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On July 10, Russ Czerw '83 will be promoted two ranks to major general. The next day, he will take command of the Army Medical Department Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, which trains all Army enlisted medical personnel. He also will be post commander and Chief of the Army Dental Corps.

Czerw, a native of Utica, New York, was the subject of a recent feature story in the Utica Observer-Dispatch newspaper. The story states, "Czerw, a standout basketball and baseball player at Proctor [Academy], said [music teacher Bonnie] Hibbard talked him into joining the school choir and drafted him for musicals, most memorably 'South Pacific.' The experience later helped him complete a performing arts credit at St. Lawrence University, where he sang Don Quixote in 'Man of La Mancha' in his senior year. The same year, 1983, he also helped lead his Army Reserve Officers Training Corps unit at St. Lawrence to top honors during Army training at Fort Bragg, NC."

Further, it states, "Czerw has had extended assignments in Germany and Washington, DC in his 19-year career with the Army Dental Corps, and a memorable tour in Iraq where he also commanded a combat stress control unit. He knows how valuable good counseling can be. He credits his St. Lawrence baseball coach, Tom Fay, for convincing him after a promising tryout for the Boston Red Sox to go to dental school instead of hanging his hopes on pro baseball. That led directly to his career with the Army Dental Corps."

Czerw earned his St. Lawrence degree in biology, and, as the story noted, participated in ROTC and baseball. He earned his DDS degree at SUNY Buffalo and has been a member of St. Lawrence's Alumni Executive Council. His wife, Michelle Alexander Czerw, is also a 1983 St. Lawrence graduate.

More information: The story from the Utica Observer-Dispatch

Posted: June 28, 2006

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