Virginia Military Institute Newsletter, Volume XLII, Number V, March 2014
Dean, Commandant Appointments Announced
Academic year 2014-15 will see a number of new faces in leadership
positions at VMI.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey G. Smith Jr. has been selected for appointment as dean
of the faculty and deputy superintendent for academics. Smith will take up
the position after Brig. Gen. Wane Schneiter steps down May 31 to return
to the teaching faculty in the VMI Department of Civil and Environmental
Smith comes to VMI from Alexandria, Va., having retired last year after a
33-year career in the U.S. Army. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate
in the VMI Class of 1979, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in
English and biology. He also holds a master of science degree in national
security from the National War College and a doctoral degree in English
literature from Princeton University.
Smith is the author of
(2012), the Army Cyber Command’s
vision for future cyber-related operations, and
The Literature of
Disillusionment: Public War Correspondence fromWaterloo to Khe Sanh
(Princeton University, 1992). He is currently president of Cyber Insights
U.S. Army Col. William J. Wanovich ’87, commander of VMI’s Army
ROTC unit since 2010, has been appointed commandant of the VMI Corps
of Cadets. He will take up his duties this summer, following the retirement
of Col. Thomas Trumps ’79. Trumps has been commandant since March
Wanovich takes this position following a 27-year career in the U.S. Army.
Commissioned upon graduation from VMI in 1987, Wanovich deployed
to Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1991 and, the next year, served as
a battalion supply and logistics officer in Homestead, Fla., providing
humanitarian assistance as part of Operation Hurricane Andrew. He served
in a number of leadership and staff positions in Egypt, Africa, and Iraq. He
is a graduate of the United States Army War College.
Retired Army Col. David R. Gray has been named director of VMI’s
Center of Leadership and Ethics and will report for duty in August. Col.
David Miller, the director of International Programs, will continue to serve
as interim director until then.
Gray’s 30-year Army career included tours as an operations officer and
strategist on the Joint Staff and the Department of the Army Staff. He also
participated in both peacekeeping and combat operations in Haiti, the
Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
He has taught history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and
also at the University of Maryland and at Ohio State University.
A native of Herscher, Ill., Gray earned a bachelor of arts degree in history
from Western Illinois University. He also holds a master of science degree
from the U.S. Army War College and master of arts and doctoral degrees
from Ohio State University. He has attended the U.S. Army Command and
General Staff College and the U.S. Armed Forces Staff College.
Gray retired from the Army in 2010. He is currently in Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia, where he teaches senior officers at Saudi Arabia’s War College.
Lt. Col. Lee Rakes has been named director of Institute assessment and
evaluation in the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research. Rakes
began his duties on Jan. 10.
Rakes succeeds Col. Elizabeth Sechler, who retired on Dec. 31, 2013.
Rakes had served as a research and assessment analyst in that office since
A native of Bassett, Va., Rakes came to VMI with a background in
educational psychology and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, which he completed in
2012. In addition to his doctorate, Rakes also holds a master’s degree in
health promotion and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, both from Virginia
Rats were awakened for Breakout at 5 a.m. Feb. 1 by Little John
and small arms firing blanks. Sweat parties and training at North
Post followed, with the weather turning warm in the afternoon as
the rats rucked to McKethan Park for more physical training. In a
culminating event honoring the NewMarket cadets, the rats charged
howitzers in a gun emplacement built by upperclass cadets on the
Parade Ground. See page 11 for additional photos
– VMI Photos by
John Robertson IV, Kevin Remington, and H. Lockwood McLaughlin.