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Army General Graduated from UCO’s ROTC program

Brig. Gen. Alicia A. Tate-Nadeau

EDMOND — For 47 years, the University of Central Oklahoma has produced military leaders through the Reserve Officer Training Corps, including a woman who is a brigadier general and an inductee in the inaugural class of the ROTC Hall of Fame at Fort Knox, Ky.

Brig. Gen. Alicia A. Tate-Nadeau, an Enid native and graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, was commissioned through the ROTC program as an Army lieutenant in 1986. She currently is assistant adjutant general in the Illinois National Guard.

She is one of five Oklahomans inducted June 10 into the national ROTC Hall of Fame. The others are H.E. Gene Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker from Oklahoma City and 1952 University of Oklahoma ROTC graduate; Maj. Gen. Douglas O. Dollar, Stillwater, a 1967 Oklahoma State University ROTC graduate; Col. Henry O. Tuell III, a 1968 ROTC graduate of OU; and OSU President Burns Hargis, a 1970 ROTC graduate of OSU.

UCO’s ROTC program has been commissioning between 12 to 15 ROTC cadets annually, said Daryl Shryock, human resources administrator for the military science (ROTC) department since 2000. He has more than 28 years of military experience as a commissioned officer.

Like many colleges and universities, UCO offers students at other area universities the opportunity to be in the ROTC program.

Schools whose students can attend ROTC classes at UCO include Oklahoma City University, Southern Nazarene University, Langston University, Oklahoma Christian University and Southwestern Christian University.

Lt. Meagan Green is a Southern Nazarene University graduate who attended ROTC at UCO where she received her commission.

Students like herself commuted to UCO for the ROTC classes, she said.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of ROTC in America and Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame will honor ROTC programs and their alumni at the Military Hall of Fame banquet Oct. 21 at Embassy Suites in Norman.

Maj. Gen. Dollar, founder of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, has established a website for ROTC alumni to obtain more information and register to be recognized for their services.


Rear Admiral Greg Slavonic

untitledMore than 80 graduates from Oklahoma State University have served as generals and admirals in the military service since World War I, but retired Rear Admiral Greg Slavonic (’71) could be the first to publish the leadership insights he learned along the way in a book titled Profiles in Patriotic Leadership.

Considering the ethical failures in the banking industry, Wall Street and corporate misdeeds, Slavonic contends that leadership principles are not being taught the way they are in the armed forces, and his 34 years there have provided a wealth of practical information.

“The need for leadership has never been more important than it is today,” said Slavonic. “I have been fortunate to serve under many good leaders in the military who have a special perspective on how to lead effectively. That’s what I’ve tried to capture in this book.”

Slavonic’s book includes insights from a list of highly honored and decorated military leaders and war heroes who, as he puts it, “…know what it takes to lead and succeed and possess a philosophy of leadership that is critical to success in life. This book was a labor of love that was five years in the making, but it was a passion I had,” said Slavonic. “I wanted to at least get on paper some of my thoughts and the thoughts of those I felt were great leaders.”

Most of OSU’s highest ranking officers are from the Army and Air Force because of its widely-recognized ROTC programs on campus for those military branches, but Slavonic enlisted in the Navy after graduation. He insists he never had any plans to become a high-ranking officer, and admits he chose the Navy so he wouldn’t have to go into the Army, adding “I am not a ‘camper’.” But that doesn’t mean he’s not up for a good workout, “I have climbed three 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado, which offered quite a view of the world.”

profilesThe admiral’s early view of leadership started to take shape when he was assigned to work 12-hour days in the mess hall of the aircraft carrier USS Constellation, which was stationed off the coast of Vietnam in the Tonkin Gulf.

“Finding myself on the ship’s mess decks with a college degree was not something I thought I was going to have to do, but my immediate superior back then knew it would help me someday, and it did. It was an eye-opening experience that shaped me as an individual and helped me move forward.”

Slavonic, who rose from seaman recruit to rear admiral, ultimately served as the Navy’s deputy to the chief of information in Washington D.C. and director of public affairs (Navy Reserve). He was also the highest-ranking public affairs officer to serve in Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom. Slavonic served on General Norman Schwarzkopf’s communications team when he was deployed to Iraq in the 1990s for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Slavonic is dedicated to spending time speaking to organizations on the importance of leadership and sharing his military experiences. He currently works for a Washington D.C. defense contractor managing several Navy contracts.

Profiles in Patriotic Leadership is available at, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City. If you would like to contact Slavonic, go to

Captain Charles Scheffel

charles_scheffel_zps40343d69When Charles Scheffel was a youngster in Enid during the Great Depression, he was destined to become a soldier, but he didn’t know it yet.

Scheffel’s father arrived in America from Germany after stowing away on a German boat. He then joined the U.S. Army during the Spanish American War.

Scheffel was born in 1919. His father died in 1930.The times were tough, and Scheffel worked at an aunt’s farm to help out his family.

An athlete, Scheffel was good in tennis, football, baseball and basketball, which was his best sport and would help get him into college. Legendary basketball Coach Henry Iba offered him a full athletic scholarship.

In Crack and Thump, a book written by Scheffel with Barry Basden, Scheffel discussed his entry into the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), his career in World War II, and gave readers a view of combat.

crackandthumpScheffel had no intention of taking anything more than the mandatory ROTC courses, he said. ROTC turned out to help him not only to get his degree at OSU but to be an infantry leader in combat. He took basic ROTC three times a week. America had the draft and a student could be drafted from college unless he was in ROTC.

Scheffel studied to go into banking, but World War II changed everything and he became a combat infantry leader and a decorated infantry officer fighting in North Africa, Sicily and Europe ,with his final stop in Lammersdorf, Germany, where he was severely wounded.

He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, the Silver Star and the French Croix de Guerre. He was medically retired from the Army as a Captain in 1946.

Scheffel would go into the insurance business in Oklahoma City. He lived in Britton on the north side of Oklahoma City. Elected to the Britton City Council, he was instrumental in bringing to a vote the annexation of Britton to Oklahoma City.

Scheffel died June 24, 2011, in San Antonio, Texas, where he had been living at the time.

Click image and view a video of Scheffel recalling his time as an infantry officer. [Be patient with the commercial.]

OSU’s Army ROTC First in State

ROTC100logo2The Reserve Officer Training Corps was created nationally in 1916 and Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) wasted little time establishing an Army ROTC program in the same year on the Stillwater, Ok., campus.

Before ROTC, many colleges organized under the 1862 land grant federal legislation, including Oklahoma A&M, had some military instruction, but the National Defense Act of 1916 that created ROTC nationally was more widespread. It also expanded the Army and National Guard, and created an Officers’ and Enlisted Reserve Corps, as well as ROTC.

In the past 100 years of ROTC, OSU has produced many notable officers including many who are in the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1999. ROTC graduates include OSU President Burns Hargis, who was in Air Force and Army ROTC while a student at OSU.

Hargis was in ROTC from 1963-67. He was commissioned in 1970 and served as an Army Finance Officer in the 95th Division (Training) and reached the rank of Captain. His service ended in 1976.

“I appreciate my time in ROTC. My service helped to shape me and prepare me for a rewarding career that has crossed many fields, Hargis said. “ROTC instills the attributes of duty, loyalty, teamwork, honor and service.

“Those are the values one learns through ROTC and have served me throughout my life.”

This year the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, founded in 1999 by Stillwater’s Maj. Gen. Douglas O. Dollar, will honor Oklahoma ROTC programs and alumni at its Hall of Fame banquet Oct. 21 at the Embassy Suites in Norman. Because this is the ROTC Centennial, Dollar, an ROTC graduate from OSU, wants to honor as many Oklahoma ROTC alumni as possible. Dollar has set up a website for the event,

Also this year Hargis and Dollar were selected for induction into the Army’s ROTC National Hall of Fame at Fort Knox, KY.

Henry Bellmon while serving as Oklahoma Governor

Another notable Oklahoman—former Gov. Henry Bellmon—attended OSU when students had to attend the mandatory two-year ROTC program. Upon graduation in 1942, Bellmon, who would be Oklahoma’s governor twice and a U.S. Senator, volunteered for the Marine Corps. He served in the Pacific during the war and was awarded the Silver Star for Valor during the battle for Iwo Jima, probably the bloodiest battle in Marine Corps history.

Lt. Gen. George Price Hays

A Medal of Honor recipient, Price Hays attended then Oklahoma A&M from 1914 to 1917 and participated in the Student Army Training Corps. After graduation Hays joined the Army and was commissioned a second lieutenant. While serving as an artillery officer in France in World War I, he earned the Medal of Honor. On July 14, 1918, Germany artillery fire destroyed American communication lines. Hays rode on horseback between his unit, the command post and two French artillery batteries the rest of that day and the next. Seven horses were shot out from under him in the battle and he was severely wounded. His efforts stopped the German advance, his Medal of Honor citation said.

He served again in World War II in Europe, and organized and was the first commanding general of the Army’s famed 10th Mountain Division, and retired later as a Lieutenant General.

Bellmon and Hays, along with 15 other OSU ROTC alumni, are in the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.

Another OSU graduate who played baseball for the Cowboys is Lieutenant General Jerry Max Bunyard, a native of Altus. He was commander of the Army’s 1st Aerial Rocket Battalion in Vietnam. Commissioned in 1968 as a second lieutenant in field artillery at OSU, Randal Rigby eventually became the Army’s chief of artillery and ultimately retired as a lieutenant general. It is estimated that more than 90 OSU graduates have attained the rank of general officer.

Col. William A. Ahrberg, a member of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, not only attended ROTC but came back from the Korean War and taught ROTC at OSU.

Oklahoma Military Academy, a Storied History

Oklahoma Military Academy Claremore
The Oklahoma Military Academy, Claremore

In its storied history, Oklahoma Military Academy’s Reserve Officer Training Program produced thousands of military leaders including one who led the last horse cavalry charge in U.S. Army history and another who was awarded a battlefield promotion to major by the legendary Gen. George S. Patton.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) nationwide, and the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame will recognize state ROTC programs and their alumni at an Oct. 21 banquet at the Embassy Suites in Norman, said Maj. Gen. Douglas O. Dollar, founder of the Hall of Fame.

Dollar, who lives in Stillwater, is an Oklahoma State University ROTC graduate and founder of the Military Hall of Fame. ROTC alumni are encouraged to find further information and register to be recognized for their service on a web site set up especially for the event,

Since ROTC was established nationally in 1916, many ROTC cadets have fought in the nation’s wars including World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Oklahoma Military Academy (OMA), located in Claremore, was founded in 1919 and closed in 1971. Its alumni association meets annually and will hold this year’s Alumni Reunion on June 10 and 11 at Rogers State University, the former site of OMA at Claremore.

During the 52 years of its existence, OMA trained more than 10,000 ROTC cadets with approximately 80 percent serving in wartime, said Phil Goldfarb, an OMA alumnus, historian and President of the OMA Alumni Association.

Lt. Col. Edwin Price Ramsey, an OMA graduate, led a horse cavalry charge in the Philippines shortly after World War II began.bLt. Gen. William E. Potts, the highest ranking graduate of OMA, entered World War II as a second lieutenant and became the youngest field grade officer to lead a battalion in the European theater of World War II.

In 1932, OMA received an Honor School rating for its ROTC program. It received that Honor designation each year until it close in 1971.

lieutenant-colonel-edwin-price-ramseyLt. Col. Edwin Price Ramsey

On Jan. 16, 1942, American and Philippine soldiers were fighting to repel invading Japanese forces in the Philippines on Bataan. As some of the Japanese forces neared the American and Philippine lines, Ramsey and his horse cavalry unit charged the Japanese soldiers, driving them off.

Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, commander of forces in the Philippines, awarded Ramsey the Silver Star for gallantry for leading the horse cavalry charge, the last in U.S. Army history. When Bataan and the rest of the Philippines fell to the Japanese, Ramsey escaped and formed a guerilla unit that fought the Japanese until the war ended.

Ramsey, who died in 2013, wrote a book about his adventures, Lieutenant Ramsey’s War.


Lt. Gen. William E. Potts

Potts fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. A native of Heavener, Potts was only 22 when Patton promoted him to major in recognition of his leadership as a battalion commander. He commanded an armored cavalry unit.

lieutenant-general-william-e-pottsWhile at OMA, Potts was named a Distinguished Honor Graduate of OMA and the outstanding ROTC graduate by the U.S. Reserve Officer’s Association.

Seven countries, including France, the Republic of China and the United States have honored him with 51 decorations including the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star and Purple Heart.

Potts died in 2005. He and Ramsey are in the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame. Potts was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in 2009, and Ramsey was inducted in 2010.

Originally when OMA was established at Claremore in 1919, it was a high school. It was the first high school in Oklahoma to have Junior ROTC. By 1923, OMA was a six-year institution including four years of high school and two years of junior college.

In 1930, OMA had 289 cadets enrolled and established a senior ROTC Cavalry program. The federal government sent 60 horses and 11 enlisted men to OMA for training.

OMA closed in 1971 because of declining enrollment. Rogers State University now sits where OMA trained young soldiers.

OU Army ROTC Produced Leaders, MOH Recipients

OU Army ROTC artillery battery cadets at attention, 1938.

Since 1917, the University of Oklahoma’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) has produced military leaders, including two Medal of Honor recipients, who made the difference in winning battles throughout the world.

Many of these early ROTC graduates from OU would fight in World War II, both in Europe and the Pacific. Others would fight in Korea, Vietnam and now Iraq and Afghanistan. As the nation remembers its veterans this Memorial Day, here are some who received their ROTC training at OU:

  • John Lucian Smith of Lexington and Leon Robert Vance of Enid would earn the Medal of Honor for heroic action in World War II.
  • Other OU grads including Hal Muldrow and Russell Dwight Funk would turn a potential military disaster into an Allied victory on the embattled beachhead of Salerno, Italy, in 1943.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of ROTC programs in America. The Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame will honor Oklahoma ROTC programs and alumni at its Hall of Fame banquet Oct. 21 at the Embassy Suites in Norman. Because this is ROTC’s Centennial, Maj. Gen. Douglas O. Dollar, of Stillwater, and an Oklahoma State University ROTC graduate, wants as many Oklahoma ROTC alumni as possible to be recognized for their service.


OU MEDAL OF HONOR recipients, Smith and Vance

Major John L. Smith

Smith was commissioned an Army lieutenant of artillery at OU. He later resigned to accept a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps where he became a pilot. He became a Marine Corps Ace who shot down 19 Japanese planes and led his fighter squadron on many sorties, accounting for the destruction of 83 enemy aircraft. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in 2010.

Bob Vance
Lt. Col. R. Leon Vance

Vance entered OU and spent two years in ROTC. In his second year, one of the incoming freshmen and comrades in ROTC was Smith.  After Vance’s second year, he was accepted by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and graduated as an infantry lieutenant. He went to flight school and was assigned to the Army Air Corps.

On June 5, 1944, Vance earned his Medal of Honor in his second and final combat mission. He flew a B-24 in an Allied attack on German positions on the French coast one day before the Normandy Invasion.

Vance’s plane was damaged by anti-aircraft fire, wounding many of his crew. Vance, whose right foot was partially severed, still managed to fly the plane. It was too heavily damaged to land in England so Vance flew over the English Channel where his crew could safely bail out and be rescued. He then landed in the water. An explosion blew him out of the plane and he clutched a life preserver until he was rescued.

Two months later he was put on a plane for evacuation to the United States. The plane disappeared between Iceland and Newfoundland and was never found. His Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously. Vance Air Force Base in Enid is named after him. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in 2009.


Salerno, Italy

ROTC was mandatory for most students at OU. And after college, many ROTC cadets including Hal Muldrow and Russell Dwight Funk joined the 45th Infantry Division, a National Guard Division that was organized in 1923 and would be mobilized for World War II and again for the Korean War in 1950. Funk joined the Division in 1923 and Muldrow joined it in 1928.

muldrowMuldrow, who lived in Norman, eventually would command the 45th. Funk, of Oklahoma City, would be a Colonel and would make the Army his career.

Lt. Col. Russell Funk

At Salerno, the two officers and their men would keep the Germans from winning the battle. During fighting at Salerno, Germans found a gap in the Allied forces that led to the ocean.


Intent on pushing the 45th and adjoining forces into the sea, the Germans launched a counterattack of tanks and infantry down that gap and toward the ocean. A volume of Time-Life Books World War II series said it best in crediting the 45h with saving the invasion.

“Between the German spearhead and the water stood only a handful of American infantrymen and some 105 mm guns of the 189th Field Artillery Battalion under Lt. Col. Hal Muldrow Jr. and the 158th Field Artillery Battalion under Lt. Col Russell Funk, both of the 45th Division,” Time-Life said.

The two artillery battalions fired eight rounds per minute per gun, “a rate perhaps unsurpassed by any artillery in World War II,” Time-Life said. Together, the two battalions fired 3,650 rounds, stopping the German attack and preserving the Allied beachhead.


Some additional notable OU ROTC graduates

Major General Ernest L. “Iron Mike” Massad

OU ROTC cadet Ernest L. “Iron Mike”  Massad  would join the 11th Airborne  Division as a battalion commander of artillery and fight in the Pacific.  Massad was an OU football player, basketball player and track man. He was named to several All-American football teams. He later was a Major General, commanding the Army Reserve’s 95th Division (Training). He held the three star rank when he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1970.

Bob Kalsu was a University of Oklahoma All-American tackle in 1967. Kalsu played one year for the Buffalo Bills and was named the team’s top rookie. He was an ROTC graduate and went on active duty after the 1968 football season. A Lieutenant in the artillery, Kalsu was killed in Vietnam on July 21, 1970.

ROTC Alumnus Creates Portraits of Fallen Soldiers

By Doug Warner, NEWS 9

Colonel (Ret.) Ken Younkin works on another portrait.

After a 30 year stint in the military, a Norman man continues to serve his country.

Retired Army reservist Ken Younkin laid down his weapon years ago and picked up a scroll saw.

Younkin is now a member of the Portrait Freedom Project. The nationwide group of more 400 woodcutters carves portraits of fallen soldiers.

“If I couldn’t do something for the soldiers themselves, maybe I could do something for the families,” Younkin said. “You think about the family and the person you’re cutting and wonder what it would have been like to have met them while they were still alive.”

Younkin said he’ll never forget the first portrait he made of Cpl. Chad Powell. He still has the letter Powell’s family sent him.

“They said the little boy saw that and said, ‘That’s my Daddy,'” Younkin said. “Five-year-old son, that one, I broke down pretty good on that one.”

Younkin said he has made it his personal mission to try to do as many Oklahoma portraits as possible.

“I always felt I needed to do something to give back,” Younkin said.

Col. Younkin was commissioned in the field artillery from the Oklahoma State University Army ROTC in 1970.

CLICK HERE to watch the News 9 video online.



Robert J. Kelsey

captain-robert-j-kelseyCaptain Robert J. Kelsey was born in 1945 at Lawton, Oklahoma. In June 1967 he received a commission in the U. S. Navy through the Navy ROTC Regular Program at the University of Oklahoma; he was selected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Physics.

After flight training in the A-F4 aircraft in June 1969, he reported to VA-23 (Fixed Wing Attack) deployed on the USS Oriskany, CVA-34 in Southeast Asia participating in air operations over North and South Vietnam. When VA-23 was decommissioned in 1970 he transitioned to the A-7E aircraft and reported to VA-146 on the USS Constellation CVA-64 assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Five (VX-5) at Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, California.

During his tour with VA-105 the Squadron deployed twice to the Mediterranean Sea and for service there was awarded the Commander Naval Air Atlantic Battle “E” and the Rear Admiral C. Wade McClusky Award as the best Attack Squadron in the U. S. Navy. In October 1984 he assumed command from Commander, Light Attack Wing One (LATWING ONE) and was the top pilot in LATWING ONE. His medals awarded include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, three Meritorious Service Medals, 20 Air Medals with “Vs” and seven Navy Commendation Medals with “Vs”. He retired 4 June 1992 and died 24 June 1992.

Captain Kelsey was induction into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in 2013. That same year, a University of Oklahoma Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Midshipman received the first Capt. Robert J. Kelsey Leadership Award during a ceremony at the university’s ROTC center, April 16. The award, presented to Midshipman 2nd Class Alan Tompkins, included a $1,000 scholarship.

“It means a lot. I know there are plenty of other midshipmen who are more than qualified for the award, so to be chosen as the first recipient is very humbling and rewarding,” said Tompkins. “I am honored to be recognized by the Kelsey family and very thankful for the opportunity they have provided. I hope to continue to be a good example in the battalion and the community.”

22929378_BG2The scholarship endowment was established by the family and will be administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

“We are extremely pleased about this opportunity to honor Bob’s memory while helping current and future Navy ROTC students,” said Kelsey’s father, Charles Kelsey. “He was very dedicated to God, his family, his country, and the U.S. Navy. He was a tremendous role model for his children, his seven younger siblings and, I’m sure, hundreds of fellow military members.”

“Capt. Kelsey left a great legacy at this university, both as a midshipmen and during his very distinctive service,” said Capt. Rod Clark, commanding officer of the OU NROTC unit at the time. “It is a wonderful thing that his family has created a scholarship to continue that legacy”

The purpose of the University of Oklahoma NROTC Program is to educate and train qualified young men and women for service as commissioned officers in the Navy’s unrestricted line, the Navy Nurse Corps and the Marine Corps. As the largest single source of Navy and Marine Corps officers, the NROTC Scholarship Program plays an important role in preparing mature young men and women for leadership and management positions in an increasingly technical Navy and Marine Corps.

Jerry D. Holmes

Holmes_SketchMajor General Jerry D. Holmes, U.S. Air Force, was born 14 July 1935 in Jenks, Oklahoma and raised in Wewoka, Oklahoma. He graduated Wewoka High School in 1953. In 1958 he graduated The University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geological Engineering and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force through the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). In 1964 he graduated The University of Oklahoma with a Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1965, graduated the U.S. National War College in 1976, and in 1985, graduated The Harvard University Program for Senior Executives in  National and International Security.

In September 1966 he was transferred to Royal Air Force Station, Upper Heyford, England. There, he served as an RF-101 pilot and standardization and evaluation flight examiner with the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. From October 1969 to October 1970 he flew 135 combat missions over all of Vietnam in RF-101 and RF-4 aircraft from Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of South Vietnam.

1433971266473Maj. Gen. Holmes’ military awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, U.S. Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Outstanding Unit Award with “V” for Valor in combat.

Maj. Gen. Holmes was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in 2014.