Commandant of the Randolph-Macon Academy, Front Royal, Warren County, Virginia

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Gary Newton Sadler 1
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Colonel Gary Newton Sadler, USAF, Retired

Hixson, Hamilton County, Tennessee

Colonel Gary Sadler, USAF, Ret.

 Gary Newton Sadler, son of Elisha Newton "Easy" Sadler and Charlotte Ann LaFerry of Hixson, Tennessee, was born in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee. A graduate of Baylor School and the University of the South, Gary graduated from pilot training in 1976 at Webb Air Force Base, Texas. A command pilot, Gary has over 2,900 flying hours in Fighter and fighter-type aircraft including the F-106, F-16 and the OV-10.

During Operation Desert Storm, Lieutenant Colonel Sadler was assigned to the 7440th Combat Wing, Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. Lt. Col. Sadler is a recipient of the Bronze Star and (DFC) Distinguished Flying Cross.

Colonel Sadler has experience as an instructor pilot, was commander of the 34th Student Squadron at the Squadron Officer School in Alabama for two years, and later became the Deputy Director of Student Operations there.  From June 2001 to September 2004, he was the vice commander of the 17th Training Wing at Goodfellow AFB, San Antonio, Texas.  Some of his other assignments have included Germany, Alabama, England, Italy, Texas, Korea, and Virginia.

After retiring from the Air Force with 30 years of service, Colonel Gary N. Sadler joined the senior staff at the Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Virginia on July 1, 2005 as a new commandant. The Randolph-Macon Academy, (R-MA), is one of the premier college-prep military schools in the nation, and the only Virginia military school offering Air Force JROTC.  Founded in 1892, R-MA is the oldest co-ed boarding school with Air Force JROTC, which encompasses students in grades 9-12.  

Colonel Gary Newton Sadler and his wife, Maureen Callaghan have three children; two sons and one daughter.


 Ancestral Lineage

Ance stral lineage of Colonel Sadler includes two Methodist ministers: Grandfather, Reverend Jasper Newton Sadler of North Chattanooga and Great-grandfather, Reverend Caelie Newton Sadler of St. Elmo, Tennessee. The Sadler lineages traces back to the founding of the Sadler's Chapel (United Methodist Church) on Sadler's Chapel Road in Red Boiling Springs, Macon County, Tennessee.


Also, Colonel Gary Sadler is a nephew to Red Bank, Tennessee WWII Hero; Joseph Newton Armstrong. Sergeant “Joe” Armstrong was killed in action, a 50 caliber machine gunner on a B-26G Marauder bomber, “Erma”, Battle # 73, Serial # 43-34238, which crash and exploded near Sasbach, Germany. Erma was shot down by a German Luftwaffe fighter plane, a Messerschmitt, Me-109 on December 23, 1944, during the “Battle of the Budge”.

Commandant of the Randolph-Macon Academy

Front Royal, Warren County, Virginia

Col. Sadler said he was attracted to R-MA by the Academy’s mission and vision, and also the three pillars upon which the school is founded: knowledge, leadership, and character.

“I want to develop the leaders of tomorrow, and our graduates will be leaders—in their local communities, clubs, churches, and professions,” he said.  “The pillars at R-MA are important because there are a lot of people out there who had great knowledge and great wealth, but they didn’t have character and leadership, and they didn’t do the right thing.  They hurt a lot of people because of it.”

Source: Randolph-Macon Academy
200 Academy Drive Front Royal, VA 22630

Commandant Col Gary Sadler Says Good-Bye

Front Royal, Warren County, Virginia

Randolph-Macon Academy Commandant Col Gary N. Sadler, USAF Retired, has announced his intention to resign on June 30, 2015. Sadler has served as Commandant at the Academy since his arrival in 2005. 

On behalf of the R-MA Board of Trustees, alumni, students, parents, and employees, R-MA President Brig Gen David C. Wesley expressed appreciation for Sadler’s service. “Col Gary Sadler has made a huge impact on the lives of hundreds of cadets,” he said. “The entire Randolph-Macon Academy is grateful for his tremendous dedication and tireless efforts over the past ten years.”

As Commandant, Sadler has been in charge of student life through the residential life programs, day student programs, student services, and the disciplinary program. He and his staff have centered the residential life curriculum around themes each year, focusing on the ideas of honor and integrity. One of the recently added events was an Honor Code signing ceremony, in which every cadet signed a page in the newly created honor code book. Sadler and his staff created a separate freshman hall for the younger students, providing extra guidance while they adjust to the requirements of the Upper School dorms. Known for his commitment to honesty, Sadler’s efforts have instilled a renewed sense of allegiance to the R-MA Honor Code of “I will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do,” as he worked diligently to move the discipline program from a philosophy based on a reactive, punishment approach to an approach based on consequences and lessons. 

Under Sadler’s guidance, the Flight Program has attained new records of students who earn their solo wings or the private pilot certification. He has also been instrumental in replacing the older Cessnas the school was using in its flight program with two 2001 Cessna 172s.

Although the Air Force JROTC program is under the purview of the academic dean, at Randolph-Macon Academy the program is closely intertwined with the dorms. This has resulted in Sadler working closely with the Air Force JROTC personnel; his guidance has played a role in the unit winning the Distinguished Unit with Merit Award multiple times over the last decade. 

Sadler has also been well-respected in the community and was a frequent guest speaker for Veterans Day events in the area, including downtown Front Royal, Shenandoah University, and Warren County Middle School. On campus, Sadler is a constant presence, arriving before the cadets wake each morning, and attending sporting events, concerts, alumni gatherings, and nearly every R-MA event imaginable. His wife, Maureen, has also been a huge supporter, filling in gaps all over campus as she worked in the public relations office, coached sports, brought students to medical appointments, planned special events, and attended nearly every major campus event. 

“There is no doubt that Gary and Maureen have been a noticeable presence on campus, and they will be missed,” said Wesley. “We wish them both the best as they move into this new phase in their lives.” 

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