KNOXVILLE — Romeo Morrisey, program manager for the Center for Homeland Security Training at the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center, was inducted into the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Hall of Fame on Sept. 21 on the campus of his alma mater, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, N.C.
Romeo MorriseyArmy ROTC prepares students to become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army upon college graduation. The Hall of Fame recognizes those Army ROTC alumni who have had distinguished military and civilian careers.
Morrisey, a retired U.S. Army colonel, entered ROTC at NC A&T in 1972, received his commission in 1976, then began his military career in Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantry officer.
“The program taught me discipline, how to motivate others to do what you asked of them when you are not looking, and mainly how to manage my time and conduct responsibly,” Morrisey said. “The ROTC program is a great way to begin life as a young adult and secure a job with great responsibility -– a place where you are sure of contributing to something important. You get to shape lives and routinely see positive results.”
That preparation led to a 27-year military career for Morrisey. He served in numerous theaters and operations, including 13 months as a mortar platoon and rifle platoon leader in the Republic of Korea. During his distinguished military career, Morrisey received the NATO Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medals and Army Commendation Medals, among other decorations.
Morrisey’s last assignment was as chief of the Army’s Operations and Fielding Division at the Pentagon. His division developed, coordinated and implemented strategic plans and programs that executed unit set fielding concepts. This included assisting in determining equipment availability based on mission requirements, defining fielding timelines and analyzing affordability.
Morrisey was in the Pentagon when it was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. He was not injured.
At UT, Morrisey manages programs that train response teams and law enforcement officers nationwide to detect, prevent, mitigate and react to the threat of terrorist attacks.
This year, one of those training programs -– Transit Terrorist Tools & Tactics (T4) -– will reach 24 cities nationwide, from Hawaii to New York. Certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, T4 trains police, traffic security officers, firefighters, transit staff and emergency medical service providers -– all considered first responders -– how to deal with terrorist attacks and other threat incidents involving mass transit.
More than 30 years later, Morrisey still recognizes the value of his early ROTC training for his current civilian career.
“The skills you learn and demonstrate at the lowest levels of military leadership include management, supervision and policy making. These same skills are not expected in civilian careers until well beyond your first year in the workplace. Companies and agencies actively search for an employee who has the character and skills developed in ROTC for their supervisory and top management positions,” Morrisey said. “Many ROTC branches and job titles parallel civilian vocations such as those in law enforcement, emergency services, logistics, administration, finance or medicine.”
Morrisey came to UT LEIC in August 2003.
Queena Jones, (865) 974-1533, firstname.lastname@example.org