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At the University South Carolina NROTC Unit, we have a representatives from the following major warfare communities: Submarines; Aviation; Surface Warfare; and the Marine Corps. The Gamecock Battalion also has post-served Commanding Officers in both the CO and XO billets, as well as a wealth of diverse and unique fleet experiences among the rest of its cadre.

Captain Robert Osterhoudt

Captain Robert Osterhoudt, Commanding Officer

Captain Robert Osterhoudt is a 1990 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics. He received his commission through Aviation Officer Candidate School as part of the Aviation Reserve Officer Candidate program in September 1990. Captain Osterhoudt was designated a Naval Flight Officer in October of 1991.

A graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), his career includes operational sea assignments with Fighter Squadron 32, twice with Fighter Squadron 103, Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 41, and Deputy Commander and Commander of Carrier Air Wing 11.

Assignments to shore and staff billets include: the F-14 Strike Weapons and Tactics School Atlantic (SWATSLANT) as a Tactics Instructor and the Readiness Department Head; Fighter Squadron 101, the F-14 Fleet Replacement Squadron, where he served as the Standardization and Assistant Training Officer; Flag Aide to the Commander, U.S. THIRD Fleet in San Diego, California and the DCNO for Naval Warfare Requirements and Programs (N7); the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Commander, USJFCOM; the staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense responsible for the program and budget analysis of all Navy TACAIR programs to include the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35), FA-18E/F, E-2D, EA-18G, and Navy Unmanned Systems; a brief assignment as the Battle Director, Combined Air and Space Operating Center, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM; and as Chief of Staff at Carrier Strike Group 15, responsible for training and certifying Pacific Fleet Carrier Strike Groups, Amphibious Ready Groups, and independently deploying surface combatants.

Captain Osterhoudt has completed JPME Phase I through the Naval War College's correspondence program as well as JPME Phase II through the Joint Forces Staff College. He also holds a MBA in Strategic Leadership from Trident University.

Captain Osterhoudt assumed duties as the Commanding Officer / Professor of Naval Science at the University of South Carolina in June 2018.

He is entitled to wear the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various campaign and unit awards. He has accumulated more than 3,850 flight hours and 1,110 carrier-arrested landings.

Commander Bennett Gibbs

Commander Ben J. Gibbs, Executive Officer

Commander Bennett J. Gibbs is a native of Durham, North Carolina.  He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2000, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and a commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program.  Following his designation as a Naval Aviator in 2002, he reported to Fighter Squadron One Zero One (VF-101) at NAS Oceana, Virginia for his initial training in the F-14B Tomcat.

CDR Gibbs’s first operational assignment was with the VF-103 “Jolly Rogers” at NAS Oceana.  He deployed in June 2004 aboard USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CVN 67).  Following their return, the squadron transitioned to the F/A-18F Super Hornet and was re-designated VFA-103.  He qualified as a Forward Air Controller (Airborne) and deployed in October 2006 aboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) where he served as the Air-to-Ground Training Officer and Aircraft Division Officer. 

In April 2007, CDR Gibbs attended the Navy Strike Fighter Weapons School at NAS Fallon, NV.  Upon graduation he reported to Strike Fighter Weapons School, Pacific at NAS Lemoore for duty as a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor.  In addition to his instructor duties, he served as the Schedules Officer, Air-to-Ground Weapons Training Officer Coordinator, and the GPS Guided Weapons Subject Matter Expert. 

In October 2009, CDR Gibbs reported to the “Black Knights” of VFA-154 and served as the Pilot Training Officer.  In January 2011, he deployed to the Western Pacific Ocean and participated in tsunami relief operations as part of Operation TOMODACHI.  During this time, he also attended Aviation Safety Officer School at NAS Pensacola.   

In June 2011, CDR Gibbs reported to the VFA-22 “Redcocks” for his Aviation Department Head tour.  There he deployed in January 2012 aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70).  During this tour he served as the Administration Officer, Quality Assurance Officer, and Maintenance Officer. 

In December 2013, CDR Gibbs reported to NATO Joint Force Command in Brunssum, the Netherlands to the Military Partnership Branch (J-9).  While serving at JFC Brunssum, he completed his JPME Phase I credit from the Air Force Command and Staff College.      

In May 2017, CDR Gibbs reported aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) as the Assistant Air Officer (Mini Boss).  He deployed with CARL VINSON in January 2018. 

CDR Gibbs reported as the Executive Officer for the University of South Carolina NROTC in June 2019 and is currently serving in that position.

CDR Gibbs has accumulated more than 2,500 flight hours and 500 carrier arrested landings.  His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Strike Flight Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit commendations and service/campaign medals.


Name Title Phone Email
Captain Robert Osterhoudt Commanding Officer 803-777-4124
Commander Ben J. Gibbs Executive Officer 803-777-6248
LT Mark Ammerman Freshman Advisor 803-777-8776
LT Jordan Bennett Sophomore Advisor, NPO 803-777-3451 
LT Brad LaBonne Junior Advisor 803-777-3453
Capt Brendan Grossi MOI 803-777-4150 
SSgt Nelson Chavez AMOI 803-777-4162
Billy Bennett Supply Officer 803-777-2172
Rebecca Brown  University Liaison / Admin. Assist. 803-777-4124
Coreen Skaggs Human Resources 803-777-3456
Emerald Williams Admin Officer 803-777-6099
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