Major General William E. Harmon (U.S. Army Retired) described Minnie Lou Casey as “the keeper of the standards” for Arkansas Tech U.S. Army ROTC during her three decades of service as the program’s administrative assistant.
On Saturday, Oct. 23, Casey was posthumously inducted into the Arkansas Tech University U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Honor under the Distinguished Cadre category.
Casey, who died Oct. 4, 2020, at the age of 94, is the first female inductee into the ATU U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Honor.
“I remember she handed me my DD Form 398, which is your statement of personal history,” said Harmon while accepting the award on Casey’s behalf. “She said, ‘Harmon, don’t you ever give this original away. You keep it, because you’re going to use it the rest of your career.’ I have that DD 398 filed behind me…the original.”
Harmon, a 1960 graduate of Arkansas Tech, explained that in Casey’s heyday the school’s ROTC program featured six full companies and 900 cadets. It was the largest student organization on campus. Casey was responsible for maintaining records on all 900 participants.
“I worked in the ROTC armory, in the basement of the Rock Dorm (Hughes Residence Hall), for three years,” said Harmon. “Sometimes Mrs. Casey was my big sister who gave me counsel. Sometimes she was my big sister setting me straight on some amateur stunt I had pulled, like starting the skydiving club. Sometimes she was my mother really jerking a knot in my tail. But she always had that ear-to-ear smile that was worth working for. I’ve always loved and respected her, as did everyone else, to include cadre. She was something else. When I came out on the brigadier generals list, she was the first person I called. I felt like I had measured up to her expectations.”
Stephen White, senior military science instructor at ATU, served as master of ceremonies for Casey’s induction ceremony. He recalled working alongside her in the mid-1980s when he was an on-campus Army recruiter.
“I’ve never met a more professional person who was the true definition of subject matter expert,” said White. “She knew how to fill out every military form, no matter how arcane, and demanded the same level of excellence she possessed from everyone who came through the doors of Williamson Hall.”
The ATU U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Honor was established in 2017. A list of past inductees and information about nominating individuals for induction is available at www.atu.edu/rotc/alumni.php.
Learn more about the ATU U.S. Army ROTC program at www.atu.edu/rotc.