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.