Recognition Awards and Honorees

The Army Heritage Center Foundation proudly recognizes Soldiers, individuals, and organizations who have served our Nation.

Boots on the Ground Award

The Boots on the Ground Award recognizes individuals and organizations whose contributions and service demonstrate commitment to the U.S. Army, its Soldiers, and their families.

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2023 – Operation Deploy Your Dress

Operation Deploy Your Dress began at Fort Bliss, Texas in 2015, when its founders, five military spouses, decided to organize a dress swap among their units’ spouses, as a way to defray the costs associated with purchasing formalwear for military balls. They were fortunate to receive national media attention and the response from the American public has been incredible.

Over the last 7 years, the non-profit organization has deployed over 20,000 gowns across the United States and Germany, saving Military Families over $2 million dollars.  The organization currently serves 12 locations across the U.S. and in Germany. In addition to providing dresses for military balls, Operation Deploy Your Dress has expanded to wedding gowns as well.

2022 – The Pease Greeters

The Pease Greeters were born in 2005 at Portsmouth International Airport. They have met flights at all hours of the day and have provided more than coffee and donuts.  They have provided crowds to greet service members that travel through the airport. They give them a great send off our warm welcome home, and have been joined by celebrities and elected officials.

They also grew their mission beyond the airport.  They have, over the years, welcomed Troops from some of our NATO allies including Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Macedonia and Tunisia. They have collected and distributed Care Packages to Servicemembers transiting Pease or who are deployed overseas.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed.  In 2008, President George W. Bush invited the leadership to the White House for a ceremony. The COVID pandemic slowed their activity, but they continued to meet aircraft.  Today, they continue to meet flights and as of November 2021 hosted their 2,000th flight at the airport.  More than 310,000 Troops have been fed, honored, and thanked for their service.

2021 – Jose Delgado and Jesus Gonzalez

These two Soldiers were honored  for their efforts during the planning of the ground war during Operations Desert Shield and desert Storm.  Their efforts helped minimize, and perhaps prevent, the destruction of the lead element of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) on February 24, 1991 as they airlifted into Objective Cobra.

Uneasy about intelligence reports of an unoccupied trench line in their landing zone, CPT Delgado and SGT Gonzales investigated and found satellite imagery that showed activity within the trench near their unit’s landing zone.  They informed their commander, LTC Frank Hancock, who requested an adjustment to the plan. The initial request for denied.  However, they continued to refine their assessment and convinced LTC Hancock to return to the Brigade Headquarters where he was ultimately given approval to adjust his landing zone. On the morning of February 24th, the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry air assaulted into Objective Cobra.  They were immediately engaged by over 300 Iraqi soldiers with heavy weapons. We can only imagine what would have happened if Delgado and Gonzalez had simply accepted the assessment from higher headquarters.  In all likelihood, the Soldiers of the 1/327 Infantry would have suffered significant casualties upon landing so near a large and well-armed foe.


2019 – American Overseas Memorial Day Association

Over 500,000 American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen lost their lives during World Wars I and II. Today, more than 200,000 of them remain buried or memorialized at overseas locations.

Since 1920, individuals in France and Belgium have ensured those that gave their lives in support of our Nation are not forgotten. First as the Paris Memorial Day Committee and, since 1923, the American Overseas Memorial Day Association (AOMDA) volunteers have planned and hosted ceremonies honoring those Americans who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of others. Today, AOMDA partners with the American Battle Monument Commission to coordinate grave decorations and Memorial Day ceremonies at the 183 sites in France, 8 in Belgium, and others in Luxemburg, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

The American Overseas Memorial Day Association is a membership organization open to anyone who wishes to support their efforts.


2018 – Special Operations Warrior Foundation

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Tampa, Florida that provides educational counseling and college scholarships to the surviving children of Special Operations personnel (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps) killed in the line of duty. SOWF also provides immediate financial assistance to every severely wounded and hospitalized special operations service member and their family. The organization was founded in 1980 after the daring rescue attempt of the 53 American hostages in Iran ended in the tragic loss of eight servicemen who left behind 17 children. A battlefield promise to take care of those 17 children has become the mission of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Since its inception, over thirteen hundred children of fallen special operations warriors have received college educations and over a thousand severely wounded special operators’ families have received financial assistance from SOWF.


2017 – Mr. Joseph Galloway

Galloway has not allowed our Soldiers to be forgotten.  His service as a military reporter, columnist, and author has helped publicize and humanize our Soldiers, especially related to the Battle of the Ia Drang in Vietnam. Joe Galloway was a 23 year old United Press International reporter who was assigned to Vietnam in 1965.  He wanted to tell the stories of Soldiers in war, and to do so, he had to serve with them in the field.  In November 1965, he accompanied the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment into the Ia Drang Valley.  To save his and Soldiers’ lives, he had to take up arms.  He received a Bronze Star with V Device for his actions and forged a deep friendship with Soldiers of the unit.  He would later tell their stories in the best-selling book, We Were Soldiers Once… and Young.


2016 -Lieutenant General Claude Kicklighter, USA Ret.

With a career that included Command of the U.S. Army Pacific and as the Director of the Army Staff, his selection recognizes his post retirement efforts to ensure “old Soldiers” are not forgotten. General Kicklighter served as Executive Director of the United States of America 50th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Committee, provided oversight for the writing of the plan for the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War, and as the Director of the Department of Defense Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration Program.

2015 – Cavan McIntyre-Brewer

Recently named the Military Child of the Year for the Army, Cavan personifies all children whose parents have been deployed over the past 14 years as part of coalition forces into Afghanistan and Iraq. He is the founder of Socks for Vets which collects and distributes items to veterans in need and wounded warriors and assists his younger sister with a similar program that collects and distributes compression pillows to pediatric heart patients.  He also trains animals to carry packing equipment for wounded veterans who hike.

2014 – American Gold Star Mothers

The Army Heritage Center Foundation recognizes the support that the American Gold Star Mothers provide to Soldiers and their Families. The Gold Star Mothers is a national organization composed of mothers whose sons or daughters served and died in the line of duty in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Since its inception in 1928, these ladies work to maintain service fellowship, inspire patriotism, allegiance, and love of our country, assist Veterans and other Gold Star Mothers, perpetuate the memory of those whose lives were sacrificed in our wars, and promote peace and good will.

There are over 140 Gold Star Mothers Chapters throughout the country. In September 2012, President Barack Obama rededicated the last day in September as “Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day.”

2013 – Hendrick Motorsports

The Army Heritage Center Foundation recognizes the support that Hendrick Motorsports provides to Soldiers and their Families. Hendrick Motorsports is a proud advocate of service to our Nation and to our Army.  Its most visible contribution is the Number 88 National Guard car driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. This race team highlights service to our Nation. Hendrick Motorsports also supports the National Guard Youth Foundation and over the past several years has contributed financial backing for the benefit of high school students who attend leadership academies nationally.  These young men and women benefit from their support and through the program by learning the value of leadership and patriotism. The Number 48 car, driven by Jimmie Johnson, has since 2001, partnered with Lowe’s and the USO to support our Soldiers and their Families deployed worldwide. Finally, team members have spent time with Veterans, actively promote the hiring of Veterans, and have helped our Wounded Warriors.


2013 – Family Readiness Group, HHC, 109th Infantry, 28th Infantry Division (PA National Guard)

Based in Scranton, the Family Readiness Group of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 109th Infantry, 55th Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard provided excellent support to the Families of this unit during its nine month deployment to Kuwait in 2012 and 2013.  Mrs. Christina Hopper and her group of volunteers held town hall meetings, created a website, a unit newsletter, and a phone tree to keep family members informed. They held send offs, welcome home ceremonies, created care packages, and held Yellow Ribbon events, among other support activities. Their excellence has garnered praise and represents the many other family support groups that help sustain the Families of deployed soldiers.


2012 – The Army Arlington Ladies

The Army Arlington Ladies were founded by Mrs. Creighton Abrams in 1973 with the purpose to represent the Army Chief of Staff and the Army family and to ensure that no Soldier will ever be buried alone at Arlington National Cemetery. The group is comprised of approximately 65 volunteers who are the spouses of active duty, retired, or deceased Soldiers. In 2011, the Army Arlington Ladies attended over 2,000 funeral services.

2011 – Mr. H. Ross Perot

Best known for his entrepreneurial spirit, Mr. Perot has consistently and often quietly supported and assisted Soldiers and their Families since the Vietnam War when he spearheaded a campaign to end brutal treatment of U.S. prisoners.

Still today, Soldiers and their Families continue to benefit from Ross Perot’s consistent support of those who defend our Nation, and through his family’s foundation.

2010 – The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

The McGowan Institute serves as a single base of operations for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s leading scientists and clinical faculty working to develop tissue engineering, cellular therapies, biosurgery, and artificial and biohybrid organ devices. Technology developed by the Institute is being used in a study managed by the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research in San Antonio. The study is assessing the feasibility of restoring some function to the hands and muscle tissue of Soldiers who have suffered significant loss. Through regenerative medicine research and the studies that the Army is conducting at the Institute for Surgical Research, there is hope that some functionality can be added to the hands of some of our brave wounded warriors.

Living Legend Award

The Living Legend Award recognizes Soldiers whose individual service in the U.S. Army illustrates excellence, whose service represents other Soldiers with similar experiences, and who serves as an example for future generations.

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2023 – Brigadier General Robert Stewart, USA Retired

BG Stewart entered active duty in 1964 after graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was designated an Army Aviator and would fly over 1,000 combat hours in Vietnam during 1966 and 1967. He received his Master’s in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1972. After attending the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, he was assigned as an experimental test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base, participating in test flights of the UH-1, AH-1, U-21, OV-1, Hughes YAH-64, and UH-60A Black Hawk. He became a NASA astronaut in 1979 and logged more than 285 hours in space as the first active duty Army officer to make a spaceflight.  In 1986 upon promotion to Brigadier General, he was reassigned to the U.S. Army Strategic Defense Command, before becoming the Director of Plans for U.S. Space Command in 1989. He retired from the Army in 1992.



2022 – Command Sergeant Major Cynthia Pritchett, USA Retired

CSM Pritchett is the first senior enlisted female to serve as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader of a sub-unified combatant command in a time of war.

A native of New Hampshire, CSM Pritchett entered the Army in 1973 as a supply specialist. During her career she has served in a variety of leadership positions from Squad Leader to the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth Command Sergeant Major and as an Instructor at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, from which she is also a graduate.

She served as the Combined Forces Command – Afghanistan Command Sergeant Major from 2004-2006. Her final assignment was as the Senior Enlisted Leader of the Headquarters U.S. Army Element CENTCOM. She retired in 2010 after over 36 years of active service.

The recipient of numerous awards and Hall of Fame inductions, she has a Bachelor’s degree from Excelsior College in Administration and Management and Master of Science in International Relations (Global Studies) from Troy University. She currently works as the strategic planner for the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies and as their Liaison to U.S. Central Command and serves on the Board of Directors of the Army Women’s Foundation as the first Vice President.


2021 – General Richard Cody, USA Retired

Richard Cody graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1972.  His early assignments include the 25th Infantry Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 24th Infantry Division Aviation Brigade, and the 101st Airborne Division’s Aviation Brigade.

In 1989, he assumed command of 1st Battalion, Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division and deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Desert Shield.  In September 1990, he was selected to lead a special high-risk mission to destroy key Iraqi early warning radar sites to clear the way for the air campaign. As the ground war began in February, his battalion provided critical fire support for the infantry, facilitating the seizure of critical blocking positions along the Euphrates River, cutting Highway 8 to prevent retreat and resupply of the Iraqi Army.

Subsequent command assignments included Aviation Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, 160th Special Operations Aviation (Night Stalkers), and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). His Army career culminated in serving as the Vice Chief of Staff from 2004 until his retirement in 2008.


2019 – Chinese American World War II Veterans, Represented by Harry Jung

In 2018, the Nation recognized the contributions of our Chinese-American Veterans of World War II with the Chinese American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act. The act honored the approximately 20,000 Chinese-Americans, or about 22% of their adult male population, that willingly served. Of those, over 90% served in the Army.

In 2019, the presentation of the first medals to surviving Chinese American Veterans of WWII took place. Today, only between 500 and 1,000 Chinese American Veterans survive; most having passed away not experiencing the Nation’s recognition of their wartime contributions.

Harry Jung, born and raised in Philadelphia, enlisted in 1942 just before his 18th birthday. Serving three years, he was assigned to the 414th Infantry Regiment in the 104th Infantry Division which participated in the Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns. In November 1944, during a night assault near Eschweiler, Germany he was wounded by a German grenade. He was sent back to the states to recover and was honorably discharged in 1945. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medals for his service.


2018 – CW 4 Michael Durant, USA Ret.

He entered the Army in 1979 and had assignments with the 470th Military Intelligence Group in Panama, the 377th Medical Evacuation Company in Korea, the 101st Assault Aviation Battalion, and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR/ Night Stalkers). He participated in operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Gothic Serpent where he was held for 11 days as a POW.  His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device, and the Purple Heart. Durant retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 in 2001 with more than 3,700 flight hours. He is the author of In the Company of Heroes and The Night Stalkers.  He has a bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics and a master’s degree in aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is owner, president, and CEO of Pinnacle Solutions which specializes in aviation training and the development of sophisticated training devices such as high-fidelity aircraft simulators.


2018 – 1SG Matthew Eversmann, USA Ret.

He enlisted in the Army in 1987 and had assignments with the 10th Mountain Division and the 75th Ranger Regiment. In 1993, Eversmann deployed with his company to Somalia in support of Operation Gothic Serpent. For his actions during the Battle of Mogadishu, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor device and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. As a company First Sergeant, he served in Iraq during the surge from 2006-2007 where he and his men spent 18 months fighting Al-Qaeda and implementing the counter insurgency strategy.  Additional awards and decorations include the Army Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Ribbon, eight Army Achievement Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Ranger Tab, Master Parachute Wings, Royal Thai, British, and Egyptian Jump Wings, and the Expert Infantryman’s Badge. Educational achievements earned over the course of his career include Airborne, Ranger, SERE, the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC), and the Army’s Basic and Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Courses. He received the Leadership Award at Ranger School, PLDC, and the Basic Course. He holds an honorary bachelor’s degree from Hampden-Sydney College. He retired from the Army in 2008 after 20 years of service. He is co-author of The Battle of Mogadishu and co-founder of Eversmann Advisory.

2017 – Mr. Bill Beck

A Pennsylvania native, Beck was drafted into the Army in 1964 and was airlifted into Landing Zone (LZ) X-Ray just prior to the first large scale U.S. battle in the Vietnam War. During the Battle of the Ia Drang in November 1965, much like Joshua Chamberlain did for the Union Army at Gettysburg, he secured the flank of his unit’s position.  He was awarded a Silver Star for these actions while serving as an assistant machine gunner in the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.  Then and now, he represents those citizen Soldiers who joined the Army and fought in the Vietnam War. A professional artist, Beck has sketched his memories of Army service and battle.

2016 – Brigadier General Peter Dawkins, USA Ret.

While a Cadet at West Point, he served as president of his class, and in his senior year, as the Brigade Commander of the Corps of Cadets.  A team captain of the Army football team, he won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, and was a consensus All-America selection. After graduation, he attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and later earned a Ph.D. from Princeton.  Over a 24 year military career, he led Soldiers in Vietnam where he was awarded two Bronze Stars.  He held commands in the 7th Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, and the 82nd Airborne Division.  He also served as a White House Fellow.

2015 – Colonel Walter J. Marm, Jr., USA Ret.

Retired Colonel Walter Marm is a native of the Pittsburgh area and served in the U.S. Army for 30 years. He will receive the Living Legend Award for his unwavering service to our Nation and its Army. He joined the Army in 1964 and deployed to Vietnam as a Platoon leader in the 7th Cavalry in September 1965. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Ia Drang in November of 1965. After recovering from wounds sustained during the battle, he requested to return to Vietnam and served a second tour in 1969. The story of the battle and his unit’s actions in it were portrayed in the book and movie We Were Soldiers.

2014 – Secretary John O. Marsh, Jr.

Secretary of the Army John O. Marsh, Jr. is the longest serving Secretary of the Army in our Nation’s history. He is receiving the Living Legend Award for his unwavering service to our Nation and its Army.  A World War II and Vietnam War veteran, Marsh also served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1962–1970), representing the Commonwealth of Virginia, before being selected as Secretary of the Army during the Reagan and Bush Administrations (1981-1989). He helped to shape the Army of the 1980s and returned the Army’s focus to its roots. Secretary Marsh served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs (1973-1974) and as Counsellor to President Ford, with Cabinet rank (1974-1977).

Secretary Marsh entered the Army in 1944 and was selected for Infantry O.C.S. at Fort Benning at 18 and commissioned at 19. He served in the Army of the Occupation of Germany. From 1947 to 1951, he was an officer in the Army Reserve. In 1951, he joined the 116th Infantry Regiment of the Virginia National Guard. He retired in 1976 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

He was a graduate of Washington and Lee University and has been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the American Legion Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Guard Distinguished Service Award. Secretary Marsh died in 2019.

2013 – BG Anna Mae Hays, USA Ret.

Anna Mae Hays graduated from the Allentown General Hospital School of Nursing in 1941 and joined the Army Nurse Corps early the next year. She was stationed in India for the duration of World War II and saw service in Korea and Japan during the Korean War. During peacetime, she served in several academic posts, including Walter Reed Hospital. She also served as President Eisenhower’s nurse. She was promoted to Brigadier General on June 11, 1970, becoming the first female general officer in the U.S. Army, having been appointed by President Nixon the month before. She served as the Chief of the Army Nurse Corps from 1967 until her retirement in 1971. She also held Bachelor and Master Degrees in Nursing. Her awards include Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with One Battle Star, Merit Service Plaque, Korean Service Medal with Three Battle Stars, Merit Unit Commendation, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and Army of Occupation, Japan. General Hays passed away in 2018.


2012 – CSM Jeffrey Mellinger, USA Ret.

Jeffrey Mellinger was drafted into the Army on April 18, 1972 and retired from continuous active duty on December 31, 2011. During his 39 years in the Army, he served with units in Alaska, Georgia, Oregon, North Carolina, Missouri, Germany, and Japan. Notable assignments included serving in the 1st and 2nd Battalion (Ranger) 75th Infantry, as a Drill Sergeant at Fort Gordon, GA, as the Command Sergeant Major for the Multi-National Force in Iraq from August 2004 through May 2007, and as the Command Sergeant Major for U.S. Materiel Command.

CSM Mellinger’s military schools include Ranger School, Jumpmaster School, Jungle Expert School, Military Freefall Course, Drill Sergeant’s Course, Sergeants Major Course, and the Command Sergeants Major Course. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2d award), Bronze Star Medal with V, Meritorious Service Medal (8th award), Iraqi Campaign Medal (3), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Expert Infantry Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab.


2011 – BG James Herbert, USA Ret.

A member of the Ranger Hall of Fame and a graduate of West Point, General Herbert embodied devotion and sacrifice. As a Captain commanding the 8th Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in Korea, he demonstrated his remarkable character in the face of overwhelming odds. When Chinese forces threatened to engulf the 24th Infantry Division, Herbert led 89 of his fellow Rangers into action. Despite being shot multiple times, Herbert’s daring leadership saved the lives of many American infantrymen. Herbert’s role in establishing the Ranger Department at the U.S. Army Infantry School, his service in Korea and during the Vietnam War, and his thirty years of Army service are an inspiration to all Rangers and Soldiers. General Herbert died in 2015.

2011 – COL Robert W. Black, USA Ret.

A member of the Ranger Hall of Fame, Colonel Black distinguished himself throughout his military career, rising from the rank of Recruit to Colonel. Serving in Korea as an enlisted Soldier in the 8th Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) and as a commissioned officer in Vietnam, Black was twice awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge. Colonel Black has since become the foremost historian of Army Rangers. He has written extensively on the subject of Army Rangers, informing a wide audience of their contributions to our national development and security. Colonel Black was even able to secure the coveted Ranger Tab award for his unit’s accomplishments in Korea and assist other Ranger units to acquire decorations earned but not received. He is the founder of the Ranger Research Collection at the U.S. Military History Institute; and through his exhaustive research, Colonel Black has helped to recognize and honor the service of many Ranger units and keep their legends and history alive.


2010 – Sir Stanley Wojtusik

While still a high school senior, Wojtusik enlisted on December 21, 1943into the 106th Infantry Division, 422nd Infantry Regiment. He arrived in England in November of 1944, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, where his regiment became separated from the rest of the unit. With only an M-1 rifle to fight tanks, he scrambled from foxhole to foxhole and was captured by Germans. A recipient of the Purple Heart, knighted in Belgium and Luxembourg, and past National President of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Wojtusik worked tirelessly to ensure Battle of the Bulge veterans are honored for their service and sacrifice with a monument at Arlington National Cemetery. He passed away in 2015.


2010 – Retired Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Ney

Lewis Ney was born July 11, 1909 in Harrisburg and developed a love for horses while living on his grandparent’s farm. He joined the Army in 1928 when he was only 17. After serving most of his career with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, he retired after 33 years of service as a Chief Warrant Officer.  As a dedicated “horse Calvary soldier” Lewis Ney celebrated his 100th birthday on horseback. CWO Ney passed away in March of 2012.


2009 – Mr. Joseph Lesniewski

In October 1942, Joe enlisted in the Army Air Force. He completed Airborne Infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia in late 1943. Afterward, he was shipped to Northern Ireland and on to work with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). After the Soviet Armies overran Warsaw, he requested to be sent to the 101st Airborne, and in March 1944, Joseph Lesniewski joined E (Easy) Company, 506th Infantry Regiment. He jumped into Normandy at approximately 0100 hours on D-Day June 6, 1944. He landed near the town of Sainte-Mère-Église along with fellow E Company paratroopers. During the war, he and other members of Easy Company participated in the Battle for Normandy, Battle of Carentan, Operation Market Garden, and the Siege of Bastogne. His exploits were described in Stephen Ambrose’s book Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest and in Steven Spielberg’s miniseries for television Band of Brothers. He is one of 20 contributors to the 2009 book We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers, published by Penguin/ Berkley-Caliber. He passed away in 2012.


Major General John Armstrong Award

The Major General John Armstrong Award recognizes individuals for significant contributions to the Army Heritage Center Foundation and its efforts to support the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. Major General Armstrong, a founder of Carlisle, PA, served as a brigadier major general in the Continental Army and as a major general in the Pennsylvania Militia during the Revolutionary War. He was also a delegate to the Continental Congress for Pennsylvania. He was a visionary, a Soldier, and a leader.

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2018 – LTC Martin Andresen, USA Ret.

Colonel Andresen has been instrumental in enhancing the collections of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. He served 28 years in the Army, including 11 years with the U.S. Army Military History Institute. Upon retirement in June 1993, he became a full-time volunteer at USAHEC until April 2018. He helped build the finest collection of authority publications in the country.

The Foundation recognizes and honors as Living Legends those Soldiers whose service illustrates both individual and group excellence and is significant to the history and heritage of the U.S. Army.

 2017 – Mr. Don Mowery of R.S. Mowery & Sons

Don and his company have been ardent supporters of the Foundation’s efforts  and have been instrumental in enhancing the public components of the U.S. Army  Heritage and Education Center campus. As the Foundation’s design-build partner over the last several years, Mowery has constructed the Visitor and Education Center, the Hall of the American Soldier, and additional infrastructure and parking areas at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.

2016 – Members 1st Federal Credit Union

Members 1st has been an ardent supporter of the Foundation’s efforts and has been instrumental in enhancing the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus.

In 1950, they opened their doors to serve individuals working at the Naval Supply Depot in Mechanicsburg and had the name Defense Activities Federal Credit Union (DAFCU). Their first branch opened across the street at the U.S. Army War College in 1972. They changed their name to Members 1st in 1994 and currently have branch locations in seven counties.

2014 – G.B. Stuart Charitable Foundation

The G. B. Stuart Charitable Foundation has been an ardent supporter of the Foundation’s efforts and has been instrumental in enhancing the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus.   Since 2003, G. B. Stuart has provided more than $500,000 that has allowed the Foundation to design and build the Visitor and Education Center, to outfit the Foundation operated museum store, and to fund educational program enhancements on the Army Heritage Trail.

Created from the proceeds of the estate of Mr. George B. Stuart, the G. B. Stuart Charitable Foundation believes that as Americans, we enjoy the privileges and freedoms we have today because of the courage and sacrifice of the wonderful men and women who serve in uniform.

Mr. Stuart was a long time resident of Carlisle.  He served the community as an attorney, a Cumberland County solicitor, and an attorney for the Commonwealth’s Public Utility Commission and the Labor Relations Board.  An Army veteran of World War II, he was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Dickinson School of Law.

2013 – Mr. Randy Hackenburg, Mr. John Slonaker, and Dr. Richard Sommers

Our recipients, through their work within the archives, library, and photo collections and their efforts acquiring and preserving the resources,  has allowed USAHEC to gain the reputation as the premiere research facility in the Nation on the history and heritage of the U.S. Army.

Mr. Hackenburg served in the Air Force and earned Bachelor and Master Degrees from Bloomsburg University before coming to the U.S. Army Military History Institute in 1975 as the organization’s photo curator. His periods of historical expertise include the Mexican War and the Civil War, along with 19th Century U.S. martial weapons. He is also the author of publications on Pennsylvania’s involvement in the Mexican War. He worked at MHI for over 30 years and helped create the magnificent photograph collection that USAHEC maintains today.

Mr. Slonaker came to the U.S. Army Military History Institute after working for the National Park Service. He earned a Bachelor degree in History from George Washington University, a Master in American Studies from Penn State University, and a Master of Library Science from Clarion University. He served as the Chief of the Historical Reference Branch at MHI for over 30 years.  His expertise and skill in patron services helped USAHEC garner the outstanding reputation it has today.

Dr. Sommers attained a Bachelor of Arts in History from Carleton College and a Doctorate in History from Rice University before coming to MHI in 1970 as the Chief Historian and Archivist. He is a world renowned Civil War expert. He also taught American history courses at the U.S. Army War College. He served in various positions in the archives and patron services at USAHEC along with being the Harold K. Johnson Professor of Military History in 2007 and 2008.  During his career, he also authored more than 30 publications.  Dr. Sommers’ knowledge and expertise have been a true asset to USAHEC.

2012 – The Honorable Thomas Ridge

Governor Ridge has been a friend of the Army, Carlisle Barracks and of the US Army Heritage and Education Center even before the concept of USAHEC was fully formed by the Army. His experience as a Soldier led him to appreciate the recommendations of the leadership of his Base Realignment and Closure – Pennsylvania Action Committee (BRAC-PAC) – Cliff Jones and BG Joe McCarthy – when they came to him and discussed how the holdings of the US Army Military History Institute, the predecessor organization to USAHEC located at the Army War College could do more to tell the Army and the Soldier’s Story.

With the assistance of Senator Hal Mowery, he signed into law the Capital Budget Act of 1999 that authorized the development of an Army Museum at Carlisle to draw up to $25 million of Commonwealth Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project Funds to build a museum at Carlisle. Thus far we have been able to draw $10.75 million from that program to join with the more than $35 million of federal investment in the project. Governor Ridge and his staff also supported the development of USAHEC in other meaningful ways. Last year as the Army debated options to save future funds, he reminded Members of Congress and the Defense Department of the importance of USAHEC and its mission to preserve Soldiers memories, honor their service, and educate the American public.   Those letters proved critical and helped secure the future of USAHEC.

2010 – The Citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its citizens have provided significant support to the development of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. Former Governor Tom Ridge provided strong and vocal leadership during discussions with the Army. He authorized early Department of Community and Economic Development grants that allowed the Foundation to facilitate the development of the complex. Our local elected state representatives obtained legislation that provided the authority for the project to receive Redevelopment Assistance Capital Projects (RACP) grants. Former Governor Mark Schweiker authorized the RACP grant, and Governor Edward Rendell released money that supported the construction of Phase One of the Visitor and Education Center.


2010 – The Citizens of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

The citizens of Cumberland County and visionary leadership of its elected officials significantly contributed to the creation and development of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. During the project’s inception, the vocal support of community residents and the Commissioners offer to donate land as a home for the new Center’s campus proved instrumental in the Army’s acceptance of the project. Then as the project developed, the community’s financial assistance allowed the Foundation to continue its efforts to secure additional funds to design and construct Phase One of the Visitor and Education Center and to work with our federally elected officials to secure funds to support the construction of the Museum Support Facility and the expansion of programs at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.


2009 – BG Joseph McCarthy, USA Ret.

General McCarthy was recognized for his inspirational role as founder and President of the Army Heritage Center Foundation and his untiring efforts since the mid-1990s to bring a world class museum to Carlisle. He saw in the collection of the Military History Institute a greater potential for public education and outreach for the Army. Working with local, regional, Commonwealth, and national leaders, he built support for the development of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.

BG McCarthy is a 1945 graduate from West Point and throughout his Army career he served in numerous command and staff positions in infantry, armor, and airborne units; in the Pentagon; and in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He served two tours in Vietnam and two tours at NATO headquarters in Brussels and Naples. He was the founding President of the Keystone Capital Chapter of MOAA (Military Officers Association), past president of the Foreign Policy Association of Harrisburg, founding president of the Susquehanna Conference, and a founding board member of the South Central Assembly for Effective Governance. He was also Chairman and later Co-chairman of the Governor’s Pennsylvania Base Development Committee. General McCarthy passed away in April of 2010.


2009 – Mr. Clifford Jones

Mr. Jones was recognized for his efforts in building local and regional support for the development of the U.S. Army     Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC). As the Co-Chair of the Governor’s Pennsylvania Base Development Committee, he worked with BG Joseph McCarthy to build the support of local, regional, and Commonwealth leaders, to include Governor Tom Ridge, for the creation of USAHEC.

After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea during 1946 and 1947, his career of public service in Pennsylvania includes serving as Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor and Industry, Secretary of Environmental Resources, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, President of Pennsylvanians for Effective Government, President of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, President for the Capital Region Economic Development Corporation (CREDC), and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. He served as Co-Chair of the Governor‘s BRAC Pac under Governors Ridge, Schweiker, and Rendell. He was also a member of the Governor’s Action Team for Economic Development under Schweiker and Rendell. He also served on multiple advisory boards and commissions including Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority, and the Army Heritage Center Foundation, to list a few. Mr. Jones passed away in May 2008 in Mechanicsburg, PA.


Professor Russell F. Weigley Award

The Professor Russell F. Weigley Award is given in memory of Russell F. Weigley, a distinguished military historian. The award recognizes students with the best military history-focused paper presented at the annual Barnes Club Conference in Philadelphia, PA. A panel of military historians review the papers.

View Honorees


First Place: Jared D. Wigton, Princeton University, “Leading in Defeat: Frederick Weyand, Vietnam, and the Decline of the Citizen-Soldier”

Honorable Mention: Benjamin Remillard, University of New Hampshire, “Race, Relief, and Relationships after the Revolution”


First Place: Benjamin M. Schneider, George Mason University, “Killing is the Object of Our Efforts: Combat Training, International Law, and War Crimes in the U.S. Army During the Second World War”

Honorable Mention: Alexandre Caillot, Temple University, “The 17th Vermont Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the Problem of “Eleventh-Hour Soldiers”: A Preliminary Investigation”


First Place: Thomas Jamison, Harvard University, “The Esmeralda/Izumi (1881-1894/1894-1907): An International History of Regional Competition and the U.S. “New Navy”

Honorable Mention: Katrina Ponti, University of Rochester, “Emissaries of Abolition: Surgeons in the British West Africa Squadron”


First Place: Kaete O’Connell, Temple University, “Chocolate, Corn, and Lady’s Beer: A Taste of Civil-Military Relations in US-Occupied Germany”

Honorable Mention: Alexandre F. Caillot, Temple University, Individualism and Authority: Vermont Soldiers’ Attitudes toward Military Discipline in the Civil War


First Place: Christina Welsch, Princeton University, “‘I may very shortly be a great a man as Tippoo’: History and Hysteria in Colonial India

Honorable Mention: James Kopaczewski, Temple University, “’If I Get Home Safe’: William C. White’s Experiences in the American Civil War


First Place: Thomas A. Reinstein, Temple University, The Way a Drunk Uses a Lamp Post: The Intelligence and the Bombing of North Vietnam”

Honorable Mention: Kaete O’Connell, Temple University, “Humanitarianism and the Meaning of Democracy in the Berlin Airlift”


First Place: Jeong Min Kim,  “American GIs, Korean Women, and the Black Market during the Korean War (1950-1953)”

Honorable Mention: Mark R. Folse, University of Alabama, “The Impact of the Great War on Marines in Hispaniola, 1917-1919” 


First Place: Robert Hutchinson,  “Friendly Advice: German General Staffers and the Foreign Military Studies Program, 1945-1954”

Honorable Mention: Thomas A. Reinstein, Temple University, “Tonto As Official Policy: The Kit Carson Scouts and Frontier Mythology in the US-Vietnam War” 


First Place: Martin G. Clemis, Temple University, “Violent Pacification: Force, Coercion, and the ‘Other War’ in Vietnam, 1968-1972”

Honorable Mention: Patrick Gartland, Temple University, “The Question of Loyalty: Japanese-American Student Relocation in World War II”

Honorable Mention: John Worsencroft, Temple University, “Family Matters: The United States Army, Family, and the Search for Stability, 1980-1984”


First Place: Alec Lalonde, The Royal Military College of Canada, “Why ‘Europe First’?: The Economic and Ideological Underpinnings of America’s Europe-First Strategy, 1940-1941”

Honorable Mention: Ryan Johnson, Temple University, Silent Casualty: Chemical Warfare and the Environment on the Western Front” 


First Place: Matthew Cheser, University of Maryland, The Many Deaths of General Braddock:  Remembering Braddock, Washington, and Fawcett at the Battle of the Monogahela, 1755-1855″

Honorable Mention: Gerald F. Goodwin, Ohio University,  “‘You’re the same as us’:  African-American Soldiers and the Vietnamese”


First Place: Earl J. Catagnus, Jr., Temple University, “Innovation and Adaptation in the U.S. Army Infantry, 1930-1941”

Honorable Mention: Christopher Golding, Temple University, “British Combined Operations of the Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Copenhagen and the Walcheren Expedition”


First Place: John Castaldo, Temple University, “Our Mohammedan Moros: American Perceptions of the Moro People during the Military Occupation of Southern Philippines, 1902-1913”

Honorable Mention: Martin G. Clemis, Temple University, “An Unprecedented Collaboration: Academic Participation in Counterinsurgency Doctrine during the Cold War and Today”


First Place: Erik Mathisen, University of Pennsylvania, “Schools of Citizenship: Allegiance & Statecraft in the Confederate Army, 1861-65”

Honorable Mention: Jason Smith, Temple University, “Instrument of Imperialism: The United States Navy’s Hydrographic Office, 1890-1904”


First Place: Richard Grippaldi, Temple University, “The Best Possible Appointments Should Be Made: The Officers of the U.S. Regiment of Dragoons and Military Professionalism”

Honorable Mention: Eric Klinek, Temple University, “The Army’s Orphans: The United States Replacement System during World War II and Its Impact on Combat Effectiveness”

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