023

Three Midshipmen  attended the Notre Dame Leadership conference.

"Three Tulane NROTC midshipman, MIDN 1/C Swinkle, MIDN 1/C Salazar, and MIDN 2/C Lapata attended Notre Dame Leadership Weekend in South Bend Indiana.

Throughout the weekend, guest speakers from different spheres of the military shared a variety of perspectives on leadership and their experiences in the Navy and Marine Corps. From Medal of Honor winners to flag officers the guest speakers were phenomenal. These speakers gave our midshipman valuable insight that they were then able to bring back and share with the TUNROTC unit.

The guest speakers included:

Major Thomas Rigby, USMC

Master Gunnery Sergeant Nicholas Williams, USMC

Lieutenant Colonel Trent Gibson, USMC

Master Chief Britt Slabinski, USN (Ret.)

Sergeant Major Robin Fortner, USMC (Ret.) and

Vice Admiral William Houston, USN

Over 200 Midshipmen attended Naval Leadership Weekend allowing our Tulane midshipman to connect and interact with midshipmen all over the country. This two-day event also provided time for small group discussions and ethics-based decision games that further allowed our midshipman to interact with other future leaders across the country.

Notre Dame Naval Leadership Weekend 2023 was a successful event that provided our midshipman with valuable information to bring back to the unit. The Tulane NROTC midshipmen received life advice and lessons learned from extensive military experience. Our unit hopes TUNROTC can continue to send midshipmen to this weekend’s event, further forging their leadership traits before becoming Naval and Marine Corps Officers."

Todd Fujimoto (1995) reigned as Tucks, 2023.

He joins recent Mardi Gras Royalty.    Tony Grieco (S-1987) - Carrollton (2022); Tim Huete (1980) - Legion of Mars (2020);  Joe Lacefield (1987) - Thoth (2018)

Earl Higgins (1963) autographed his books on August 5, 2023 at a recent signing at Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Metairie, Louisiana.  His books include 100 Catholic Things to Do Before You Die, The Joy of Y'at Catholicism, Metairie, Ames, High:  The Streets of Jefferson Parish.

Mardi Drill Meet

The Tulane University Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps held the annual Mardi Drill Meet on Friday, February 17, 2023.  The Uptown Campus of Tulane University, specifically the Brown Quadrangle, the University Center (LBC) Quadrangle, and Yulman Stadium, was the site of the competition.  The units participating in the drill meet were judged in the events of Platoon Inspection, Platoon Armed Basic Drill, Squad Armed Basic Drill, Color Guard, Platoon Armed Exhibition, and Individual Exhibition.    The overall winner of the Drill Meet was Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University.  Norwich University came in second place.  The United States Military Academy at West Point Drill Team placed third.  In addition, the winners of each event were:   

Platoon Inspection:
1) Texas A&M FISH
3) USMA Drill Team

Platoon Basic Drill:
1) Texas A&M FISH
2) USMA Drill Team
3) Norwich

Squad Basic Drill:
1) Norwich
2) Texas A&M FISH
3) USNA Silent Drill Team

Color Guard:
1) Norwich
2) Texas A&M Color Guard
3) Texas A&M FISH

Platoon Exhibition Drill: 
1) Texas A&M FISH
2) USMA Drill Team
3) USNA Silent Drill Team

Individual Exhibition: 
1) USNA Silent Drill Team
2) Norwich Bravo
3) USMA Drill Team Alpha

World War II Veteran Steve Ellis (1944), volunteers at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA.

Ellis grew up in New Orleans and attended New Orleans Academy, a private military school before joining the NROTC at Tulane University, where he was already enrolled when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Ellis was commissioned in February 1944 along with every other junior in ROTC across the nation due to shortages of officers to man the fleet, at the age of 19. Four days later, he was shipped off to Camp Bradford, VA to train to become a LST (Landing Ship Tank) officer. The LST was a naval innovation designed to beach on invasion shores and could carry tanks, and other vehicles, as well as 120 crew members and 250 passengers.

As the Gunnery Officer onboard LST-751, Ellis was responsible for ensuring the proper training and maintenance of the anti-aircraft guns on board. Despite firing the guns only a few times, Ellis’ role as the Gunnery Officer was critical during their Pacific Ocean journey. After the Executive Officer of LST-751, who was also the navigator, accidentally ran the ship aground on a beach during training, the Commanding Officer charged Ellis with being the navigator as well as his primary duty as the Gunnery Officer. As the war went on and people went home, Ellis became the Executive Officer at the age of 21. 

During his time on LST-751, Ellis was a part of the Philippines campaign, Leyte Gulf, and made it to the beach to support the allies 2 days following D-Day. It is important to note that at the time, the Navy estimated that they would lose 80-90% of LSTs throughout the war, making it a very dangerous duty. 

Ellis has a family history of service in the military, with family members serving in WWI, the Civil War, and the Revolutionary War, and he also has grandchildren who served in Afghanistan and the Global War on Terror. 

Ellis currently volunteers at the WWII Museum in New Orleans, LA, and talks about his experience during WWII to visitors. He brings maps and pictures from his time in the Navy to better illustrate to people his life in the Navy. From the time he arrives to the time he leaves, his table is crowded full of people wanting to know more and thanking him for his sacrifice. 

Commissionings 2023

I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter so help me God.

Three men were commissioned for the United States Marine Corps this year.  They are graduates of the University of New Orleans , Tulane University, and Xavier University.

2LtT Comer Commissioning Jan 27, 2023

2nd Lt Lance Comer

2nd Lt Jackson Swinkle

2nd Lt Guillermo Salazar

In Memorial

Hunter Ellis Babin - Class of 1955

Hal Joseph Drez - Class of 1961

Norris LaDew Fant - Class of 1944

Richard Orme Werlein - Class of 1945

Laurence Hay Turner, Jr - Class of 1964

Thomas Allen Rollow, Jr - Class 1975

Tulane Naval ROTC Alumni Association

Where the past meets the present and beyond.