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Spotlight December 2017 – CW5(R) Frank Dyer

Frank Harold Dyer, Sr., at the age of 83 and a long-standing member of the Lord Fairfax “Silver” Chapter, United States Army Warrant Officers chapter transitioned peacefully on Tuesday, 14 March 2017.

Frank had an amazing and illustrious Army career. Frank was born in Valley View, TX to Lon & Cordelia Dyer.  He was the youngest of nine children and he has now joined his parents and all his siblings in Heaven. Frank was a legend in the Army’s nuclear weapon’s program. He was the first CW4 to be promoted to CW5 in the Army.

His military career spanned more than four decades as he enlisted in the Army National Guard in Oct 1952 (during the Korean War).  He entered the active Army as a draftee in Nov 1953.  His enlisted service included duties as a cook, field wireman, communications chief, and as a fire control computer operator.  Mr. Dyer received his appointment as a warrant officer in the Air Defense Artillery on 8 March 1957 at Fort Bliss, TX with concurrent orders to Germany.  With the phase out of radar controlled large caliber antiaircraft units and introduction of the Nike Missile Systems, he transitioned into an Ordnance nuclear weapons maintenance specialty in 1958.  Continuing in that career field, he was assigned at company, brigade, division, major command (MACOM), and the Dept of the Army (DA) staff levels as a nuclear weapon technical (NWT) inspector with the Forces Command (FORSCOM) and United States Army, Europe (USAREUR) Inspector General’s office.  As a NWT, Headquarters Company, 59 Ordnance Brigade, Pirmasens, Germany, he was responsible for the Army’s nuclear weapons in Europe and directed the planning, coordination & fielding with the DA Operational Safety Review of a major weapons system as well as the complete retirement of the NIKE Hercules system in both cases without incident. In his final assignment as a NWT, at U.S Army Nuclear and Chemical Agency, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, he was the only Army representative authorized to respond to the NMCC as technical expert for all nuclear weapons accidents and incidents.  Upon his retirement in August 1995, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his unparalleled commitment and expertise as the foremost technical authority on nuclear weapons and nuclear surety. He was inducted into the Ordnance Hall of Fame, Fort Lee Virginia in 1996. He served as a warrant officer for more than 37 years. He served 26 years in the grade of CW4 then CW5. When he finally retired at the mandatory age of 65, he had more that 43 years of active service. He served overseas (mostly in Europe) for 22 years. He first retired at 30 years of service and was immediately recalled to active duty- within minutes of his official retirement.

He retired and was recalled again at 33 years of service, 36 years of service, 39 years of service and 42 years finally retiring at age 65.

There were only two types of nuclear weapons that the US Army had in its inventory that Frank did not work on. Those were the Little Boy and the Fat Man. When he retired he was the most senior Warrant Officer in the US Army both by time-in-grade and time in service. As a farewell from the Army and the nuclear field, he received a personal letter of thanks from Dr. Edward Teller, the father of the thermos-nuclear weapon.

His other awards include the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, and the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters.

After retirement from the Army, Frank applied his formidable knowledge and expertise in nuclear ordnance serving as a consultant to the Office of Classification in the Department of Energy and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.  His expertise was particularly valuable to the DoE Classification Review Team at the National Archives where he served as a Senior Technical and Classification Review Official with Excalibur Associates for the DoE Office of Classification.

He was married to his hometown sweetheart, Jean Mitchell of Gainesville, TX for over.  He is survived by his wife and two children, CDR (ret) Frank Harold Dyer, Jr and his wife Birgit of Ewa, Beach, HI, and his daughter, Lorrin Cordell Dyer of Denver, CO.