Army General to Speak at Norwich ROTC Commissioning Ceremony


May 10, 2016

Norwich University’s graduating future officers will hear remarks from a fellow alum at this spring’s joint services commissioning ceremony.  Major General John W. Baker ’85 returns to the Norwich campus to speak to ROTC commissioning officers during a formal ceremony to mark the occasion on Sunday, May 15, at 9 a.m.

In his address, the Army officer will touch on themes of leadership, integrity, allegiance, kindness, trust, service history, service values, and family.

Baker currently serves as the Commanding General of the 7th Signal Command (Theater), which is headquartered at Fort Gordon, Georgia. The command installs, operates, maintains, and defends Network and Mission Command capabilities for Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational forces within the Western Hemisphere in support of Unified Land Operations and, as directed, supports other national missions or contingency operations. The command currently commands and controls 77 Network Enterprise Centers providing information technology services at installations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Baker received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Norwich University and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He is a graduate of the Armor Officer Basic and Signal Officer Advanced Courses, Command and General College, and Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Baker served in several posts in Germany, worked in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff as a program analyst, and deployed to Bosnia and Bahrain. Baker assumed command of the 124th Signal Battalion, 4th Infantry Division (M) in Tikrit, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in June 2003. In December 2004, he activated the Special Troops Battalion (STB), 4th Infantry Division (M), and deployed the battalion to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07.

Following postings at Fort Gordon and Fort McPherson in Georgia from 2011 to 2014, Baker served as the director of command and control, communications and computer systems with the United States Central Command based at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Baker is one of 21 Norwich alumni currently serving the nation as a general officer, admiral, or in the federal government Senior Executive Service.

At Norwich’s May 15 commissioning ceremony, Baker will address approximately 127 students anticipated to commission into four branches of the military. During the service, the new officers receive their second lieutenant or ensign bars and their first salutes. The event, which begins at 9 a.m. in Shapiro Field House, is part of Norwich University’s Commencement Weekend and is open to the public.

Here are anticipated commission numbers:

Army: 84

Air Force: 11

Navy/Marines: 32

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) 

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