SGM George J. Perry
- Sergeant Major George J. Perry began his military career in 1943 by enlisting in the U.S. Army. He attended Basic Combat Training at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas. He trained as a Medical Technician at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Hospital in Colorado. In late 1943, he was shipped to Camp Ellis, Illinois to await his next duty assignment. His new assignment took him to Kickatan, Virginia to a veterans Hospital to work as an Aidman and eventually working in the mess hall. Next, he was shipped to Newport News, Virginia and assigned to the USS Gideon Wells, a Liberty Ship and sailed to Excabier, Africa, a Submarine Base. Later, he sailed to Oran, Africa. As rumors and tension mounted about the invasioin of Sicily, his ship was completely unloaded and with him aboard, sailed to Hoboken, New Jersey. SGM Perry's next duty station was back to Kickatan, Virginia where he became Second Cook and promoted to E-4, then promoted to First Cook and E-5. In 1944, he shipped to Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia and promoted to Mess Sergeant where he served until being discharged in 1946 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Upon release from active duty, he was assigned as a Military Policeman in the Army Reserve in Manhattan, Kansas. An Army National Guard Armory was being constructed at St. Marys, Kansas and he was approached about the need for five people to start the unit there. He accepted the challenge and became the First Sergeant of the Headquarters Company, 174th Military Police Battalion. The unit also needed a Mess Sergeant and he was sent to the Advance Camp Mess Sergeant School where he became in instructor. In October 1951, he was mobilized and assigned to Fort Sheridan, Illinois and was selected as the new Sergeant Major. In 1952 the unit was released from active duty and sent home. At home he reverted to the First Sergeant and in 1954 was approached by the Company Commander to be the Administrative Supply and Maintenance Technician. He served in this capacity until his retirement. In 1968, he was mobilized again and served as the Sergeant Major for the Operations Section of the 69th Infantry Brigade at Fort Carson, Colorado during the Pueblo Crisis.
Some of the highlights of his career included maintaining over 100% authorized personnel strength and his units never received an unsatisfactory on his Annual General Inspections or Command Maintenance Management Inspections. SGM Perry was so dedicated to the National Guard that three of his seven children followed in is footsteps, all three now serving in the Kansas Army National Guard full time force.
Service to his community has always been a high priority of Sergeant Major Perry. He served as a Reserve Officer of the St. Marys Police Department for seven years, Fireman on the St Marys Fire Department for 16 years, Quartermaster/Founder of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and has been a very active member of the American Legion. He is also very active in the activities City of St. Marys, Kansas.
Serving for over 40 years in the military, Sergeant Major Perry is the epitome of a leader. He was inducted into the Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame on 7 November 1993.