Lieutenant General (Ret.) John Rosa
entered the Air Force in May 1973 after receiving his commission from The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.
Throughout his career, he served as an operations group commander and a wing commander three times.
He also served as the deputy director for operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C. In that position, he managed the National Military Command Center and was the military spokesman for the Pentagon when U.S. troops were deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.
After this assignment, Rosa became the superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. where he directed a four-year academic, military, athletic and character development program where cadets earn a bachelor's degree and a commission as an Air Force officer.
While at the academy, Rosa decided to retire from the Air Force but not from serving.
Upon retirement, Rosa returned to Charleston to become the 19th president of his alma mater January 3, 2006.
His concern for keeping The Citadel education relevant in the 21st century while upholding the values that make the college unique has strengthened the college in significant ways. Since Rosa became president, The Citadel has increased the size of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets to full capacity and completed a $100 million capital campaign -- two benchmarks of a vibrant institution.
He is also active in college and community affairs. Rosa is a member of the Economic Leadership Council of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance as well as the board of directors for the Trident United Way, the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative and The Citadel Foundation.
His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
Along with his achievements in the Air Force and continued focus on strategic initiatives that will enhance The Citadel's mission of developing principled leaders, he continues to be a loving husband to his wife Donna, father to his two sons and grandfather to his grandchildren.
Rosa was also a command pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours and has flown seven different airframes.