The Citadel names interim commandant
Col. John F. Rivers, assistant commandant for operations and training, will oversee the South Carolina Corps of Cadets during the fall semester.
Rivers, Class of ’61, has been named interim commandant, to temporarily replace Brig. Gen. Emory Mace, who retired effective Aug. 31. Mace’s replacement, Col. Gregory A. Stone, chief of staff and deputy commandant of the United States Corps of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, will arrive later this fall.
A native of Metter, Ga., Rivers first came to The Citadel in 1957 as a cadet. He graduated in 1961 with a degree in civil engineering and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He attended Marine Corps Officers Basic School, NBC Company Officer Course, Marine Corps Reserve Command and Staff College, Reserve Landing Force Planning Schools and the Reserve Components National Security Course.
During his military career, Rivers held command and staff assignments, including engineer platoon commander and company executive officer for the 8th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, North Carolina; platoon commander and company executive officer, 1st Shore Party Battalion, 1st Marine Division, California and Republic of Vietnam; and engineer project officer, Marine Corps development and education command, Quantico, Va. His Marine Reserve assignments have been executive officer and company commander of a M.T. Maintenance Company; S-3, S-4 and executive officer, H&S Battalion, 4th Force Service Support Regiment; engineer officer, assistant combat service support officer, combat service support officer, G-3 and chief of staff for the 4th Force Service Support Group, 4th Marine Division.
He resigned from active duty in 1968 and entered the Marine Corps reserves where he served until his retirement in 1988. Upon release from active duty, Rivers joined Georgia Power Co. serving in many capacities, including district general manager, marketing manager and assistant to the executive vice president. He spent two years as economic development manager with the City of Americus, Ga.
Rivers has been awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, Combat Infantry Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Unit Citation.
Rivers returned to his alma mater in 1997 to become a battalion tactical officer, providing direct supervision and training of cadets. He retired in 2002 and returned in 2005 to assume his position as an assistant commandant.