US Army Cadet Command has selected University of Texas Arlington alumni Major General Will Latham, Ret. and Judge Donald J. Stevenson for the Army ROTC Hall of Fame. The US Army created the Hall of Fame this year in honor of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)’s 100th anniversary.
Selecting those to be honored by inclusion in the ROTC Hall of Fame was no simple task. The academic institutions that partner with Army ROTC played a key role in the nomination process. UTA President Vistasp Karbhari nominated the two with input from the UTA Cadet Corps Alumni Association. The careers and accomplishments of each nominee were scrutinized to ensure their achievements fully merited this honor.
“My selection to the ROTC Hall of Fame was a surprise,” said Judge Stevenson. “I can only serve as a representative of the many citizen soldiers, men and women, who went through the ROTC program and have enjoyed equal or greater careers.”
The inaugural ceremony was on June 10th at Fort Knox, where the Hall of Fame will be located. There are 273 Army ROTC programs around the US, so the selection of Major General Latham and Judge Stevenson reflects well on their individual achievements, and on UTA’s ROTC program.
“I am humbled to contemplate representing the many exceptional officers and leaders from UTA who have served this country,” said Stevenson. “The college ROTC experience taught me the value of researching and analyzing information, drafting comprehensive plans, and communicating those plans to my superiors, my colleagues, and to my subordinates.”
Stevenson spent four years active duty, then two years inactive reserve. “The ability to read, write and communicate is invaluable in the military and in everyday life. Having a liberal arts degree caused me to be assigned to assist legal officers in the Army; which in turn, led me to a legal career.”
Following his military service, Stevenson’s legal career includes being an associate lawyer, partner in a private practice law firm, corporate secretary and assistant general counsel of a publicly traded corporation in Dallas, and municipal judge for the City of Coppell and Dalworthington Gardens. He is now in his 20th year as the Chief Municipal Judge for the City of Plano and 44th year as a municipal judge.
UTA’s ROTC has produced 20 general officers and almost 2,000 other officers who have used their training and education to mold successful personal, business and professional careers.
Major General Will Latham spent 35 years in US Army service and credits his time spent in ROTC at UTA (formerly North Texas Agricultural College) as being highly influential in his military career.
“I grew up as a farm boy in East Texas. My tutelage under Colonel Edgar Keltner taught me what it means to be a leader during a transformational time in my life,” said Latham. “He gave me the confidence to stand before a Board of Army Officers and be chosen as one the first ever UTA ROTC to be commissioned as an Army 2nd Lieutenant.”
One of Latham’s most memorable career accomplishments was spent at the 197th Brigade at Fort Benning from 1970-1972. “I was promoted to Brigadier General of the Volunteer Army and received a rare call from the Army Chief of Staff,” said Latham. “He congratulated me in leading the first- ever volunteer Army and appointed me to write a book about how I made it successful.” Latham later published The Modern Volunteer Army Program: The Benning Experiment, 1970-1972. (.pdf may be downloaded here).
Latham retired with a ranking of Major General in the US Army, then spent 15 years at the Dallas Council of Affairs. He was an assistant professor of military science at UTA (formerly Arlington State College) for 3 years and served as an adjunct professor of military science at Dallas Baptist University and University of North Texas.
The UTA ROTC department plans a local ceremony to celebrate the selection of Major General Latham and Judge Stevenson in the upcoming academic year.