FORT LEE, Va. – The Ordnance Corps unveiled a monument honoring the branch's fallen Soldiers Friday afternoon at Whittington Field.
It was the final step of a journey that started in 2010 when then Brig. Gen. Clark LeMasters, 36th Chief of Ordnance, had a vision to erect the memorial. His intent was to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the corps, which was May 14, 2012, and pay tribute to the Ordnance Soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the nation.
Even though it took longer than expected, LeMasters' vision became a reality through a multi-year Ordnance Corps Association fundraising effort that included generous corporate and individual donations.
The memorial’s design originated from an art competition the corps held amongst its students. LeMasters, a retired major general and guest speaker for the unveiling, recounted details about the competition.
Soldiers were asked if they would be interested in sketching a monument that would one day serve as an Ordnance Campus memorial to honor fallen Soldiers, LeMasters said. Five or six sketches were presented, but only one, submitted by a young female advanced individual training Soldier, really stood out.
LeMasters noted the memorial hardly changed from the original drawing to the actual statue.
Retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Robert Wurm, a member of the Ordnance Hall of Fame, also spoke at the unveiling and thanked all the patrons from across the country who contributed funds to make the memorial possible.
The ceremony was livestreamed on the official Ordnance Facebook page and concluded with members of the OC Association unveiling the memorial.