Cecil M. Henry, COL, USA (Ret)
U. S. Army
Commander, 4th BN, 31st Reg.,196 Light Inf BDE, 23rd Inf DIV (Americal)

Retired Colonel Cecil Henry was born in 1930 in Floyd County, Georgia to Elmer and Portia Wiley Henry. His father's family were landowners and farmed a 2000 acre peach orchard. His mother's family were sharecroppers. Though he grew up without electricity, running water and telephone his family did own Sears Silvertone radio with which they listened to shows like the Lone Ranger and the Grand Ole Opry. During the Depression, to earn some spending money, Hank picked cotton for a penny a pound at his uncle's farm, once earning 22 cents in a single day. Two years after graduating from McHenry High School he joined the Army and was sent to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for Basic Training. From there he went to Heidelberg, Germany where his unit kept busy installing communications for the new NATO Headquarters. Later he was assigned to the communication center at Campbell Barracks in Rabat, North Africa. When he returned to the states in 1951, he received orders to Korea and was then stationed at Taegu. Back in the States, he served as the senior NCO at the base communication center at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. While there he was selected for Officer Candidate School which he attended at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 1962 he was sent to Vietnam as a senior advisor to the 48th Infantry Regiment which was an ARVN Division at Kon Tum. He returned to 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1963. Hank became a faculty member of the Army Command and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth immediately after graduation then went to the 5th Regiment 2nd ARVN Division in Vietnam. In July 1969, he took command of the 4th Battalion, went to Chu Lai and then to LZ West where the August battle began on the 11th and lasted until the 31st. He helped organize MedCap teams with Special Forces, along with Catholic nun medics who went to the village of Hiep Duc. When he finished his tour as battalion commander in January of 1970, he became advisor to the 5th Regiment going to the Pentagon where he ran the Army small arms developmental program out of the Office of Chief Research & Development (OCRD). He left the Pentagon in 1974 and went to Turkey working with NATO including Greeks, Turkish, British and French units. After retirement Hank and his second wife moved to Corpus Christi. He has two children by his first wife and now has four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Colonel Henry is what is called a "Mustang" having risen in the ranks from an enlisted man to an officer holding many ranks along the way beginning with private.