Lieutenant Colonel Paul K. McNamara, Sr. is inducted as an “Honorary Member” into the University of Rhode Island Army ROTC Hall of Fame.
Paul K. McNamara, Sr. was born in Providence, Rhode Island on 17 February 1942 to John and Helen McNamara. He graduated from LaSalle Academy where he was a member of the cross country team, and an All State member of the track team. Paul entered Providence College in September 1959 and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. While there, he participated in the Army ROTC Program. Paul was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Armor in June 1963.
After his initial officer schooling, LT McNamara deployed to South Vietnam in 1965 with the 173d Airborne Brigade as a Cavalry Troop Platoon Leader and Executive Officer as well as Aide-de Camp to the Brigade Commanding General. CPT McNamara was next assigned as the Commandant, Fort Carson/5th Infantry Division Leadership School where he prepared soldiers for deployment to Vietnam, conducted a Basic NCO Course and developed and implemented a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol course. Volunteering for a second tour in Vietnam, CPT McNamara was assigned as a MACV advisor in the Mekong Delta Region of Vietnam supporting the Mobile Advisory Teams.
Major McNamara was then assigned to the Armor School, Fort Knox, Kentucky as a tactics instructor in the Armor Advanced Course until attending graduate school at Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts. Upon graduation from Babson, Major McNamara was assigned to the U.S. Army Missile Command where he was involved in the overall management of “Project Peace Shield” which was the deployment of the improved Hawk Missile system to Iran.
Immediately after graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College, he was assigned to Germany as the Executive Officer, 708th Maintenance Battalion, 8th Infantry Division and subsequently as the S-3, 8th Division Support Command. In these positions, Major McNamara provided outstanding leadership and tactical advice to these logistical units which significantly improved their ability to support the division in a tactical field environment.
LTC McNamara was selected as the Director of Training Management Development and Director, Armor Team, Readiness Region, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He was responsible for assisting the Texas and Louisiana National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve units in the improvement of their overall ability to train, support and fight in combat.
In 1981 LTC McNamara was assigned as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Rhode Island. He set the example for his staff and cadets by his leadership and professionalism.
As a member of the University of Rhode Island Faculty Senate, he raised the visibility of the Army ROTC Program as an active member of several committees; and he was a guest lecturer in numerous history and political science classes. He also was instrumental in having the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Vice President of Student Affairs visit the cadets during ROTC Summer Camp which helped to improve the image of Army ROTC on campus.
LTC McNamara retired from active duty on 1 April 1985; and in September 1989, he assumed the duties as Senior Army Instructor, U.S. Army JROTC Program, Cranston High School East, Cranston, Rhode Island. LTC McNamara’s professionalism and leadership skills built a brand new JROTC Program from 32 students in the first year to 215 students, and they received the Honor Unit with Distinction (HUD) Award for eight straight years. The HUD award is only awarded to 10% of the U.S. Army JROTC units.
Paul McNamara has continued to support the Army ROTC Program by his membership in the URI Army ROTC Alumni Chapter. He served as Chapter Secretary, member of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee and supporter of numerous cadet activities.
Paul and his wife Sandra reside in Bonita Springs, Florida.