Brigadier General Gerald Childress
V.P.I. Class of 1952
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Brigadier General Gerald Childress, VPI class of 1952, hails from Clintwood, Virginia. Born 11 August 1930, Childress married Martha Grimes and has two children, Jane Grimes Harvard and Gordon Childress.
V.P.I.- B.S. Agricultural Education (1952)
George Washington University- M.S. International Relations (1972)
Artillery Officers Basic Course (1952)
Artillery Officers Advanced Course (1959)
Commandant and General Staff College (1963)
Armed Forces Staff College (1967)
National War College (1972)
A career Army officer having received his appointment of a Second Lieutenant in 1952 upon graduating from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, he served in many prestigious command and staff appointments. He served as Chief of Protocol and White House Liaison for the United States Army; Chief of Protocol United National Command in Korea; Commanded the Southwestern Regional Recruiting Command headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; and commanded one of the last battalions to leave Cambodia at the end of the Vietnam War. On his promotion to Brigadier General on July 20, 1975, he was assigned as the Commanding General of the United States Army Third ROTC Region, Fort Riley, Kansas and was responsible for geographically covered eight states in the South Central United States with sixty-four colleges and universities with Senior ROTC Programs and over two hundred high schools with Junior ROTC. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star with V Device with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Custer, Air Medal with V Device and six Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and various Vietnamese decorations. After a quarter-century of dedicated service as a career officer, he retired.
Upon retirement, he accepted the position of Superintendent at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico in April 1977. He was successful at integrating women into the Corps of Cadets during the 1977-1978 academic year. During his tenure, he provided strong leadership in providing solid academic programs in both the high school and junior college and increased significance the number of young people enrolled in the Early Commissioning Program. In April 1991, General Childress was selected as the sixth Superintendent of Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri and assumed this position in May 1991.
General Childress was very active in the community. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Roswell Chamber of Commerce; St. Mary's Regional Health Center; Pro-Am Gold Tournament; Roswell Rotary club and served as President in 1987-1988; and the Roswell Country Club. As Campaign Chairman for the United Way of Chaves County, he was successful in achieving 105 percent of the annual goal. He also served as Residential Chairman and President of the Chaves County Unit of the American Cancer Society.
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