Saint Thomas Academy Commandant of Cadets DePuglio to Retire After 16 Years

News Date : 12/04/2017

Saint Thomas Academy Commandant of Cadets DePuglio to Retire After 16 Years

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Dec. 4, 2017 – Saint Thomas Academy announced today the forthcoming retirement of Commandant of Cadets Lt. Col. Michael DePuglio, U.S. Army (ret.). DePuglio, who has served as Commandant since 2002, will retire following the 2017-18 school year. In addition to being the Academy’s longest-serving Commandant of Cadets, he has also been on the football coaching staff. Prior to joining the Academy, he served 23 years in the U.S. Army in aviation, leadership and administrative duties.

“Under Colonel DePuglio’s leadership, Saint Thomas Academy has carried on long-held military traditions while evolving our military curriculum to effectively prepare students of today for leadership roles in college and life,” said Headmaster Matthew Mohs ’90. “Colonel DePuglio’s consistently high expectations, respect for God and country, and commitment to the character development of our Cadets have positively influenced more than 2,100 young men during his tenure.” The Academy is currently conducting a nationwide search for DePuglio’s successor. Interested candidates can find the job posting here.

Among the most significant accomplishments under DePuglio’s leadership was the Academy’s return to its roots as an independent military academy after 99 years as an Army JROTC academy. This move, effective in 2015-2016, allowed the Academy to retain and improve upon many aspects of the military/leadership program while enhancing it to better align with the Academy’s student population, college preparatory focus and leadership training.

“I am extremely proud of the military program, the STA Corps of Cadets and our military traditions at Saint Thomas Academy,” DePuglio said. “I will always cherish my interaction with the boys in the hallways, in class, at events, and on the football field. Each day, I am inspired by their energy and their commitment to succeed.”

DePuglio brought to Saint Thomas Academy a distinguished military and educational career. He entered Officers Training School in 1982 and was later assigned to the 81st Artillery Brigade (Pershing) in Neu Ulm, Germany, in March 1983. A year later, he was assigned to the headquarters for the 56th Field Artillery Brigade (Pershing) in Schwaebisch Gmund, Germany until he went to flight school at Ft. Rucker, Ala., in June 1985. Following flight school, he served in the 1st Aviation Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division in Ft. Riley, Kan.; the 17th Aviation Brigade in Seoul, Korea; and the 58th Aviation Regiment in Wiesbaden, Germany / Tazar, Hungary. His advanced officers’ training included the Armor Officers Advanced Course, and courses within the Command and General Staff College. His final overseas assignment was at the U.S. Army European headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany / Sarajevo, Bosnia from July 1995 through June 1999. He was a professor of military science at the University of Northern Iowa from 1999 to 2002.

DePuglio has a master’s of education degree in secondary administration from the University of North Dakota, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

About Saint Thomas Academy
Founded in 1885, Saint Thomas Academy is an all-male, college preparatory, Catholic, military/leadership school committed to preparing young men to succeed in college and in life. The Academy challenges its students in grades 6-12 to excel academically, spiritually, morally and physically in and out of the classroom. It is fully accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS); a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Minnesota Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), and the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS). For more information, please visit

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Media contact: Amy Nugent, 651.450.9222 or

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