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2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients

Categories: Events & Awards, Distinguished Graduate Award, Grad News
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The West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) has named the 2018 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.” The awards will be presented in a ceremony at West Point on May 22, 2018. The 2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients are:

2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient COL (R) Dana G. Mead '57

COL (R) Dana G. Mead ’57

Mr. Thomas C. Barron ’65

2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient Thomas C. Barron '65

Mr. Thomas Barron is known as a quiet force behind the scenes, adept at getting things done without great fanfare. He was one of the first of his class to lead Infantry troops in combat and completed two tours in Vietnam. After graduating from Harvard Business School in 1972, Barron spent 34 years in leadership roles with top American companies, including Dun & Bradstreet, culminating his career as COO of the Episcopal Church Pension Group. While working in industry, Barron also made major contributions to West Point, Outward Bound Schools, and Business Executives for National Security. He is a Life Member of the West Point Society of New York and, as its President, led the society’s period of greatest membership growth. As a member of the WPAOG Board from 1987 to 2005, Barron served on 10 different committees, including the Development, Finance & Business Operations, and Executive Committees. His 11-year leadership role in USMA’s Bicentennial Campaign was recognized by the Secretary of the Army with the Army’s Public Service Award. Passionate about its mission, Barron assisted the History Department in revitalizing the Center for Oral History (COH) program, and today remains a trusted personal advisor to COH leaders. He is also a generous contributor to the Combating Terrorism Center and the Rugby Team. LTG (R) Dan Christman ’65, the 55th Superintendent of West Point, says of Barron, “Nobody, but nobody, has combined these important contributions with dozens of other major outreach efforts that have positioned our alma mater and its alumni association for excellence in the 21st century.”

2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient LTG (R) Larry R. Jordan '68

LTG (R) Larry R. Jordan ’68

GEN (R) William S. Wallace ’69

2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient GEN (R) William S. Wallace '69

When others discuss the five-decade Army career of GEN (R) William “Scott” Wallace, the word that comes up over and over is “visionary.” Whether he was, as GEN (R) Gordon Sullivan notes, “…practicing his skills as an Army warrior or teaching others the skills of war at the tactical and operational level,” Wallace was a key figure in the Army’s renaissance after Vietnam. Early in his career, he was instrumental in developing a system to deliver tanks to the drop zone with minimal impact. Wallace later designed a new math and computer-based decision system, one of the Army’s earliest digital combat simulations. He also served as commanding general of the Experimental Force of Force XXI, the transformed 4th Infantry Division, applying advanced technologies to command and control when the Army sought to modernize after the Cold War. His innovative nature was clearly on display when, as commanding general, Wallace led the 140,000 soldiers of V Corps to swift victory, using unparalleled capabilities against unconventional adversaries, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Wallace’s capstone assignment was as commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). GEN (R) Peter Schoomaker, the 35th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, says, “General Wallace’s contributions at TRADOC were instrumental to the Army’s great success through some of the most challenging periods in our history, while concurrently setting a vision into the future that is unfolding even today.” Part “muddy boots” soldier and part “premier trainer,” few West Point graduates have had as influential an Army career as Wallace.

2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient HON Sloan D. Gibson '75

HON Sloan D. Gibson ’75

HON Douglas E. Lute ’75

2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient HON Douglas E. Lute '75

“In every generation,” writes GEN (R) Peter Chiarelli, “West Point produces one or two soldier-statesmen who make a difference at the national level—the Honorable Doug Lute is one.” As a soldier, Lute served as an Airborne Ranger in the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment before returning to West Point to teach in the Department of Social Science, earning the Lincoln Award as best instructor. He served again with 2ACR during Operation Desert Storm, receiving the Bronze Star. Lute was promoted to general officer rank in 2001 and was the first in his year group to receive his third star in 2006. He commanded U.S. forces in Kosovo, served as the Director of Operations for U.S. Central Command and later for the Joint Staff, and was selected by President Bush to serve in the White House as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan. He was the senior White House official retained by President Obama, serving the two presidents for a total of six years. As a diplomat, Lute in 2013 was appointed the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, “the most important post in the diplomatic corps” according to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. During his tenure, Ambassador Lute used military expertise and skillful diplomacy to lead NATO’s response to the most severe security challenges since the end of the Cold War. As both a soldier and a statesman, Lute is, as former Vice President Joe Biden says, “a proven true American patriot.” Lute currently serves as the Robert F. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Social Sciences at USMA.

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.

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