MAJ Gregory H. Hayes
BRANCH: Field Artillery
Major Gregory Hayes grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Hingham High School in 1992. He was an active student, played in three sports, and served as captain of the chess and debate teams. He also received the “Drama Club Male Actor of the Year” award. He went on to complete a B.S. in Chemistry with minors in Mathematics and Philosophy from Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1996. After completing a year of graduate research study in molecular adhesion at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, he began work as a chemical engineer in the Boston area. However, his career plans changed after 9/11; a week after the attacks he walked into his local U.S. Army recruiter’s office and enlisted as an officer candidate.
Hayes shipped to Fort Benning, Georgia, for Basic Combat Training (BCT) in early 2003. He then completed Officer Candidate School (OCS), also at Benning, and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in Field Artillery. Following the Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, he was assigned to the 1-15th FA Brigade at Camp Casey, Republic of Korea, as a Fire Direction Officer.
His next duty station was Fort Hood, Texas. He then deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, as an MLRS Platoon Leader and Battery Executive Officer, firing guided rockets into Ramadi on a near-daily basis. He was promoted to Captain while deployed downrange and earned a spot at the Captain’s Career Course (CCC), again at Fort Sill.
Following the CCC, then-Captain Hayes volunteered for another tour in Iraq, less than one year from his first deployment. As part of the successful Iraq Surge strategy, he was assigned to a border patrol regiment along the Iranian border where he, alongside approximately 5,000 Iraqi Border Patrol officers, stemmed the flow of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. He earned his first Bronze Star Medal at the end of that tour.
Hayes then completed Ranger School and Airborne School at Fort Benning. As an Airborne Ranger, he was assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Vilseck, Germany, and took command of Bravo Battery, Fires Squadron, after a brief rotation to Romania to train allied troops. As Battery Commander, he deployed with 95 Soldiers under his command to Kandahar and Uruzgan Provinces, Afghanistan. With M777 howitzers at three austere firing bases, Bravo Battery provided artillery coverage across an area the size of Connecticut. He earned his second Bronze Star and was sent to be an ROTC Assistant Professor at St. Bonaventure University, Olean, New York.
While at St. Bonaventure, Hayes was promoted to Major, earned a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership, and met and his wife. He then accepted a three-year tour of duty in Hawaii at the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Pacific. Major Hayes also deployed to The Philippines during that time on a classified, top secret assignment.
In 2017, Major Hayes gladly accepted another ROTC teaching position in the Northeast and is thrilled to be molding the minds of America’s future leaders. He currently serves as Officer in Charge of the USM Army ROTC Program (Army Cadet Command, 2nd Brigade, University of New Hampshire, Bravo Company).
His awards and decorations include two Bronze Stars, three Meritorious Service Medals, two ARCOMS and an AAM, the OIF and OEF campaign medals, the NATO medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the GWOT-S medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, the Combat Action Badge, the Ranger Tab, and Parachutist Badge. He also has several Meritorious Unit Citations.
Other qualifications and achievements include: Combat Lifesaver; graduate of the Institute for World Politics in Washington, D.C.; graduate of the Advanced Security Studies course at the DKI APCSS in Honolulu, Hawaii; graduate of the Air Defense Artillery staff officer course; three-time delegate to the Massachusetts GOP convention; winner of a Theater Association of New York State award for meritorious achievement in acting for his role in a production of “Inherit the Wind”; captain of the ski team and karate team in college; amateur Cessna pilot, and black belt in Tang Soo Do martial arts. He is also the USM faculty advisor for both the YAF Club and Chess Team on campus.
Major Hayes is married to the fabulous, former Shannon Odell of Olean, who is enrolled as a student at USM as a theater major. They have two Siberian Huskies, one of which looks just like the school mascot.