Three alumni of the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Corps of Cadets have been selected for induction into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2015.
"UNG has produced untold numbers of fine officers, and these three men have brought great pride to all of them through their exemplary service," said Col. (Ret.) Tom Palmer, commandant of UNG's Corps of Cadets. "Their records speak for themselves, and are stellar examples of how alumni of our Corps of Cadets have contributed to the defense and security of our nation for more than 140 years."
The Class of 2015 will be the third annual class inducted, and a total of 15 Georgians have been selected. Each inductee is awarded the Hall of Fame Medallion. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to honor Georgia Military Veterans; to educate Georgia citizens, especially young Americans, of the sacrifices for freedom; and to inform the public of the inductees' outstanding accomplishments. Ten members were selected for valor, four for service, and one for achievement. The three UNG alumni inductees are:
- U.S. Army (retired) COL Gerald Lord, Dahlonega, Georgia. Vietnam. Inducted for service.
- U.S. Army (retired) COL Robert L. W. Powell, Carrollton, Georgia. Vietnam. Inducted for valor.
- U.S. Army (retired) MJG Edison Earl Scholes, McCaysville, Georgia. Vietnam. Inducted for valor.
"When I received the call that I was being inducted, I was totally surprised and humbled. It is a great honor when your contemporaries select you for this kind of recognition," Lord said. "It is even more significant for me that I was selected to be inducted with my old Ranger Buddy and close friend, Ed Scholes."
Lord earned a Bachelor of Science in physical education and history from UNG, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in infantry upon graduation in 1961. He served for more than 30 years, including combat tours in Vietnam. He served as professor of military science and commandant of cadets at UNG from 1984 to 1988, followed by his final assignment on active duty as commander of the U.S. Army Garrison in Fort McPherson, Georgia, from 1988 to 1991. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with 19 Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star and Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Army Aviator Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab.
Powell graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate from UNG in 1965, and commissioned as a second lieutenant into the infantry. In 1966, while serving in Vietnam, Powell was wounded in a punji pit while on a night patrol. He returned to Vietnam in 1968, and after almost eight months in command of C Company, 1st Battalion, 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade, Powell was wounded six times by enemy small arms fire while his company was fighting. On a third tour in 1970, he received a third Purple Heart during operations in Cambodia. During these three combat tours Powell was also awarded three Silver Stars for gallantry in action, nine Bronze Stars, and three Army Commendation Medals for Valor.
Following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, at the age of 63 and 14 years into retirement, Powell volunteered for return to active duty. He served in Iraq as an infantry advisor and as an advisor to the Iraqi Military Academy from 2005 to 2006 period. During this time he re-injured his back and hips, resulting in a second retirement, and was awarded his 10th Bronze Star.
Scholes graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in physics from UNG in 1961, and commissioned as a second lieutenant. He later earned a Master of Science in operations research, and served in Europe from 1963-66. As he advanced through grades to major general, he served in Vietnam from 1967-71; in Korea from 1976-77; at Fort Benning, Georgia from 1978-79; at the U.S. Army Infantry Training Center from 1983-85; at Fort McPherson in East Point, Georgia from 1986-88; and at Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 1988-89.
In 1989, Scholes began a series of campaigns that saw him serve leading roles in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. His final role was as program general manager for the Saudi Arabia National Guard Modernization Program from 1996-2002.
The third annual Georgia Military Veterans' Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Banquet will be held in Columbus, Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m., at Saint Luke Ministry Center. Reserved seats and tables, or a donation, can be made through PayPal by visiting http://www.gmvhof.org/ or by mailing a check to the Georgia Military Veterans' Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 475, Pine Mountain, Georgia 31822.