WMU ROTC WALL OF FAME APRIL 2004
INDUCTION & COMMISSIONING SPEECH
Colonel Clysdale and distinguish WMU ROTC Alumni Members
University Facility and Staff
Service and Veteran’s Organization Representatives
Commissionees and their family and friends
And my dear family and friends
II. It is good to
be back at
A. I am truly honored to receive this extraordinary recognition and to have the opportunity of addressing the newest lieutenants in the United States Army.
B. It gives a seasoned soldier like me a chance to share with these new officers what he believes is the key to a successful military career and a honorable life.
C. I would like to thank both the Western Michigan University Military Science Department and the ROTC Alumni Association for selecting me for this honor.
D. As I retire from the active roles of the Army this year this recognition will remain with me as one of my fondest memories.
III. I would like to recognize a very special group of men and women in our audience today:
A. If those military veterans among us would indulge me and stand up, if you are able, I would greatly appreciate it.
B. All of us here would like to thank you for your faithful service and the sacrifices you and your families have made for our Nation. Would you please raise your hand if you are a Vietnam Veteran. Let me welcome you home! Let’s give all these great Americans a round of applause!
IV. While basking in the glow of this wonderful moment it’s hard not take yourself too seriously. We sometimes forget who helped get us to where we are.
A. The memory of a trip last summer to my wife Joan’s high
school class reunion always reminds me of that.
B. I don’t believe anyone accomplishes anything in our Army purely on his or her own. What has been accomplished can almost always be traced back to a team effort.
C. In my life I have been blessed with great mentors devoted friends, understanding and professional Non Commissioned Officers, helpful colleagues and a wonderfully supportive family.
D. I am sure that each of you soon to be Lieutenants can also identify those team members that helped get you here today. I strongly urge you that after your commissioning you take the time to seek them out and thank each and every one of them.
E. I would like to recognize some of the important individuals in my life who are here with us today:
1. Candi Strong and Greg Dundun are what you call friends for life.
2. Mike Thompson who made sure I went to college.
3. Coach Elf Pedler, my high school Track & cross-country coach and who was recently inducted into the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame inspired me and many others to succeed.
4. Rick Markoff, our 1968 Class President, and his wife Bev, who offer their lives to so many others.
5. My brother Mike and his wife
Anita, my anchorage here in
6. All my cousins and nieces and nephews whom I think the world of.
7. And my dear wife Joan and our 12-year-old daughter Marion who give my life meaning.
now brings me to the most important event of the day, the commissioning of
A. What makes these graduates so special?
1. First, they have earned their degrees through years of diligent study and hard work.
2. Secondly, they have completed a rigorous course in the Military Arts and in leadership training and have passed all stations with a GO.
3. Lastly, they are true patriots! We are a Nation at War and it is these great Americans who have stepped forward from the hundreds of other University graduates to take the scared oath of office. It is these dedicated few who are willing to defend our form of government and our very way of life.
B. We have a motto in Army Aviation, which is my branch of the Army. It is “Above the Best”. I can’t think of any other label that better describes these soon to be Army Lieutenants.
VI. I have been asked to offer you new lieutenants some helpful advice today to start you on your way.
A. It is the beginning of your day one, and for me it is the end of day thirteen thousand one hundred and fifty three in our military
B. From all my years of experience what nugget of wisdom can I share with you that might make a difference to you in your life in just the few short minutes that I have?
C. I struggled with that question and had to look back 36 years ago to my own cadet years and commissioning here at Western.
D. I discovered the beginning of a common thread that has held my career together and has been a guiding light through my years in the Army.
VII. I have decided the best advice that I could share with you is to emphasis the virtues that you already have.
A. If you did not possess these virtues today you would not be here receiving your commission.
B. The virtues I am talking about are your VALUES.
VIII. In his book “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten” Robert Fulghum describes the beginnings of our more grown up values and how important they are to us today.
A. These early values were further developed in our homes, our churches, our schools and in our association with others.
B. Throughout our lives we continued to mature and nurture these values.
C. When you joined the ROTC program you embraced the Cadet Creed which defined the values that you had to posses to be a successful cadet.
D. Today you are ready to take the Oath of Office as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army. At that very same moment you will be required to embrace the Seven Army Values that you have learned about as a cadet and which all soldiers must live by in today’s Army. These are not values relegated to a textbook, but obligations that we as soldiers live by.
E. It is truly fitting that your family and friends are here with you today to witness your commitment to these noble values that are not required of any other profession.
IX. Living these values is your KEY to a successful military career!
A. They tell you what you need to be, everyday, in every action you take. Follow these values and I can promise you that you will be well armed to deal with all of life’s challenges that will be coming to you each new day.
C. Army Values form the very identify of
X. So what are these values and what do they mean?
A. The first is LOYALITY – To bear true faith and allegiance to the United States Constitution, the Army, your unit and other soldiers.
B. The second is DUTY – You are to fulfill your obligations.
C. The third is RESPECT – Treat people as they should be treated.
D. The fourth is SELFLESS SERVICE – You are to put the welfare of the Nation, the Army and those who you lead before your own.
E. The fifth is HONOR – Which means to live up to all the Army Values.
F. The sixth is INTEGRITY – Do what is right, legally and morally.
G. The finial value is PERSONAL COURAGE – Face fear, danger, or adversity (physical or moral).
XI. There is much commentary in the literature on leadership about what each of these values mean. I would like to share with you just a few of those comments from some important leaders:
A. Brigadier General Marshall, in his book “Men Against Fire”, said that Loyalty is the big thing, the greatest asset of all. But no person ever wins the loyalty of troops by preaching loyalty. It is given to them as they prove their possession of the other virtues.”
B. Former Army Chief of Staff John Wickham, Jr. said “The essence of duty is acting in the absence of orders or direction of others, based on an inner sense of what is morally and professionally right.”
C. Lieutenant General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, CSA, said, “what is life without honor? Degradation is worse than death.”
D. Former Army Chief of Staff Lawton Collins said, “The American people rightly look to their military leaders not only to be skilled in the technical aspects of the profession of arms, but also to be men of integrity.”
E. And finally, former Sergeant Major of the Army, William Connelly said, “The concept of professional courage does not always mean being tough as nails either. It also suggests a willingness to listen to the soldier’s problems, to go to bat for them in a tough situation, and it means knowing just how far they can go. It also means being willing to tell the boss when he is wrong.”
XII. Living by these values will not always be easy or popular but it will ensure that you will have many restful nights.
A. I believe that you have been well prepared to accept these values. Thanks to the love, caring and guidance from your family, church, friends, educators and your ROTC experience.
B. So, that is my nugget of wisdom for you. Living these values has served me well. Accept them and they shall serve as your guideposts, anchors and waystations and help lead you through a challenging, rewarding and successful Army Career.
C. Later, having been deeply engrained, these same values will also serve you and your community well when it is time for you move beyond the Army.
XIII. Today is your day
as the sunrises on your bright future.
The defense of this great Nation will now rest on your shoulders. I salute you and wish you good fortune. God bless you, the Bronco Battalion, the
Army, and the
COLONEL NORMAN P. GOTTLIEB
WMU ARMY ROTC GRADUATE APRIL 1968
A native of
Upon completing Armor
branch qualification at
While in the Ready
Reserve he owned his own business in
Returning to Active
Duty in 1983 in the Active Guard and Reserve program he managed the Army
Reserve’s largest flight facility at Naval Air Station Dallas, TX until 1985
when he was assigned as an Aviation Personnel Manager at the
Retiring in 1996 he was immediately recalled to Active Duty to serve at the pleasure of the Secretary of the Army. Assigned as Executive Officer to the Chief Army Reserve until his retirement in 1998 he was then reassigned as a Senior Board Member and the Reserve Component Advisor to the Army Review Board Agency and today serves as a voting member on the Army Clemency and Parole Board; on all Officer Elimination Boards; on the Army Physical Disability Appeals Board, the Army Discharge Review Board, the Army Grade Determination Board and the Army Security Review Board and as special advisor to the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records.
His decorations, badges and unit awards include: The Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal w/2 Oak Leak Clusters, Air Medal w/5 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal w/2 Bronze Stars, Army Reserve Components Achievements Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Twenty Year Hour Glass, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal – Three Campaigns, Overseas Service Bars 2, Ranger Tab, Parachute Badge, Senior Army Aviator, Army Staff Badge, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Superior Unit Award w/3 stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation.
intends on leaving Active Duty in September of 2004 and will have over 36 years
of continues commissioned service. He has
plans to continue to work in the field of parole either with the U.S. Parole
Commission or be appointed as a commissioner on one of the States or
Territorial Parole Commissions. He is
married to Joan M. Curry of