On March 10, 2016, the Ohio State Army ROTC Alumni Society welcomed three more members into its Hall of Fame. World War II Veteran Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Charles Jones (awarded posthumously), Col. (Ret.) Don Fisher and Jeff Barnes were inducted on March 10 at the Fawcett Center on the campus of The Ohio State University. About 150 alumni, cadets and parents attended the event.
Don Hulslander, the president of the Army ROTC Alumni Society said, “We are proud to recognize the accomplishments and contributions that these three gentlemen have made. These inductees have served in France in World War II, Vietnam and in Iraq. We hope that their sacrifices serve as inspiration to the Ohio State cadets about to enter the Army.”
Major General Charles Jones
Major General Charles Jones served his nation and the state of Ohio in both military and civilian capacities. After graduating from Ohio State, he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant and completed Field Artillery Officer training and joined the newly activated 17th Airborne Division in 1942 and followed with earning his parachutist and glider badges.
He was assigned as a battery commander in 1944, moved to the European Theater, and was engaged in the Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe, and Rhineland Campaigns. His activities led to his being awarded the Bronze Star with ‘V’ device for gallantry in action during the parachute drop across the Rhine River, the Silver Star for bravery in combat in the Battle of the Bulge, and was twice awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received during each of these endeavors. In addition, he was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation as part of his unit’s extraordinary heroism during the Rhine River operation.
He returned home in 1945 and earned a law degree from the University of Cincinnati. He reactivated his Captain’s rank by joining the Ohio Army National Guard two years after he had separated from the service. As a guardsman, he was called to participate in the Korean Conflict in 1951, where he spent thirteen months in active duty at Camp Polk, Louisiana as a battalion commander. He was promoted to Colonel in 1960 and subsequent promotions led to serving as an alternate member at large on the Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee, Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army, and in 1973 to commander, Ohio Area Command, as a Major General. In 1977 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal prior to retiring in 1978.
Major General Jones had served as a commander at the company, battalion, group, brigade, and state command levels for over 27 of his 37 years of military service.
While in the National Guard, he also rose to the position of Secretary-Treasurer with Champion Paper Company, a major employer in Hamilton, Ohio, was twice elected to the Ohio House of Representatives where he was chosen as one of the Ten Most Outstanding Members by his fellow representatives, and once to the Ohio Senate while residing in Butler County. He also started a successful law firm in 1966 that is still functioning today.
In 1982 a new National Guard Armory was built in Butler County and named in his honor. In 1992 Major General Jones was a selection to the Ohio National Guard Hall of Fame.
Major General Jones passed away in November 2011, survived by his wife of 73 years, the former Elizabeth Williams of Portsmouth, Ohio, who died seven months later. They had five children, Carolyn, Charles Robert, also an Ohio State graduate, and Richard, Mary Ann and Bruce.
Colonel Don Fisher:
Colonel Don Fischer graduated in 1962 achieving membership in the Scabbard and Blade Military Honor Society. He was commissioned as a Reserve Officer reporting for duty to the Ordnance Center and School, later receiving his Regular Army appointment in 1974. After completing training as a Tank-Automotive Maintenance Officer, he was sent to Germany, where, he became Commander of the 193d Ordnance Detachment in support of the 5th Missile Battalion, 1st Arty (NIKE) as a 2nd Lieutenant. After two years, he became the Battalion S-4. He was then assigned to the US Army Missile Center and School as an instructor and was there promoted to Captain. After completing the Ordnance Advanced Course, he was assigned to the 35th Engineer Group in Vietnam as Group Maintenance Officer; then Commander, A Co, 87th Engineer Bn (Construction), then Engineer Equipment Officer, 70th Engineer Bn (Combat).
After a short tour with the US Army Air Defense Command working with SAFEGUARD Anti-Missile System planning, COL Fischer earned a Master of Science in Logistic Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He was then assigned to the Army General Staff, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (now G-4) where he developed policy for Integrated Logistics System Support, product improvement and major weapons system acquisition.
He attended the US Army Command and General Staff College where he received a Master of Military Arts and Sciences through his thesis involving a FORTRAN simulation comparing costs and savings through changes in Army automotive maintenance doctrine.
He then became Executive Officer, 708th Maintenance Battalion; Chief, Material Readiness Officer, 8th Infantry Division (Mech); Commander, 64th Ordnance Company, 59th Ordnance Brigade; Commander, 8th Infantry Division Materiel Management Center; and Commander, 3rd Ordnance Battalion; all in an eight year span in Germany.
After completing a year at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, COL Fischer was selected to be Materiel Officer, 2d Support Command, VII Corps; VII Corps G-4; and Commander, 8th Infantry Division Support Command; again in Germany. His final assignment as an Army Officer was Commandant, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California. Colonel Fischer has a professional level of proficiency in the German language.
Colonel Fischer worked at the University of New Mexico after retiring from the US Army in 1993. He served as Executive Director of Albuquerque’s Teach and Learn Network, the city’s cable-based Educational Access Channel. He managed the equipping and placing in operation of a satellite system connecting the eight colleges of the Hispanic Educational Telecommunications System and connecting the schools and districts of the Northern New Mexico Network for Rural Education. He also managed University participation in two US Department of Education grants to the Navajo Nation involving the integration of technology into school programs.
Captain Jeff Barnes:
Jeff Barnes was appointed to the cabinet-level position of director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency by Governor Rick Snyder, effective March 20, 2013. Director Barnes served nearly 10 years as an Armored Cavalry Officer in the United States Army. His overseas assignments include one tour in Korea, one in the Balkans and two in Iraq. In 2003, his Squadron served as Lead Maneuver Unit of the U.S. Armed Forces from Kuwait to Baghdad. Director Barnes commanded B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 7th United States Cavalry and conducted operations in Baghdad, Balad and Fallujah. His unit was credited for capturing more than 25 Al Qaeda and Fedayeen operatives, establishing a Forward Operating Base in Ad Dujayl and meeting with community leaders to establish humanitarian relief initiatives for local school systems and vital infrastructure. Director Barnes was chosen for a second command and led HHT, 3rd Squadron, 7th United States Cavalry in Baghdad during 2005. The unit included more than 300 soldiers and was responsible for a wide range of combat and combat support operations. His unit planned and conducted more than 350 operations to interdict insurgents, identify and destroy enemy weapons caches and provide support to sustain outposts and Forward Operating Bases throughout central Iraq. At the same time, his unit provided humanitarian relief and medical support to more than 2,500 Iraqi children and adults in an effort to build community relations.
Prior to his appointment to MVAA, Director Barnes served as the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Director of Strategy, Executive Director of Public Safety and as a member of the Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Reinvention.
He is married to Taryn Barnes, a combat veteran and a former United States Army Aviation Officer.