Major General Robert Catalanotti, USA ’80
From the spring 2006 issue of Assumption Magazine:
Editor's Note: Brigadier General Catalanotti was promoted to Major General in December 2010. Col. Catalanotti was promoted to Brigadier General in December 2007. The ceremony was held in January 2008 in Laska Gymnasium on the Assumption campus.
United States Army Colonel Robert Catalanotti ’80 returned from Iraq in December 2005 after serving for a year as commander of the largest military base in Iraq, located in Taji. He was directly responsible for 15,000 Iraqi soldiers and more than 500 coalition soldiers from the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, Italy, Poland, and Estonia.
He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq, where the constant challenge was to know who was a soldier and who was a terrorist, as well as to be on guard against attacks by insurgents. Col. Catalanotti spoke about his Iraqi experience at a Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce business luncheon in February. His visit was featured in a Worcester Telegram & Gazette article on February 9.
He explained at the luncheon, “Of the 15,000 Iraqi troops, I had terrorists who were in those ranks.” Due to the active insurgency and the unprepared Iraqi military, Col. Catalanotti was forced to assume a combatant leadership role in the daily fight against terrorism.
Since returning home, he has visited many families of the soldiers who died in Iraq. He explained, “The ultimate question of a commander is ‘Could you have done more?’”
A 26-year Army veteran. Col. Catalanotti has served on assignments in Iceland, England, Germany, South America, Italy and Iraq. He is currently brigade commander for the northeast region, headquartered in Providence, and for all active and reserve drill sergeants in an eight-state region. Bob and wife Karen (Farina) '78 reside in Grafton, MA. They have two children, Eric and Brigit '11.
Last updated 6/27/11