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Former cadets to join Military Hall of Fame

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

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Media Contact: Susan Slupecki

The Cadet Corps Alumni Chapter (CCAC) and the Department of Military Science at The University of Texas at Arlington will induct two new members into Military Science Hall of Honor at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, in the Rosebud Theatre, E.H. Hereford University Center, 300 W. First St. Honorees are Robert W. Irish and Col. (Ret) Thomas A. Schneider.

Irish entered The University of Texas at Arlington, then Arlington State College (ASC), in 1961. He was a member of the Pistol Team that defeated the U. S. Military Academy in 1962-63 and became the National Intercollegiate Pistol Champion. In the ASC Cadet Corps, he attained the rank of cadet major and served as the cadet battalion S3. He graduated in 1966 in mathematics, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Signal Corps, and was assigned to the Army Reserve.

In 1969, Irish graduated from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University with a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained a minister in the United Methodist Church. Following his graduation he was called to active duty for two years. He was then assigned to the 51st Signal Battalion in Korea, where he served as company commander of HHC and president of the Do Bong Orphanage until he was released from active duty in June 1971.

In 1972, Irish resigned his position in the church and entered the business world. During the next 34 years, he went from an electronic salesman to the head of several large companies. In 1985 he was asked to join the founding board at UT Arlington’s Automation and Robotics Research Institute, where he served until he retired in 1990.

In 2004, Irish was selected by the secretary of defense as one of 43 executives to tour military bases in Europe, the Mideast and Africa. In the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, he received high-level briefing on the latest efforts to combat terrorism in sensitive areas of the world.

In 2005, his business book, The Entrepreneur’s Compass, was published. Irish currently works with the Center for the Advanced Study and Practice of Evangelism at Southern Methodist University.

Col. Schneider graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets and performed with the Sam Houston Rifle Drill Team. He served as the team commander when they won the Texas State Championship in 1977. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps.

Upon completion of the Ordnance Officers Basic Course, Schneider began his career as chief of the Maintenance Evaluation at the Cold Regions Test Center, Fort Greely, Ark, and then went on to the 9th Infantry Division, where he served in various staff assignments and as commander of a Heavy Maintenance Company. The U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School was next, where he served as an instructor and executive officer to the Commanding General. He then served as an ordnance advisor in Saudi Arabia. Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, was the DISCOM support operations officer, DISCOM S3, and the executive officer, 4th Forward Support Battalion. He was assigned to Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa, to serve as chief in the Combat Service Support Assistance Division. His next assignment took him to Europe, where he served as the assistant chief of staff for logistics for the 21st TAACOM, and later as battalion commander of the 201st Forward Support Battalion. In 1998 he was assigned to Task Force Falcon/1st Infantry Division as the Division G4, where he planned, equipped, and prepared the Task Force for deployment to Kosovo. Promoted to colonel, his final assignment was that of commander, United Nations Command (Rear). He was the representative in Japan responsible for interacting with the government of Japan, U.S. forces in Japan, and the embassies of eight UNC member nations. He retired in August 2004.

Schneider’s awards and decorations include Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), Army Commendation Medal (5 awards), Army Achievement Medal (2 awards), and the Army Superior Unit Award. His service awards include National Defense Service Medal (2 awards), Southwest Asia Medal (3 Bronze Stars), Global War on Terrorism Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Army Service Medal, NATA Medal Bosnia/Tuzia, Kuwait Liberation Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal from the government of Saudi Arabia.

Upon retirement, he accepted a position as a senior logistics analyst working on the Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. In September 2005, Schneider moved to Kuwait to work for CSA Ltd, and he continues to serve there.

UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo is the guest speaker. A reception will follow the induction ceremony in the Palo Duro Lounge of the University Center. A Carlisle Cannon salute and toast to fallen comrades will follow the reception.

For more information, contact the Department of Military Science at (817) 272-3281.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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