The late Lt. Col. (Ret.) John E. Gross was a 1965 Distinguished Military Graduate
of East Tennessee State University.
Gross served as company commander in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North
Carolina, the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam and the 4th Infantry Division at Fort
An instructor in the Florida phase of Ranger school, he also served as company commander
in Long Island, New York, operations staff officer in the IX Corps in Japan, brigade
operations officer and executive officer in the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord,
California and seminar chairman and course director at the Armed Forces Staff College
in Norfolk, Virginia.
Gross is best remembered at ETSU for his time spent from 1981-85 as a highly regarded
teacher in the university’s Department of Military Science.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree from ETSU, Gross earned a Master of Arts in Curriculum
and Instruction from Michigan State University.
Gross retired from the military in 1988 and passed away in 2015.