Alumni Spotlight – John Wemlinger

Editor’s Note: From time to time, we feature alumni who are excelling in their chosen field. If you know an alum who we should feature, contact us.

John V. Wemlinger, Author

John Wemlinger and his dog

John with his trusty sidekick

John V. Wemlinger is a soldier and an author. He grew up in Columbus and knew early on (often hearing it from his parents) that he was going to attend Ohio State. After graduating from Columbus Linden McKinley High School, he enrolled at Ohio State in September of 1964.

Not long after enrolling, John found his new ‘home’ with the Army ROTC program. He remembers the PMS, Col. Arthur D. VonRohr, fondly, calling him “the epitome of an Army officer.” John matriculated with our very own Alumni Society President Don Hulslander; along our society Vice President Ed Lang. John became a member of the Mershon Honorary Society and earned the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate. On Dec. 14, 1968, John received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. He graduated with a degree in History and Government; earning a minor in English.

John spent more than 25 years  serving our country in a variety of roles and duty stations. From Baumholder, Germany to Fort Eustis, Virginia to the Republic of Vietnam, John did everything from command soldiers (at the platoon through brigade) to instruct ROTC cadets.

John’s latest accomplishment is the publication of his book, Winter’s Bloom.  He says the “people inspired me to write this book.” In 2009, John lived near Flint, Michigan (“don’t worry,” he says, “the Block O flies proudly!”) and saw how the town was devastated by the closing of the General Motors plant there. Between this and the latest water crisis, he feels that Flint is the most resilient city in America.Winter's Bloom

John wanted to offer two pieces of advice to any current ROTC cadet that may stumble across this article:

  1. Always be ready for the next challenge, no matter where or when it comes up.
  2. When you get there, look for and find that person who appears to know what the hell is going on. Get their insight. Consider it. My first Platoon Sergeant, Sergeant First Class Piowarczyk, said to me my first day on the job, “Lieutenant, this is your platoon. It’s in pretty good order, but there will be some things you will want to change. Do me a favor: ask me before you change anything too much.” It was good advice; served me well for 27 years and beyond. Even when I walked in someplace and knew it was screwed up, there was someone there who knew better than I what was broken and what was not.

If you are interested in getting in contact with John, you can reach him via his website at

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Mar 21 5:00pm

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