ABMC Announces New Deputy Secretary for Headquarters Operations
With more than three decades as a public servant, Rob Dalessandro brings his experience and knowledge to the American Battle Monuments Commission as the new deputy secretary for Headquarters Operations. As a retired Army officer, former chief of the U.S. Army Center of Military History, and chairman of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, Dalessandro’s years of commitment to the federal government will contribute a wealth of expertise to the agency.
“Rob knows the ground truth about war, military history, and serving our country, and I’m certain that his experiences will bring to the ABMC a renewed understanding of our commitment to tell the story of those Americans that gave the last full measure of devotion,” said ABMC Secretary Max Cleland.
Considered one of the Army's foremost experts on battlefield interpretation, Dalessandro’s military history background will help drive the direction of the agency as it transitions into a new era, focusing on the needs of the greatest generation all the way down to tech-driven, millennials. With 25 overseas, military cemeteries, and 26 monuments, Dalessandro and staff at headquarters will work with staff overseas to ensure both traditional and state-of-the art tools and tactics are used to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen is never forgotten.
“History tells us that the men and women who suffered for our freedoms did so without knowing us,” said Dalessandro. “It’s this link, this thread of our American values, that attaches us to those people in perpetuity. And it’s our responsibility here at the ABMC to ensure this link continues to be passed on to future generations.”
Having served in the Department of Defense for 34 years in a variety of command and staff positions at both the operational and headquarters level, Dalessandro began his federal career in 1980, commissioned as a U.S. Army Second Lieutenant, after graduating from Virginia Military Institute with a degree in history. Retiring from the military in 2009, he went on to serve as the director of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, and later as both assistant chief, and then chief of the U.S. Army Center for Military History.
His graduate studies included work at the College of William and Mary, where he studied historical archeology; a master's degree in Military Arts and Science in history from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; a master's degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College; and a graduate certificate in museum collections management and care from George Washington University.
He is editor of the “Army Officer's Guide”, and coauthor of “Organization and Insignia of the American Expeditionary Force, 1917-1923”; “Willing Patriots: Men of Color in the First World War”; “American Lions: The 332nd Infantry Regiment in Italy in World War I”; and “The Great War.”
Dalessandro is a member of the Society for Military History, American Alliance of Museums, and the Company of Military Historians. He has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Parachutist Badge.
Established in 1923 by Congress, ABMC is a U.S. government agency charged with commemorating the service, achievements and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed forces. ABMC administers our nation’s overseas commemorative cemeteries and federal memorials. For more information visit www.abmc.gov, or connect with us on Facebook, Youtube or Instagram.