Vice Adm. William French, commander of U.S. Navy Installations Command, visited his high school alma mater, May 12, where he had the opportunity to speak with cadets from the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) unit from Seoul American High School (SAHS) at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan.
Principal Kathleen Reiss hosted Vice Adm. French, who graduated from SAHS in 1975, on a tour of the school before he spoke at a student assembly. Vice Adm. French discussed with cadets how his service in the U.S. Navy has shaped his life and the importance of education.
“My foundation for what I did in life happened within the walls of Seoul American High School,” said Vice Adm. French. “It was the teachers, the counselors, and all the staff here who cared about me. They made sure I got a good start in life. When I graduated, I had the tools I needed to be a success at college and beyond.”
The JROTC program at SAHS was founded in 1982 and has been rated as an honor unit with distinction since its inception. The three full-time military instructors at the school teach over 150 cadets about military history, leadership skills, physical fitness and community service.
“Being in the JROTC gives you an idea of what service to your nation is all about,” said Vice Adm. French. “Whether you decide to serve in the military or not, you walk away with a great appreciation of what that service does and what it contributes to the security of our nation.”
Vice Adm. French is the son of an Air Force officer and native of San Antonio, Texas. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, where he received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program in May, 1979. He earned a Master of Science degree from Naval Postgraduate School in 1985 and a Master of Arts degree from the Naval War College in 1999.
During his career, Vice Adm. French served on numerous submarines, commanded USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716) and commanded Submarine Squadron 3 in Pearl Harbor. His prior flag officer assignments include tours at U.S. Navy Region Northwest, U.S. Navy Region Marianas in Guam, and U.S. Navy Region Southwest.
Commander, Navy Installations Command is responsible for worldwide shore installation support for the U.S. Navy under the Chief of Naval Operations. CNIC oversees more than 83,000 facilities and 58,000 personnel, all managed from a single unified enterprise.
Press Release, May 13, 2014; Image: US Navy