Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame gains two inductees (2024)

THE ARMY UNIVERSITY, FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kansas – Two new shadow boxes featuring the latest Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame inductees were unveiled May 9, 2024, during a ceremony at the Lewis and Clark Center on Fort Leavenworth.

Gen. William H. Simpson, 1925 distinguished graduate of Command and General Staff College, and Lt. Gen. John E. Miller, retired, former Deputy Commandant, CGSC were the newest members of the Hall of Fame.

Established in 1969 to honor military and civilian leaders who have served at Fort Leavenworth and made significant contributions to the reputation, tradition and history of the post and United States Armed Forces.

Lt. Gen. Milford H. Beagle, Jr., commanding general, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center explained induction into the Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame serves as a permanent reminder of each inductees’ leadership and dedication to the area and the Army.

“As you think about why we are here today I believe we can't find two greater Americans, Soldiers and leaders who have shaped our Army who forged the methods that we currently use to teach our future leaders,” he said.

Beagle highlighted how Simpson’s “extreme” dedication and intelligence created the notable impact on today’s Army. Despite never graduating high school, Simpson became a high-achieving West Point cadet and distinguished graduate of Command and General Staff College.

Simpson’s military service reflected leadership on battlefields of lesser-known battles of World War I, the Mexican Punitive Expedition, to infamous involvement in the Battle of the Bulge.

“General Simpson’s legacy would not be as a scholar, but that of a warrior,” Beagle said.

Simpson continued service after retiring from his decorated military career by playing a major role in the establishment of the Santa Rosa Childrens Hospital in Texas and The Association of the United States Army.

Writing a letter asking for assistance on a school project in 1969 with no intention of receiving a response, Col. Thomas Stone, retired, explained he not only received a response from Simpson but got 18 pages of details of battle knowledge, opening a door to information for Stone Simpson had previously refused to all others.

Stone was present to represent Simpson and his family.

“This agreement frankly changed my life, as I began to learn about command and so many other things at the feet of the master,” Stone said.

He detailed how Simpson’s stories of leadership influenced how he would advise leaders and even lead his own units.

Simpson, a honor graduate of CGSC Class 1925, understood the power of lessons learned in “the best year of a service member’s life”.

He was once quoted to have said, “Every once in awhile, you got down there and see some guy, a division commander, who looks like a genius, and you figure, hell, we’ve got another Napoleon. Then when you come to examine him more carefully you find out that all he’s doing is following the rules that they laid down in Leavenworth.”

Simpson’s military career began in 1909, retiring in 1946. Assignments during service included assistant division commander of 2nd Division, commander of the 35th Infantry Division (1941), 30th Infantry Division and XII Corps (1942), 4th Army (1943), and 9th Army (1943). He was promoted to general on the retired list for his role in World War II.

Like his fellow inductee, Miller was a CGSC student from the class of 1973.

Miller would go on to serve as the deputy commandant from 1989-1991, commandant 1993-1995, and is currently an active member of the college’s board of trustees where he’s held numerous positions.

Miller’s impact to Fort Leavenworth began during his first of three assignments in 1973.

“There is a lot of common ground between our two inductees today,” Beagle said. “Both are proven leaders and warriors. Both led Soldiers through periods of great transition. And both men continue to serve and make a huge impact on our Army even after their time in uniform came to an end.”

Beagle reflected on Miller’s impact to his career and life personally, even in just the 18 months they have known each other.

An infantry officer, Miller led units such as 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Advisory Team 68, Delta Regional Assistance Command, 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry, 4th Infantry Division with tours in Germany and two in Vietnam, where he was wounded.

His career spanned 34 years from 1941 to 1997, with his final assignment as the deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

“This is truly is an honor of a lifetime for me,” Miller said. “Being hung along the wall amongst all of my mentors. I’m overwhelmed…There must be a dozen or more people out there on that wall that own a piece of my success and my military career.”

Miller highlighted his career, explaining how his time at CGSC, first as a student then an instructor, changed his outlook on the Army.

“I still wanted to get back to troops, but I looked more deeply at our profession; what a professional leader should be,” he said. “Much of that change was brought about by the personal and professional friendships I developed with instructors and classmates.”

Those relationships included sponsoring several international students, one of which has been inducted into the CGSC International Hall of Fame.

Miller recalled when Gen. Creighton Abrahms spoke to his class, telling them their continued service should be fueled by not rapid promotion to general officer, but bettering the profession and personal growth.

The words helped shape and encourage Miller’s career, which included helping shape the Army’s way to fight during a time of constant battlefield changes.

“Change is a constant in our profession. School solutions that you are learning today are not the ones you will actually use in the field,” Miller advised the current CGSC students. “But the critical thinking methods to develop the school solutions are what you will use time and time again.”

Simpson and Miller join the more than 120 individuals currently in the Hall of Fame at the Lewis and Clark Center.

The full ceremony can be viewed at the following link:

Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame gains two inductees (2024)
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