George W. Dunaway
2nd Sergeant Major of the Army
George W. Dunaway, the second sergeant major of the Army, was sworn in on Sept. 1, 1968, and served until his term ended in September of 1970. He was born in Richmond, Va., on July 24, 1922.
After attending the Airborne Course in August 1943, Dunaway remained at Fort Benning, Ga., as an Airborne School Instructor until January 1945 when he joined the 517th Combat Team in France as a platoon sergeant. He returned to Fort Benning in December 1945 with assignment to the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment where he served as first sergeant of Company A. In March 1948, Dunaway was reassigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. There he became a member of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment as operations sergeant, ascending to the regimental sergeant major position in 1952.
In early 1954 he transferred to the 187th Regimental Combat Team as the combat team sergeant major. He continued in that position for seven years during which he saw the Airborne Regimental Combat Team renamed as the 187th Infantry, when the 101st Airborne Division was reactivated on Sept. 21, 1956, at Fort Campbell, Ky. Departing Fort Campbell in 1961, he took the reins of the 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces in United States Army Pacific and later moved to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam, where he remained until June 1967.
Returning to the United States, he re-joined the 101st Airborne Division as it prepared to move to Vietnam in the largest unit deployment by air in the history of the Vietnam war. Dunaway arrived in Vietnam with the Commanding General's Command Group on Dec. 13, 1967. In February 1968, he moved to Camp Eagle in the I Corps Tactical Zone with the Division where he remained until July 1968 when he was selected as the second sergeant major of the Army.
Dunaway's awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal (with "V" Device), Purple Heart, Air Medal (with "V" Device), Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Good Conduct Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnamese Armed Forces Honor Medal, Second Class, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (with Silver Star), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge with Star.