Looking at Richard Rose’s extensive resume, it’s hard to zero in on just one or two items. The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution didn’t even try.
Rose, a former member of the U.S. military, a college professor and a volunteer football coach, just for starters, will be presented with the DAR’s highest award Thursday (April 19) at 11:30 a.m. at the Edison Club. The Schenectady-based chapter, which uses a colonial spelling of the city, “Schenectada,” in its name, has selected Rose as a recipient of the DAR Medal of Honor Award, given to someone who “truly exemplifies a dedicated patriot by his love and service to the country, their teaching and volunteer activities where needed in the community, fundraisers, church and school.”
“This isn’t something that happens every year, so we were very proud to have somebody like him that we felt we could nominate for the award,” said Marion Clas, a vice-regent for the Schenectada chapter who was in charge of the project. “He has served his country, his state and his community. His resume is very impressive, and everything about it made him such a worthy candidate. What sticks out to me is his total commitment to our country.”
Rose, currently Director of the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision at the New York State Education Department, has Native American ancestry in his DNA, and is also descended from an American who fought in the the Revolutionary War.
“My father was about one-half Cherokee and I’m about one quarter,” said Rose. “My mother was a DAR member in Texas, and her family goes back to the state militia in New York during the Revolution. Her ancestors fought at Bunker Hill and the Battle of Saratoga.
“When I was growing up,” continued Rose, “the joke in our family was that my mother’s family was on the first boat that came to America, and that my father’s family was there to meet them.”
Rose was born in Huntsville, Alabama, and followed his father into the U.S. Army right after graduating from high school in 1979. He also studied criminal justice at the New Mexico Military Institute, and earned a four-year degree and a masters in political science and environmental studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1985. Later, in 2012, he went on to get a doctorate in education at the Esteves School of Education at The Sage Colleges in Troy.
Rose had taught at the University at Albany from 1993-2000 as a member of the adjunct faculty, creating several courses in Native American history. From 2001 to 2017 he taught at Schenectady County Community College. He also found time following the 2001 terrorist attacks to serve as the coordinator of exercises and training for the New York State Weapons of Mass Destruction Task Force, and he was one of the first individuals in the country to be nationally certified as a Master Exercise Practitioner by the Federal Management Agency.
While the local chapter may have nominated Rose, he had to pass some rigorous examination to be approved by first the state and then the national organization.
“He fit all the criteria for the award, including spending 11 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and the Army Reserve, and it is the highest and most prestigious award that the DAR hands out,” said Clas. “The state had to approve it, and then it was sent on to Washington, D.C., and the national group had to approve it.
“It was a very lengthy process,” continued Clas. “Along with his tremendous resume, he got great recommendations from his piers and colleagues. His trustworthiness, his patriotism and his time spent as an educator made him a perfect fit for our award.”
Clas said that Nancy Zwetsch of Jamestown, the state DAR regent, will participate in today’s presentation.
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