Nov. 17, 2006
Receiving the Rev. William Corby Award on the field at today’s game, Captain Jack J. Samar Jr., USN (Ret), Notre Dame class of 1971, is honored for his distinguished military service. He received his commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Program at Notre Dame, earned his Naval Flight Officer wings in 1972 and was assigned to the A-6 Intruder as a bombardier/navigator. During his distinguished Naval career, he twice sailed around the world, participated in the evacuation of Saigon, was deployed twice for operations associated with the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and was selected to command the A-6 squadron VA-155 (The Silver Foxes).
After his selection as deputy air wing commander, he participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, flying 43 strike missions (all at night), earning the Distinguished Flying Cross (twice) and the Bronze Star. He later commanded the USS LaSalle (AGF-3), the Middle East Naval Force Flagship and then 6th Fleet Flagship. His final command was that of the aircraft carrier, USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), transitioning her homeport from San Diego to her current home in Yokosuka, Japan. He earned master’s degrees from Salve Regina College and the Naval War College.
Jack is currently working in the private sector as vice president for Technical Operations- IT Security Interface, DoD Matters, for Computer Systems Center Inc. (www.csci-va.com), a defense contractor and designer, creator and owner of Trusted Information InfrastructureTM, which provides secure, cross-domain transfer of information. He sits on the board of advisors of The SemperComm Foundation (https://www.sempercomm.org), a nonprofit organization founded to boost the morale of U.S. service members stationed overseas by providing them with the means to communicate with loved ones back home and access to entertainment equipment. As a Notre Dame student, Jack was a Monogram winner as a sprinter on the track team. He is a member of the ND Club of Washington DC and the Monogram Club.
Jack and his wife, Sherry ’72SMC, have two daughters, Jaime Ann ’00SMC and Lt. Jordan Lynn McCormick (’03 USNA), presently deployed on the USS Cole, a son, Jack III, a student at Old Dominion University, a son-in-law, Lt. Kevin McCormick (’02 USNA) and a granddaughter, MacKenzie, 1.
On the field of Notre Dame Stadium, Captain Samar responds: “It is an honor to be acknowledged by my peers, especially my classmate, Lt. Cmdr. Rev. Doug Smith, CSC, of the United States Navy, who nominated me. To be selected for such a prestigious award is most humbling, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Throughout my naval career I carried that simple phrase “God, Country, Notre Dame.” and frequently sought Our Lady for inspiration and guidance, as Father Corby must have at Gettysburg.
I accept this honor in the name of all the Patriots with whom I served. Thank you, America, for the honor and privilege of leading and serving with your sons, fathers, daughters, and mothers. I also accept this award in thanks to those currently serving — and listening to this football broadcast — including my daughter, Jordan, aboard the USS Cole in the Middle East. I also thank my wife, Sherry, for being so understanding of my `going away, just one more time.’ God bless each of you and Go Irish!”