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Alejandro Villanueva Interviewed for RMU Oral History Project

Monday, January 25, 2016
Pittsburgh -- Alejandro Villanueva, former U.S. Army Captain and offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sat with Robert Morris University student and professor to be interviewed for the School of Education and Social Sciences Oral History Project. The project preserves first-hand, on-the-ground oral histories of America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Graduate student Gabe D’Achille, who fought alongside Villanueva in Charlie Company 287 during his deployment to Afghanistan, conducted the interview. The 90-minute discussion documented their combat experiences while still fresh in their minds and will be added to the archive of other veteran interviews. 

Villanueva graduated from The United States Military Academy at West Point in 2010 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry before serving four years in the Army. He served three tours in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger, earning many accolades, including the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge, the Bronze Star Medal for overseas service, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge and Expert Infantryman's Badge.

RMU history professor John McCarthy is overseeing the project, which will become a searchable digital archive that will provide historians, as well as the general public, with a firsthand account of America’s post-9/11 conflicts. To learn more about the initiative, click here.


Through 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate degree programs across five academic schools, Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh, Pa., works to change its students' lives so that they can go out and change the lives of others for the better. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate, nontraditional and online students from 45 states and 41 nations are enrolled at RMU, which sits on 230 scenic acres just 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Emphasizing experiential learning, Robert Morris focuses on professional development, service learning, global awareness, undergraduate research, campus leadership, and cultural experiences, all of which are documented on our innovative Student Engagement Transcript. More than 100 clubs and organizations help students to develop leadership skills, network professionally, and meet friends. RMU also has 16 NCAA Division I athletic programs, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and men's and women's lacrosse.