Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on June 9, 1974 · Page 27
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 27

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 9, 1974
Page 27
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Page 27 article text (OCR)

Many Will Be Successful, Some Failures NoHfcwvri ArkanMt T1MIS, Sun., Jun* », 1974 PAVITTCVIlLf, AMCAMMt 840 Men Join Long Grey Line Of West Point Graduates WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) The U.S. Military ; Ac»lemy r»Ju»ted MO mtn this month ·ml, if tradiUon holds, many will join West Point's Gray Lint, of priests, traveling salesmen, lawyers, Judges, billet instructors, corporation presidents and math teachers. : ..;· · Since the academy was f o u n d e d in 1802, 3Z,000 men have been graduate^. Many ·pent itheir lives, in. military ·*rvic« and a few found fame. But others saw their hopes die. their desirej turned 'aside, or term as a Republican. A classmate. Joseph W. Hartman, wanted to become a general. "Anybody who goes into the Army and doesn't want to rise to the top isn't worth his salt," he declares. FAMILY TRADITION His father and a brother were West Point graduates before him, but Harlman left the Army in 1947, after a "confrontation with Cod." to become a Roman Catholic, priest. Today he is Msgr. Hartman. a chaplain for the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C. "Actually the change was not (hat drastic," he says. "You change uniforms, and the lifestyle is not so different.... I loved the service. I felt I was called to do something better." John H. Wohner, 58, of Norfolk, Va., and his wife operate a school for classical ballet -drawing on his experience as a West Point gymnast who performed stunts on the Ai-my mule during football games and her experience as daughter of a Russian ballerina. Wohner. a retired colonel, helps teach ballet to the school's boys and young men, especially how to l i f t a girl "without hurting themselves ... how to lift with the leg muscles and (heir arms without hurting Iheir backs." When he graduated in 1940, he dreamed of being Army chief of staff. "I just wasn't good enough to make it." says the decorated World War II veteran. CLASS 'COAT' Samuel M. Slrohecker Jr. was the West Point "goat" of 1924. g r a d u a t i n g at the bottom of his 405-man class. Because of a glut of officers left over from World War 1, he found another second lieutenant was not exactly in demand and resigned atler a few months. "Hundreds more could have resigned with great happiness on the Army's part." he says. Strohecker returned to the Army during World War If and then resumed his job with a company in Seattle, Wash., selling "dynamite and stuff for ils explosives department. Wherever they wind up in life, most graduates remember where they finished in the General Order of Merit. The COM, based largely on a cadet's academic performance hut also counting his leadership qualities and physical fitness, ranks each class from top man to "goat." Statistics to the contrary. West Point grads insist class rank has little to dp in the long run with professional success. In this century, Douglas Mac Arthur was No. 1 in his class, hut Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton and William Westmoreland finished in Hie middle third. And some distinguished military men, like retired Gen. Alexander Haig, President Nixon's top aide, finished in the bottom third of the Class of '47. "It was a horse race, you know, and it's nice to .win it," says John D, Bristorn, a retired civil engineering professor in Vero Beach, Fla., and the No. 1 man in his 1935 class. "But it isn't anything that gives you a material advantage TERMITES? CALL ADMIRAL PEST CONTROL Roachev Ants. Spider*, etc. COMMERCIAL f . RESIDENTIAL. 442-7298 after graduation," the former colonel adds. Call Williams Co. for "CANCER CARE" Insurance I«rt H. Wlll!«m. Eucent J. Williimi 52I-5W! W2-202J U1-JM4 lh«ir ambitions change in striking ways. \ .-..; -.William W. Lapgley, ranked !«th in the Class of '35, retired from Uw Army as a major gen- ·ral in 19CT a n d today he's president of Consolidated Edison Co., New 'York's controversial utility. : , .iirhw H. 6'ConnoV finished near the bottom of the Class of '44 and left the Army as a captain three y«ars later. He went to law school, settling finally in Phoenix, Ariz. Last summer he represented Herbert W. Kalmbach, President Nixon's former personal attorney, when Kalmbach testified before the Senate Watergate committee. , For. those who remained in the Army, .few; became four star generals in recent years if they did poorly at West Point. The Register of Graduates, based on information. provided by the alumni, shows' that the graduating classes from 1924 to 1933 -- the men in retirement or near retirement today -produced 47 four-star generals. Twenty-four of .them, graduated in the top third of their classes. 15 in the middle third and eight in the bottom third. FAMED GENERALS The best known from the '2433 decade included Gen. Earl Wheeler, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Air Force Gen. Lauris J. NoK stad, supreme allieil commander in Europe froni'1956 to 1963. Both graduated in the top third but were not among, the top 50 in their classes. In fact, no one in the top or bottom 50 of the classes from 1924 to 1933 made four-star general. ' ' - · .. . Astronaut Frank' . Borman graduated No. 8 in. Ms class of 670 in 1950. Going into final exams this year, his son, Fred was No. 841 in a class of 850. No matter where graduates ranked in their academy class a bit of West Point remains with each of them. Jeptha C. Tanksley, a Georgia country boy. longed to become "a soldier like Gen. Omar Bradley" when he left West Point in Jurie 1943 That goal ended 16 months later on a mountain in Italy when the retreating German army hurled a mortar shell his way. He lost both legs and an eye. "I knew when 1 was hit, sir, I was hurt very badly because the shell almost fell in my lap," Tanksley recalls. During his two;years in a hospital, he nurtured' another boyhood ambition --a legal career. And now the 53-year-old Tanksley, who slill peppers his conversation with West Point- ik i?r j e f "·'"·" is sen-ing his third term as an elected trial judge in Atlanta -- the first two as a Democrat, the current State Owned Cars Narked With Decals LITTLE ROCK (AP) -- Gov D»le Bumpers h«s ordered state agencies and institutions to : have rfecals placed on the doors of all state cars so they ean be easily identified as state vehicles.. ... Th» state Purchasing Office 'placed an order Friday for more than 1.800 rlecals. That is enough to place imprints on 919 state cars. The order covers agencies in II of the 13 major state departments. Now. state-owner! cars will have on each of the front doors an imprint of the state seal on an outline of Arkansas and the name of the agency. Bumpers lold his. .department heads ahout one year 'ago that he wanted stale cars U have decalfl on them, hut the policy ran into stiff resistance in ihe agencies. The governor thought the clear designation ,of stMe cars would discourage .some anuses ef state vehicles, rnainly the private use of their) by stale employes. Bumpers apparently thought that the clear designation would improve the public's confidence that state cars were not being misused. Many agency heads, complained that the (fecal? reduced Ute resale value of the cars. The. decals can be removed, but Ifter several years .Ue outline ·till can be seen. 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