2001 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients

Categories: Distinguished Graduate Award, Events & Awards, Grad News
Class Years: , , , ,

The West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) has named the 2001 recipients of the Distinguished Graduate Award. This annual award has been bestowed upon those West Point graduates whose character, distinguished service, and stature draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives, in keeping with its motto: “Duty, Honor, Country.” View photos here. The 2001 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients are:

2001 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient Stanley C. Pace ’43 Jun

Mr. Stanley C. Pace ’43 Jun

Read More

Having earned his pilot’s wings during his last year at West Point, Stan Pace graduated near the top of his Class in June 1943 and became a Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. After an abbreviated course of B-24 combat crew training, he joined the 465th Bombardment Group (Heavy) of the 15th Air Force in Italy and soon had 25 bombing missions to his credit against targets in Romania, Austria, and Germany.

In early August 1944, on a mission to bomb the Manzell-Dornier Works in Friedrichshafen, Stan Pace and his crew became involved in one of the 15th Air Force’s greatest battles. During the course of the action, his plane was hit with intense enemy fire and was soon engulfed in flames. After ordering everyone in his crew to bail out, Stan Pace started to follow suit, but then saw that his co-pilot had been trapped in the plane by a parachute harness that had become entangled in a damaged portion of the flight deck. In an act of extraordinary heroism, Stan Pace rescued the man, but he was badly burned in the process, and after his capture by German authorities, he spent the next five months in a Luftwaffe hospital in a suburb of Munich. From there he was transferred to Stalag Luft I on the Baltic Coast of Germany, where he spent four months and was finally liberated by the Russians in 1945.

After World War II, Captain Pace began a new phase of his career as an airman. In January 1946, he was assigned to Wright Field, Ohio, where he was placed in charge of procurement of aircraft engines for the entire Army, and later, Air Force, a position of enormous responsibility for a junior officer. Then, with the onset of the Korean War, Stan Pace’s responsibilities increased even more. His record of superb performance resulted in his being given charge of procuring not only all engines for all aircraft, but also all of their communications equipment, electronics, accessories, instruments, and armaments. He was just over thirty years of age.

In the spring of 1954, Stan Pace, now a Colonel and one of the first six men in his Class promoted to that grade, resigned his commission and accepted a position as the General Manager of the Thompson Products automobile parts plant in Los Angeles, where he soon established an extraordinary reputation for leadership and managerial skill. As a result, when Thompson’s Jet Engine Division in Cleveland ran into serious difficulties, Stan Pace was brought in to develop the means to overcome them, which he did in short order. From there, his star rose steadily. By the 1970s, with Thompson now renamed TRW, he was in complete charge of the company’s huge automotive business, and in 1977 he was elected President and Chief Operating Officer. After performing an analysis of America’s security needs, the new President decided to expand TRW’s space and defense products lines, and soon TRW was playing a large and crucial role in America’s national defense. During Stan Pace’s tenure, TRW designed, built, and successfully launched over twenty spacecraft for the Air Force, Navy, and NASA.

In 1985, just as Stan Pace was preparing to retire, the General Dynamics Corporation came under attack for alleged “waste, fraud, and abuse” in connection with billions of dollars worth of government defense contracts. To restore public trust in the company, an urgent search was undertaken for a man of unquestionable integrity and demonstrated ability to become General Dynamics’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. A committee made up of representatives from General Dynamics, the Defense Department, and Wall Street identified Stan Pace as the man for the job, and after consulting with friends and advisors, he decided to postpone his retirement and risk his reputation for the good of the Corporation and the U.S. Defense establishment.

As Chairman, Stan Pace made his number one priority the establishment and enforcement of unquestionable standards of ethics, and as a result of his Ethics Program, which gained widespread notice and praise, the Corporation was saved from ruin. Stan Pace also turned to expanding General Dynamics’ lines of products, and by the time he left the Corporation, the list of additions included the F-16 and F-22 aircraft, a nuclear submarine, the Tomahawk cruise missile, major modifications on the Abrams Tank, and an improved Atlas launch vehicle, all dramatic enhancements of America’s defense arsenal.

During all the years of his service in industry and even after his retirement, Stan Pace was also attending to civic duties and charitable work. He began contributing time and effort to the Boy Scouts of America and the United Way in the 1950s. He became a member of the Board of Trustees of Denison University, served on the National Board of Junior Achievement, helped found the Greater Cleveland Foundation, and accepted an appointment to the Department of Defense Human Resources Task Force. Nor did he neglect his Alma Mater. He was an AOG Class Trustee. He contributed to the Thayer Gate Memorial Project and the funding of Herbert Hall. He caused General Dynamics to endow a professorial chair at the Academy, and he became a leadership donor to the Bicentennial Campaign.

Through the decades that have passed since his graduation, Stan Pace’s every action has set a standard of performance and conduct against which future generations of West Point graduates will be measured.

Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy takes pride in presenting the 2001 Distinguished Graduate Award to Stanley C. Pace.

John A. Hammack
Chairman and CEO

GEN (R) George S. Blanchard ’44

2001 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient GEN George S. Blanchard, USA (Ret.) ’44

The long and distinguished career of General George S. Blanchard exemplifies “Duty, Honor, Country.” At home and abroad, he has been a consummate leader, serving the Nation, the Army, and his fellow man. His contributions to world peace and the quality of military life have been far-reaching and enduring.

Read More

George Blanchard rose to the rank of sergeant in the Coast Artillery before entering West Point with the Class of 1944. Upon graduation he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. Shortly thereafter, he was a platoon leader and company commander in the 70th and 78th Infantry Divisions during campaigns in France and Germany. During these assignments he made the first of his many contributions to restoring and stabilizing peace in Europe.

Following a tour on the general staff of the United States Forces, European Theater, then Captain Blanchard earned a Master of Science degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University in 1949. Over the next decade he served as Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Omar Bradley; as an instructor of regimental tactics at Fort Benning; and as an advisor with the Military Advisory Assistance Group on Taiwan. During this period he also attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Basic Airborne Course, Army Command and General Staff College and Armed Forces Staff College.

Promoted to Colonel in 1959, George Blanchard commanded the 2d Airborne Battle Group, 503d Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. He then served as the G-3 of I Corps (Group) in Korea. In 1966, he served as Assistant Division Commander, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in Vietnam, where he later served as Chief of Staff, I Field Force. In Vietnam, this skilled and decorated aviator’s progressive thinking on combined arms operations dramatically advanced the Army’s use of helicopters in combat. Additionally, during the 1960s, he was assigned as Director of Special Warfare in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations; Director of Plans, Programs and Budget for two major Army General Staff organizations; and as executive officer to two Secretaries of the Army. In each of these positions he made lasting contributions to the Army.

In 1970, General Blanchard assumed command of the 82nd Airborne Division. There, he provided inspirational, innovative, and timely leadership. At a time when morale had ebbed, he restored discipline, esprit de corps, and combat effectiveness.

General Blanchard then returned to Europe, commanding VII Corps and, subsequently, the United States Army, Europe and Seventh Army/Central Army Group. In these assignments his operational creativity established a flexible forward defense, the framework for the Army’s first attack helicopter battalion, and innovative host nation support agreements. His vision and leadership advanced interoperability with military partners in NATO, established a broad spectrum of community-based partnerships, instituted the use of television to disseminate command information, began a comprehensive off-duty education program for soldiers and dependents, and established progressive leadership programs such as the Sergeant Morales competition. Of special note was his steadfast commitment to the individual soldier, as well as the enduring bonds he forged between American and German forces and communities.

In 1979, General Blanchard completed his active duty. His service over the years had merited multiple awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, and Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as the Air Medal and awards from foreign nations. Since his retirement, he has continued to serve. While a Director on the Atlantic Council Board, his statesmanship greatly enhanced cooperation and shaped international relations during the post-Cold War era. Later in the 1990s, he accepted appointments to the Army Science Board and the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs.

In civilian life, George Blanchard has spearheaded major initiatives to bolster the quality of military life. While President of The Retired Officers Association, he dramatically expanded membership and established a powerful military coalition, which protected military cost of living allowances and prompted repeal of a Medicare surtax that would have unfairly burdened military retirees. He also served with distinction as President of the United Services Organization, enhancing the USO’s services for families. His contributions to his fellow man continue today. In his community in North Carolina, he has organized a program whereby he and other retirees tutor the illiterate.

Through his lifetime of service to the Nation, General Blanchard has truly burnished the image of West Point and the Long Gray Line. Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy takes pride in presenting the 2001 Distinguished Graduate Award to George S. Blanchard.

John A. Hammack
Chairman and CEO

COL (R) James L. Hayden ’45

Read More

The West Point roots of James Lloyd Hayden may be traced back to the 19th Century, when his great-grandfather graduated as a member of the Civil War Class of 1862 and his grandfather graduated in the Class of 1888. In the 20th Century, his father graduated in the World War I Class of 1917, and “Buster” Hayden — after three attempts at securing an appointment — graduated with the World War II Class of 1945. After a distinguished career of 30 years, with tours of duty with the Constabulary Force during the occupation of Germany, an Armored Field Artillery Battalion during the Korean War, in the Pentagon, and with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he retired as the Deputy Assistant Commandant of the Air Defense School in 1975. He then began to place his mark upon graduates reaching into the 21st Century by means of his dedicated work with the Admissions Field Force.

In 1976, he volunteered to assist with West Point Admissions as Area Coordinator for El Paso, Texas. In 1983, he expanded his area of responsibility by becoming the Region Coordinator for Southwest Texas and Southern New Mexico and continues to serve that region now. To date, he has sent 186 young men and women from the El Paso area to West Point; currently there are 27 Cadets from the El Paso area here — all due to the efforts of Buster Hayden. Additionally, he has assisted 156 young men and women from outside the El Paso area to become Cadets.

As the result of a quarter century of effort, he has received awards and recognition from a myriad of sources. In 1979, he received the Award of Merit from the El Paso Chamber of Commerce for heading the Armed Services Committee. In 1983, he was cited by the Academy “for outstanding support of USMA Admissions during the period 1976-83.” In 1985, he was selected as a member of the newly formed Academy Advisory Committee for the 16th District of Texas and, in 1987, became Chairman, a position he holds to this day. In 1985, he also was selected to serve on an ad hoc committee of the Association of Graduates to study the relationships among the Academy, the Association, and graduates in the various West Point Societies. In 1987, he was made a charter member of the “12th Man Club” for his support of the Army football program. In 1988, he served with distinction on the committee that supported the Army football team’s visit to the Sun Bowl, and the following year he was asked to brief lessons learned from both the Sun Bowl support mission and Admissions support in general to the Third Annual West Point Society Presidents Conference. In 1988, he was honored by the West Point Society of El Paso for “untiring commitment . . . to the United States Military Academy and the youth of the greater El Paso area.”

In 1991, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Association of Graduates and served three terms, achieving Trustee Emeritus status in 1999. During this time, he only missed one Board meeting — because he was attending his 50th Reunion elsewhere at West Point! In 1991, he also became the first recipient of the USMA Admissions Distinguished Service Award. In 1997, the mayor of El Paso bestowed the city’s highest honor, the Conquistador Award, upon Colonel Hayden, and the U.S. Representative for the 16th District presented him a Certificate of Special Congressional Appreciation. In 1999, Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera ’78 presented him with the Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service for “extraordinary effort on behalf of the Military Academy.”

In addition to the above activities, Colonel Hayden organized Academy Week in El Paso in 1979 to honor the five federal academies, their Cadets and Midshipmen, and local Congressmen. Academy Week was an annual event for the next ten years. The following year, he organized the West Point Parents Club of El Paso.

During 30 years of active duty and another 25 years supporting Admissions and a spectrum of other programs connected with West Point, Colonel Hayden has truly espoused the motto of the United States Military Academy: Duty, Honor, Country.

Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy takes pride in presenting the 2001 Distinguished Graduate Award to James Lloyd Hayden.

John A. Hammack
Chairman and CEO

Gen (R) Charles A. Gabriel ’50

A distinguished Airman whose combat experience as a fighter pilot brought him acclaim in two wars; an outstanding commander, staff officer, and planner whose management skills were instrumental in maintaining the United States Air Force as the world’s preeminent air power through the trying days of the cold war; and a leader whose personality and positive approach brought about a major improvement in interservice relations during his tour as Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Charles Alvin Gabriel served his country with courage, integrity, and a consummate sense of duty over a professional career spanning nearly fifty years.

Read More

Born in North Carolina, Charlie Gabriel entered Catawba College in 1944 at age sixteen. In 1946 he was appointed to West Point, where he played four years of baseball, basketball, and football, winning his letter on Army’s undefeated 1949 football team. Lieutenant Gabriel was commissioned in the United States Air Force in 1950 and immediately reported to Luke Air Force Base for pilot training. Volunteering for combat, Lieutenant Gabriel was assigned to the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing for close support and interdiction missions against the North Korean and Chinese forces. When the opportunity came to fly F-86s against the Mig-15 of the enemy, he seized the chance. Before completing his Korean tour, Lieutenant Gabriel shot down two Mig-15 aircraft.

Upon completing his Korean tour, Charlie Gabriel was assigned to an F-86 squadron in Europe. His flying and leadership abilities were soon recognized, and he was appointed Squadron Operations Officer and group gunnery officer.

In 1955, Captain Gabriel was selected to be a tactical officer — Air Officer Commanding — at the newly established Air Force Academy. That four year tour was followed by attendance at the Naval War College, Command and Staff Course and graduate school at George Washington University, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Engineering Administration. The next three years were spent at Headquarters, U.S. Air Force.

In 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and was posted to NATO Headquarters as Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff.

In 1970, Colonel Gabriel returned from Europe, became combat ready in the F-4 aircraft, and then served as Vice Commander and later Commander of the large, composite wing at Udorn, Thailand. Because of its proximity to Hanoi, Haiphong and Northern Thailand, Colonel Gabriel’s wing was tasked for the most challenging combat missions. Colonel Gabriel led by example, flying more than 150 combat missions during his tour.

Returning to the United States, he was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned to the Air Staff. Three years later, Charlie Gabriel was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Tactical Air Command. Working closely with the Army Doctrine Command, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Pacific Air Forces, his objective approach to problem solving placed him at the forefront in successfully resolving competing service needs.

Major General Gabriel led his staff through the development and implementation of a new combat training system called “Red Flag.” For more than 20 years, Red Flag has prepared Air Force tactical units for combat, and its worth, abundantly proven during the Gulf War and the Balkans, is a lasting tribute to General Gabriel’s foresight, determination and leadership.

In 1977, he was promoted to Lieutenant General and assigned as Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces, Korea and Deputy Commander-in-Chief, UN Command, South Korea.

In 1979, General Gabriel assumed the duties of Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Plans and Readiness, USAF, and a year later he was appointed Commander, US Air Forces Europe and Allied Air Forces Central Europe.

In 1982, General Gabriel was named Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, a position he held until his retirement in 1986. He was the first fighter pilot selected to lead the Air Force.

As Chief of Staff, General Gabriel forged ties of cooperation and teamwork that ultimately produced 31 memoranda resolving major issues between the military services. These memoranda proved their effectiveness in the Gulf War and are still operative.

Throughout a military career that took him to the pinnacle of his profession, General Gabriel made lasting contributions to the Nation and the United States Air Force. Throughout a life of selfless dedication and devotion to his country, he epitomized the principles and ideals expressed in the West Point motto: Duty, Honor, Country.

Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy takes pride in presenting the 2001 Distinguished Graduate Award to Charles Alvin Gabriel.

John. A. Hammack
Chairman and CEO

2001 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient LTG Howard D. Graves, USA (Ret.) ’61

LTG (R) Howard D. Graves’61

Read More

Selected to be a Rhodes Scholar, Lieutenant Graves spent the first three years after graduating from West Point in England, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oxford University. Returning to the United States, he joined the 82nd Airborne Division and during that three-year tour, commanded an Engineer company in the Dominican Republic in 1965. Further research study at Oxford in 1968 resulted in the award of Master of Arts and Master of Letters degrees in 1968 and 1971.

During his combat tour in Vietnam in 1968-69, Howard Graves was an Engineer Battalion S-3 and Assistant Division Engineer for the First Air Cavalry Division. Back at West Point in 1970, Major Graves was assigned to the Department of Social Sciences, where he served as an instructor, assistant professor, and associate professor of International Relations and Comparative Foreign Governments.

In 1973, Howard Graves began a series of assignments at the highest levels of national defense, assignments in which his thorough knowledge of foreign affairs proved invaluable to policy makers at the national level.

In 1974, Howard Graves was appointed Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, James Schlesinger. In this capacity, he coordinated the Secretary’s travel and public appearances, designed graphic representations of principal themes for briefings, speeches and Congressional hearings, and provided invaluable advice and counsel on matters affecting the Army.

In 1976, Lieutenant Colonel Graves assumed command of the 54th Engineer Battalion in Germany, returning to the United States two years later to attend the Army War College. After graduation, he served on the faculty for the next two years. In 1980, Colonel Graves was assigned to command the 20th Engineer Brigade. Promoted to Brigadier General, he joined the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in 1982 as Assistant Division Commander. A year later, General Graves was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Engineer, U.S. Army Forces Command.

In 1984, Brigadier General Graves became Deputy Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy, Army Staff. Responsible for policy and strategy affecting the United States Army, he also contributed to policy and strategy directives of the President and Secretary of Defense. Working closely with senior military leaders of Latin America and Asia, he was able to enhance support for democracy in their respective areas.

As Vice Director of the Joint Staff, a position he assumed in 1985, Howard Graves reorganized the staff of over 2,000 mid-level professionals in response to the Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, enhancing its responsibility and streamlining operations. In 1987, General Graves was appointed Commandant of the Army War College, the Army’s senior educational institution. He was responsible for the professional development of many of the officers who held key command and staff positions in Operation Desert Storm.

Lieutenant General Graves returned to Washington to become Assistant to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that pivotal assignment, he was the personal representative of the Chairman at White House and interagency meetings; attended Presidential cabinet meetings on national security issues, and participated with the Secretary of State at bilateral and multilateral negotiations on a wide range of subjects including nuclear and conventional arms control, German reunification, European security, Arab-Israeli peace initiatives, and the diplomatic efforts of Operation Desert Storm.

In 1991, Howard Graves was appointed the 54th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, a fitting climax to a brilliant career of public service. For five years, General Graves provided the decisive leadership, dedication, and management skills that maintained the Military Academy at the apex of American educational institutions.

Retiring from the Army in 1996, Lieutenant General Graves later joined the Harry Guggenheim Foundation as a Director and in 1998 was visiting Professor, Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Service at the University of Texas. In 1999, Howard Graves was selected to be the 11th Chancellor of the Texas A & M University System.

Among his many decorations, General Graves was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters.

Throughout a career of distinguished service to his Nation spanning over four decades, Howard Graves never lost sight of the principles by which he fashioned his life; principles best expressed in the motto of the Military Academy: Duty, Honor, Country.

Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy takes pride in presenting the 2001 Distinguished Graduate Award to Howard Dwayne Graves.

John A. Hammack
Chairman and CEO

Distinguished Graduate Award

The Distinguished Graduate Award (DGA) is to be given to graduates of the United States Military Academy whose character, distinguished service, and stature draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives, in keeping with its motto: “Duty, Honor, Country.” The DGA is funded by a generous endowment from E. Doug Kenna ’45 and his wife, Jean.

Grad News

Subscribe to get grad news or cadet news delivered to your inbox daily around 4:30 EST when a new story is posted. We use Feedblitz for email delivery, which is separate from the WPAOG email system and preferences.

More News