Thomas S. Dombrowsky

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Vietnam


Thomas Dombrowsky was born in Ft. Smith, Arkansas in 1943.  The family moved to Port Washington, New York, where Tom graduated from Schreiber HS in 1960.  He then attended the University of Rhode Island where his first year was interrupted by the unexpected death of his father which caused him to drop out to help his mother.  He returned to URI and became a Resident Assistant in Browning Hall until graduation.  Tom continued enrollment in advanced ROTC where he was selected as the Pershing Rifles commander his junior year and the Cadet Colonel, Brigade Commander and President of the Pershing Rifles his senior year. He led the URI contingent at the inaugural Parade for President Johnson in 1965. Tom was a Distinguished Military Graduate and obtained a Regular Army Commission in 1966.

 LT Dombrowsky first attended the Infantry Combat Platoon Leaders Course at Ft. Benning Georgia. He was assigned to the Berlin Brigade as a platoon leader in the 6th Infantry and then in the Intelligence Office of the Berlin Command. Captain Dombrowsky then headed for Vietnam to MACV as an advisor in Binh Duong Province. Upon completion of his combat tour, he was assigned to Ft. Leonard Wood as a Basic Training Company Commander and Battalion Executive Officer. He returned to Vietnam with the 3rd Brigade, First Cavalry Division where he assumed command of a rifle company. He saw combat at Fire Base Pace and throughout War Zone D.  His company was the rapid reaction force for facilities in Pleiku. Upon return to CONUS, Tom served four years in his first ROTC assignment as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Johns Hopkins University and earned a master’s degree at Morgan State University.

After promotion to major he was assigned to the 1st Armored Division as a Brigade Adjutant and then as Executive Officer of the 2nd Battalion 81st Armor in Germany. Tom returned to CONUS as a training advisor to reserve components in Sixth Army. He graduated from the Command and General Staff College and the Armed Forces Staff College.  Promoted to LTC, he was assigned to US Army Japan/IX Corps as Chief of Plans and then Chief of Exercises.  Tom’s next assignment was back to ROTC as the Professor of Military Science at Gettysburg College.  His last assignment was Director of Military History at the Army War College while also attending the Corresponding Studies Course.  In 1991, he retired and became the Director of Greek Organizations at Gettysburg College. Tom returned to the Army War College as an instructor for 13 years. He is now retired from Gettysburg College where he taught courses on the Vietnam War and American Military History for 20 years. LTC Dombrowsky’s military awards include the Combat and Expert Infantrymen’s Badges, Airborne Wings, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with three oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.

He is a long-time member of the URI Alumni Association and has donated to the URI Fund and Foundation. He is an active member of the Gettysburg Rotary Club and engages in various public service activities for Adams County, PA. His wife Barbara and Tom have lived in Gettysburg for the last 35 years.  They have three children: Tom Jr., Anne, and Margaret.

LTC Dombrowsky’s outstanding leadership as well as his devotion to the military, and his service to Gettysburg College, the Army War College, and the University of Rhode Island, as well as his community reflect great credit upon himself, his family, the United States, and the University of Rhode Island.