John S. Daniel Jr.

Category: Army ROTC Alumni Council Hall of Fame | Communities


Lieutenant Colonel John Daniel graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1954 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry. He commanded both an Infantry Rifle Company and Airborne Infantry Company and served as a Ranger Instructor at the US Army Ranger Camp in Florida.

Daniel was assigned to UT in 1961 as assistant professor of military science and earned an MS degree in history in 1971. His hard work and tireless dedication resulted in the establishment of the first ROTC Ranger Training Program at a nonmilitary higher education institution. The Tennessee Ranger Company is his legacy. Generations of Tennessee cadets were better prepared for the rigors of military duty due to the training program he created—when many said it should not be done.

Following his tour at UT, he served two combat tours in South Vietnam as a senior advisor to South Vietnamese Army’s 1st and 2nd Ranger groups. Daniel was inducted into the US Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 1999. Daniel’s decorations include the Silver Star, the Bronze Star Medal with valor device, two Purple Hearts, and the Soldier’s Medal.

Following his retirement, he served as deputy director and director of E-911 in Knox and Roane County respectively.

He passed away in 2014.