“They define the term patriot with their selfless service, their commitment, their love of country,” said Maj. Gen. Kurt L. Sonntag, commanding general, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
“They” are 11 newly appointed Distinguished Members of the Regiment, a new honorary member of the Civil Affairs regiment and three new honorary Special Forces leadership appointees recognized at the John F. Kennedy Auditorium, Oct. 26.
The Special Forces Honorary Leadership Appointment Ceremony welcomed Retired Col. Fredrick C. Dummar, Retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Douglas D. Frank and Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Terry L. Peters.
New Distinguished Members of the Special Forces Regiment being recognized include Command Sgt. Maj. Franklin D. Miller and Retired Command Sgts. Maj. John E. Kessling, Francis R. McFadden and Ray L. Love.
Franklin, who passed away in 2000, was a Medal of Honor Recipient and the namesake of Range 37, Miller Training Complex at Fort Bragg. Franklin was represented by his older brother Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Walter Miller, who was also a member of the Special Forces Regiment. Walter accepted a certificate and coin in his brother’s name.
Despite being competitive, Walter and his brother were close. He described them as Irish twins, having been born only 14 months apart.
“We were good friends and we did an awful lot together … It’s a real honor to be here,” said Walter.
Kessling, a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, served in SF for more than half of his 30-year military career, and in retirement, continues to serve the military community. He supports widows and veterans and exposes men falsely claiming to be Green Berets.
McFadden, who was born in Canada and immigrated to the U.S. as a small child, served in both 3rd and 5th Special Force Groups (Airborne) and has continued to serve the Special Operations Forces community in retirement as a civilian contractor with 5th SFG (A).
Love, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, is attributed with assisting in the establishment of the Free Fall School in 1957. His contributions helped to create High Altitude-Low Opening and High Altitude-High Opening parachuting. Love remains an active SOF community member through his membership and contributions to the Special Forces Association.
Retired Col. John J. Braham IV, Col. Daniel D. Devlin and Retired Lt. Col Stephen J. Herczeg were inducted as Distinguished Members of the Psychological Operations Regiment.
Braham has been described as a leader, an expert and committed to the advancement of the PSYOP force. After retirement as the Deputy for Plans and Programs in the Joint Military Information Support Command, Braham coordinated and managed the first global set of regionally-oriented Geographic Combatant Command-executed influence programs.
Devlin in his time with 6th Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne) established a PSYOP Liaison Office within the European Command and the inclusion of PSYOP in EUCOM War Plans and exercises. In retirement, Devlin has drawn attention to the need for assessing and responding to foreign and terrorist influence operations, in all forms, most specifically, through the internet.
Herczeg’s deep understanding of maneuver warfare and special operations doctrine in conjunction with his understanding of Islam and the culture and languages of the Middle East and Southwest Asia, made him a formidable leader within the PSYOPS regiment. Herczeg’s post-military career saw him continuing to contribute to the honor of his regiment through his work in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The Civil Affairs Regiment honored Sarah Wines, a civilian who works for the U.S. Agency for International Development, Retired Col. Christopher J. Holshek, Retired Col. David D. “Mickey” Marcus and Retired Maj. Corine A. Wegener.
Hines, the only civilian honored during the ceremony, was inducted as an honorary member of the Civil Affairs regiment for her work developing innovative civilian-military relationships between U.S. Southern Command and the USAID.
Holshek’s 30-year military career includes Civil Affairs support at Army, joint, interagency and multinational levels, and in retirement he has established and leads the discussion of the future of Civil Affairs as program director of the Civil Affairs Association and as editor of the Civil Affairs Issue Papers.
Marcus, a West Point graduate, was, as a new colonel, assigned to the Civil Affairs Division during its infancy in 1943. In 1947, he resigned his commission and was recruited by the underground Jewish fighting force as the military adviser to David Ben-Gurion. He was appointed the first aluf, or general officer, in the Israel Defense Forces and helped lead Israel to victory against neighboring Arab combatants.
Wegner, who started her service in 1982 in the Army Reserve, supported Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Arts, Monuments and Archive Officer for the 352nd Civil Affairs Command. She served as a moder- day “Monuments Man” and was inspired to military service by her grandfather, a World War II veteran.
In retirement, as the Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer for the Smithsonian Institution, Wegner has continued to serve as a protector and advocate of both tangible and intangible elements of culture.
“I think we are all standing on the shoulders of giants, of the Monuments Men, but it’s great that the leadership still understands that this is important today,” explained Wegner.