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Hilltop Happenings

Alumni Veterans Day Panel
Kristina Miller

In honor of Veterans Day, the Salisbury community had the great pleasure of hearing from Tom Dalton '07 and Mitch McDonald '07 for a special Alumni Veterans Day Panel. These Salisbury Gentlemen spoke fondly about their time on the Hilltop, the experiences and leadership opportunities they had as students, and how they have benefitted from them throughout their adult life. 

View the Alumni Veterans Day Panel here. 

Tom Dalton '07 attended Salisbury from 2004 - 2007. He lived in Renell, Carr, and Qualie dorms, ultimately serving as prefect in his sixth form year. He was a member of the student government and Key Society. After Tom graduated from Salisbury, he spent a year at the United States Military Academy Prep School as a transition year before ultimately starting West Point in the summer of 2008. 

Tom was a four year letterman in lacrosse at West Point and studied Systems Engineering with a focus in mathematics. Tom was part of the 2010 Army Lacrosse team that beat Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA tournament as a 15 seed. During Tom’s senior year at West Point he chose to branch Field Artillery and selected his first assignment at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington. 

After graduating in 2012, Tom moved to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for Field Artillery Basic Officer Leader Course where he studied the art and science of Field Artillery (cannons, rockets, missiles, etc.). After completing his initial training Tom was stationed at Fort Lewis Washington where he served as a Fire Direction Officer, Platoon Leader, and Executive Officer. During his time in Washington he was deployed to Guam for three months as part of a global security mission. 

Once he completed his initial duty assignment, Tom went back to Fort Sill, Oklahoma to serve as an Aide de Camp to a general officer. A highly selective position that sources from across the Army. Upon completion of being an Aide, Tom then moved to Fort Stewart, Georgia and immediately deployed to the Middle East as part of his unit’s nine month deployment. Tom was primarily stationed in Kuwait during this time serving as the Liaison Officer to all US Forces in Afghanistan. After returning home in 2018, Tom and his wife Ali moved back to the Northeast settling in Chatham, New Jersey. Tom currently works for Goldman Sachs in their Consumer and Wealth Management division. Tom and Ali have an 2.5 year old daughter, Cecelia, and a two year old great pyrenees, Maggie.

Mitch McDonald '07 is a native of Houston, Texas. MAJ McDonald moved to the New England area after graduating high school where he would spend the next five years. He joined the Hilltop family in 2007 as a PG. MAJ McDonald was commissioned as an Engineer Officer in 2011 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at the academy he was a member of the Black Knight Division 1 basketball team and served as a team captain in his first year.  MAJ McDonald was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Psychology from West Point in 2011. He completed the Engineer Basic Officers Leadership Course in the fall of 2012 and was assigned as Platoon Leader for the 937th Clearance Company, 8th Engineer Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas.

He deployed as a platoon leader in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Nangahar Province, Afghanistan in the fall of 2013. There, his unit provided assured mobility for coalition forces and assisted in training for the Afghan National Army and Police. After a successful deployment, he returned to the states to serve in several developmental positions before attending and successfully completing the Engineer Captains Career Course in 2016.

While at the career course he pursued and was awarded a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri S&T. He then transitioned to Fort Polk, Louisiana where he assumed command and successfully deployed and redeployed the 573rd Clearance Company, 46th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade to Kandahar, Afghanistan. En route to Fort Polk, he attended and successfully completed the United States Army Ranger Course and Basic Airborne Course.

His successful career performance brought him full circle and led to him being selected as an instructor at the United States Military Academy. MAJ McDonald attended graduate school at North Carolina State University pursuing a Master of Science in Human Factors and Applied Cognition under the direction of Dr. Anne McLaughlin. During this time, assigned to the LACELab, he gained experience in conducting human subjects research and completed several independent and collaborative research studies addressing the physiology of comfort and efficacy of diminished reality to improve performance.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Combat Action Badge. He also earned the Airborne Parachutist Badge and US Army Ranger Tab.

Thank you for your service, Salisbury Gentlemen. Now, those are Knights!