MAJ William E. Utley ‘68

William E. Utley graduated from Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1968, with a degree in History. He subsequently received a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of New Haven. While a student at SU, Bill was active in the Army ROTC program and served as the Army brigade commander during his senior year. He was also a member of the Hendricks Chapel Choir, the Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, the Scabbard and Blade Society and the Pershing Rifles. Upon graduation, he was designated a Distinguished Military Graduate and commissioned as an infantry officer. Bill was also the first recipient of the saber award, now known as the GEN Edward C. Meyer Leadership Award, which is the most prestigious award and is presented to the top MS IV cadet who demonstrates exceptional ethics, moral courage, and leadership skills, and who has demonstrated unlimited potential as an officer and individual.

After commissioning, then-Lieutenant Utley, served at Fort Hood, TX, and in the Republic of Vietnam as a Rifle Platoon Leader, weapons Company Executive Officer, and Battalion S-3 Air, with the U.S. 101 Airborne Division (Airmobile). While in Vietnam, then-Captain Utley was seriously wounded in action. He finished his active-duty military career in 1973, as a Captain at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. He served several more years in the active U.S. Army Reserve as a battalion S-2 and as an infantry Company Commander in the 187th Infantry Brigade (Sep). He left the active Reserve with the rank of Major, in order to begin a career as a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service which, at the time, prohibited agents from also being in the military reserves. MAJ Utley’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
From 1976 to 2004, Bill had a very successful and illustrious career as a Special Agent and Special Agent Bomb Technician in the United States Secret Service in Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, DC.

During the first part of his career, Special Agent Utley conducted criminal investigations, ran a fraud task force, and fought organized crime. He was also an instructor at the Secret Service academy in terrorism, water safety, rescue swimming, rescue diving and white-water rescue. While much of what Special Agent Utley did during his career was classified, he worked under six U.S. presidents, and was the only Special Agent ever to work as a Bomb Technician and was one of two Pyrotechnics Technicians on the job. Special Agent Utley retired from the federal service in 2004. He currently works as a part-time consultant on various aspects of terrorism and is active in various maritime and terrestrial archaeological projects throughout the country. He and his wife Anne live in Maryland. Bill also serves as the Historian for the SU Army ROTC Alumni Association.