Welcome to the Vessey Veterans Resource Center, a comprehensive resource that provides timely information essential to making informed decisions while you transition to civilian life. University of Maryland University College is committed to providing you with convenient access to insights and support from trusted sources. Whether you are looking to secure the right job, understand your veterans benefits, or simply want to know what support is available, the Vessey VRC is here to help.
The Vessey VRC is named in honor of a distinguished UMUC alumnus and one of the most accomplished and inspiring military figures of our time, General John W. Vessey, Jr.
About General John W. Vessey, Jr.
General John W. Vessey, Jr.'s military career began when he enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in 1939. His unit was activated just prior to America's entry into World War II. Vessey's service took him to North Africa, where his unit took a strategic hill near Tunis at a critical juncture in the allied campaign; to Italy, where his unit saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the war; to Korea during the tense aftermath of that war; and to Vietnam, where he was wounded defending a firebase from onrushing Viet Cong invaders for which he won a Distinguished Service Cross.
By 1963, Vessey had become a lieutenant colonel. That same year, he graduated from UMUC with a bachelor's degree in military science. He served as vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army from 1979 to 1982, when he was appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by then President Ronald Reagan, making him the highest-ranking military officer in the country.
When he retired in 1985 after 46 years of service, he was the longest-serving active member of the U.S. Army. Vessey was a lifelong advocate of education who patterned his own life after a lecture that he first heard discussed in a UMUC classroom. The lecture was "The Five Evidences of an Education," by Nicholas Murray Butler.