My uncle, in the news again!
- Published: April 05, 2006
Retired Brigadier General receives honor for service
The Edmond Sun
EDMOND ��� When Dana D. Batey joined the Air Force straight out of Midwest City High School in 1951, little did he know he was embarking on a nearly 41-year career that would be punctuated with honors, awards, world travel and most importantly, he said, community service.
Edmond���s Retired Brigadier Gen. Batey was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Officers Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., where he is a 1959 graduate.
The Hall of Fame recognizes leadership excellence for both military service and civilian public service, and is the highest honor bestowed upon an OCS graduate.
Fellow members include the late Secretary of Defense Casper Weinburger, former Secretary of the Army John O. Marsh and former Sen. Robert Dole.
Despite the lofty company he now keeps, Batey is modest.
���When they called, I said, ���I think you���ve got the wrong guy.��� Then they asked if I was the Dana Batey, the aviator from Oklahoma. I said I was and they said they had the right guy,��� he said. ���It was humbling.���
Humble is what Batey is all about.
His ���playroom��� is full of awards that he calls ���attaboys.��� Among them are the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal and many others. He still contends, however, the times when he was able to help a fellow human being are among his proudest moments.
Batey was accepted in OCS after nine years of service as a non-commissioned officer in the Air Force. Batey���s six-month training there was two-fold. The first part of the training was to develop him as a combat leader and the second portion was designed to refine those skills.
���My primary goal was to complete flight training to become an Army aviator,��� he said.
His first commission was as a second lieutenant with the 45th Aviation Company of the 45th Infantry Division at Fort Rucker in Alabama. His home station was with the Oklahoma Military Department.
During the next 32 years, Batey���s military service took him on temporary duty missions to Okinawa, Thailand, India and South America, in addition to numerous assignments in the United States. During this time he amassed 16,000 flying hours.
One of his fondest memories is being awarded the Master Army Aviator Badge from the king and queen of Thailand.
Batey received the honor while in Bangkok training Thai military aviators to use night vision goggles.
Batey concluded his military career in 1991 as he helped prepare U.S. troops for Operation Desert Storm.
In between there were combat, promotions and awards.
���There was a little combat; nothing to brag about. I didn���t get a Purple Heart. I didn���t get the Medal of Honor,��� he said with a laugh. ���I did get a few medals, but nothing to brag about, either.���
He said one of his most memorable ���missions��� was when he was a young officer and he and his fellow officers worked with the Red Cross to distribute food to local needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Batey also recalled the time he and fellow soldiers helped farmers in Western Oklahoma rescue cattle that had been marooned by flooding following a storm.
���It���s the good Samaritan moments that are the most memorable,��� he said. ���Helping your fellow mankind. Not just with the troops, but with people.���
Retirement has not slowed the general down. ���People asked me, ���What are you going to do when you retire?��� and I said, ���Anything I want.������
And what he wants, he said, is to work with young people. He is the associate director of the statewide Youth Leadership Conference at Oklahoma Christian University that provides leadership courses for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. He also works with the Jr. ROTC and ROTC programs in Central Oklahoma.
He said the best part of returning to OCS was not the award, but seeing the young officers.
���They���re all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. They���re ready to take on the world,��� Batey said.
Batey and his wife, Lois, have made Edmond their home for 14 years.
���It���s a good place to live.���
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