June 27, 2016 –
Retired Col. Gerald W. Meyer, an ambassador for Wisconsin, was one of the selections for his more than 30 years of military service and more than 10 years with the U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador program following his graduation from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s ROTC program in 1974.
“I am truly honored and completely humbled to be nominated by the University of Wisconsin ROTC and selected by the Army ROTC Command for the Hall of Fame 2016,” Meyer said. “But I am especially pleased because this award shows the quality of the UW-La Crosse ROTC program. Without the training I received through them, this award would not have happened.”
The three other inductees representing the 88th RSC are Retired Col. William Hawes from Illinois; Curtis Loop from Oregon; and Barry Gasdek from Wyoming.
“I think the most important thing an ambassador can do for the Soldier is to listen to the Soldier, hear their issues and listen to the family members and help facilitate and liaison a remedy or a solution to their issue,” said Meyer, who recently began his fourth term as a U.S. Army Reserve ambassador.
During the ceremony, current U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox Commanding General Maj. Gen. Christopher Hughes reflected on the legacy of the inductees who represent the more than 650,000 ROTC graduates.
“When I opened the first folder, I was awestruck and as I sat back in the chair. It was then that it dawned on me the significance of today -- I was about to sign the certificate to induct General George C. Marshall into the ROTC National Hall of Fame. I didn't feel qualified,” he said. “The more I read, the more I signed, I realized each of you and your families are doing everything that I would ever dare ask you to do -- that is exactly why you are our founding class of the ROTC National Hall of Fame.”
Meyer said continuing to serve after hanging up his uniform was an opportunity he could not pass up.
"I really love the Army and its people. I have spent my life serving the Army at home and abroad,” Meyer said. “I could not resist the opportunity to continue to work for an organization that his given me so much.”
Meyer, Hawes, Loop and Gasdek, along with more than 30 others across the 19-state region of the 88th RSC footprint, are charged with providing strategic outreach, advocacy and advisory support to Army Reserve units, Soldiers and families as U.S. Army Reserve Ambassadors.
“They represent not only the 88th so well, but they represent the Army Reserve very well in their states,” said Col. Michael Holland, the legislative liaison for the 88th RSC who attended the Cadet Command Hall of Fame inductions. “They represent the Army Reserve and the Soldiers as a whole in each of their states by going out and meeting with community leaders and congressional representatives and tell the Army Reserve story. They’re out there every day talking and doing great things for the Army Reserve and for the 88th.”