Gerald is a twenty-eight year veteran of the United States Army a combat arms enlisted soldier and officer. He joined the Army in 1984 and was an enlisted soldier of Infantry for four years with assignments in the Republic of Korea where he took part in twenty-eight combat patrols in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and a Team Leader/Gunner in a Mechanized Infantry Platoon, Fort Riley, Kansas.
He was a member of the 1st Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Tennessee Army National Guard) while he attended UT Chattanooga. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Army ROTC program and upon graduation he went back on active duty as a Regular Army officer as a Second Lieutenant of Armor. His first assignment was in Germany where he was a Tank Platoon Leader, Mortar Platoon Leader, and an Assistant Battalion Operations Officer (S-3 Air). His next assignment was again at Fort Riley, Kansas as the Brigade Plans Officer and the Company Commander.
He has had assignments (1998-2004) as a Regular Army Officer assisting the Army National Guard units in both Tennessee and Georgia.
In 2004, he left the Armor community and began working as an Army Strategist. He was with the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) at Fort McPherson, Georgia (October 2004- April 2007) where he was the Operational Planner for U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams and Combat Patrol Forces for worldwide deployment to include those deploying to OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM in Iraq and ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan.
He was a Strategic Planner at the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) at Norfolk, Virginia (August 2007-May 2011) and has deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM in 2008 to assist Multinational National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) Commander General David Petraeus’s staff do the initial planning for strategic repositioning and withdrawal from Iraq. He was also USJFCOM’s lead adaptive planner for U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command
His final assignment was as the Strategy Branch Chief, G-3/5/7, Headquarters, Department of the Army where he served as the lead staff officer for the Army Staff on TRADOC’s Army 2020 project.
Non-Commissioned Officer’s Professional Development Course (PLDC), 1987
Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Non-Commissioned Officer Defense Course, 1987
U.S. Army Airborne School, 1989
B.S. Political Science, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1992
Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Officer Defense Course, 1992
Combined Arms and Services Staff School (CAS3), 1998
U.S. Army Armor School, Cavalry Leader’s Course, 1999
U.S. Army War College, Basic Strategic Arts Program, 2004
Command and General Staff College, Intermediate Level Education, 2007
Joint & Combined Warfighting School (JCWS) JPME-II, 2008
M.A. Military History – Civil War Concentration, American Military University, 2009
U.S. Army War College, Defense Strategy Course, 2010
Introduction, edited and footnoted, War As I Saw It: The Civil War Reminiscences of Commissary Sergeant Newton H. Coker, 39th Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment. (Stafford, Virginia: Outpost & Dispatch Historical Research, LLC, 2011).
Essays and Articles
“Sustaining the Army of Tennessee in the Fall of 1863,” Chattanooga Regional Historical Journal, Volume 5, Number 2, December 2002.
Presentations to Historical and Descendant Organizations
“Battle of Chickamauga,” Rhea County Historical Society, Dayton, Tennessee, September 17, 1999.
Colonel William H. Stiles-Warren Akin Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp, April 25, 2002.
“Sustaining the Army of Tennessee in the Fall of 1863,” Chattanooga Civil War Roundtable, Chattanooga, Tennessee, September 17, 2002.
“Colonel Joseph T. McConnell and the formation of the 39th Georgia,” Joseph T. McConnell Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp, Ringgold, Georgia, February 2003.
“Mid-War Regiments from Northwest Georgia,” Dalton Civil War Roundtable and Whitfield & Murray County Historical Society, Dalton, Georgia, April 15, 2004.
“Northwest Georgia Resistance and Guerilla Warfare,” Hampton Roads Civil War Round Table, Chesapeake, Virginia, February 24, 2011.
“Western Theater of Operations,” Stonewall Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp, Portsmouth, Virginia, March 29, 2011.
“Northwest Georgia Resistance and Guerilla Warfare,” Chattanooga Civil War Roundtable, Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 18, 2012.
Related Work Experience
Historian, Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, Missionary Ridge Historical Walking Tour, November 23, 2002, November 19, 2006, November 22, 2009, November 25, 2012
U.S. Army Staff Rides.
Chickamauga Campaign. July 1998
Cavalry Operations during the Chickamauga Campaign, May 1999
Cavalry Operations in East Tennessee in the Fall of 1863, October 1999
Moderator and Contributor to History-Sites.com since 2003.
Contributor to Ancestry.com’s Rootsweb Georgia and Tennessee Civil War Message Boards since 2000.
Numerous private ancestral tours of American Civil War battlefields in Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and East Tennessee ranks ranging from the private soldier to general officer.