Keynote Speaker

Col John C. Church, Jr., USMCr
President, Valley Forge Military Academy & College

Col John C. Church, Jr., USMCr
Col John C. Church, Jr., USMCr

Colonel Church is the commanding officer of 3D Civil Affairs Group in Great Lakes, Ill. He enlisted in the Navy from Detroit and served as a deck seaman and hospital corpsman assigned to the Marines. He attended the U. S. Naval Academy Preparatory School before reporting to Annapolis. As a combat engineer officer, Colonel Church served in Somalia, Mogadishu, and later commanded Company C, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Lynchburg, Virginia, from where he led a deployment to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. With 4th Civil Affairs Group, Colonel Church served in Kosovo, completed two tours of duty in Iraq, served in Afghanistan, and taught Civil Affairs to soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

Before assuming the presidency, Colonel Church was an Assistant Professor at Immaculata University. He previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the U. S. Naval War College, George Mason University, Holy Family University, and Rosemont College. Colonel Church is a doctoral student in Mass Media and Communication at Temple University. He has earned an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U. S. Naval War College, an M.A. in Communication Journalism and Public Affairs from the American University in Washington, D.C. and a B.S. in Political Science from the U.S. Naval Academy. His personal decorations include: the Meritorious Service Medal with two Gold Stars, the Navy/ Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars, the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Colonel Church and his bride, Mary Kay, a retired Marine major, are the proud parents of John Carl Church, III (11), Travis Joseph Church (9), and twins Harper and Claire (7). He is the son of Colonel John C. Church, Sr., USMC (Ret.) and Mrs. Rachel Church, of Clinton Township, Michigan.