For countless alumni of Oklahoma’s ROTC programs, certain cadre are warmly remembered as role models and mentors — perhaps in some cases as often demanding task-masters.
One such case is found in the person of Lt. Col. Joel Boyd, who is remembered in the above manner by OSU Scabbard and Blade and Army Blades alumni of the mid-1970s. Meeting back on the OSU campus this September, they took up a collection in his memory to help send cadets to this years Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame and to pay for some sort of memorial in the Thatcher Hall cadet lounge.
Through 21 years of service in the U.S. Army and 25 years in his second career in education, Joel saw much of the country and world, but remained a proud Okie his entire life. He served his country in Vietnam, earning the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, and retired in 1984 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
An ardent student of history, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Oklahoma State University.
Joel died at age 73 on March 1, 2015. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Ioma Boyd. He is survived by his loving wife, Pamela; two sons, Sean and Colin; former wife, Donna Boyd; step children, Jennifer Lestino, Matt Taylor; and six grandchildren.
Clearly, he will always be remembered affectionately by the students he influenced as a Scabbard and Blade advisor and ROTC instructor.
4 thoughts on “LTC Joel Boyd Remembered by ROTC Alumni”
I first met, then, Major Boyd, when I was selected for the Army Blades in 1974. He was our sponsor, leader and friend. Major Boyd and his family, Donna, Sean and Colin, opened their home and hearts to our rowdy group of S&B and Blades. We marched, rappelled, canoed, camped, sold programs and concessions at the OSU football games, and proudly represented OSU at Mardi Gras parades together. Who would have thought that the friendships from then would continue on now 40+ years later? Thank you for the leadership but more so the friendship.
Nancy Houston Beckstrom
Truly, one who helped me to focus on completing tasks, be it in education, training or other endeavors. I’m appreciate his influence.
I began ROTC at OSU in 1968, leaving for US Army service in 1970, as an enlisted soldier. I returned in 1973 and again enrolled in ROTC where I met then-Captain Joel Boyd. He was a very positive influence upon me, as well as, the entire cadet corps. In 1975, upon graduation, he gave me my oath upon receiving a Regular Army commission. He was a true patriot, an officer and a gentleman, and always was available for the cadets when needed. I would call him a “hard ass”, but yet he knew how to have fun when appropriate. I had the honor of being at his funeral at one of the National Cemeteries in Florida. I truly appreciate his family and the sacrifices they made while he served his country. LTC Boyd was a credit to the OSU ROTC program, the US Army, and the United State of America. I’m proud to have know him.
I had the honor to have met ,then, Major Boyd as my PMS Instructor in Advanced Army ROTC classes at OSU in 1974-1976. Maj Boyd was more than just an instructor, he was mentor and truely cared that each cadet he touched was well prepared to go out in the US Army as a commissioned officer by sharing his thoughts and experiences in a very hard time in the US history. I had the pleaseure to see him again at our S & B Reunion in Colorado and really enjoyed his stories of his life after we parted ways at the beggining of my military career and the later part of his. He is tuely missed by all he touched but fondly remembered by them as well! He made us all better people and I am proud to know this fine man.