Date & Time

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Registration at 5:30pm | Event at 6:00pm


Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel
609 Sutter Street, San Francisco 
(415) 673-6672 x238

Roderick Macdonald
Brigadier (Retd.), MBE

The Marines' Memorial is proud to present a free program commemorating this historic battle!

On June 6th, 1944, D-Day, 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of WWII in Europe.

To commemorate its 75th anniversary, Brigadier (Retd.) Roderick Macdonald MBE and Dr. Seth Givens will present D-Day as it was experienced by those who were there— telling stories in the words of sailors, soldiers, commandos, parachutists and aircrew who took part in the operation. Dr. Givens will focus on the experiences of the Allied Forces, and Brigadier Macdonald will tell stories from the German/Axis point of view.


Roderick (Rod) Macdonald is a consultant with CORE Corporate Consulting who serves as a Board Member of Pakistan Cables in Karachi Pakistan. He is regular lecturer with the US Marine Corps, Marines Memorial Association and San Francisco bay area business groups. From 2001 to 2013 he was Executive Vice President for Global Sales & Business Development for General Cable (NYSE: BGC), at that time, one of the largest wire and cable manufacturing companies in the world with annual revenues at that time that exceeded $7 billion along with 57 manufacturing plants in 26 different countries and commercial operations in over 120. He began his full-time civilian business career in 1994 with Commonwealth Aluminum Corporation.  In 1997, he assumed the role of President of Alflex Corporation prior to moving to General Cable Corporation in 1999.
Macdonald began his career in military and government service.  He joined the British Army at aged 16 and learned to ski, survive and fight in the mountains with the Norwegian Army. After graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1968, he served for 25 years as a Royal Engineer officer in the British Armed Forces in parachute, armored and commando forces with 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. As an infantry commander, he led British forces in active service in Northern Ireland in multiple tours throughout the 1970s and led 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers in combat in 1982 in the Falklands War where he was Mentioned in Dispatches. Macdonald is a mountain and arctic warfare specialist who spent five winters in Norway from 1980 to 1985 working with Royal Marine Commando, Norwegian Army and NATO units. He ended his distinguished military career in 1993 in the rank of Brigadier when he immigrated to the United States.


Seth Givens is an historian at the United States Marine Corps History Division. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio University and is a specialist in strategy and policy, civil-military relations, and alliance politics. He has published on the American soldier’s experience at war in the European Theater, research for which he received a writing award from the Society for Military History. In addition, he served as an interviewer in the Cantigny 1st Infantry Division Oral History Project, which focused on soldiers who served in the Big Red One, from World War II to the Global War on Terror. At the Marine Corps History Division, Givens is currently preparing the official history of the Marine Corps in Operation Iraqi Freedom.