Dick Irwin

Richard William Irwin

Nickname : Dick

Class : 1962

Company : L-1

Home Town: Lutherville, Maryland

High School : Milford Mill

Prior College Attendance : Georgia Tech, 1957-58

Date of Entry to Academy : July 1, 1958

Date of Graduation : June 6, 1962

Age at Graduation : 22

Cullum Number : 23912

Cadet Rank & Military Position

Rank : Lieutenant

Position : Platoon Leader

Height

Entry : 5’11”

Graduation : 5″11″

Weight

Entry : 178

Playing weight : 185

Graduation : 185

Teams :

o 1958: C Squad (Plebe) Soccer Team

o 1958-59: Off-season Lacrosse Team

o 1959: Off-season Soccer Team

o 1959: B Squad (JV) Soccer Team

o 1960: Off-season Soccer Team

o 1960: A Squad (Varsity) Soccer Team

o 1961: Off-season Soccer Team

o 1961: A Squad (Varsity) Soccer Team

Soccer Coaches

o Head Coach: “Joe Palone”

o Assistant: “Scotty Adams”

Team Captain :

o 1960 “Kaiser Bazan”

o 1961 Art Brown

Positions Played

o Plebe: Inside Left

o B-Squad: Left Halfback

o A-Squad: Center Halfback & Left Fullback

Award of Army A

o Plebe : 62 numerals

o Yearling: None

o Cow : Major A

o Firstie : Major A

As you can see from the lack of entries directly above, I was a “journeyman” soccer player (usually a starter) on teams that did not compete in any NCAA tournaments. In those days, soccer did not compete in any league, but we did play a lot of the best teams in the northeast and middle-Atlantic states.

Relationship with Tactical Department :

I managed to keep a “healthy distance” between myself and the tactical department for most of my Cadet years except for one month during plebe year when I was room orderly for two weeks during a single month. I went over in demerits and only my soccer team status saved me from walking the area. I recall that I had to serve one weekend of confinement.

The only other “brush” with the tactical department was several weeks before graduation. The Board of Visitors, headed by General of the Army Omar Bradley, were at West Point for their annual visit. On Friday afternoon (two days after we firsties had taken delivery on our new cars) we marched in a Brigade Review for the Board. I was platoon leader of 2nd platoon, L-1, for the parade.

As we passed in review, all went well until “ready front” after passing the reviewing party. Disaster occurred as I brought my saber back up and snapped my head back around. My saber slipped out of my grip and went twirling up in the air out in front of the platoon and fortunately landed pointy end in the turf, and my “tarbucket” (Editor’s note – hat with plume of feathers for Officer Cadets) spun off my head and fell to the ground. I managed to kick the hat out in front of me, removed my saber from its temporary roost in the grass as I marched by, and finally scooped-up my tarbucket which was lying in our direction of march.(Editor’s note – Tarbuckets, especially ones with feathers are deliberately kicked along the field of march by succeeding ranks of Cadets. Tarbuckets with feather are expensive)

As soon as we broke ranks in South Area, I raced up to my room, changed into civilian clothes and ran all the way down to the parking lot across from the Thayer Hotel where my new TR-4 was parked. I was determined not to miss out on a planned weekend leave trip down to Maryland to visit my soon-to-be fiance’, Sharon Lenz. Somehow, although my ineptness had been seen by all, I did not suffer any tangible consequences. ((Editor’s note – If he had not cleared the area, he would have as a minumin been required to report to his Tactical Officier – so the urgency of getting in the car and off Post)

However, the following weekend, when General of the Army Douglas MacArthur received the Thayer Award, I did have a “one-sided” conversation with the Tactical Department. As we were forming up for parade, Major “Dutch” Shultz, our L-1 Tac officer came over to me. After we saluted, he said only the following few words: “Mr. Irwin, you owe me one!” I said: “Yes sir.”

Recreation

Clubs:

o KDET

o Rocket Society

o Yearbook

o Skeet

Intramurals :

o Handball

o Squash

Class Standing : 97 out of 602

Officer Assignment to the Academy

Department : Earth, Space & Graphic Sciences, 1969-72

Coaching Duties

o Head coach, B-Squad Soccer, 1970

o Assistant coach (for Joe Palone), A-Squad Soccer, 1971

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