Marquette NROTC Alumni & Friends Assn

Arnold C. Wegher

Mathew Krempel

Retired Captain Arnold C. Wegher, USNR of Evergreen, Colorado, a 1953 Marquette graduate, received the Marquette NROTC Alumni & Friends Association Alumni of the Year award on 25 October 1013 at the NROTC Unit’s 238th Naval Services Birthday Ball at the Milwaukee Hilton.

Wegher gained admission to Marquette and NROTC in 1950. He earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree and was commissioned as a U.S. Navy Ensign. On active duty from 1953 to 1956, Wegher served aboard the U.S.S. Montrose (APA-212) and on the staff of Transport Division 52. This included support of amphibious landing exercises in the Pacific, and “Passage to Freedom”, the evacuation and relocation of 9,000 refugees from North to South Vietnam. He assisted in the withdrawal of the 3rd Marine Division from Korea and was released from active duty in September, 1956 as a Lieutenant, Junior Grade.

In the active Naval Reserves (1956 to 1991) Wegher commanded five Naval Reserve units, serving as executive officer, and training officer in the Reserve Readiness Command. He lectured at the Naval War College, took on Navy JAG and defense counsel duties, did a Great Lakes ports review, had a cross-service Air Force tour, and took War College and Command and Staff Courses. During one period Wegher was Executive and then Commanding Officer of the U.S. Naval Forces Korea Reserve Unit. He was senior U.S. naval operational officer in exercise “Ulchi Focus Lens” and commanded a Pacific Fleet Training Group.

Wegher served as Reserve Commodore for two ageing WWII destroyers transiting from San Diego to Pearl Harbor. En route, he and his crew of mostly reservists were ordered to try to detect the presence of a new U.S. nuclear submarine, U.S.S. Guitarro, which made the same journey in reverse. His reservists located the Guitarro, which was considered impossible. 

Wegher earned his Juris Doctor Degree in 1962 and Master of Laws in Taxation in 1962. Following active duty, he was a flight test engineer at Edwards Air Force Base and University of Colorado engineering instructor. He practiced law in twenty countries, and was an officer of MCA Financial; a University of Denver adjunct professor of law; University of Innsbruck visiting law professor; Teikyo Loretto Heights University professor; and University of Vienna arbitration judge. He is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar and state bar of Colorado.

Captain Wegher’s awards include the National Defense Service Medal, United Nations Medal, Korean Conflict Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Naval Reserve Medal and Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation and Combat Action Ribbon. His wife Joann passed away in 2002. He has six children and nine grandchildren. He has been a generous donor to scores of charities, and is a parishioner at Christ the King Catholic Church in Evergreen, Colorado.

Captain Matthew Krempel, USMC, a 2008 Marquette University NROTC graduate, received the 2013 Young Alumnus of the Year award from the Marquette NROTC Alumni & Friends Association 25 October 2013, at the NROTC Unit’s 238th Naval Services Birthday Ball at the Milwaukee Hilton.

Krempel graduated MU in 2006, earning a bachelor’s degree in American Military History. Following commissioning as a Marine Corps 2nd Lieutenant, Krempel completed Officers Basic School at Quantico, VA and was assigned to the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. This led to two tours of duty in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

As a 1st Lieutenant in 2010, Krempel commanded a platoon of 45 Marine and Navy personnel. His unit conducted over 300 combat patrols and platoon operations. The unit completed 67 direct fire engagements with enemy forces, encountered seven improvised explosive devices, captured 12 enemy combatants and found and secured four major enemy weapons caches.

Taliban murders and propaganda led to the closure of a local school and bazaar. Captain Krempel and his unit overcame fear and terror among Afghan civilians, developing trust in the community. The tent school and bazaar were soon operating again.

On September 2, 2010, Krempel led his platoon on a dismounted security patrol that came under ambush from multiple enemy positions. He was struck twice in his right arm by enemy rounds. Ignoring his wounds, he linked his platoon with adjacent units. They continued fighting until the enemy was defeated, then he sought medical aid.

Captain Krempel’s awards include the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Combat Action Ribbon. He is now Aide-de-Camp for the Deputy Commander for Security Force Assistance, NATO Regional Command (Southwest). His duties include daily scheduling and planning for a Marine Corps General, and coordinating staff action. Captain Krempel continues to excel in meeting new challenges. His permanent duty station is Camp Lejeune, N.C. He has also assisted MU NROTC unit by counseling Marine Corps candidates.

In recommending Captain Krempel, Lt. Colonel Maureen Murphy wrote: “Captain Krempel has demonstrated outstanding leadership and professionalism, exemplifying the courage, commitment and love of country that was undoubtedly developed and reinforced during his education and training at Marquette University. His unwavering commitment to service should stand as a model for all current and future Marquette University Midshipmen to emulate.”

Marquette NROTC Alumni & Friends Association (A&FA) is a 501(c)19 Veterans non-profit organization.

Mailing Address:  1532 W Clybourn Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233

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