In mid-January, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Frank Link,  announced his retirement after three years of service as commandant of the Randolph-Macon Academy. Replacing him will is retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Michael C. Starling.

According to a news release from the school, during Link’s tenure, he saw the academy celebrate its 125th anniversary and the drill team’s successful run for the Air Force Association’s Virginia AFJROTC drill championship last spring.

Starling, who took over as commandant March 6, served over 20 years with the Marine Corps. He was trained in infantry, intelligence and light armored reconnaissance fields and served as a leader, commander, operations or executive officer in numerous operational battalions. Much of this time was spent training Marines and deploying for missions around the world.

Starling also had tours in recruit training, intelligence operations and with the Marine Corps' honor guard in Washington, D.C. Later in his career, he was part of a small training cadre for the Marine Corps' contingency response forces, embarked on amphibious assault ships and performed missions "from the sea" in support of national security interests. His last assignment included missions in Pakistan and the Middle East, as well as Egypt, Libya and Africa.

He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and a 1988 graduate of R-MA.