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One of the most prestigious awards given by the Alumni Association, this award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has excelled in his or her profession and has contributed to Arizona State University and/or the ASU Alumni Association and the community. The award was established in 1964.
This year, the award honors all Sun Devil alumni who have served in each of the five branches of the U.S. military. The highest ranking official in each branch who is also an ASU alum is accepting the award.
Brig. Gen. Victor Petrenko began his military career as an ROTC student at Arizona State University. He was a distinguished military graduate at ASU, majoring in justice studies within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and received a commission into the U.S. Army’s Field Artillery.
His initial assignment was with the 3rd Armored Division in Germany. While at Fort Bragg, N.C., he was a battery commander. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he served as the artillery brigade Liaison Officer to the 82nd Airborne Division, the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), the 101st Airborne Division and the 6th French Light Armored Division (Dauget) where he was awarded the National Order of Merit (Chevalier).
Following studies at the Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., he received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He spent three years with the 101st Airborne Division and then was as an observer/controller at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana. In 2000, he assumed command of a field artillery battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. Upon his relinquishment of that command, he deployed to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where he acted as Secretary of the Combined Joint Staff, Combined Joint Task Force 180.
In 2003, he attended the Naval War College in Rhode Island and earned a master’s degree in national and strategic studies, followed by an assignment as the chief of training at Forces Command in Fort McPherson, Ga. He went to Fort Bragg again and served as the commander of the 82nd Division Artillery and 4th Brigade Combat Team, as well as chief of staff for the 82nd Airborne Division and Combined Joint Task Force 82 from 2006 to 2008. He then served as the chief of staff of the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Okla., in 2008 and 2009. Petrenko then served as the deputy commanding general and chief of staff for U.S. Army Accessions Command at Fort Knox. Currently Petrenko serves as the program manager for the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Petrenko’s decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal. He has received medals and commendations from the governments of France and Poland. He also has earned the U.S. Army’s Ranger Tab, a Master Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.