Photo above – MG William G. O’Leksy (far right) dedicated the Adjutant General’s Corps Colors and activated the Corps (Regiment) in ceremonies at Fort Benjamin Harrison on 17 June 1987. Photo by Shirley Startzman.
By COL (Ret) Frank C. Foster, Jr.
(Article first written and published in the Summer of 1987)
On 17 June 1987, the 212th Anniversary of the Adjutant General’s Corps, the Adjutant General’s Corps Regiment was activated at the home of the Corps, Fort Benjamin Harrison. This special occasion united key members of the Corps from around the world to celebrate the Regiment as a focal point of pride and energy. The festivities started early 16 June with a 12 event Regimental Athletic day. LTC Arthur Dupay led a team from Fort Jackson, South Carolina, to capture gold honors. Over 870 Regimental Crest medals were awarded for individual excellence. The entire athletic day was managed by MSG Dewey Williams and Noncommissioned Officers of the Adjutant General’s Corps. Competition was keen and enthusiasm high as hundreds of participating AG Soldiers agreed to continue the event as an annual competition. Soldiers participated in swimming, softball, horseshoes, litter carry, combat push ball, sprint relays and 5K and 10K races.
The Club Management School, under MAJ George “Pete” Martin, hosted a “Reunion Buffet” for all Officers and Noncommissioned Officers. Music, an ice carving and a buffet capped by a sailboat full of shrimp were all part of the festivities. BG Ronald Brooks unveiled a plaque dedicating the Regimental Mess for both the Officer and Noncommissioned Officer Clubs at Fort Harrison.
Activation day began early with Regimental workshops organized by MAJ Gary Williams meeting to concentrate on key issues facing the Corps now and in the future. LTC Mike Shane chaired a workshop on Officer issues with the help of MG (Ret) Verne Bowers. LTC Don Traub led a workshop on Enlisted issues; he was assisted by BG Brooks. The third workshop concentrating on Adjutant General’s Corps issues was overseen by MG William O’Leksy and guided by MAJ Dennis Marcel.
After a quick lunch, the crowds gathered for dedication of the Adjutant General School entrance at the south end of Gates-Lord Hall. The guest speaker, BG “Lex” Dilworth, The Adjutant General, presented a beautiful three panel plaque to the Noncommissioned Officers of the Adjutant General’s Corps. The plaque which shows the forging of the Enlisted Adjutant General insignia will become the centerpiece of the new Adjutant General “NCO” Hall of Professional Development. Once BG Dilworth and COL Frank C. Foster, Jr. cut the ribbon, visitors entered the beautifully paneled hall.
Two glass wall cases showed historical AG displays. The first display depicted MG Horatio Gates, the first Adjutant General and “Hero of the Battle of Saratoga.” The second display was dedicated to BG Archibald Campbell, “Warrior Adjutant General” and Assistant, The Adjutant General. A special circular case presented the new Regimental Order of Horatio Gates in both gold and bronze editions. The main wall greeting visitors displays pictures of all The Adjutants General since 1775. This exhibit was donated by BG Dilworth from his former Adjutant General office in the Pentagon. The entrance way was built by SSG Michael Bigos and supervised by the Regimental SGM Eddie Bass. The displays were designed by CPT David Niekerk. The official activation ceremony was held on the parade ground following the dedication. British Army MAJ Robert Dibley acted as narrator, reflecting the fact that Horatio Gates was a British Major before his appointment as our first Adjutant General.
The Officers and Noncommissioned Officers of the Corps stood proud behind the colors of the units that comprise the Adjutant General’s Corps. The Commander of Troops was COL Mary C. Willis, Commander of Troop Brigade. The ceremony featured the unveiling of the Adjutant General’s Corps Regimental Flag which depicts the American eagle on a blue background with the words “Adjutant General’s Corps” on a scroll underneath. The Regimental Motto, “Defend and Serve,” is on a scroll held in the beak of the eagle. MG William G. O’Leksy, Director of Military Personnel Management, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, was given the honor of officially dedicating the AG Colors and activating the Adjutant General’s Corps Regiment. The ceremony was attended by representatives and colors from the following units:
• Chicago MEPS
• Detroit MEPS
• 14th AG Battalion, Fort Jackson, SC
• 30th AG Battalion, Fort Benning, GA
• 42nd AG Battalion, Fort Dix, NJ
• 43rd AG Battalion, Fort Leonard Wood, MO
• 46th AG Battalion, Fort Knox, KY
• 67th AG Battalion, Fort Bliss, TX
• 95th AG Battalion, Fort Sill, OK
• 120th AG Battalion, Fort Jackson, SC
• 369th AG Battalion, Fort Jackson, SC
• 100th Reception Battalion, Louisville, KY
• 21st Replacement Battalion, Frankfurt, Germany
• 347th Replacement Battalion, Marion, IL
• 1st Personnel and Administration Battalion, Fort Hood, TX
• 18th Personnel and Administration Battalion, Fort Bragg, NC
• 22nd Personnel and Administration Battalion, Frankfurt, Germany
• 38th Personnel and Administration Battalion, Stuttgart, Germany
• 90th Personnel and Administration Battalion, Kaiserslautern, Germany
• 326th Personnel and Administration Battalion, Indianapolis, IN
• 335th Personnel and Administration Battalion, Butler, PA
• 387th Personnel and Administration Battalion, Wichita, KS
Part of the activation ceremony included the investiture of the three Honorary Members of the Regiment and their award of the Order of Horatio Gates in Gold. MG (Ret) Verne L. Bowers was invested as the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, CW4 (Ret) Donald E. Hess as Honorary Warrant Officer of the Regiment, and SGM (Ret) Daniel P. Daly as Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment.
The “Grand Finale” was the Adjutant General’s Corps Regimental Ball held that evening, under the planning of LTC “Dick” Cregar. Most significant was the award of the Order of Horatio Gates which was bestowed upon many distinguished Officers and Noncommissioned Officers that have made a significant contribution to the good of the Corps.
Other key events of the evening included a musical tribute to the Regiment written and sung by MAJ Curtis B. Taylor, with assistance by MAJs Robert J. Malkemes and Keith H. Williams of the Adjutant General School Advanced Officer Training Division. The “Salute to the Corps” was written and choreographed by the Team Leaders / Members of that division.
The evening concluded with the Grand Tattoo. The ceremonial Tattoo was commanded by LTC Joseph Greenlee with music provided by the 74th Army Band, who also introduced the Adjutant General’s Corps Regimental March. The Regimental March was written by CPT William A. Foss.
AGCRA Editor’s Note: Re-publication of AR 870-21, The U.S. Army Regimental System on April 13th, 2017 officially eliminated the term AG Corps Regiment. The Corps is now a separate Corps and simply called the Adjutant General’s Corps or AG Corps.