Colonel Ugalde was most well known for his dedication and service to the U.S. Army and support for veterans from all branches of the military. He devoted 33 years of his life protecting and serving this country and continued to give his service to many related organizations even after he retired. During World War II, he fought in Africa, Sicily and Italy. In Sicily at age 21, he personally received an on-the-spot promotion to Captain from General Patton. He later served in the Korean conflict and on the Joint Staff of the Pacific Command during the Cold War. He was Senior Advisor to the Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War. He was one of the original Green Beret officers and an Army aviator qualified to fly both planes and helicopters. He was appointed as the Director of the California Department of Veterans Affairs in 1985. As director, he helped aid many veterans and their dependents, including a $3 billion home loan program, as well as, a 1,500-bed veterans home and hospital. Jesse’s most memorable motto was “You can always get the job done, if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
We honor you, Jesse Ugalde.