Adjutant General's Corps Regimental Association

Army Bands Keep Us Connected

COVID-19 has caused global upheaval and the U.S. Army is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, while maintaining readiness to defend the nation. The National Guard has been called to active duty in many states to assist with the pandemic often including Soldiers from Army Bands. Even though our enemy is a microscopic virus, we find ourselves in a large-scale combat operation to protect the citizens of the United States.

FM 3-0 describes large-scale combat operations as- “intense, lethal, and brutal. Their conditions include complexity, chaos, fear, violence, fatigue, and uncertainty. To an ever increasing degree, activities in the information environment are inseparable from ground operations. They present the greatest challenge for Army forces.” This definition applies to our current environment. So what role do Army Bands play in large-scale combat operations?

No matter the situation or environment Army Bands provide music that perpetuates service identity, traditions, and morale. It also enhances the public’s confidence in the Army and inspires patriotism. Army Bands are the only arts organizations equipped to deliver music under any condition. They are trained as Soldiers first, which means they can go places and reach people even in the most dire of circumstances. Music is an essential part of our humanity, as demonstrated by the people of Italy during this crisis.

Army Bands such as the U.S. Army Field Band and the 34th Infantry Division Band are making videos for social media to reach us while we stay home. Some stories are even making it to national news outlets. The 78th Army Band is offering masterclasses to the many students whose schools are closed. As bands continue to deliver music to Soldiers and the American Public, they also are assisting with a variety of tasks to support COVID-19 operations. The 13th and 248th Army Bands are assisting with state testing sites. The West Point Band is providing operations support to the United State Military Academy COVID Task Force.

No matter how difficult the times, music is there to comfort us and bring meaning to seemingly senseless events. Army Bands will continue their mission, whether it be in large-scale ground combat, or combatting a global pandemic. Stay healthy and safe at a social distance until our local and national authorities give us the all clear.

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Where in the World is COL (Ret) Monje (II)?

It’s time once again to figure out where in the world is COL (Ret) Nick Monje?  When we last saw COL (Ret) Monje he was traveling China with his wife Dianne.  Based on our feature photo, where is COL (Ret) Monje now?

Hint – COL (Ret) Monje is in the tunnels of Củ Chi.  The Củ Chi tunnels are an immense network of connecting tunnels located in the Củ Chi District of a famous city that’s part of American history.  The tunnels are also part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country they are located in.

If you guessed Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam, then you guessed right!

The Củ Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War and were the Viet Cong’s base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968.  The tunnels were used by Viet Cong as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters.  The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces during the Vietnam War and helped to counter the growing American military effort.

Thanks again to COL (Ret) and Mrs. Monje for carrying the AGCRA logo to another unique location in the world.

COL (Ret) Nick Monje and his wife, Dianne, visiting the MeKong Delta in Vietnam.
COL (Ret) Monje visits the Ha Noi Hilton Prison in Vietnam where American pilots were held as POWs during the Vietnam War.
This photo depicts the final helicopter extraction point during the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975.
Here’s the same extraction point today, which also serves as a hotel.
The Monje’s visited the Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. The Angkor Wat Temple is a Hindu temple complex and is the largest religious monument in the world on a site measuring 402 acres.
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In Memoriam – MG (Ret) Jack C. Wheeler

MG (Ret) Jack C. Wheeler, 80, of Fayetteville, GA passed away on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. He was born on February 2, 1939, in Canton, GA to the late Clinton Alfred Wheeler and Juanita Cox Wheeler. MG (Ret) Wheeler was buried with full military honors at The Georgia National Cemetery, 2025 Mount Carmel Church Lane, Canton, GA.

MG (Ret) Wheeler was also a graduate of Cherokee County High School, Canton, GA; North Georgia College, Dahlonega, GA; The US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS; and The US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA. He received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, and The Senior Executives in Government Certificate from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

MG (Ret) Wheeler served his country as an Army Officer for 32 years. During his distinguished career, he served in Viet Nam, Korea and numerous state-side locations including The Pentagon. While at the Pentagon he was one of the primary architects of the Modern Volunteer Army which ended the draft and became today’s highly respected force. He was later a key leader in the development of the Special Forces Branch.

At his retirement, he was the Commanding General of the US Army Recruiting Command where he led a worldwide force of over 12,000 Soldiers and Civilians. After Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and during the downsizing of the Army, the accession requirement was actually increased by 10,000, from 65,000 to 75,000 new recruits annually. MG (Ret) Wheeler significantly increased the selection requirements for initial enlistments by raising the percentage of recruited Soldiers with high school diplomas and lowering test category IV acceptances. MG (Ret) Wheeler’s new requirements were more restrictive than any standing law or policy required at the time. Due to the higher recruiting standards implemented, USAREC enabled the manning of the “quality” all-volunteer Army with a continuous increase of higher class Soldiers. This new caliber of new recruits ultimately had a positive and lasting effect on the Army as a whole and as we know it today. His work in all these capacities earned him a long list of medals and honors. And, he was among the first to be inducted into the Army’s Adjutant General’s Corps Hall of Fame, Class of 2010, and was recently inducted into the Georgia Veteran’s Hall of Fame.

After his retirement, MG (Ret) Wheeler and his wife, Margie, moved to Fayetteville, GA where he began working with The Citizen Newspaper Group of Southside Atlanta. He soon rose from Advertising Sales Director to the position of General Manager.

Throughout his retirement years, his knowledge of manpower development led him into numerous roles as an advisor to high-level leaders in private industry, education and government who were involved with the education and future preparedness of America’s young people. His concern for young people was also evidenced by his years of work on the National Advisory Council of Mission Readiness (Military Leaders for Kids) and his extensive work with his beloved Corp of Cadets at North Georgia College and State University.

MG (Ret) Wheeler also made time to fill numerous volunteer leadership roles in the Fayette County Community in Georgia. He was an active member, supporter, and leader in the ministries of Fayetteville First United Methodist Church.

MG (Ret) Wheeler was respected and admired by all who knew and worked with him, because of his work ethic, knowledge, sense of humor and humble personality. In spite of his many achievements, honors, and awards, he never seemed to take himself too seriously and eagerly gave his respect to others. His life might best be described as one of service and devotion to God, Country, Family, and Community.

MG (Ret) Wheeler is survived by his wife of 58 years, Margie Gunn Wheeler, daughter Leigh Ann Wheeler Passon (Rick) of Salisbury, MD, son Clinton Alan Wheeler (Julie) of Macon, GA,  seven treasured and adoring grandchildren, and one treasured and adored great-grand-son. Also, surviving are sisters Mary Jane May of Spartanburg, SC, Cathy Rainer (Michael) of Watkinsville, GA, and brother-in-law Guy Gunn (Becky) of Macon, GA as well as six admiring nieces and nephews.

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