In Country: Vietnam 1968 – Biographies

Biographies

Fred Allison

Dr. Fred H. Allison has served as the Marine Corps’ Oral Historian since 2000. He specializes in aviation history as well as oral history. He has written several articles published in a number of venues on these topics. Dr. Allison has written an official history of Marine aviation (1973-present) and was the government’s representative on a contract book on Marine aviation history in recognition of Marine aviation’s centennial. He also represented the Marine Corps University on the U.S. Navy’s Centennial of Naval Aviation committee. He is a career Marine Reserve officer and served as a radar intercept officer in F-4 Phantoms and was designated an air combat tactics instructor. He has taught history at the university level and is the recipient of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s Dissertation Fellowship, the Roy S. Geiger Aviation Writing Award (2007) and Col. Joseph A. Anderson’s award for best biography (2018). Dr. Allison holds a PhD in Military History from Texas Tech University-2003. His dissertation is entitled “The Black Sheep Squadron: A Case Study in U.S. Marine Corps Innovations in Close Air Support.”

Chuck Burins

Chuck Burins flew over 3500 hours in 20 different aircraft including 420 missions and 800 hours in Vietnam in his 11 years in the Marine Corps.  He also served as a ground FAC in Vietnam. After leaving the Marine Corps, he worked for the IRS and the Department of Labor OSHA before retiring in 2003 with 40 years of federal service.   He is one of the founders of the OV-10 Bronco Association, joining the Board of Directors in 1999, and serving as the Chairman of the Board from 2005-15. Chuck was inducted into the Bronco Hall of Fame in 2008 for his historical work and documentation of the Bronco. He has provided OV-10 related technical assistance on several books and magazine articles. He has also completed as BS degree in Business Administration and an MBA degree. Burins lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Shawn Callahan

Shawn Callahan earned a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1992 and a Master of Arts in History from George Washington University in 2006. He served a 22-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps as an F/A-18D Weapons and Sensors Officer, including tours teaching history at the U.S. Naval Academy and as a Faculty Advisor at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College. Shawn also served as an adjunct faculty member teaching the Expeditionary Warfare School Distance Education Program and Command and Staff College Distance Education Program. He is the author of Close Air Support and the Battle for Khe Sanh and in 2013 was recognized with the Marine Corps University’s Elihu Rose Award for Teaching Excellence.

Shawn retired from the Marine Corps as a lieutenant colonel in 2014 and since then has worked for Davis Defense Group as the director of the Theory and Nature of War course in the Command and Staff College Distance Education Program. He lives in Annapolis and is a doctoral candidate in History at the University of Maryland. Shawn’s dissertation research focuses on John Boyd’s theory of conflict and the intellectual history of the maneuver warfare movement in the United States after the Vietnam War, studying the contested and contingent process through which theory becomes doctrine.

Col. Richard Camp, USMC (Ret.)

Colonel Richard Camp, USMC (Ret) entered the Marine Corps through the Officer Candidate School program after attending the State University of New York and graduating with a degree in Elementary Education.  Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1962, he served in a variety of command and staff assignments during a twenty-six-year career, including thirteen months in Vietnam as a rifle company commander and Aide de Camp (Maj Gen Raymond G. Davis). Retiring in 1988 with the rank of colonel, he became a business manager for two school districts in Ohio. Retiring again in 2005, he became the acting director of the Marine Corps History Division, Quantico, Virginia.  In 2006, Camp became Vice President for Museum Operations, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.  He again retired in 2012 to become a full time writer, authoring twenty books and over one hundred articles that have been published in various military history magazines.  He has been a guest lecturer at numerous seminars and professional meetings and is the recipient of the Heritage Foundation’s Heinl Award.

Lt. Gen. Ronald Christmas, USMC (Ret.)

Lieutenant General Ronald Christmas is the Past President and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and served in that position from 1997 until his retirement on September 15, 2011. During this period, he successfully led the effort to construct the National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center. He was commissioned into the Marine Corps through the NROTC program at the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. He served in various infantry command and staff assignments as a company grade officer including command of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines in Vietnam. He was seriously wounded during the battle for Hue City in the Tet Offensive of 1968 and for his actions there was awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart Medal. Some of his key assignments include Commanding Officer (CO), Marine Barracks, Annapolis, MD; CO,1st Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island; CO, 3rd Marines; Commanding General (CG), 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade; CG, 3rd Force Service Support Group; CG, I Marine Expeditionary Force; and the Director for Operations, US Pacific Command.   He retired from the Marine Corps in 1996 after 34 years active duty. His final assignment was Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

Bernard D. Cole, Ph.D. Captain, USN (Ret.)

Bernard D. Cole was commissioned from the NROTC Unit at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). He served from 1965-1995 as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Navy, including tours as Commanding Officer of USS RATHBURNE (FF1057) and Commander, Destroyer Squadron 35. He was the Amphibious Ready Group’s Boat Group Commander during several amphibious operations in Vietnam in 1966-1967, and a Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam from June 1967 to June 1968, including duty at Khe Sanh Combat Base during the Tet Offensive. Cole then served as a Professor of Maritime Strategy at the National War College from 1995 to 2015. He currently works with the China team at CNA.

Cole has written many articles, book chapters, and eight books, most recently China’s Quest for Great Power: Ships, Oil, and Foreign Policy in China, published in November 2016. He was named U.S. Naval Institute Press “Author of the Year” for 2014. Cole earned an BA in History (University of North Carolina), M.P.A. in National Security Affairs (University of Washington), and PhD in History (Auburn University).

Cdr. Peter Fey, USN (Ret.)

Peter Fey served in naval aviation for 22 years, 18 of them spent in the cockpit of various carrier-based aircraft. He served as a senior tactics instructor and head of electronic warfare at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallon, NV. While stationed at Fallon, he stood-up the Growler Weapons School and led a team of instructors in developing a weapons and tactics program for the Navy’s newest aircraft. He holds a BA in History and MA in Military History and received the Arter-Darby Military History award for his 2006 Command and General Staff College master’s thesis. In years past, he has volunteered in the National Air and Space Museum’s restoration department as well as Pima Air and Space Museum’s collection department. His first book, “Bloody Sixteen: The USS Oriskany and Air Wing 16 during the Vietnam War” was published in 2018. A native of Boulder, CO, he is currently an electronic warfare program analyst and lives in Omaha, NE.

Alan Gropman

Dr. Alan Gropman is Professor Emeritus of National Security Policy at the National Defense University. From 1960 to 1969, Dr. Gropman served in various flying assignments as a navigator and flight examiner accumulating 4000 flying hours and more than 670 combat missions in Vietnam. From 1970 to 1974, Dr. Gropman was an Assistant Professor, and Director of Military History Instruction at the United States Air Force Academy. From 1974 to 1977, Dr. Gropman was a staff officer and Branch Chief at Headquarters, United States Air Forces in Europe. In 1977 and 1978, Dr. Gropman was a student at the Air War College. From 1978 to 1981, Dr. Gropman was a section chief and staff officer in the Headquarters Air Force Directorate of Plans in the Pentagon.  

From 1981 to 1983, Dr. Gropman taught at the National War College and served as Associate Dean of Faculty.  In July 1986, Dr. Gropman retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel after 27 years commissioned service.  From 1986 to 1991, Dr. Gropman was a Senior Principal Analyst and Program Manager for the SYSCON Corporation in Washington, DC. managing projects for the Joint Staff and the Air Staff. Since 1993, Dr. Gropman has been engaged in studying and teaching in Australia and New Zealand. From 1997- 2007 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Defense and Strategic Studies at Weston Creek, Australia (Australia’s sole War College).  He is currently an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University in the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Gen. William Hartzog, USA (Ret)

After graduating from the Citadel in 1963 where he received a degree in English, William Hartzog was commissioned in the Infantry.  His first assignments at Ft. Benning, Georgia, included Executive Officer of Headquarters Company of the Student Brigade and OCS TAC officer.  In 1965-1967, he served in the 3rd Bn 508th Infantry (Abn) in Panama.  He deployed to RVN in 1967 and commanded a company in the 25th Infantry Division.  He returned to the United States, attended the Infantry Officers Advanced Course and subsequently taught tactics and military history at the United States Military Academy.  He returned to RVN in 1972-73 as an advisor and plans officer with MACV Headquarters.  In 1973-1974, he attended the USMC Command and Staff College and finished a master’s degree at Appalachian State University. From 1974-1978, he served in various positions in the 1st Infantry Division at Ft. Riley, Kansas, including acting command of a tank battalion. From 1978-1980, he commanded an Infantry Battalion in Panama.  From 1980-1981, he attended the Army War College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. From 1981-1984, he was Chief of the War Plans Division on the Department of the Army Staff.  After a year as the Executive Officer to the CG of the Training and Doctrine Command, he returned to Ft. Benning to command the 197th Infantry Brigade.  After serving from 1987 to 1989 as the Assistant commandant of the United States Army Infantry School, he returned to Panama for a third time as the J-3, United States Southern Command, a position he held during operation Just Cause.  He took command of United States Army South in 1990 and followed that command in 1991 with command of the 1st Infantry Division.  He served as Deputy Commander in Chief/Chief of Staff, United States Atlantic Command from 1993 to 1994 before taking command of United States Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, from which he retired in 1998.

After retiring from the Army, General Hartzog became CEO of Burdeshaw Associates, Ltd., a defense consulting firm.  He also served as the President and Chairman of the Army Historical Foundation; has served as a member of the Defense Science Board and is a member of advisory boards for CUBIC, Westway and MITRE Corporations.  He also lectures and has authored a book entitled “American Military Heritage”. He recently served on the defense element of the Presidential Transition Team.  

His military decorations include two awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Army Distinguished Service Medal, two Bronze Stars W/V, the Soldiers Medal and other foreign awards.  He holds the Combat Infantry Badge and is a senior parachutist.  His civilian awards include the Order of the Palmetto from South Carolina, the distinguished award from Kansas State University, an honorary Doctorate from the Citadel, the Krause Center Leadership Award and the National Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

General Hartzog is married to Roberta Anita Fitton and have two children, Robert and Robyn, and one grandchild Charlotte.

Jim Hodgson

Jim has been involved in various aspects of aviation since leaving active Marine Corps duties in 1978.  He retired from Continental Airlines in 2013 after 34 years as Captain and pilot of the Boeing 727, 737, 777, and 787.  He completed a BS degree in Industrial Engineering and a master’s degree in Management and Human Relations. He is one of the founders of the OV-10 Bronco Association in 1978 and is currently its chairman.  He is also the Executive Director of the Fort Worth Aviation Museum, that is owned and operated by the OV-10 Bronco Association.

Lt. Gen. Nicholas B. Kehoe, USAF (Ret.)

Lt. Gen. Nicholas Kehoe entered the Air Force in 1966 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has commanded an Air Force flying wing and numbered air force and served in numerous staff and operational assignments in training and fighter commands, and in NATO. He is a command pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours in trainer and fighter aircraft. His final assignment on active duty was Inspector General, United States Air Force.

General Kehoe’s major awards include Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 27 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the Vietnam Service Medal.

He arrived at Udorn Royal Thai Air Base in the Southeast Asia theater for his first tour in June 1968.  He has personal perspectives on President Johnson’s halt to Rolling Thunder missions over North Vietnam in November 1968. Because he was assigned at a base that had RF-4s and F-4s, he eventually completed 100 missions over North Vietnam. He returned to Da Nang Air Base in February of 1970 for a full one-year combat tour. Between the two tours, General Kehoe flew more than 400 combat missions in the F-4.

He retired in October 2000 after 34 years active service. He subsequently held the position of Assistant Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and later, President and CEO of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation for nearly 10 years.

Edward J. Marolda

Dr. Edward J. Marolda has served as the Director of Naval History (Acting) and Senior Historian of the Navy at the Naval Historical Center (now Naval History and Heritage Command). He has authored, coauthored, or edited seventeen works, including From Military Assistance to Combat, 1959-1965; By Sea, Air, and Land; Carrier OperationsReady Seapower: A History of the U.S. Seventh Fleet; and Combat at Close Quarters: An Illustrated History of the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War. He has edited for NHHC the nine-booklet commemorative series, The U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War. The Naval Historical Foundation selected him to receive a 2017 Commodore Dudley W. Knox Naval History Lifetime Achievement Award. Marolda served as a U.S. Army officer in the Vietnam during 1969 and 1970.

Betty M. Mayfield

Betty Mayfield is an Oral Historian Intern at the Marine Corps University. She is also a Historian at the United States Marine Corps Historical Company. Mayfield received and AS in General Studies, Manga Cum Laude from Northern Virginia Community College, and a BS in National Security/International Relations and Diplomacy from Excelsior College in Albany, New York.

Charles D. Melson

Charles D. “Chuck” Melson was the Chief Historian for the U.S. Marine Corps, at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps in Washington, DC, and the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. Chuck was a joint historian with the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. He wrote, co-authored, or edited official publications and series. He received the General Edwin Simmons-Henry Shaw Award for public historians, the General Leonard Chapman Medal for professional military educators, and the Rhodesian Independence Commemorative Medal. His military service included 25 years as a U.S. Marine. He has degrees in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland and in History and Fine Arts from Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California. He is married to Janet Pope with two children, David and Katherine. He lives on Kent Island in Maryland.

Ron Milam

Dr. Ron Milam is an Associate Professor of Military History, who specializes in the Vietnam War and is the Executive Director of the Institute for Peace and Conflict, which includes the world-renowned Vietnam Center and Archive. After a long career in the Oil and Gas Industry, he earned a Ph.D. at the University of Houston. He is the author of Not a Gentleman’s War: An Inside View of Junior Officers in the Vietnam War and The Vietnam War in Popular Culture: The influence of America’s Most Controversial War on Everyday Life. As a Fulbright Scholar, he taught the History of U.S. Foreign Policy in Vietnam and teaches Study Abroad in Southeast Asia most summers. He is one of eight American scholars writing the history of America’s wars for the new Education Center at “The Wall” in Washington D.C. and in 2015 was recognized for his teaching of military history by being inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame at the Infantry Museum in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Tim Moriarty

Tim Moriarty has worked in the defense industry since 1976 with companies such as Irvin Industries, The Titan Corp, L3, Agilent and various other startups. Tim was a Marine Artillery Officer in Vietnam from October 1967 to June 1969. After 7 months with an infantry battalion in northern I Corp, Tim flew as an Aerial Observer from May 1968 to June 1969, first with 12Th Marine (Artillery) Regiment, then with 3rd Mar Div. AO section. Tim’s 950 flight hours in RVN were split between Army O-1s, Marine O-1s and Marine OV-10s, primarily VMO 6. His flight experiences led Tim to a career in the Aerospace and DoD EW industries after the Marine Corps.

Col. Douglas Nash, USA (Ret.)

Douglas E. Nash, Colonel U.S. Army (Retired), a former enlisted man, is a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and has served in a variety of armor, armored cavalry, and special operations assignments during his thirty-two years of active duty in diverse locations such as the United States, Germany, Thailand, and Poland. A senior parachutist and veteran of the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, he participated in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Provide Comfort, Joint Guardian and Enduring Freedom at the team, company, battalion, brigade, division, corps and joint task force level. In addition to his military qualifications, he was awarded a Master of Science in International Relations from Troy State University in 1993 and a Master of Military Arts and Sciences in Military History from the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1995. Following graduation from the U.S. Army War College with a Master of Strategic Studies in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 2004, he was assigned to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, where he served as the senior military advisor in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He currently serves as the Senior Historian and Head of Histories Branch for the Marine Corps’ History Division at Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia. He has authored several articles on amphibious warfare for Fortitudine, the Marine Corps’ official historical publication (since renamed Marine Corps History), taught classes at the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Warfare School, and serves as History Division’s consultant to the National Museum of the Marine Corps’ Final Phase expansion project. Previously, he served as the Deputy Director of the Marine Corps Civil-Military Operations School in Quantico, where he served as the Deputy Director and Chief Instructor, teaching classes on Civil Affairs, Stability Operations and Counterinsurgency.

In addition, he has published numerous articles in a variety of publications, including World War II, Armchair General, Special Warfare, and Army History. He has also appeared as a commentator on the History Channel’s Shootout series and the Fox Network’s Oliver North’s War Stories. He is a volunteer aboard the 75-year old steamship S.S. John W. Brown, a restored World War II Liberty Ship docked in Baltimore, sailing as a licensed Ordinary Seaman in the Deck Department during living history cruises conducted quarterly on Chesapeake Bay. He is married and the father of three children. He currently makes his home in Dumfries, Virginia.

Lt. Col. Edward T. Nevgloski, USMC (Ret.)

Edward T. Nevgloski was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1971. A United States Marine for 28 years, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989 as an infantryman and participated in combat operations in Liberia (Operation Sharp Edge) in 1990, Saudi Arabia (Operation Desert Shield) in 1990-1991, Kuwait (Operation Desert Storm) in 1991, and the Persian Gulf (Operation Desert Calm) in 1992. Selected to attend Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, he received his commission in 1996. As an infantry officer he led Marines in Haiti (Operation Fairwinds) in 1999 and again in 2004 (Operation Secure Tomorrow), and in Iraq in 2005 and 2006 (Operations Iraqi Freedom II, III, and IV). He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School (2004), the Marine Corps Command and Staff College (2008), and the Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting (2011). His civilian education includes a BA in History from East Carolina University (1996) and an MA in Military History from Norwich University (2008). He is currently a PhD Candidate at Kings College, London and the Edwin N. McClellan Research Fellow at the Marine Corps History Division, Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. He is married to the former Autumn Lynn Speelman of Indiana and has a son, Edward, and a daughter, Brooke. He retired from the Marine Corps a lieutenant colonel in 2017.

CAPT. Gordon I Peterson, USN (RET.)

Captain Peterson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968. During his 30-year career, he was a naval aviator, a Naval Academy history instructor, and a public affairs officer. He flew 515 combat missions with the Navy’s Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three (HAL-3) in Vietnam and later served as the OIC of the Commander U.S. Sixth Fleet’s helicopter detachment for two years. As a PAO, he served for two Chairmen of the JCS and supported senior commanders in both Navy and joint-service assignments.

Following Navy retirement, Peterson was the senior editor for the Navy League’s Sea Power magazine, a strategic-communications specialist at U.S. Coast Guard headquarters, and the North America editor of Naval Forces magazine. From 2007 to 2013, he served as U.S. Senator Jim Webb’s military legislative assistant. He was a historical consultant for the Smithsonian Channel’s 2015 documentary The Spy in the Hanoi Hilton. The companion print article he co-authored, published in the CIA’s Studies in Intelligence journal, received the agency’s “Studies in Intelligence Award 2016.” He holds a M.S. degree from George Washington University and graduated with highest distinction from the Naval War College in 1984.

Glenn Robins

Dr. Glenn Robins is the William B. King Faculty Scholar and Professor of History at Georgia Southwestern State University and President-elect of the Georgia Association of Historians.  He was a West Point Summer Seminar Fellow, at the United States Military Academy, in June 2009.  He has authored or edited five books and has written extensively on the American prisoner of war experience.  His Vietnam titles include The Longest Rescue: The Life and Legacy of Vietnam POW William A. Robinson with University Press of Kentucky and America and the Vietnam War: Re-examining the Culture and History of a Generation with Andrew Wiest and Mary Kathryn Barbier, Routledge Press.  His current book project is entitled The Politics of Victimhood: Max Cleland, Jimmy Carter, and Vietnam Veterans and is under advanced contract with University Press of Kansas.

Jeffrey Schultz

Mr. Jeff Schultz is an Associate Professor of History at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania.  He earned an M.A. in History and an M.A. in Political Science from Central Michigan University.  He has presented a number of military history papers at various conferences including the 7th Triennial Vietnam Symposium, McMullen Naval History Symposium and the 85th Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History, on a variety of topics ranging from World War I to Vietnam. He has also authored several book reviews for the Michigan War Studies Review and Naval Historical Foundation websites.

John D. Sherwood

John Darrell Sherwood is a historian at the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). He holds a PhD in history from The George Washington University, and has authored five books on the Vietnam War: War in the Shallows: U.S. Navy Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam, 1965-1968 (2015); Nixon’s Trident: Naval Power in Southeast Asia, 1968-1972 (2009); Black Sailor, White Navy: Racial Unrest in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War Era (2007); Afterburner: Naval Aviators and the Vietnam War (2004); and Fast Movers: Jet Pilots and the Vietnam Experience (1999).

Ashby Shoop

Ashby Shoop has been employed in the aerospace industry for forty years working for Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and as a private contractor.  His assignments have included contributions as an engineer or engineering manager to such programs as B-2 Full Scale Development, F-22 Engineering and Manufacturing Development, P-8 System Design and Development, and the International Space Station; an assignment for which he was recognized by NASA.  Prior to his civilian employment Shoop was a Marine Corps aviator flying the OV-10 Bronco during the final years of the Vietnam War Era. Shoop represents the OV-10 Bronco Association, a Texas not-for-profit that operates the Fort Worth Aviation Museum and was recognized by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for its paper developed for the 2015 Violent Skies Symposium; The OV-10 Bronco, Designed for Counterinsurgency and the Vietnam War.

Eric B. Villard

Dr. Erik B. Villard is the principal Vietnam War combat operations historian for the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair, Washington D.C. He earned his PhD at the University of Washington in 1999 and joined CMH in 2000. In December 2017, the Center published his book titled Staying the Course: October 1967 to September 1968, the third combat operations volume in CMH’s Vietnam War series. Now serving as the Center’s Digital Military Historian, Villard is producing the Vietnam War commemoration website for CMH in addition to websites on WWI and WWII. Dr. Villard is also working on a book for the Center that covers the Department of the Army Special Photographic Office cameraman who produced many of the iconic images of the Vietnam War. Outside of work, Dr. Villard serves as the founder and director of VietnamWarHistoryOrg, a Facebook group with a membership of nearly 32,000 people.

Capt. Allen E. Weseleskey, USN (Ret.)

Capt. Allen Weseleskey was a former enlisted man who earned Navy Wings via the NAVCAD Program in 1957. Initial Carrier assignments had him flying AD/ A-1 Skyraiders in Westpac. Transitioning to Helicopters he served in HU-1, NAS Agana Guam. He was Assistant OinC, at Presidential Heliport, Anacostia, DC, flew ASW missions w/ HS-3, and volunteered as a Plank Owner to commission HA(L)-3, the SEAWOLVES in RVN. He flew 450 combat missions, was shot down once and participated in the ’68 RVN TET Offensive @ Army Airfield Vinh Long, RVN. The US Army awarded him a Bronze Star “V” & CIB for ground operations defending the Base. He has earned a Navy Cross, 2 DFC’s, Navy Marine Corps Medal, 32 Air Medals, Navy Achievement Medal “V”, RVN’s Air Cross of Gallantry, Honor Medal 1st Class & Gallantry Cross + 3 Presidential Unit Awards while in RVN. His final assignment was Director of the Navy Command Center, OPNAV 64, under VADM John “Ace” Lyons, USN. Along the way he also got Certified as an Air Traffic Controller (Presidential Support). Capt. Weseleskey has received a Legion of Merit (OPNAV 64), and a couple of Meritorious Service Medals (Ombudsman of the Navy & C O of HC-6 for getting Nuclear Weapons Certified for Safe Transportation). He has a BA in Political Science, and MS in Human Resource Management and an MS in Integrated Logistics.

Michael Westermeier

Mike Westermeier received his Bachelor of Arts in History at Norwich University in 2004 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Following completion of the Army Field Artillery Basic Course, Westermeier was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, once as a Field Artillery platoon leader and again as a fire support advisor for a Border Transition Team working with the Iraqi Border Police along the Iran-Iraq border. Following completion of the Field Artillery Captains Career Course and one more deployment to Iraq, he left the Army in 2011 to pursue a civilian career as a military analyst while completing a Master of Arts Degree in Military History from Norwich University in 2013 with a concentration on irregular warfare in the American Civil War.

Mike worked as a Park Ranger at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and then took a position as the Unit Historian with Marine Corps History Division in 2017. Westermeier developed an interest in the Vietnam War and Marine Corps Combined Action Platoons (CAPs) while handling several requests for information (RFIs) regarding CAP veterans and developing a presentation on the Battle of Hue City presented to the Marines of the I Marine Expeditionary Force. Mike now handles most of the RFIs regarding the Vietnam War for Reference Branch, Marine Corps History Division at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.

Paul Westermeyer

Paul Westermeyer is a historian who joined the History Division of the United States Marine Corps in 2005. He earned a BA in History and MA in Military History from Ohio State University. He is the recipient of Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s Brigadier General Edwin Simmons-Henry I. Shaw Award in 2015 for his book U.S. Marines in the Gulf War, 1990–1991: Liberating Kuwait. He is the author of U.S. Marines in Battle: Al-Khafji, 28 January-1 February 1991 and is the editor of Desert Voices: Oral Histories of Marines in the Gulf WarU.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 2010–2014: Anthology and Annotated Bibliography and The Legacy of Belleau Wood: 100 years of making Marines and winning battles. He is the Series Historian for the Marines in the Vietnam War Commemorative Series.

Andrew Wiest

Dr. Andrew Wiest is a University Distinguished Professor of History and the founding director of the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society at the University of Southern Mississippi. Specializing in the study of World War I and Vietnam, he has served as a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Warfighting Strategy in the United States Air Force Air War College.  Wiest’s titles include Vietnam’s Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN (New York University), which won the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award; America and the Vietnam War (Routledge); Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land (Osprey); Passchendaele and the Royal Navy (Greenwood Press) and The Boys of ’67 (Osprey), which was the basis for the Emmy nominated National Geographic Channel documentary Brothers in War. Additionally, Dr. Wiest has appeared in and has consulted on several historical documentaries for the History Channel, Granada Television, PBS, the BBC and Lucasfilm.

James H. Willbanks

Dr. James H. Willbanks is Professor Emeritus of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He joined the CGSC faculty in 1992, when he retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel with twenty-three years’ service as an Infantry officer in various assignments, including a tour as an infantry advisor with a South Vietnamese regiment during the 1972 North Vietnamese Easter Offensive.  He retired from CGSC in April 2018 after forty-nine years of combined federal service. For two years prior to retiring, Dr. Willbanks served as the General of the Army George C. Marshall Chair of Military History. Prior to assuming the Marshall Chair, he served as Director of the CGSC Department of Military History.

Dr. Willbanks is the author or editor of nineteen books; he and his work have been highlighted in media such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, US News & World Report, Wall Street Journal, Army Times, Stars and Stripes, and PBS.  Dr. Willbanks served as a consultant to Ken Burns and appeared on camera in the 10-part 18-hour documentary on the Vietnam War for PBS which began airing in the Fall of 2017.  

 

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