Military Science and Leadership
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Lewman Jr.
Tom Lewman, born in Greensburg, Indiana in August 1942, attended Millersburg Military
Academy for his last two years of high school. His time spent at the academy peaked
his interest in the military that would last a lifetime. In the fall of 1960, Tom
entered Western Kentucky State College as an industrial arts major and became a Pershing
Rifle-man. He was already an expert in drill and ceremony from his time at Millersburg
Military Academy, and when in uni-form, he was the epitome of a military recruiting
poster. He served as the drill and ceremony team commander, was the Pershing Rifles
Company Commander, and ultimately served as the Cadet Brigade Commander. Tom was a
Distin-guished Military Graduate and commissioned into the Army in August 1964.
Tom volunteered for Active Duty immediately and was assigned to Fort Knox with A Company, 54th Infantry as a platoon leader. After his Infantry Officer’s training, Tom completed both the demanding Ranger Course and Airborne Course at Fort Benning. As was his nature, Tom wanted to go to the sound of the guns and the Department of the Army quickly accepted his offer to go into combat.
Tom’s first tour in September of 1966 took him to the 25th Infantry Division as a platoon leader. Shortly thereaf-ter, he was promoted to Captain and assumed command of A Company. Tom excelled while leading his soldiers in com-bat and received the Silver Star for gallantry in action. Captain Lewman’s company was the lead element of a battalion size airmobile assault. Upon landing, his unit came under intense and accurate small arms fire. After assessing the situa-tion, he sprang into action and led an assault against the enemy, killing two Viet Cong and routing the others. All the while, he exposed himself to enemy fire and directed artillery fire and air strikes in on the Viet Cong positions. He was a personal example to his soldiers of coolness under fire, personal bravery, and devotion to duty.
Tom volunteered at attend the Special Forces Officers’ Course at the JFK Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg. In September 1968, he was fully qualified Green Beret Soldier and assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam and became an A Team Detachment Commander at a camp in the Mekong Delta with indigenous Vietnamese forces. Captain Lewman volunteered to be inserted with a small rescue force to locate and rescue two American advisors. His battle buddy was wounded during the firefight and at great risk to himself, Captain Lewman saved his wounded comrade and carried him to a secure landing zone where he was medically evacuated. Their assault in the search area caused enough of a distraction to the enemy that they were able to return to their base camp relatively unscathed. He was award-ed the Bronze Star with V Device for the rescue operation. During both of his combat tours, he netted two additional Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, an Army Commendation Medal and five Air Medals, a Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Vietnamese Special Forces Jump Wings and numerous Vietnamese Gallantry and Civil Action Medals.
He went to Korea to command the 128 Assault Helicopter Company, returned to the United States to the 4th In-fantry Division as the S-3 and XO of the 1st Battalion and later commanded the 4th Aviation Company. He continued his military affiliation as a military analyst with the BDM Corporation performing collective training research for the US Army Research Institute. In the fall of 1982, Tom attended the AH-1 Fully Modernized Cobra Transition at Fort Rucker, Alabama, with a follow-on assignment as commander of the 503D Combat Aviation Battalion in Hannu, Germany. In addition to his combat medals, Tom also earned the Meritorious Service Medal with four OLC, the Army Commenda-tion Medal with OLC, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Silver Award, Senior Army Aviator Wings, Ranger Tab, Spe-cial Forces Tab, and Airborne Wings.