Two Northwestern State University alumni were inducted into the U.S. Army ROTC National Hall of Fame last month during the 100th anniversary commemoration and induction ceremony at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Lieutenant General (Ret) Joseph M. Cosumano Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Truman Maynard were among more than 300 distinguished graduates to be honored.
The Hall of Fame is intended to honor graduates of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who have distinguished themselves in military or civilian pursuits. It provides a prestigious and tangible means of recognizing and honoring Army ROTC Alumni who have made lasting, significant contributions to the Nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the Army ROTC Program.
Cosumano is a NSU ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate where he commanded the ROTC Cadet Corps as a senior. He served on active duty from 1968-2004. He served with distinction during the Vietnam, Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom eras. He was a Patriot Brigade Commander with units in Saudi Arabia and Turkey in Desert Storm and culminated his career as the commanding general of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command with units in both theatres of war.
Cosumano has had significant impact on the future of the Army, having served as the director of the First Quadrennial Defense Review in 1996, the first program manager for National Missile Defense in 1997-98. He was the Army Force Modernizer defining/resourcing all Army programs and the program manager for future combat systems.
Cosumano maintained close ties with NSU ROTC and is a member of the NSU ROTC Hall of Fame and the university’s alumni hall of distinction, the Long Purple Line. He is the first colonel of the NSU Demon Regiment, which provides mentorship and funds to aid and attract ROTC students.
As a civilian, Cosumano continues to support troops, notably as the senior vice president of Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) executing the COGCAP III contract, building base facilities and providing services to both theatres of warm from 2004-08. Cosumano had over 64,000 civilian contractors reporting he and was often deployed in support of those operations.
Cosumano resides in Huntsville, Alabama, and sits on many community boards and committees, such as YMCA, Still Serving Veterans and the American Cancer Society.
Maynard was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry in 1960 through the NSU ROTC program. After entering active duty, he was the top graduate in both his flight school class and infantry advanced course and piloted the Army’s largest plane during the Vietnam conflict. After tours in Vietnam, he was selected for faculty Command and General Staff College and was an author/instructor in the Department of Tactics there. He completed an Army helicopter training course, serviced a helicopter unit commander and was engaged in developing flight simulators.
Maynard retired from active duty in 1980 and operated movie theatres in four Louisiana cities. In 1988 he began his third career as an engineering project manager for Xerox managing printing contracts for the Army and developing large commercial printing systems. Since retiring from Xerox in 2006, he has been a leader in NSU’s ROTC alumni, the Demon Regiment, devoting many hours to strengthening the ROTC program and enhancing resources available to support the program.
Cadet Command is the parent organization of the Army ROTC program. The program produces over 70 percent of the new officers entering the Army each year and is available through nearly 1,000 college campuses nationwide. Nearly 30,000 college-level students are currently enrolled in the program. Cadet Command also oversees the operation of more than 1700 Army Junior ROTC programs at America’s high schools. Over 300,000 high school students are enrolled in that program – which fosters leadership and citizenship skills in the nation’s youth.