Ronald L. Withrow Jr.

Title: Commanding Officer
Company: Yale University Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps
Location: East Lyme, Connecticut, USA

Captain Ronald L. Withrow Jr., Commanding Officer at Yale University Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Military for dedication, achievements, and US Naval leadership.

Not ready to attend college, Ron embarked on a career of adventure when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1985 at the age of 17. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina-Columbia in 1996, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. As a testament to his academic excellence, he was also inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities in 1996. He received a Master of Arts in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University in 2004.

Ron has also excelled throughout numerous U.S. Navy courses of study, including Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP) training. Reflective of his teaching acumen as an NNPP instructor, he achieved the highest U.S. Navy teaching credentials when he was designated a Master Training Specialist by the Chief of Naval Education and Training in 1990.  He would also serve as a Fleet Engineer for the NNPP at Naval Reactors headquarters, and instructor for the Basic Reactor Engineering School course for new NNPP engineers. Ron also obtained his certificate in Joint Professional Military Education from the U.S. Naval War College in 2012.

The Navy has provided Ron with a journey of a lifetime, where he has progressed through the senior Enlisted rank of Chief Petty Officer, then the senior commissioned Officer rank of Captain. He has served aboard submarines, destroyers, and submarines including command of the Virginia-Class fast-attack submarine USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790), where he led an incredibly talented crew of amazing submariners. During his command tour, he had the distinct honor to address both houses of the South Dakota state legislature and go pheasant hunting with the Lt. Governor – a former Navy man. In his final tour at sea in 2020, he served as a carrier strike group chief of staff, and flew backseat in an F-18. Since 2020, he has served as the Professor of Naval Science, and Chair of the Department of Naval Science at Yale University, as well as the Commanding Officer of Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Yale University. In this capacity, he teaches courses in Leadership and Ethics, and Naval Seapower and Maritime Affairs.

Ron attributes his success to opportunities and strength provided by God, an amazing cadre of leaders and mentors he has served with over his career, and a strong work ethic. He is especially grateful for the support and inspiration he received from an amazing spouse.

A firm believer in servant leadership, he has been recognized as a recipient of the Presidential Points of Light Award in 1993 and has served for many years as a volunteer and coach for Special Olympics, and most recently as an Assistant Scoutmaster for the Scouts BSA program.  In his spare time, he can be found renovating his 1830 Greek Revival home with his spouse or hiking trails or running track with his son – a Scout and Special Olympian. A life better than he deserves.

For more information, please visit:

DVIDS: USS South Dakota Holds Change of Command

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