EDWARD F. HESSEL, JR.
Colonel, Infantry, AUS, Retired
Colonel Hessel joined the 100th Division as a PFC in December 1949, while concurrently being a cadet in the ROTC at the University of Kentucky. Two and a half years later he interrupted his reserve assignment, to accept his commission in August 1951 to go on active duty, returning to the reserve in April 1955 with the 95th Infantry Division, USAR, until December 1959, when he rejoined the 100th Division. He retired in September 1981.
His military career ranged from the Assistant Division Information Officer; Information Officer; Headquarters Commandant; Battalion Commander; Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2; Commander, 100th Committee Group and Division Chief of Staff.
During this span of time he was involved in many innovative ideas to promoted the Division and create quality programs that were "firsts" in their existence. Some of them are as follows: Century News Day, inviting news media throughout Kentucky to visit their "Home Town Folks" at Fort Knox annual training to elevate news coverage on a broad base; he pursued the development and composition of the music score "The March of the Century;" introduced the identity phrases "The All Kentucky 100th Division" and "Kentucky's Own Division," prepared an entry for the Public Relations Society of America "Silver Anvil Award," his efforts led to the completion and erection of a historic marker at Fort Jackson, commemorating the site of the World War II activation of the 100th Division. Perhaps his single most important contribution to the Division while Chief of Staff was to coordinate the rewriting of the Division Operating Policies and Procedures (DOPP) into simple layman language.
As Chief of the Combat Support Division of the 100th-Division Maneuver Training Command, he was given the task to form a team to write the general scenario to produce the field document that would meet the Kentucky National Guard's requirement to test their ability to mobilize and move to ports of embarkation. The written program was put to the test in action, resulting in highly successful conclusions and was repeated by them a few years later, employing primarily the same document.
He designed the logo used by the Association of the Century and coined the motto "Perpetuating the Excellence of the 100th Division."
Because of the many community service programs performed by his command, as well as his personal community involvement, including a period as Executive Director of the Louisville U.S.O. and Chairman of the Louisville Armed Forces Committee, he received the "Benjamin J. Butler Community Relations Award."
He has served on the Executive Committee of the Association of the Century and is now President of that organization.
His awards and decorations included the following.
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal w/Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two Hourglass Devices
National Defense Service Medal
Deceased. Colonel Hessel died 22 August 2001.
1987—Inducted into Corridor of the Century.