Lt. Gen. John B. Sams elected chair of The Citadel Board of Visitors
The Citadel’s governing organization will soon have a new chair. Lt. Gen. John B. Sams, Jr., USAF (Retired), will begin his term as chair of The Citadel Board of Visitors (BOV) July 1, 2015. Sams was elected to the position today in a unanimous vote by his fellow board members. Sams will assume the role when current BOV chair, Lt. Gen. W. Michael Steele, USA (Retired), completes his term June 30.
“John Sams has a proven track record of leadership in the military, business and The Citadel community,” said Steele in a written announcement to alumni. “He is a key contributor, most recently serving as chairman of the Education and Leadership Development Committee. We are fortunate to have his leadership for the BOV.”
Sams, who graduated from The Citadel in 1967 with a degree in history, has served on the 14-member BOV since being elected in 2011. He is owner and president of JBSJ & Associates, LLC, an aerospace consulting company. Sams has more than 45 years’ experience as a leader in the military and commercial aerospace enterprises. He was a six-time commander in the U.S. Air Force before retiring in 1999. He joined The Boeing Company and rose through the ranks to become vice president of Air Force Programs for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems before retiring from that company. Additionally, Sams is chairman and chief operating officer of the Aerial Refueling Systems Advisory Group, the Joint Standardization Agent for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, for all matters pertaining to service and international aerial refueling specifications, processes and procedures. His term will end June 30, 2017.
“It is my honor to continue the excellent work of Gen. Steele—in association with my esteemed BOV colleagues, the college president, Lt. Gen. John Rosa, and our broader campus community—to direct our great college toward the achievement of its LEAD Plan 2018 goals,” said Sams. “I am deeply proud of The Citadel’s contributions to our nation and will work to ensure we continue producing men and women of character.”
Steele has been active with his alma mater since his graduation in 1967. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2001 after 34 years of service where he led every level, eventually rising to commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific. He is a Vietnam Ranger Battalion and Ranger Group combat veteran. Following retirement, he served as a senior executive in the defense industry and started a defense services company, Osprey Bay, LLC. He also served as a senior mentor for the Army General Officer Strategic Leader Development Program from its inception in 2001 through 2014. He will continue to be involved with The Citadel.
“Spending time with cadets and engaging with faculty, staff and alumni has strengthened my respect and appreciation for our alma mater and has been a tremendous personal learning opportunity,” said Steele. “The Citadel’s lofty reputation as a producer of principled leaders will continue to be enhanced during John Sams’ tenure as BOV chair.”
“It has been a pleasure working with Lt. Gen. Steele. He has taken The Citadel to new heights and will be missed,” said Citadel President John W. Rosa. “Lt. Gen. Sams is a proven leader, and I look forward to serving with him during this important time at The Citadel.”
Col. W. Dylan Goff, The Citadel Class of 2002, will continue as vice chair.
About the Board of Visitors
South Carolina law and college regulations define the role of the Board of Visitors. The Citadel's Board of Visitors has 14 voting members. Ex officio members include the governor, the adjutant general and the state superintendent of education; the other 11 members are graduates of The Citadel. The board also has a non-voting secretary and can appoint individuals who have served at least 18 years on the board as emeritus members. The General Assembly and the governor must elect members "based on merit regardless of race or economic status and shall strive to ensure that the membership of the board is representative of all citizens of the state of South Carolina. Elections take place in the session prior to the expiration of a board member's term.