Georgia Military College Celebrates Military Heritage Weekend 2024

Over the weekend, Georgia Military College celebrated Military Heritage Weekend, honoring GMC alumni military men and women that serve our great country. The event brought together members of the GMC family, community leaders, and visitors from around the region.

Events kicked off Friday with the Hall of Heroes luncheon to celebrate the 2024 Hall of Heroes Inductee, 1LT Michael Maynard. The room was full of excitement and pride as Mr. Maynard and his family along with GMC faculty and staff, members of the GMC Board of Trustees, supporters from the GMC Foundation and members of the 145th Corps of Cadets gathered to celebrate his life achievements.

Following the Hall of Heroes luncheon was the Military Honors Parade, where GMC officially inducted the newest member to the Hall of Heroes, paying tribute to Alumni of the GMC Corps of Cadets who have demonstrated extraordinary service to our nation while bringing honor to GMC. This is the highest recognition for an alumnus of the Corps of Cadets.

Closing out the evening was the Grand Tattoo, a prestigious event that showcased the rich heritage and traditions of the institution. The GMC Corps of Cadets Glee Club graced the occasion with their captivating music. As part of the ceremony, members of the GMC community came together to offer heartfelt toasts and pay tribute to the late David Grant, a beloved figure who was serving as Chairman of the GMC Foundation when he passed away.

The Grand Tattoo served as a poignant reminder of the enduring spirit and camaraderie that define the GMC community, while also celebrating its esteemed history and the individuals who have played pivotal roles in shaping its legacy.

The Military Honors Parade was livestreamed on the GMC YouTube Channel and can be viewed here:

2024 Inductee: 1LT Michael Maynard:

Mike Maynard (JC 1963), while hailing from a small town in Florida, came to learn of Georgia Military College through several students from his hometown who attended the institution. They all praised their experiences at GMC, influencing his decision to enroll. Maynard credits GMC with teaching him the all-important lessons of self-discipline and time management, which were of great benefit to him throughout his esteemed military service and civilian career. He also benefited from the opportunity to observe and learn from different leadership styles while a Cadet at GMC. In addition to excelling in the Corps, Maynard was very involved in GMC athletics. He was named MVP of the Junior College basketball team his sophomore year and led both the basketball and baseball teams as captain. In addition, he was voted “Most Athletic” by his peers in the 1963 Recall.

After graduating from GMC in 1963, he continued his ROTC training at Florida State University. In August of 1966, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. After completing the Officers Basic Course at Fort Sill, OK, he was assigned to Ft. Lewis, Washington, as a Basic Combat Training Officer.

In August of 1967, Maynard deployed to serve in Vietnam. He became a Fire Direction Officer with C/1/77 105mm Howitzers in the First Cavalry Division and was promoted to First Lieutenant.  On January 3, 1968, Maynard also earned the Bronze Star with “V” device for actions in combat. 1LT Maynard distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous action while serving as Fire Direction Officer of Battery C, 1st Battalion, 77th Artillery, during a combat support mission in the Republic of Vietnam. When his unit’s perimeter came under an intense enemy mortar, rocket, and ground attack, 1LT Maynard exposed himself to the accurate hostile fire to reestablish communication between the fire direction center and the Howitzer sections. Disregarding his own safety, he directed effective suppressive fire upon the hostile forces, which successfully neutralized the attacking insurgents.

In February he was then transferred to A/1/77 Artillery as an Executive Officer. Due to high casualty rates among forward observers, Maynard spent a few weeks with C/2/5 infantry as a forward observer. Maynard earned his second Bronze Star with “V” device for his actions on March 9, 1968, while serving as a forward observer for Company C, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry during a combat mission near Pho Trach, Republic of Vietnam. When his unit became heavily engaged with a large enemy force, Maynard exposed himself to hostile fire as he moved from position to position to adjust and direct accurate suppressive fire on the insurgent’s positions. Shortly thereafter he returned to A Battery as the Executive Officer.

While serving as Battery Executive Officer of A Battery, 1st Battalion, 77th Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the Republic of Vietnam during the period May 4 and 5, 1968, he was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry in action. On the afternoon of May 4, his fire base was hit by enemy rocket and artillery fire. The fire struck and ignited ammunition around the Howitzers. When the Battery Commander was medically evacuated, 1LT Maynard assumed command of the battery and continued to rally and inspire his men throughout the night to extinguish the fires and contain the detonation of the ammunition. During the early morning hours of May 5, the firebase was attacked by a numerically superior force of North Vietnamese Regulars. 1LT Maynard repeatedly exposed himself to intense enemy small arms fire to lead his men throughout the firefight. He occupied an exposed and unprotected observation point to personally call in and adjust aerial rocket artillery and supporting artillery fires from another firebase. With these fires as well as with close combat by the artillerymen and supporting infantry on the firebase, the attacks were repelled despite suffering heavy casualties. On the morning of May 5, with the firebase still under enemy rocket and artillery fire, 1LT Maynard rallied the survivors to rig the damaged Howitzers and get them airlifted from the firebase.

Additionally, he was awarded the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, and Vietnamese Campaign Medal. In 1997, he was inducted into the Honorable Order of St. Barbara, a prestigious honor for Artillerymen.

Following separation from the service in August of 1968, Maynard and his wife moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where he worked at Cape Kennedy during the exciting moon launch. In 1977, he began working in sales with a multinational company that manufactured processing and packaging items for the meat industry. He was named salesman of the year on multiple occasions and served on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Meat Association for over twenty years before retiring in 2002.

Maynard is a life member of the First Cavalry Division and a life member and past President of the 77th Artillery Regiment Association. He is also a member of the Tallahassee American Legion. In addition to being an avid golfer and taking annual trips to Colorado to ski, he volunteers his time coaching youth sports. His passion for Florida State University athletics is reflected in being a long-time athletic sports booster. He and his wife, Susie, live in Tallahassee, Florida. They have two sons, Mike and Jeff, and have three grandchildren.

 

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