2021 Hall of Fame Inductee
University of Texas
Col. (Ret.) T.L. Dilliplane is a graduate of the University of Texas where he was nominated as a Distinguished Military Student in the Army ROTC program. After commissioning, he began his career as an Airborne Test Officer, jumping various types of equipment to verify its durability in harsh conditions. He then reported for service in Vietnam and helped direct 1st Army of the Republic of Vietnam Division Defenses during the enemy's Easter Offensive against the Hue and Phu Bai locales, earning several medals for his actions, including the Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Dilliplane continued his service in the Reserve Component while pursuing his civilian career. Over the years he honorably served in numerous National Guard units continuing to amass military accolades and awards while earning his Masters and Ph.D. in Archeological Studies. He had a fulfilling and distinguished civilian career founding historical preservation programs, authoring numerous reports and publications, and serving in positions of responsibility in various historic preservation programs. One of his highest honors was to be appointed by the Governor of Alaska as State Historic Preservation Officer. His endeavors in his field eventually led to him being selected for teaching duties at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) on Cape Cod.
When Dilliplane first began teaching in the Social Science Department at the MMA in 2001, the Army ROTC program had only three Cadets enrolled and typically produced zero or one officer each year. He immediately volunteered to assist with the training and development of Cadets and took on the additional title of Senior Advisor to the President for Army ROTC. The trajectory of the program since Dilliplane's involvement is nothing short of remarkable. The quantity and quality of Cadets steadily increased and today outnumbers the enrollment of Navy ROTC and the Coast Guard's commissioning program despite MMA being a maritime academy.
The Army ROTC program at MMA is now an esteemed and highly valued element of the Academy's Regiment of Cadets with many of the MSIV Cadets serving in key leadership positions within both Army ROTC and the Academy. MMA Army ROTC is now its own company (Charlie Company) and constitutes nearly 25% of all Cadets enrolled in the Boston University Army ROTC program.
Dilliplane serves on a voluntary basis as the Officer-In-Charge of Charlie Company (MMA Army ROTC) and assists with classroom instruction, recruiting, retention, and Cadet training. He has been an invaluable link between the staff at MMA and the Charles River Battalion and a highly effective advocate for the ROTC program. He is universally admired and respected by the MMA faculty, Army ROTC Cadets, and program Cadre. His efforts earned him recognition as MMA Faculty Member of the Year, and he was awarded the Department of the Army Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service.
His 32-year military career and continued service as an ROTC advisor are in keeping with the highest ideals of service before self. Dilliplane's passion and energy is the central reason behind the success and tremendous growth of Army ROTC at Massachusetts Maritime Academy and he is a tireless advocate for the future leaders of the Army. His character, service, and achievements exemplify the spirit of "Leadership Excellence."
About the Army ROTC Hall of Fame
The ROTC Hall of Fame was established in 2016 as part of the ROTC Centennial celebration. The first class (2016) inducted 326 former ROTC Cadets who had distinguished themselves in their military or civilian career.
The Hall of Fame honors graduates of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who have distinguished themselves in military or civilian pursuits. It provides a prestigious and tangible means of recognizing and honoring Army ROTC Alumni who have made lasting, significant contributions to the Nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the Army ROTC Program.