COL Ronald J. Rabin

USM Army ROTC Alumni

Colonel Rabin was born in Rochester, NY in 1932.  He attended High School there and was selected to the All-City basketball team in 1949and 1950.  After several twists and turns of fate he arrived at Mississippi Southern College in 1953, signed a basketball scholarship and enrolled in the ROTC program.


In May 1956, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry from the ROTC program at Mississippi Southern College (now the University of Southern Mississippi) and entered active duty in August of that year.  In 1960, following various assignments in CONUS and Korea, Colonel Rabin volunteered for duty with the Army’s Special Forces at Fort Bragg, NC.  After completing the Special Forces Officer’s Course, he assumed command of an A Detachment and deployed to engage in Counterinsurgency operations in the Kingdom of Laos. Upon his return he was assigned to the G-3 Section, Headquarters, Special Warfare Center and in 1964 attended the Burmese language course at the Defense Language Institute.  During 1964 Colonel Rabin accepted his Regular Army commission.


Colonel Rabin was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, HA, in 1965 and was named Commanding Officer, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry and later that year deployed to the Highlands of Vietnam as the S-2 of the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.  For most of his tour the Brigade operated as a separate unit conducting search and destroy operations.  Because his unit was separate, his S-2 Section was responsible for all of the functions normally performed by a division level unit including reporting directly to 1st Field Forces-Vietnam (a corps level Headquarters).  As a result of his successes in developing and implementing combat intelligence procedures that produced consistently high quality intelligence upon which the Brigade could plan operations against the enemy, he received the first of his four Legion of Merit awards and first of  his 3 Bronze Stars.  Upon his return from Vietnam, Colonel Rabin was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency and then was selected as Aide-de-Camp to LTG Stanley R. Larsen.  His service during this period earned him a Legion of Merit and a Meritorious Service Medal.


In 1969, Colonel Rabin volunteered to return to Vietnam and initially served as S-3 of the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.  In this position he earned his third Legion of Merit and second Bronze Star.  In February 1970, while still a Major, he was selected as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry.  As Commanding Officer of the Battalion he demonstrated outstanding leadership and received a Silver Star for his actions during the Cambodian Incursion in May, 1970.  In addition to the Silver Star, Colonel Rabin was also awarded his third Legion of Merit and third Bronze Star.


Upon his return from Vietnam, he attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (USAC&GSC) and was subsequently assigned to the DA Staff in the Pentagon as an Action Officer in the Operations and Training Branch, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (ODCSOPS)  and was later assigned to duties as the Executive Officer in the Office of the Special Assistant for the Modern Volunteer Army (SAMVA) in the Office of the Chief of Staff and participated in laying the groundwork for today’s all volunteer force.  While serving in the Pentagon, he was selected to attend the National War College (NWC) in 1973-’74 and concurrently attended George Washington University earning a Master of Science Degree in International Affairs.


Following graduation from the NWC, Colonel Rabin was assigned to the USAIS, Fort Benning, GA, as Chief of the Leadership Branch in the Command and Leadership Department and subsequently as Director of that prestigious Department. This was at a time of great transition in Army training brought on by the birth of TRADOC.  During his tenure as Department Director, Colonel Rabin and his staff and faculty members were able to demonstrate the value and content of the leadership training program and retain the USAIS position as the Army’s proponent for leadership and management training.  As another strong indicator of the productiveness of his Army career, it is significant to note that during this period he was selected for promotion to Colonel ahead of his contemporaries. 


As TRADOC matured, it became apparent that there was a need to create a new directorate responsible for evaluating training and training systems at the Army’s service schools.  Colonel Rabin was selected to organize and staff the USAIS Directorate of Evaluation, which was TRADOC’s prototypical such organization.  Bringing his leadership and analytical skills to bear, Colonel Rabin was so successful in accomplishing this mission that he was assigned to the TRADOC Systems Analysis Activity (TRASANA) to create a similar enterprise at the TRADOC level.  In both of these assignments, the processes, concepts, and methodologies put in place were of lasting value to the Army. 


Throughout his very distinguished military career Colonel Rabin was an outstanding representative of the University of Southern Mississippi.  Colonel Rabin retired from the United States Army as an infantry Colonel on 31 March 1980.


Since his retirement from the Army, Colonel Rabin has held a series of important and challenging positions in the aerospace and defense systems business with such companies as:  LTV, Allied Signal, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.  In all cases he has represented the University with honor and integrity.


Since his return to Mississippi in 1999, he has been very active in supporting USM programs such as:  The Alumni Association, The Eagle Club, The Hardwood Club and The M Club.  In addition, he has worked with USM faculty members in trying to bring business to the University.


Colonel Rabin’s Awards and Decorations:


  • Silver Star
  • Legion of Merit with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters (OLC)
  • Bronze Star with 2 OLC
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Air Medal (3 OLC)
  • Army Commendation Medal  (1OLC)
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 7 Campaign Stars
  • Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm
    Combat Infantry Badge
  • Ranger Tab
  • Parachutist Badge
  • Army General Staff Identification Badge