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Marquette NROTC Alumni and Friends

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Honorees: Alumni of the Year 2014

Gerald R. Beaman

Retired Vice Admiral Gerald R. Beaman, U.S. Navy, was honored by Marquette University NROTC alumni for his long and illustrious career and outstanding service. His “Alumnus of the Year” award was presented by the Marquette NROTC Alumni & Friends Association at the 239th Navy and Marine Corps Birthday Ball on 24 October , 2014 at the Wisconsin Club.

Beaman is the only graduate of Marquette’s four ROTC programs who achieved three-star rank. During his four decades of service, Vice Admiral “Steamer” Beaman amassed over three thousand, five hundred hours of flight time as a naval aviator. Beaman has successfully made one thousand and sixty-eight jet carrier landings. He was maintenance, operations and executive officer of the Navy “TOPGUN” school at NAS Miramar.

Serving with great distinction, Admiral Beaman has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit (five); Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Strike/Flight Air Medal (two); Navy Commendation Medal (three); Navy Achievement Medal; and numerous campaign and service awards.

Admiral Beaman came to Marquette from Hammond, Indiana in 1970. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, and his Navy officer’s commission, in 1974. He also earned a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Naval War College in 1993. After flight training, Beaman operated F-4J Phantom and F-14A Tomcat jets in Navy fighter squadrons in the 1970s and ‘80s. His sea service included tours aboard the USS John F. Kennedy CV-67; USS Eisenhower CVN 69; USS America CV-66 during Operation El Dorado Canyon; and USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-1.

During Operation Desert Storm, Beaman was in charge of the Navy Fighter Weapons School “Top Gun” detachment in Saudi Arabia, and flew combat missions from the Persian Gulf. He commanded the “Fighting Checkmates”, Fighter Squadron VF-211, in 1995 and 96 aboard the USS Nimitz CVN-68. From 1998 to ’99 he was assistant operations chief of staff for Carrier Group Seven. He commanded Carrier Wing Two during Operation Southern Watch, aboard USS Constellation CV-64 in 2000 and 2001.

Beaman’s shore tours began with the Operational Test and Evaluation Force from 1979 to 1981. He served as program manager for the Squadron Augmentation Unit from 1984 to 1986. He filled three roles, including executive officer, at the Navy Fighter Weapons (TOPGUN) School from 1988 to 1992. At the U.S. Space Command he was chief of the Global Engagement Division, and commanded the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center from 1996 to 1998. He was chosen as CNO Strategic Studies Group fellow, 2002 to 2004, and was chief of staff to the commander of Naval Air Forces from 2002 to 2004, when he was selected for flag rank.

His first flag assignment was commander of the Naval Network and Space Operations Command. Beaman served as Naval Network Warfare Command operations director, 2005 to 2006. Then until 2008 he commanded Strike Force Training - Pacific. In January 2008 he became deputy chief of staff, operations, for the Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy. From 2009 to 2011, Beaman served as deputy chief of staff for Global Force Management, Joint Operations and Fleet Training. Vice Admiral Beaman became commander of the U.S. Third Fleet in April 2011. He commanded the Combined Task Force during RIMPAC 2012, the world’s largest maritime exercise ever conducted. Participants involved 22 nations, including Russia for the first time, and 25,000 servicemen aboard 46 ships.

Beaman also served as an FBI Special Agent from 1981 to 1984, when he returned to naval service. Beaman and his wife Yvonne now live in San Diego, where he is president of the Unmanned Systems division of Kratos Defense and Security Solutions. They have a daughter, Kyleene, and a son, Ricky, a “mustang” Lieutenant Junior Grade now on active duty.

As the U.S. Navy active duty Aviation Flag Officer Sponsor for the Marquette NROTC Unit, Admiral Beaman has made frequent visits to Milwaukee, to meet NROTC Midshipmen and take part in Unit and local Navy activities. He has been the senior officer at Milwaukee Navy Week celebrations, and has visited veterans in local VA Hospitals.

Joseph S. Hanson

Marquette University NROTC alumni honored Captain Joseph S. Hanson, USMC, as the 2014 Young Alumnus of the Year, for his outstanding and courageous service during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The award was presented by the Marquette NROTC Alumni & Friends Association at the 239th Navy and Marine Corps Birthday Ball on 25 October, 2014 at the Wisconsin Club.

Joseph Hanson earned his Bachelor of Political Science degree and Marine Corps commission at Marquette and its NROTC Unit in 2009. He graduated from Officers Basic School and Infantry Officers’ Courses at Quantico, VA and in August, 2010 he became a rifle and combined anti-terror platoon commander in K Company, Third Battalion, Fourth Marine Division at Twentynine Palms, California.

Hanson has completed two seven-month deployments to Helmand Province in support of “Operation Enduring Freedom.” His decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, with Combat Distinguishing Device; Combat Action Ribbon; and Purple Heart, with Gold Star in lieu of a second award.

In Afghanistan in April, 2011, Hanson was ordered to secure an eight-kilometer major supply route in Upper Gereshk Valley. He assigned his fifty Marines and Sailors to four defensive positions on that route. But on 15 May, during a dismounted recon patrol, he and his men were ambushed and pinned down by twelve to fifteen heavily-armed enemy insurgents - and took one immediate casualty. Hanson requested a casualty evacuation. He then led a counterattack to destroy immediate threats, and secure the casualty evacuation. Once the enemy was repelled, and the evacuation was successful, Hanson led his men back to safety. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in May 2011.

On 27 May, 2011, Hanson’s platoon was providing security for a Police Mentor Team and seventy-five Afghan Police, preventing placement of improvised explosive devices. The unit came under attack from enemy insurgents who were armed with machine guns and under-barrel grenade launchers, positioned on a rooftop less than two hundred yards away. Lieutenant Hanson’s unit suffered three immediate casualties, while Hanson was stunned by a grenade. Still under fire but recovering, Hanson led a counterattack that allowed the wounded to receive triage and lifesaving treatment prior to successful medical evacuation.On 2 July, 2011, Hanson and his squad were on a routine patrol when they came under precision fire from two enemy positions. Hanson immediately suffered a gunshot wound to his chest, but was able to move his squad to cover. From there, using his own snipers and a 500-pound bomb, Hanson and his squad destroyed the enemy position.

One month later during Operation Cowboys, Company K conducted a heliborne assault in the enemy-occupied Green Zone. Lieutenant Hanson’s platoon cleared eight breaches with explosives to open safe maneuvering paths. During this operation, seven enemy positions rained down a deluge of mortar, precision, machine gun and grenade fire on Hanson’s platoon for three hours during two engagements, from within fifty meters distance. Lieutenant Hanson led his platoon in repelling the insurgents.

In December, 2011, Hanson was transferred to Weapons Company in command of Combined Anti-Terror Team Two. This began 14 months of preparation for a return to Afghanistan. In September, 2012, Hanson attended the Marine Corps Special Operations Command’s rigorous one-month assessment program. As a result he was selected for that program’s Individual Training Course.

Captain Hanson returned to his battalion, and deployed to Afghanistan again in February, 2013. From 1 March to 15 July of 2013, Hanson conducted over one hundred mounted and dismounted security patrols in the dangerous Kajaki District, in support of Afghan Security Forces. For this assignment, he received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Returning to the U.S., Captain Hanson graduated in October 2014 from the year-long Marine Corps Special Operations Individual Training Course at Stone Bay, North Carolina. He will be stationed with the First Raider Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California. He grew up in Neenah, Wisconsin. His parents are Craig and Caroline Hanson of Lafayette, Indiana.                                                            

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