Alumni Association honors military career of 1971 graduate

Author: Arts and Letters


Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Jack J. Samar Jr., a decorated air wing commander in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and 1971 University of Notre Dame graduate, will receive the Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., Award during a ceremony at the Notre Dame-Army football game Saturday (Nov.18).

Honored for his distinguished military service, Samar received his commission through the University’s ROTC program in 1971, earned his naval flight officer wings the following year and was assigned to the A-6 Intruder as a bombardier/navigator.

During his naval career Samar twice sailed around the world, participated in the evacuation of Saigon, was deployed twice for operations associated with the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and commanded the A-6 squadron, VA-155 (The Silver Foxes).

Following his selection as deputy air wing commander, Samar participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, flying 43 strike missions, for which he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (twice) and the Bronze Star. He later commanded the USS LaSalle, the Middle East Naval Force Flagship, the6th Fleet Flagship and the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk.

Samar currently is working in the private sector as a vice president for Computer Systems Center Inc. He also is a member of the Board of Advisors of the SemperComm Foundation, a non-profit organization founded to boost the morale of U.S. service members stationed overseas by helping them communicate with loved ones back home.

Awarded a monogram as a sprinter on the track team at Notre Dame, Samar earned master’s degrees from Salve Regina College and the Naval War College.

The Corby Award was established by the Alumni Association in 1985 in honor of Notre Dame’s third president, who was a celebrated Civil War chaplain of the Union army’s Irish Brigade.

Originally published by Shannon Chapla at on November 13, 2006.