MG Dee Ann McWilliams

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Major General Dee Ann McWilliams, USA, Retired, took the helm as president of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation on January 1, 2016. Serving 29 years with the United States Army, MG McWilliams held a variety of Human Relations positions, including command of four companies, a training battalion, and a personnel brigade. She also taught national strategic studies and leadership, and served as an Equal Opportunity Officer. As Director, Military Personnel Management for Department of the Army, MG McWilliams developed policy and strategy for staffing, salary compensation, and training for over 1 million soldiers, to include recruitment of more than 100,000 annually. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel and Installation Management in Europe where she provided human resource and quality of life support to soldiers in Germany, Italy, Hungary, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, and Egypt. MG McWilliams retired from the Army in 2003 and later joined the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. She retired in 2010 as Director of the Lessons Learned Center. MG McWilliams holds degrees from Lon Morris College, Stephen F. Austin University where she was named a distinguished alumnus, Texas Woman’s University, and the National War College. She serves on the advisory boards of the Army Historical Foundation and the Army Women’s Foundation where she previously served as President. In 2007, MG McWilliams joined the board of directors for the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, assuming the position of Vice Chair in 2014. She was the 2013 recipient of the Lillian K. Keil Award for outstanding contributions to women’s service in the United States military and was named a Trailblazer by Women Veterans Interactive.

We honor you, Dee Ann McWilliams.

(Submission by: Ninzel Rasmuson)

COL Naldean “Nan” Borg

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Nan Borg was teaching nursing in Minot, North Dakota in 1961 when she decided to join the Army Reserves. A year later, she went on active duty and continued to serve until 1989. In 1964, she was assigned to an evacuation hospital in Korea, her introduction to intensive care, which became her specialty. She served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971, where she counseled junior officers, teaching them to deal with issues of death and dying.

We honor you, Naldean Borg.

(#Repost@National Museum of the US Army)

MSG Roy P Benavidez

2018-3-29 Benevidas

Today, I am remembering and honoring my dad on National Medal of Honor Day. The Medal of Honor is our nation’s highest award given in the military. It is EARNED, not won.

My dad was often asked if he would do it all over again and his answer was always this, “There will never be enough paper to print the money or enough gold in Fort Knox for me to have, to keep me from doing what I did. I’m proud to be an American and even prouder that I earned the privilege to wear the Green Beret. I live by the motto: Duty, Honor, Country.”

Thank YOU, to all who served and continue to serve. YOU are what makes America great! My dad stood along side you, and kneeled for the cross.

His Medal of Honor official citation reads:

“On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess aircraft damage.

Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team’s position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members.

He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team’s position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy’s fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader’s body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter.

Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, re-instilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy’s fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft.

On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded.

Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez’ gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.”

We honor you, Roy Benavidez.

(Submission by: Miah Parry. Written by: Yvette Benavidez Garcia. #Repost @Hall of Valor)

 

CW4 John William Engeman

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In August of 1978 John entered the U.S. Army as an enlisted mechanic. He was selected as a warrant officer (ordinance/maintenance) in 1988. He was promoted to chief warrant officer four on March 1, 2002.

John met and married his wife, Donna, while the two were stationed in Würzburg, Germany. They have a son and daughter-in-law, First Lt. Patrick and Mary Kirk Engeman and a daughter, Nicole Engeman.

John served on active duty for over 28 years. He deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm, Hurricane Andrew relief, Kosovo/Bosnia Peacekeeping, an assignment to Nigeria, and to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He served multiple tours in Germany and Korea, and at Fort Knox, Fort Drum and most recently, West Virginia. At the time of his death, John was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 312th Training Support Battalion, 4th Brigade, 78th Division, based at Fort Bragg, and was serving on the Military Transition Team assisting the Iraqi people in establishing their own security forces.

Engeman was sent to Iraq in February as part of an embedded special transition and advise security forces for one year.

By 4pm Sunday, Engemen said she knew something was amiss: “He usually called by 1 o’clock my time, but I figured because it was Mother’s Day there was a backup.”

Later that night, when she heard news reports that two soldiers had been killed in southern Iraq, she pushed the thought out of her head that it could be John and went to bed. At 6:15 am Monday, she got the news when soldiers arrived at her home.

“John was dedicated to his career; he had done it for 28 years. It was what he did,” Donna Engeman said. Although she said her husband had contemplated retiring before being deployed to Iraq, he always was ready to serve.

“His unit needed him. He would never shirk from anything. He would never leave his unit in a lurch,” she said proudly.

We honor you, John Engeman.

(#Repost @Northpoint Patch and  Arlington National Cemetery)

 

MajGen James E. Livingston

While thousands of heroes have emerged since the inception of the U.S. Marine Corps on November 10, 1775, James E. Livingston has earned the title, “Leatherneck Legend.”  Growing up in the 1940’s on a 3,000 acre dirt farm in Towns, Georgia, Livingston learned the importance of hard work and determination at a young age.  After college, Livingston received an Army draft card, but instead chose to enlist in the Marines in 1962. Livingston’s career advanced through the ranks of command to Captain, and he was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam as Commanding Officer of Company E, the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade, known simply as E Company, in 1968.

With one devastating battle after another in Dai Do, E Company was sent in to assist another Marine company, which had been isolated the night before, when enemy forces seized the village. Skillfully employing screening agents, Livingston maneuvered his men to assault positions.  Despite being wounded twice by grenade fragments, Livingston refused medical treatment, and instead shouted words of encouragement to his men as they continued across the 500 meters of open rice fields, where they destroyed over 100 mutually supporting bunkers, driving the remaining enemy from their position and relieving the pressure on the stranded Marines. Having reestablished contact with the surrounded Marine Company, Livingston then learned of a third Marine Company leading an attack on nearby Dinh To village. Marshalling his resources, Livingston consolidated the two companies and led a support effort to halt the aggressive enemy counter attack from Dinh To. After being wounded a third time and rendered immobile, he remained in the combat zone and supervised the evacuation of these men.

Three days of a relentless battle of attrition with 800 Marines battling 10,000 North Vietnamese soldiers was finally coming to a victorious end for the United States. Livingston was dragged from the battlefield by two Marines as he continued to shoot at the enemy. Only after he was assured of his fellow Marines’ safety did Livingston allow himself to be evacuated.

For his gallantry, bravery and selflessness, he was awarded the Medal of Honor from President Richard Nixon in 1970. After 33 years of service, Livingston hung up his service uniform. Taking the expression: “Once a Marine, Always a Marine” to heart, Livingston looked to write the next chapter of service to America through his public service career. He authored the novel: “Noble Warrior: The Story of Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston.” He also serves on numerous volunteer boards and speaks on leadership and service to country.

We honor you, James E. Livingston.

(#Repost @Library of Congress Blogs)

CPT Florent “Flo” Groberg

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Retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent “Flo” Groberg was born in Poissy, France, May 8, 1983. Groberg became a naturalized U.S. citizen, Feb. 27, 2001, and graduated from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md., in June of the same year.

In May 2006, Groberg graduated from University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice. Groberg entered the Army in July 2008 and attended Officer Candidate School and received his commission as an infantry officer, Dec. 4, 2008.

In November 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan as part of Task Force Lethal, with responsibility for the Pech River Valley in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province. Upon returning home in June 2010, he continued serving as a platoon leader until he was reassigned as an infantry company executive officer from October 2010 to November 2011. He was then assigned as the brigade personal security detachment commander for 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He deployed again to Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in February of 2012, with Task Force Mountain Warrior. He was promoted to captain in July 2012.

On the morning of Aug. 8, 2012, U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg served as a personal security detachment (PSD) commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior in Asadabad, Afghanistan. As the patrol advanced toward the governor’s compound, they reached the choke point along the route, a small bridge spanning a canal feeding the Kunar River. The patrol halted near the bridge as two motorcycles approached from the opposite direction. The motorcyclists began crossing the bridge, but stopped midway before dismounting and retreating in the opposite direction.

As the patrol observed the motorcyclists, Groberg also spotted a lone individual near the left side of the formation, walking backwards in the direction of the patrol. The individual did not cause immediate alarm as there were other local civilians in the area.

However, when the individual made an abrupt turn toward the formation, Groberg rushed the suspect and shoved him away from the patrol. Groberg then immediately confirmed the individual was wearing a suicide vest, and with the help of Sgt. Andrew Mahoney, a fellow Soldier with the PSD, grabbed the suicide bomber, physically driving him away from the formation and down to the ground.

While on the ground, the bomber’s explosive vest detonated. The explosion caused a second suicide bomber, who remained hidden behind a small structure near the road, to detonate his vest prematurely. Most of the blast of the second bomber’s suicide vest went straight into a building, adjacent to the patrol.

Groberg’s actions disrupted both bombers from detonating as planned, saving the majority of lives he was charged with protecting. As a result of his actions, Groberg sustained the loss of 45 to 50 percent of his left calf muscle with significant nerve damage, a blown eardrum, and a mild traumatic brain injury. Groberg spent his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from August 2012 through May 2015. He was medically retired from Company B Warriors, Warrior Transition Battalion, as a captain, July 23, 2015.

We honor you, Florent Groberg.

(#Repost @army.mil)

 

VADM H. Denby Starling, II

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Vice Adm. (ret) Starling began his last assignment as commander of Navy Cyber Forces at its establishment on Jan. 26, 2010. There he was responsible for organizing and prioritizing manpower, training, modernization and maintenance requirements for networks and cryptologic, space, intelligence and information operations capabilities. He concurrently served as commander Naval Network Warfare Command, where he oversaw the conduct of Navy network and space operations.

Starling is a native of Virginia Beach, Va., and was commissioned through the University of Virginia NROTC program in 1974. He was designated a naval flight officer in March 1975 and a naval aviator in March 1983, flying the A-6 Intruder with the Black Falcons of Attack Squadron (VA) 85, the Golden Intruders of VA-128 and the Milestones of VA-196.

Outside of the cockpit, Starling served on the staff of Medium Attack Tactical Electronic Warfare Wing, Pacific, as a student at the Naval War College, where he graduated with highest distinction and as the commissioning executive officer of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). His first flag assignment was to NATO in Northwood, U.K., as the assistant chief of staff, Operations, Intelligence and Exercises, for the Commander in Chief East Atlantic/Commander Allied Naval Forces Northern Europe.

Starling commanded VA-145 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61) during Operation Desert Storm, USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Carrier Group 8/George Washington Carrier Strike Group and Naval Air Force Atlantic.

Starling’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (5), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Combat V (3 Individual/ 3 Strike/Flight), Navy Commendation Medal (3/2 with Combat V) and the Navy Achievement Medal.

(#Repost @Navy.mil)