news-category: Awards

Gardner-Webb ROTC Commander Receives Outstanding Instructor Award for 4th Brigade

Capt. Richard Taylor Chosen from 38 Universities Representing Seven States

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Capt. Richard Taylor, Gardner-Webb University Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Commander, received the Outstanding Instructor Award for the 4th Brigade. He was recognized from a group of instructors at 38 universities located in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

Lt. Col. Richard Garey, east region manager of MAT-Inc., came to GWU on Feb. 14 to make the presentation, which included a $1,000 bonus for Taylor. He noted that Taylor was selected for several reasons. One was his display of exceptional leadership skills while working with cadet summer training at Fort Knox, Ky. As a critical incident manager, he was in the tactical operations center and responsible for a large amount of paperwork. “He really distinguished himself there,” Garey praised. “We received just a ton of positive feedback from everybody that worked with him, and because of that, he was selected for this coming summer to serve as the executive officer for the cadet opposing force company.”

Lt. Col. Richard Garey, east region manager of MAT-Inc., left, presented the award to Capt. Richard Taylor, GWU Army ROTC Commander.

Most importantly, Garey added, Taylor received the recognition for the work he does every day as an ROTC commander. “He mentors and coaches, teaches and trains, and really puts his heart and soul into the program and into the development of our next generation of leaders in the Army,” he affirmed. “You talk to anybody who deals with him, and they have nothing but the positive things to say about how much he invests in them personally and professionally.”

Taylor earned his Bachelor of Arts in history, with minors in Chinese and military science. He commissioned in 2014 as a second lieutenant in the armor branch for the South Carolina Army National Guard. In 2019, Taylor deployed to the Middle East, including Kuwait and Iraq. Upon returning from the deployment, he was assigned Company Commander of A Co, 4-118th Infantry Regiment where he currently serves. Among his many awards and decorations, Taylor has earned the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Capt. Richard Taylor thanked everyone at Gardner-Webb for their

Lt. Col. Joseph Frederick was also present for the event. He is department chair and professor of Military Science at UNC-Charlotte, which hosts the 49er Battalion that includes Gardner-Webb’s Army ROTC. Frederick, who manages the ROTC programs at several universities, congratulated Taylor and affirmed the significance of the award.

Dr. Bobbie Cox, chair of the Department of Public Service, presented Taylor with a gift from the department. She mentioned that Taylor is also a student in Gardner-Webb’s Master of Public Administration program. “We’re the lucky ones,” she asserted. “We get to work with you every day. We really appreciate you.”

Taylor said he prefers to work in the shadows and was truly humbled to be selected for the honor. He thanked Capt. Ian Marecic, assistant professor of Military Science at Gardner-Webb, for working with him and sharing his goals and objectives for the program. “The support from Lt. Col. Frederick and everyone at Gardner-Webb—it’s unparalleled and is what makes our cadets do so well,” he acknowledged. “I couldn’t do it without every single one of y’all. This is truly a dream job.”

Then, speaking to the cadets in the room, Taylor added, “Just keep working. It is about you and that’s why we do it.”

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

Dr. Bobbie Cox presented Capt. Richard Taylor with a gift to commemorate the award presentation.

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