Retiring U.S. Army Special Forces colonel appointed as VMI commandant

Roanoke Valley News

(Photo: Courtesy VMI)

LEXINGTON, Va. (WFXR) — Col. Adrian T. Bogart III ’81, who is retiring from the U. S. Army Special Forces in the near future, has been appointed commandant of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Corps of Cadets.

According to a statement released by VMI on Monday, June 21, Bogart will command from Col. William “Bill” Wanovich ’87, set to retire on June 30 after seven years as commandant. 

VMI says Bogart spent 38 years on active duty, including 78 months in combat and a total of three tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He deployed as chief of operations, deputy C-9 (forward), with the Combined Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC) in Kuwait. He later participated in the initial planning effort for Operation Iraqi Freedom, deploying to Baghdad, Iraq, as part of CFLCC’s early entry command post.

In addition to his service in Kuwait and Iraq, school officials say Bogart served three tours of duty in Afghanistan, first as chief of staff for the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, and later as an Afghan-Pakistani Hand after learning Dari — the most widely spoken language in Afghanistan — through the Defense Language Institute.

According to VMI, during his decades of service, Bogart also served several tours in the Pentagon and the Washington, D.C., area, including as a Special Forces staff officer on Army Staff; chief of resource management for the Consequence Management Program Integration Officer; chief of strategic plans and programs at the National Guard Bureau’s Civil Support Office; and commander of the 32nd Civil Support Team (Provisional). 

Most recently, the institute says Bogart completed a 21-month deployment to Afghanistan, contributing to the historic peace settlement between the United States and the Taliban that was signed on Feb. 29, 2020. He then became chief of the Washington Field Office for the U.S. Southern Command until his recent retirement.

“I am very thankful to the search committee, the senior leadership of the Institute and the superintendent for their trust and confidence in my future service to VMI,” said Bogart in a statement on Monday.

“As I look ahead, the road for VMI is both promising and demanding,” Bogart stated. “It holds promise because we have the opportunity to responsibly advance the VMI experience, our traditions, and culture for all of VMI’s cadets, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends.”

During his time at VMI, the school says Bogart held positions of increasing responsibility as a member of the cadre and served as executive officer of Company F his 1st Class year. When Bogart graduated, he commissioned into the Infantry and later transitioned into the Special Forces.

In addition to his civil engineering degree from VMI, Bogart reportedly earned a master’s degree in diplomacy with a concentration in terrorism from Norwich University. 

“Col. Bogart’s impressive military experience, and his experience as a VMI cadet will be valuable each day in his new role,” said Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ‘85, VMI superintendent. “There is no doubt cadets will thrive under his leadership.”

According to Monday’s statement, Bogart’s awards include two Defense Superior Service Medals, including one for combat service; the Legion of Merit; five Bronze Stars; the Afghan Campaign Medal with two stars; Iraq Campaign Medal with six stars; Combat Infantrymen and Combat Action Badges, as well as the Special Forces tab; German, Italian, and U.S. Airborne wings; and the Presidential Service and Army Staff Identification Badges.

Bogart is reportedly a New York native, but he is proficient in French, German, and Dari. In addition, he and his late wife, Susan, have three adult children: Sarah, Catherine, and 1st Lt. Adrian T. Bogart IV.

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