Two Army colonels in S. Korea inducted into OCS hall of fame
SEOUL — Two U.S. Army colonels stationed in South Korea were inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Ga., on Thursday.
Neither Col. Leonard Gaddis nor Col. Donald Morris was able to attend the ceremony, but both spoke to Stripes about the honor.
Gaddis, the U.S. Forces Korea/Combined Forces Command Antiterrorism and Force Protection Officer, said he remembers cleaning the Hall of Fame when he was there in 1983, looking at the pictures of the “great men.”
The Chattanooga, Tenn., native also said he’s a bit humbled now to have his picture in that same hall, and joked that he made it by virtue of longevity.
“I hung around long enough to make colonel and didn’t screw up,” he said.
Gaddis, 58, said he’s one of about 200 officers who graduated from OCS that year who are still in the service. And he’s one of the 10 who were promoted to colonel.
He said he’d love to visit Fort Benning, where he began his career as an enlisted soldier in 1976.
Morris, 51, said that when he was at OCS in 1986, the last thing he thought about was ending up in the Hall of Fame.
He said he focused on being commissioned a second lieutenant and wondered whether he’d make a good platoon leader.
Like the other cadets, Morris, a Colorado Springs, Colo., native, wore a gold lieutenant’s bar in his helmet liner.
“It was uncomfortable but served as a reminder” of their goal, he said.
He remembers one day when a cadet was discovered with a “major’s gold oak leaf,” under his lining during an inspection.
“I thought … ‘What lofty ambitions,’” he joked during a phone interview Friday.
Morris, chief of the USFK Effects Assessment Division, said it’s an honor to be inducted, and he hopes it helps new cadets going through their training.
“I like to think that maybe it serves as some sort of inspiration,” he said. “Just serves as a reminder that you can get through this.”