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Seton Hall University

Medal of Honor Symposium: Seton Hall Cadets Learn Leadership Through Valor

Variants of Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor has three variants, one for each military department.

Awarded by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress, the Medal of Honor commemorates those who have shaped our nation’s history and continue to inspire the future with their acts of valor, humanity, patriotism and sacrifice. Of the 40 million Americans who have served in the Armed Forces since the Civil War, only 3,517 have earned the Medal of Honor. It is the only military decoration worn around the neck and has evolved since its founding in 1861. Today there are three variants; one for each military department. 

Pirate Battalion Senior Class and Guest Speakers.

Pirate Battalion Senior Class and Guest Speakers.

On Tuesday, February 6, 2024, the Seton Hall Pirate Battalion attended a symposium surrounding this prestigious medal, in preparation for the senior class's upcoming Staff Ride to Vietnam, to gain a better understanding of and contextualize example of the leadership and sacrifice demonstrated throughout the Vietnam War. This symposium featured esteemed guest speakers, Professor Joseph Huddleston from Seton Hall’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations, COL (Ret.) Keirn Brown from the 101st Airborne Division, and Mr. Greg Waters from the National Medal of Honor Museum.  

Shu Alumni Receive Nations Highest Award.

Seton Hall Alumni Received Nations Highest Award for Valor.

Professor Joseph Huddleston’s current work focuses on diplomatic activities of secessionist, separatist, and self-determination movements, and how international actors help or hinder separatist groups apart from diplomatic recognition. He has published in several peer-reviewed journals and has written multiple government policy reports. His presentation highlighted complex concepts including civil nationalism and interdisciplinary counterinsurgency warfare in connection with the Vietnam War.

COL (Ret.) Keirn Brown shared his past experiences as a Lieutenant and Company Commander throughout various parts of Vietnam, where our senior class will follow in his footsteps over 50 years later. The West Point alumni recounted the hardships of battle, and left behind incredible testimonials on leadership and what it means to sacrifice for one’s fellow soldiers. 

LTC Scher with Greg.

LTC Scher presents a coin of excellence to Mr. Greg to thank him for his hard work and dedication.

Mr. Greg Waters traveled to Seton Hall from the National Medal of Honor Museum located in Arlington, Texas and educated the Pirate Battalion about the importance of preserving the stories and legacies of Medal of Honor recipients for future generations. As the custodian of these narratives, the museum plays a vital role in honoring the courage and sacrifice of America's heroes, ensuring that their extraordinary deeds are never forgotten. The museum curator even brought in the actual medal of honor awarded to Chaplain (MAJ) Charles Watters, a Seton Hall alumni, in 1969 after he was killed in action while serving in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in 1967. Additionally, three models of the Medal of Honor, each belonging to a different branch of service, were provided for the cadet’s viewing.  

Medal presented to Chaplain (MAJ) Charles Watters.

The Medal presented to Chaplain (MAJ) Charles Watters, a Seton Hall Alumni, in 1969.

From stirring accounts of valor on the battlefield to reflections on the enduring significance of heroism, the event offered a powerful reminder of the extraordinary courage and sacrifice that define the Medal of Honor. As the symposium drew to a close, cadets left with a renewed sense of gratitude for the remarkable individuals who have been bestowed with the Medal of Honor. Their stories serve as a source of inspiration and a reminder of the values that unite us as a nation—courage, honor, and sacrifice. In commemorating their bravery, we honor not only the individuals themselves but also the ideals they represent.

The senior class of cadets will be traveling on a spring beak study abroad to Vietnam next month to complete their study of Chaplain Watters service and sacrifice.

Categories: Alumni, Nation and World