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Robert D. Martin, USAWC Public Affairs Office
‘Outstanding’ – Army War College grads contribute into retirement

Nov. 17, 2017 – At 116 years old, the Army War College celebrated the contributions of the college and its graduates by honoring four outstanding alumni. These alumni were singled out for their exceptional service that followed military retirement and continues to reflect the values and strategic vision fostered by the Army War College. The event took place in Bliss hall.

“Every graduate from here has enormous potential and we expect as you graduate to make a difference and truly have a strategic impact,” said Maj. Gen. John Kem, Army War College Commandant. “The outstanding alumni program was started in a small way to recognize graduates who rose to even greater accomplishment as they moved out into the world. 

“They have set the standard for selfless service,” he said.

The four outstanding alumni for 2017 are retired Gen. Dennis J. Reimer, retired Lt. Gen. Walter F. Ulmer, Jr., retired Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig, Jr., Maj. Gen. David R. Bockel.  They join the ranks of 43 grads whose contributions endure through community or volunteer service.

Gen. Dennis J. Reimer, Class of 1979

Upon retirement, retired Gen. Reimer became the first Director of the National Memorial for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City. He serves the chairman of Army Emergency Relief and is a director of Global Food Exchange. Reimer is director with Integrated Nano Technologies and is a long-serving member of the Board of Mutual of America.  He volunteers and speaks to many local military and veterans’ organizations and advises organizations like Remember my Service and the Story Rock division.  

“In everything he does Gen. Reimer displays the exceptional leadership skill and warm personal engagement that characterized his service throughout his military career,” wrote retired Brig. Gen. Harold Nelson in his nomination letter about the man whose service spanned from 1962 commission from the U.S. Military Academy to his final four years as Chief of Staff of the Army.

Lt. Gen. Walter F. Ulmer, Jr., Class of 1969

Following military retirement in 1985, Ulmer became President and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership, and was selected, in 2002, as the first Gen. Omar N. Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the war college. Ulmer then undertook a first-ever study of the Army Staff Climate within the Pentagon, first completed in 2011 and replicated in 2012. He continues to lecture on the subject of leadership, and leader development.

“There are very few individuals whose name always comes up when discussing the enhancement of leader development systems and process in the Army. Gen. Walter F. Ulmer is one of those names,” wrote Craig Bullis in his letter to the selection committee.  “His reputation as a leader development expert, a team player, and an all-around great human being have made significant and lasting contributions to our Army and our Nation.” Commissioned in 1952, Ulmer’s career highlights includes service as Deputy Commanding General of the Armor Center at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Commandant of Cadets at the United States Military Academy

Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig, Jr., Class of 1993

Retired Maj. Gen. Craig has distinguished himself since his two military retirements first in 2006, and in 2015 after serving as the 51st Adjutant General of Pennsylvania. Craig’s public service contributions are many:  Chairman of the Board of the USO of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey; Life Member of the Association of the U.S. Army and its William Penn Chapter, and current member of the chapter's Executive Council. He is Honorary Board Member of the Gold Star Mothers National Monument Foundation and routinely speaks to high schools and other organizations about careers in the military and supports veterans’ events and programs throughout the Mid Atlantic.

“Maj. Gen. Craig’s contributions to build and sustain American, serve its citizens, and support its veterans are quite remarkable,” wrote Brig. Gen. George Schwartz. “His patriotism and selfless acts of service, across so many organizations as well as his continued support of the active and reserve components, have exceed those of the majority of us by a wide, wide margin,” he wrote about the Pennsylvania Army National Guardsman whose career began in 1968 with two years of active duty. Under his command, the 56th Mechanized Infantry Brigade earned the Governor’s Meritorious Unit Citation as the best brigade across the Army National Guard, which led to its selection as the National Guard’s first Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

Maj. Gen. David R. Bockel, Class of 1991

Retired Maj. Gen. Bockel distinguished himself since retirement in 2003 first as Executive Director of the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, D.C., and then as Executive Director of the Georgia Military Affairs Coordinating Committee and, finally, the Veterans Program Liaison of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, Georgia Department of Economic Development. Bockel served as the first Georgia State Commissioner to the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission and then became State Chairman of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for Georgia. He was instrumental in the creation of the enabling legislation for the Georgia Veterans Court Program and still serves as a volunteer mentor for the Cobb County Veterans Treatment Court.

Retired Brig. Gen. Thomas Maney wrote that, “Bockel is one the most dedicated and willing leaders …  who knows how to get things done and how find others to work together for their communities and for those in need…. Bockel does not care who got the credit, a refreshing and rare character trait, and one that inspires.” Bockel’s 37-year military career included service in Vietnam with units from the 25th Infantry Division and the 199th Infantry Brigade, 1967, and as the Commanding General, 90th Regional Support Command; Deputy Commanding General of United States Army Reserve Command; Commander, US Army Reserve Readiness Command; and Deputy Commanding General, 311th Theater Signal Command.  During his career, he also served in Vietnam in 1967