University of Connecticut

Col Passmore, U.S. Army

Commander, US Military Group - Venezuela

I graduated from UCONN in 1982 with a BA in Political Science, and was commissioned in the regular Army as a Distinguished Military Graduate into Military Intelligence. I've served in various tactical and strategic intelligence positions from light airborne infantry and Special Forces to the United States Space Command. Now, as a Foreign Area Officer I've continued my career working in embassies from Uruguay and Brazil to Kuwait and Afghanistan. Currently I'm serving as the Commander of the US Military Group in Caracas, Venezuela.

Although a 4 year ROTC Student at UCONN, I was non-scholarship since I really didn't intend to enter the military. But my experience in the ROTC changed my mind. It offered challenges, both mental and physical as well as opportunities not to be had elsewhere, but more importantly it was the people I was with that set me off on this path. I still count as my best friends those who I initially met in ROTC. I still consider my APMS as one of my three life mentors and was honored when he helped pin on my eagles. For me, UCONN ROTC provided the optimum environment for me to be with those I respected and allowed me to set off on the path that was right for me.

Life is what you make of the experiences you live. I can say that UCONN ROTC provided me the starting point for a very successful, rewarding, and satisfying career - but it also has provided me friendships and experiences that will last a lifetime.

LTC O’Neill

Commander, 85th Troop Command, Connecticut National Guard

My name is LTC O'Neill. I was a Simultaneous Member Cadet in the Connecticut Army National Guard and I was a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Connecticut in 1988. I was commissioned a 2LT in the Regular Army branched Field Artillery. I served on active duty for approximately eight years. Currently, I’m an AGR (Active Guard and Reserve) Lieutenant Colonel in the Connecticut National Guard.

UCONN Army ROTC gave me a great foundation to start my military career. I received a basic understanding the Army, its structure, the people who make up the Army (Active Duty, Army National Guard and the Army Reserve). The most important take away from my time in ROTC was leadership. I learned how absolutely critical good leadership is to accomplishing the mission. It takes a lot of planning, coordination, training, follow through and good old fashioned hard work to accomplish the mission. However the mission won’t be accomplished if there is not quality leadership at every level.

Serving your country as an officer on Active Duty, in the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve is extremely rewarding. The University of Connecticut Army ROTC program is an outstanding place to start your journey.