10 May 2017
"Special Operations in Afghanistan"
Colonel John W. Thompson
Defense Coordinating Officer
FEMA Region IV, Atlanta GA.
Colonel John W. Thompson, a native of Augusta, Ga., was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army upon graduation from North Georgia College in 1987.
Upon completion of the Aviation Officer Basic and Initial Entry Rotary Wing Course at Fort Rucker, AL. in 1988, he was assigned to 4th Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, Feucht, Germany. His assignments included Aeroweapons Platoon Leader, Aeroscout Platoon Leader and Squadron Assistant Operations Officer.
Thompson has since served in a variety of aviation and special operations positions to include troop commander and division aviation plans officer, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY; Platoon Leader, Special Mission Unit liaison officer and Company Commander, 1st BN, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, KY; Executive Officer, 82nd Aviation Brigade and Operations Officer, 2nd BN, 82nd Aviation BDE, Fort Bragg, NC; Joint Planner, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC; Squadron Commander, 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, CO; Regiment Commander, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, KY; Fellow, Chief of Staff of the Army’s Strategic Studies Group. He most recently served as 3rd Infantry Division Chief of Staff and United States Forces Afghanistan Chief of Staff.
He is a combat veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and has multiple deployments in support of Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Thompson’s military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with numeral two, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Combat Action Badge, the Master Army Aviator Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.
COL Thompson is married to the former Lashelle Pruitt from Canton, GA. They have two children, Bryce and Whitley.
Please plan to join us on 10 May 2017 for what promises to be a most interesting program.
Monday, 29 May 2017 - 11am
The Terraces Amphitheater
Colonel Patrick J. Bodelson US Army (Ret)
"TheMeaning of Memorial Day."
Colonel Bodelson was born in Langdon, North Dakota on 1 November 1943. He graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of North Dakota and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Armor in 1965.
Upon completion of the Armor Basic Course, he was assigned to the 1/37 Armor Battalion in Ansbach, Germany where he served as a Platoon Leader, Company Commander, Battalion S-3 (Operations) and Battalion Executive Officer.
He then proceeded to Vietnam in 1968 where he was the G-3 Plans Officer for II Corps and a Vietnamese Armored Cavalry Troop Advisor. He returned from Vietnam and attended Infantry Officer Advanced Course 70-02 where he graduated with honors. He then completed Rotary Wing Aviator Qualification Course 71-02 at Fort Rucker, Alabama and graduated as the Distinguished Graduate. After a transition into the AH-1G (Cobra), he returned to Vietnam where he served as the Aeroweapons Platoon Leader and then Commander of D Troop (Air), 1/10 Cavalry. He finished his second tour as the S-3 for the 7/17 Air Cavalry Squadron.
In 1972 COL Bodelson received an inter-theater transfer to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) in Fulda, Germany. During the next three years, he served as the Headquarters Aviation Section Leader and Regimental Aviation Officer; Commander of D Troop (Tank), 1/11th Armored Cavalry Squadron and Air Troop Executive Officer. D Troop won the Department of the Army Small Unit Maintenance Award for 1973.
His assignments for the next few years included: An Honor Graduate at the Command and General Staff College in 1975; Advanced Tactics Instructor at the Armor School where he was selected as the Instructor of the Year three times; Aviation Assignment Officer for Combat Arms Officer at the Military Personnel Center and Special Investigator and Inspector for the Department of the Army Inspector General Office.
COL Bodelson next commanded the 11th Combat Aviation Squadron, 11th ACR from 1983 to 1985 in Fulda, Germany. The Squadron was selected as the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) Aviation Unit of the Year in 1984. He was then selected to attend the United States Naval War College in Newport, RI. After graduation, he was assigned as the Chief of the Combined Arms Tactics Division at Fort Rucker, AL. COL Bodelson was selected as the Commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division from 1988 to 1990 in Ansbach, Germany. His brigade was again selected as the USAREUR Aviation Unit of the Year in 1989. In 1990, he became the Chief of Staff for the Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker. He then completed his career as a Special Investigator/Inspector for the Secretary of the Army in the Pentagon and retired in 1995 after 30 years of active service.
COL Bodelson’s academic background includes a BA in Science from UND, a MA in Public Administration from Western Kentucky University, a MA in Management from Salve Regina College, a MS in Strategic Planning and International Relations from the Naval War College and Senior Executive Training at the University of Michigan Business College. He is a Master Army Aviator and an OH-58 Instructor Pilot. He is also Airborne and Air Assault qualified. His decorations include the Distinguish Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, four Legion of Merit Medals, three Bronze Stars Medals, 20 Air Medals (3 for Valor), four Meritorious Service Medals, five Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Humanitarian Medal, the German Military Distinguished Service Medal, three Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry Medals and the Vietnamese Combat Armor Badge. .
COL Bodelson has been married for 51 years to the former Lynda Hart from Wales, ND. They have two daughters, Lea [deceased] and Marlo. Marlo and her husband, Karl Kankel, were both Distinguished Military Graduates of UND ROTC and became Army aviators. Both completed successful company level commands; she flew the UH-60 BlackHawk and Karl was an AH-64 Apache pilot.
COL and Mrs. Bodelson now reside in Big Canoe, GA.
We are indeed honored to have COL Pat Bodelson [Ret] as our guest speaker and urge you, your family and friends to attend the Memorial Day commemoration program.
For North Georgia Veterans attending, the dress for the event is casual, unless you are part of the program, in which case you should wear your NGV uniform. All NGV members are encouraged to wear name badges and any NGV monogrammed apparel, like a shirt or hat.
Please plan to arrive NLT 10:30am, so the program may begin on time at 11am.
The program will include the North Georgia Veterans Chorus, flag ceremony assisted by the Cub Scouts, and will conclude with the playing of “Taps.
Please mark your calendar now for this event.