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Saint Joe’s to Honor Lt. Col. John Chacko at Fifth Annual Green Tie Gala


Saint Joe’s to Honor Lt. Col. John Chacko at Fifth Annual Green Tie Gala
  • Advancement
Tim LeCras

METUCHEN, NJ - A 27-year Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and member of the Saint Joseph Athletics Hall of Fame will be honored at the Fifth Annual Green Tie Gala.

Lieutenant Colonel John Chacko ‘91, whose military career spanned three decades and included multiple tours of duty, will receive the Father Andre Coindre Service Award at the Gala on Friday, November 15, 2024 at Liberty House in Jersey City, New Jersey.

“We are very proud to call Lt. Col. Chacko an alum of Saint Joseph High School,” President John G. Nolan, Jr., P’09 said. “As a 27-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, John exemplifies the meaning of servant leader and is a true role model for current and future Falcons. We look forward to celebrating John’s history of service at this year’s Green Tie Gala.”

John was a gifted athlete at Saint Joe’s, playing soccer, Track & Field, cross country and water polo. In 2002, his exceptional achievements in Track & Field led to his induction into the Saint Joseph Athletics Hall of Fame, where he was celebrated for winning the National Junior Olympics Decathlon and setting numerous records at various levels.

Following his high school years, John attended Rutgers University on a Decathlon scholarship, maintaining his success as a member of the U.S. Junior National Team before embarking on his journey as a U.S. Marine. During his military career, John earned a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.

“My time at Saint Joe’s was a journey of growth and self-discovery,” Chacko said. “Each challenge transformed into an opportunity, every teacher, coach, and Brother emerged as a mentor, and all acquaintances turned into lifelong friends. Without a doubt, my tenure at Saint Joe’s laid the robust groundwork that has been instrumental in shaping my collegiate studies and professional pursuits.”

As a career Marine, John garnered numerous accolades throughout his military career, including recognition as the honor graduate from the U.S. Army Ranger Course and graduate from the U.S. Army Basic Parachutist Course. Throughout his career, John was deployed to the Persian Gulf, Kosovo and Iraq, while also supporting humanitarian assistance operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico following Hurricane Irma and Maria.

Towards the end of his military career, which culminated in his retirement in 2019, John has held multiple leadership positions at Bristol Myers Squibb, including spearheading the development and implementation of enterprise-wide crisis response teams.

“Throughout my military career and beyond, I’ve discovered that leadership is a service, not a rank,” he said. “It’s about putting the team before oneself, guiding, supporting, and inspiring. Above all, it’s about resilience - the ability to weather storms, adapt, and emerge stronger, turning trials into triumphs for the collective good.”

In his spare time, John sits on the advisory boards for the Rutgers University Business School, Stevens Institute of Technology, and participates in various Veteran organizations such as the Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

The Fifth Annual Green Tie Gala will begin with cocktail hour at 6 p.m., with dinner, dancing and celebration to follow. Entertainment will feature Will Fern ‘82, the International Champion of Strolling Magic. 

Proceeds from the event will be directed to The Saint Joseph Annual Fund, allowing the school to continue its tradition of excellence in educating and forming young men. The Saint Joseph Annual Fund supports essential areas of the Saint Joseph journey, including academics, clubs & activities, and athletics. The Fund also provides scholarship and need-based financial assistance to allow deserving young men to experience Saint Joe's journey.

What: Saint Joseph High School’s Fifth Annual Green Tie Gala

Who: All Saint Joseph High School Alumni and Families, Current Families, Friends, and Community Partners of Saint Joseph High School

When: Friday, November 15 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: Liberty House, 76 Audrey Zapp Drive, Liberty State Park, N.J.

  • Green Tie Gala