Indiana University welcomes military leaders and combat veterans for 'Salute to Service'

  • Nov. 5, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs will host a delegation of high-ranking military leaders this week for a series of academic and ceremonial events, including festivities at the IU-Penn State football game.

The delegation will be honorary team captains and will preside over the coin toss just before the noon kick-off Saturday as part of an IU “Salute to Service” in conjunction with Veterans Day on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Brig. Gen. William K. Gayler, director of the Officer Personnel Management Directorate of the U.S. Army’s Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky., will be the special game day guest of IU President Michael A. McRobbie and will lead the group, which will include IU alumni who are combat veterans from all wars since World War II.

“To see these brave men and women, all fellow Hoosiers, on the field before the game will be truly inspirational to our team,” IU football coach Kevin Wilson said. “We’re counting on Hoosier Nation to give them a roaring welcome, and we’ll be cheering with you.”

The veterans and military leaders will join members of IU’s Reserve Officer Training Corps at the game and at social and educational events during the conference.

It will be a homecoming for Col. Jennifer Hisgen. A graduate of IU Kelley School of Business in 1985, Hisgen is now an attorney advisor for the Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox.

“I’m excited to be getting back to Bloomington and IU,” she said. “The IU ROTC Program played such a huge part in my life at school and later helped prepare me to serve as an officer in the Ordnance Branch and later on as a judge advocate. It was a strong program, great mentors, instructors, and the camaraderie with all the other cadets I have remembered all my life. And it is such a huge honor to be out in the field with all the other IU alum veterans, representing both Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

The Fort Knox delegation will arrive Friday for a day of discussions with IU students and SPEA faculty. One focus will be the future of the U.S. Army and the drawdown that may result in thousands of officers seeking career-enhancing opportunities such as advancement in education.

“We want to make sure these highly skilled, supremely disciplined men and women understand the value of an advanced degree in public policy and public affairs, whether they obtain it on campus or through our SPEA Connect online program,” said Michael Ogden, SPEA military and veteran liaison.

Gayler will provide remarks on the Army drawdown and leadership for about 80 IU ROTC cadets and other interested students, followed by a panel discussion of career opportunities.

“The relationship between IU and the military goes back for decades, and the Salute to Service at Memorial Stadium is an amazing opportunity to recognize those veterans who swore an oath to the Constitution in defense of this great nation,” Gayler said. “It is important to take a moment to recognize and honor those who have served our nation and defended its freedoms.

“As we approach Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the service of all men and women in Armed Forces, and we work to honor their commitment and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice on this occasion. It gives me great honor to serve alongside these great Americans.”

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Brig. Gen. William K. Gayler

Brig. Gen. William K. Gayler

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Jim Hanchett

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