The Shield and Sword Newsletter - Online • Winter 2020

From the President

As 2020 draws to a close, there are as many negative words and thoughts to describe and define this year as there were positive words and thoughts to express our feelings and emotions for 2019. While January began with an LSU Tigers Football National Championship, by March we were seemingly in a totally different world. And the challenge has continued.

However, even in the midst of all the negative or challenging situations, Cadets of the Ole War Skule has continued to pursue its mission and do its best to support The Corps and the Cadre. We also strive to ensure that LSU is aware of our support for the University. As many of you know, LSU is currently involved in the search process for a new president. We extend our support to both the search committee and the LSU Board of Supervisors.

We are pleased that work on the renovation and restoration of Memorial Tower is nearing completion. If all the necessary preparations can be completed early enough and if the virus permits, we hope to have a soft opening of the LSU Military Museum in April. More information will be forthcoming.

You will find a brief summary of our strategic planning retreat in this issue. The Executive Committee and board asked two of our dedicated members, W. Henson Moore and MG Hunt Downer, to co-chair the strategic planning team, and they worked with Dr. Brookie Allphin, who facilitated the retreat. She did an outstanding job of preparing the participants for the work to be accomplished, and she is committed to continuing the working relationship.

Another positive item is that we had the great fortune to welcome three new commanders for our Air Force, Army, and Navy/Marine Corps – Lt Col Lisa O’Neil, LTC Mike Duval, and CAPT Brien Dickson. Brief bios are included in this newsletter, and I hope you’ll take time to welcome and share words of encouragement with these outstanding officers.

We do not harass members about our Annual Membership Renewal effort. Many of you have already sent us your 2021 dues, either through a direct donation to the LSU Foundation or by returning the membership form with your check. We appreciate you continued interest and support.

2021 Dues renewal information: Please click this LINK to assist you in completing your renewal. As always, we are grateful for your continuing support.

And, last but not least, as we begin to celebrate Hanukkah and finalize plans for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we wish you and yours all the best and many blessings in the the days and month ahead.

For the Long Purple Line...
Jake L. Netterville
Cadets of the Ole War Skule

LSU Observes Veterans Day

LSU honored its former students, faculty, and staff, as well as all veterans who have given their lives in service to their country in a Veterans Day ceremony at Memorial Oak Grove. The event included the laying of a wreath, “Taps,” and a moment of silence.

Veterans Day

In keeping with coronavirus pandemic guidelines, a small group of masked, socially distanced faculty, staff, and friends gathered for the 2020 Veterans Day Observance.

Veterans Day

LSU Interim-President Thomas Galligan, Jr., and Gil Lerma, Commander of the Boyd-Ewing Post 58 of the American Legion lay the wreath.

Veterans Day

Cadet Colin Raby, Cadet Austin Firmin, and Lance Corporal Cameron Richards.

Veterans Day

Cadet Colin Raby, LSU Student Body President Stone Cox, Lance Corporal Cameron Richards, Student Government Director of Veterans Affairs Jacob Milton, Cadet Austin Firman.

Brookshire Veterans Center Hosts National Roll Call Ceremony

Brookshire Veterans Center

CAPT Darren T. Herring, Jr., was the keynote speaker. Forward, March!

The William A. Brookshire Military & Veterans Student Center hosted a National Roll Call Ceremony on Veterans Day to honor all who have served in the armed forces, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ceremony premiered on Facebook Livestream. U.S. Army CAPT Darren T. Herring, Jr., a native of Marrero, La., who is currently deployed to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, was the keynote speaker. He delivered a powerful message to the LSU community, encouraging viewers to pay it forward by reaching out to a veteran and assuring viewers that they could conquer the challenges of 2020.

Also taking part were Executive Vice President and Provost Stacia Haynie, LSU Army ROTC cadets, Army SGT Anna Churco, Adjunct Instructor and Pastor Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Student Affairs Event and Program Coordinator Shahidah Rahman, and Assistant Vice President for Residence Life, Steve Waller.

The ceremony received more than16,000 views on Facebook. Visit

LSU Salutes 2020 – 5 Named to Military Hall of Honor

The University and Cadets of the Ole War Skule named five LSU graduates into the Hall of Honor for LSU Distinguished Military Alumni. Those named to the Hall of Honor are the late James Durwood Bogan, LTJG, U.S. Navy; the late James Perry Cole, MAJ, U.S. Army; W. Henson Moore, CPT, U.S. Army; the late Joseph Yoshijero Nagata, SSG, U.S. Army; and the late Dr. William Wilson Peters, MAJ. U.S. Army.

They will be inducted into the Hall of Honor, with the class of 2021, on Nov. 13, 2021, during LSU Salutes activities.

LSU Salutes recognizes all veterans, in particular those who attended LSU and served in ROTC. The Hall of Honor inductees, all of whom must have attended LSU and served in the military, are selected based on their involvement with the University as well as military and community service.

Student Government Supports ROTC

Recognizing LSU’s rich military tradition, the Student Government Senate voted in October to allocate $6,588 to fund twelve ALICE (All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) rucksacks for the LSU Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Team. The new equipment will provide currently missing, yet essential, training equipment to assist in training and preparation for the annual competition held at Camp Blanding, Fla., against 6th Brigade universities.

The Army Ranger Challenge is considered the varsity sport of Army ROTC. The competition consists of teams with eleven primary members and two alternates, to form a squad. Each squad participates in various events, among them one rope bridge, a hand grenade assault course, obstacle courses, confidence course, twelve-mile RUCK march, physical challenge, Hummer push event, and a weapons assessment.

flag graphic
Call for Military Memorabilia

LSU, in partnership with Cadets of the Ole War Skule, continues to receive donations of military memorabilia from LSU alumni and those who have served in any of the U.S. military services. While the collection for the LSU Military Museum is growing, the curator and staff welcome any and all additional donations.

To donate memorabilia or for more information, visit or contact or 225-578-1860.

New Phone Number

LSU Military Museum Grand Opening

The rededication of Memorial Tower and the grand opening of the LSU Military Museum will take place on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, during LSU Salutes activities – Monday, Nov. 8-Saturday, Nov. 13. As we move into the new year, more information will be forthcoming regarding the various events. Mark your calendars now for Nov. 11, 2021.

ROTC staff

Left to right: Lt Col Lisa M.C. O'Neil, LTC Michael A. Duval, CAPT Brien W. Dickson.

LSU ROTC Welcomes New Staff

Lt Col Lisa M.C. O'Neil, Commander, AFROTC Det 310 and Commandant of Cadets, entered the Air Force in 2002, after receiving her commission in the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Texas A&M University. A career intelligence officer, she has served in a variety of positions, including overseas tours in South Korea and Germany, as well as multiple deployments in Southwest Asia. Contact:

LTC Michael A. Duval, Professor of Military Science and Deputy Commandant of Cadets, began his military service in the Louisiana National Guard as an infantryman with the 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized) and later commissioned as a Signal Officer through ROTC in May 2003 at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. His numerous assignments include deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. He also served as the Joint Data Network Operations Officer and Deputy Branch Chief within the Current Operations Division, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Korea at Yongsan, Korea. Contact:

CAPT Brien W. Dickson, Professor of Naval Science at Southern University, entered the Navy following high school and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. He served for more than twenty-seven years as a submarine warfare officer and, most recently, as the Naval Base Point Loma Commanding Officer leading a diverse team of 800 people providing support and security for over 17,000 base users, multiple commands, and five attack submarines. Contact:

Memorial Oak Grove

From left, Nadia Pereira, Sofia Bongiorni, Kyleigh Brown, Sydney Joy Schneckenburger, Riley Rosenfeld, Mikey Smith, Emery Gischler.
Photo: Ryan Empson/Instructor, University Laboratory School.

The Meaning of War

I began to think about the war, and how many individuals bravely gave their lives. There are only 31 trees in the memorial, but their branches stretched far and filled the sky with countless leaves. It was windy and humid, hot even in the shade. Looking at all the leaves above, I realized this tree was living to serve and support the lives of others, just as Neyland had done.

Students walked by obliviously, completely unaware of the meaning of these trees. I wondered how many of them knew there was a grove of trees planted for World War I soldiers in the middle of campus, and how young people just like them died in the war. – Sofia Bongiorni

As part of her senior-year study of World War I, Sofia Bongiorni and her classmates visited Memorial Oak Grove this fall. Readers will enjoy and appreciate the perceptive reflections in her essay, click here

Oak Grove drawing

Strategic Planning Retreat Summary

By Dr. Brookie Allphin, Retreat Facilitator

As many of you are aware, a Strategic Planning Retreat was held in 2002. Moving forward from that retreat, your leadership determined it was essential that the most relevant and important issues/challenges facing Cadets of the Ole War Skule (COWS) in 2020 and over the next 15+ years be discussed in a follow-up session. This summary will, hopefully, enable the Executive Committee and Board to develop an appropriate strategic plan that the membership will support in an effort to meet those challenges and to accomplish established goals.

As happens with many strategic plans, continual changes in the environment can redirect goals and objectives. This is the reason strategic plans must be fluid and must be re-examined on a regular basis. Since the 2019 retreat, the COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant change in the environment, suspending many LSU, LSU ROTC, and COWS activities for an unknown period. Another change in the environment is a nation in a new state of civil unrest. Indeed, our state and nation exist in the same state of flux. There exists a “new normal,” with opportunities to create relevant goals and objectives for gathering new resources and support during this interim time and beyond. Cadets of the Ole War Skule should seize the opportunities of the times for planning and execution of new objectives for 2020-2021 and beyond.

The activities of the Strategic Planning Retreat were guided by a summary of results of an advance Environmental Scan and Values Survey distributed by email to all potential attendees. The survey reflected topics in areas deemed most important for COWS to address in 2019-2020. The results of this survey are available in the full report. After the general session, the participants divided into groups to brainstorm various topic areas and action steps in six general areas using specific activity guides. At the end of the day, the discussion groups generated extensive lists of ideas and potential goals, indicating an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm and desire to support and grow COWS and LSU ROTC programs. The ideas generated from the 2019 retreat have been organized by the following general areas and noting general timelines and responsible parties to implement the following goals:

  1. Objectives to build a new military facility / complex and recognize LSU’s military programs in the LSU Flagship Agenda and Strategic Plan
  2. Objectives to continue the strength of “the Long Purple Line” by working to increase the growth of ROTC programs and COWS membership
  3. Objectives to increase funding for COWS and ROTC programs
  4. Objectives to revitalize the rank and prestige of the LSU military programs
  5. Objectives to improve the relationship / visibility between The Corps and COWS
  6. Objectives for management, organization, and operation of the LSU Military Museum

Editor's Note: If you would like to receive a copy of the full report from the Retreat, please contact us at

Response from the Strategic Planning Team -
W. Henson Moore and MG Hunt Downer, Co-Chairs

We thank Dr. Brookie Allphin, who served as the facilitator for our Strategic Planning Retreat. Her outstanding professionalism enabled her to effectively lead more than fifty members through some most interesting and informative discussions.

As you see in her summary, the participants presented many excellent ideas and provided what they felt were reasonable solutions to many of the issues or challenges raised. We assure you, our members, that we have “hit the ground running” in our effort to bring our Strategic Plan to the forefront. The 2002 retreat resulted in some excellent ideas, but our most recent retreat has enabled us to focus even more closely on those needs that will continue to move us toward our mission.

In the coming months, we will be seeking advice, feedback, suggestions – whatever the word might be – as we continue our work. We have made some great progress on a couple of fronts, and we look forward to sharing more about our progress in the near future. If you wish to share your comments or thoughts with us, please send them to We appreciate your interest and support.

Cadets Celestial

Every effort is made to maintain an accurate and up-to-date recognition of those military alumni who are no longer with us.

Should you wish to add a military alumnus to the list, please forward that information to our office via email or regular mail and include your name and other contact information. Your assistance and support are greatly appreciated as we seek to honor those who have served our nation in times of both war and peace.

Calendar of Events - Spring 2021

Corps Wars


Parade Ground

PR Drill Competition

Saturday, February 20

Parade Ground

President’s Day Parade

Thursday, April 8

Parade Ground

Joint ROTC
Awards Ceremony

Thursday, April 8

LSU Union Ballroom

Reception for Parade / Ceremony

Thursday, April 8

LSU Union Ballroom

The Corps Military Ball

Friday, April 16


Board Meeting

Thursday, May 6

LSU Faculty Club


Thursday, May 6

LSU Union Theater

LSU Memorial Day

Monday, May 31

LSU War Memorial


Monday, May 31

LSU Faculty Club

Hall of Honor

June 1 – DEADLINE for Submission

New Phone Number

Reflecting its military academy founding and long military tradition, Cadets of the Ole War Skule proudly announces its new telephone number – 225-578-1860 - the year the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy opened its doors in Pineville, La. The toll-free number for LSU Salutes remains the same - 1-866-SALUTES.

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