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Local man inducted into OCS Hall of Fame

By Steve Ranson

Army veteran LePeilbet joins an elite group

An Army veteran from northern Nevada has been inducted into this year’s 2022 Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame along with 19 other soldiers and 23 Medal of Honor recipients.

1st Lt. Andrew LePeilbet of Reno, who’s a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 8071 in Virginia City and Vietnam Veterans of America Sierra Nevada chapter 989 in Reno, served in Vietnam during the late 1960s as a 22-year-old officer.

1st Lt. Andrew LePeilbet
1st Lt. Andrew LePeilbet

“The OCS Hall of Fame was established in 1958 to honor graduates who had distinguished themselves during World War II,” said retired Col. Frank Harman, president and CEO of the U.S. Army OCS Alumni organization.

Now, the OCS Hall of Fame honors graduates who have distinguished themselves in both the military and civilian worlds. The Hall of Fame is located at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Harman said the first inductee into the Hall of Fame in 1958 was 2nd Lt. Thomas Wigle, who was killed in Italy during World War II. In April 1944, he was assigned to Company K, 135th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division. He died as a result of wounds suffered in combat on Sept. 16, 1944, near Monte Frassino, Italy. The Indiana native was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor.

Harman said Hall of Fame inductees have displayed superior valor, leadership and meritorious service. This year’s Hall of Fame included 23 Medal of Honor recipients who primarily fought either in World War II, Korea or Vietnam. He said inductees showed the confidence and courage to succeed despite adversity.

According to the Hall of Fame, members are honored for the superior valorous combat leadership, superior meritorious service, distinguished public service, superior public service and lifelong service.

Brigade Commander Col. Victor Satterlund said it’s important to reflect on duty and service of those who have been inducted into the most recent lass.

“Those before you struggled and sacrificed,” he said.

Satterlund commended the inductees’ families for their support and sacrifice, and the soldiers’ commitment to service. He added the inductees set the best examples for officer candidates.

“It is truly humbling to be here with you today,” he said.

LePeilbet, who grew up in Placerville, California, said it was an honor to be inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame, but he wished his brother could’ve been with him at the induction ceremony. Michael LePeilbet, who rose to the rank of brigadier general, died after a lengthy illness in late 2021.

LePeilbet graduated from infantry OCS Class 50-67 on Aug. 31, 1967, and his first assignment was infantry platoon leader with the 34th Ordnance Company, Fort Lewis, Washington. He served as a platoon leader in the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division (Air Mobile) in Vietnam from 1968-69.

During his military career, he completed the Infantry Officers Candidate School, Chemical Operations Apprentice course, Chemical Biological Radiological course and Jungle Operations course.

LePeilbet’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal and Department of the Army Commendation medal. His unit also received the Cross of Gallantry with Palm award, the Presidential Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Custer, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm and the Civil Action Honor Medal.

In December 2019, Gov. Steve Sisolak recognized LePeilbet as Veteran of the Month.

LePeilbet is a life member of Disabled American Veterans Reno Chapter 1 and serves as chapter treasurer. He also belongs to the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America Sierra Nevada Chapter 989, Association of the United States Army Reno Chapter, Military Order of the Purple Heart Reno Chapter 719. He also serves on the United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC) as an active member since 2013 and is the current state chair. He was also a member of the Northern Nevada Veterans Home Advisory Board in 2019-2020.

Following his military service, LePeilbet was vice president of U.S. Field Operations for AM Multigraphics and later managing director of International business for the A.B. Dick Company. He was also president and founder of American Press and Digital Products.

LePeilbet completed the International Accounts Society and Management program at Sierra College in Rocklin, California.

LePeilbet joins other Nevada OCS veterans who have ties to the Battle Born state.

  • Col. Addison A. Millard’s first duty assignment was as rifle Platoon Leader, 259th Infantry, 65th Infantry Division. His subsequent duty assignments included the Nevada Army National Guard, Selective Service Section; Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment; procurement officer and Deputy State Director; state director of Selective Service; and Adjutant General for Nevada. 
  • Col. Wesley H. Burr, a World War II veteran, was senior army adviser in Nevada from 1957-1960.
  • Col. William F. Lovell, who saw action in the Pacific during World War II, was an adviser and ORC Instructor GP in Reno.
  • Maj. Gen. Floyd L. Edsall served in Europe during World War II, and once he returned home to Nevada, he held numerous positions with the Nevada Army National Guard. He was also the state’s adjutant general.
  • Judge Thomas E. Moran served in the Army from 1942-47. His ties to Nevada included National College of the State Judiciary (University of Nevada) 1975; National College of the State Judiciary (Post-Graduate) 1977; and National Judicial College (Post-Graduate) 1981.
  • Col. George T. Murray was assistant professor of Military Science and Commandant of Cadets, for the University of Nevada, ROTC Det., at Reno.
  • Col. Jack P. Libby was commissioned an Infantry Officer 21 April 21, 1943. After his military career, he was president of Libby Construction Company, Inc., in Las Vegas.
  • Col. John D. Nelson was commissioned a chemical officer upon graduation from Officer Candidate School on July 10, 1970. He later served as pepot commander, Hawthorne Army Ammo Plant, Hawthorne.
  • The Honorable Larry G. Sage was commissioned an infantry officer in 1969. executive officer and commander, Troop Command Battalion, Battle Born Brigade, Hawthorne; commandant, Nevada Military Academy, Reno; and commander, Stead Training Site, Reno.
  • Commander Royce M. Powell, Jr. served as the commanding officer at the  U.S. Naval Munitions Depot, Hawthorne.
  • Col. John F. Reynolds was commissioned an officer in 1964. He was training officer, State Military Academy, Nevada Army National Guard, Carson City; company commander, 72nd Military Police Company, Fallon; operations officer, State Military Academy, Reno; assistant professor of Military Science, Reserve Officer Training Corps, University of Nevada, Reno.
  • Col. Wayne L. Garcia, deputy brigade commander, USAREC-6th Brigade, Las Vegas.
  • Col. Kim Lindahl, commissioned an Adjutant General Officer upon graduation from Officer Candidate School Class 1-82, had served a tour as rofessor of Military Science, 14th Brigade, Western Region, Reno.
  • Col. Louis Okyen supervise and monitor security preparations at the Nevada Test Site in advance of nuclear tests.
  • Lt. Col.  Dwight G. Longake, at the time of his induction, was the executive director of Nevada Rural Housing Authority, Carson City,.
  • Col. Dean LeVay graduated from Infantry OCS Class 20 on Sept. 11, 1970. In the late 1980s, he was chief legal advisor for all Immigration Naturalization Service operations in Arizona and Nevada
  • Col. James B. Webel attended the Atomic Energy Course, Camp Desert Rock, Nevada.

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