Army War College grads show selfless service does not end at retirement

By Robert Martin USAWC PAO    19 November 2019

Outstanding Alumni of 2019 (left to right) retired Army officers: Col. Jeri I. Graham; Col. Clarence A. Miller, Jr.; Brig. Gen. T. Patt Maney; and Lt. Gen. Thomas G. Rhame, stand with Maj. Gen. John Kem, Commandant of the Army War College and USAWC C

The Spanish-American War of 1898 was fought and won by American soldiers despite the perceived shortcomings of leadership, planning, and logistics.Because of this perception, Secretary of War Elihu Root established the Army War College in 1901 with a vision to develop senior leaders in the application of military science and the national defense.

On Thursday, 14 Nov., the U.S. Army War College community gathered to celebrate 118 years and a legacy of leaders that Root had envisioned – as reflected in the four honorees of the annual USAWC Outstanding Alumni ceremony in Bliss Hall.

The 2019 Outstanding Alumni are four retired Army officers: Col. Jeri I. Graham, class of 1996; Col. Clarence A. Miller, Jr., class of 1972; Brig. Gen. T. Patt Maney, class of 1989; and Lt. Gen. Thomas G. Rhame, class of 1981.

“For these graduates, achieving their highest rank was not enough; they continued to seek other ways to serve. They have set the standard for selfless service,” said Maj. Gen. John Kem, Commandant of the Army War College.

“Every graduate has enormous potential, and we expect our graduates to make a difference and truly have a strategic impact,” he said.

Ret. Col. Jeri I. Graham, class of 1996

Graham has distinguished herself since her retirement in 2002. She was appointed by the North Carolina Governor to serve as a Commissioner on the Veterans Affairs Commission, and served as Vice-Commander of N.C. Veterans Council. She is president of the NC southeastern Chapter of the Military Officer Association and supports the Department of Defense State Liaison Office.She has received the highest civilian award in North Carolina, the Governor’s “order of the Long Leaf Pine,” in recognition of her extensive service to the state. In 2016, she began a six-year term as MOAA’s National Board of Directors. She started the MOAA’s first virtual chapter – the MOAA uniformed service nurse advocates virtual chapter, which advocates for healthcare legislation and is a frequent speaker on leadership and humor in military health care facilities.

Ret. Col. Clarence. A. Miller, Jr., class of 1972

Since his military retirement in 1980 as the Secretary of Defense’s Director of Military Equal Opportunity, Clarence applied his education and service to work in multiple professional, mentoring, and civic organizations.Clarence is one of the founding members of the ROCKS organization and participates in the ROTC enrichment program to help cadets transition into the military.He has been an American Red Cross Board Member for the Alexandria, Va. chapter for 13 years. An active member of Northern Virginia Urban League working on behalf of minority Americans since 1998, he was instrumental in establishing a partnership between a local community college and a Future Kings program in order to help expose young people from low-income communities to STEM careers. He received the Future Kings Founders Award in 2018 for his initiatives and hard work.

Ret. Brig. Gen. T. Patt Maney, class of 1989

Maney retired from the Army Reserve in 2007 after serving as Political Sector Coordinator and Senior Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. He established the first of Florida’s 30 Veterans Treatment Courts to help veterans in the legal system. Maney initiated a community-based stand down for homeless veterans, now in its 11th year, and served on the statewide suicide prevention coordinating council for 12 years. He established a Purple Heart scholarship at North West Florida State College for medal recipients and their children.He was appointed by the Florida governor to his current positions:the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority, and the Board of Control for Southern Regional Education. Maney was recently inducted into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, and serves as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Ret. Lt. Gen. Thomas G. Rhame, class of 1981

Since retirement in 1997 as the Director of the Defense Security Assistance Agency, Rhame has continued to serve -- as the AUSA Vice President for Finance and Administration for 16 years, and on the Army War College Foundation Board of Trustees for ten years as Chairman of the Board and chair of the Finance and Audit Committee. He has lent his leadership to the Society of the 1st Infantry Division, “the Big Red One Association,” which he commanded during the Gulf War. He is working to upgrade the 1st Infantry Division monument in Washington, DC, to add the names of the fallen from Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Afghanistan campaigns. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Grantham University.

The Army War College Foundation and Alumni Association sponsors and selects the USAWC Outstanding Alumni each year.