ETSU ROTC honors Hall of Fame class

Lt. Col. Scott Jeffress was among the latest class of inductees into ETSU’s ROTC Hall of Fame.

The U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at East Tennessee State University inducted five individuals into the Class of 2020 ROTC Hall of Fame during a recent ceremony.

The 2020 ceremony was rescheduled for this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photos of honorees will be displayed outside the Department of Military Science in Brooks Gym.

Those inducted into the 2020 ROTC Hall of Fame include:

• Capt. Alvin K. Broyles, Jr. (posthumous honor) – Capt. Broyles was born in Limestone in 1934. A 1952 graduate of Science Hill High School where he was a member of the Junior ROTC, Broyles attended East Tennessee State College and was an ROTC Cadet. Broyles entered the Army Reserves in 1954 as a Second Lieutenant and Armor Officer. Broyles was Washington County’s first service member to give his life in Vietnam. He was awarded the Silver Star, Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal, as well as the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. 

• Col. (Ret.) Michael Connolly – ETSU alum Col. (Ret.) Connolly commissioned from ETSU as an Air Defense Officer in 1980. In 1999, LTC Connolly was selected as one of the first 11 active-duty Army officers to serve in the newly created Functional Area 40 (FA40) Space Operations career field. Connolly was promoted to director, Army Space Personnel Development Office (ASPDO) in 2008, overseeing the development of more than 5,000 military and civilian Space Cadre members.  As a Department of the Army Civilian, Col. (ret.) Connolly was named the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Senior Civilian of the Year for 2010. He has also been awarded the Superior Civilian Service Medal among many other awards and decorations. 

Al Broyles was on hand to accept on behalf of his late father Capt. Alvin K. Broyles Jr., the first Washington County service member to give his life in Vietnam.

• Capt. Daniel E. Graybeal (posthumous honor) – Serving in the Army was a life-long dream of Graybeal. After graduation from Happy Valley High School in 1983, he enrolled at ETSU where, as a junior, he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant, and earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Military Science in 1987. He was called into action in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990, providing medical care for wounded American soldiers while under hostile fire. In 1991, Capt. Graybeal and his crew volunteered for an urgent medical mission to evacuate 12 wounded soldiers under hostile fire. Upon reaching the site, Graybeal’s aircraft was hit by enemy fire and crashed, claiming his life. Capt. Graybeal received several awards including the Purple Heart for wounds received in action in Southwest Asia and the Air Medal with “V” Device for Valorous acts while engaged in offensive combat operations.

• Dr. Nat Edens “Ed” Hyder, Jr. (posthumous honor) – Born in Hampton in 1929, Hyder would later graduate from Elizabethton High School in 1946 and attend Milligan College before joining the Army in 1947. In 1968, he volunteered with the American Medical Association to go to Vietnam as a civilian doctor. In 1975, he joined the Medical Corps in the U.S. Army Reserve and was promoted to colonel. He commanded the 912th Combat Support Hospital followed by the 332nd Medical Brigade where he led more than 150 Army Reserve Units. He also served as commander of the 377th Combat Support Hospital. He later joined the National Defense Force Service Command and served as Brigadier General, Major General and Lieutenant General. Hyder also held various positions at ETSU’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine, including acting director of Johnson City Family Practice Residency Program and assistant dean and director of medical education at Johnson City Medical Center.

• Lt. Col. Scott Jeffress – Lt. Col. Jeffress graduated from Dartmouth College in 1990 and was commissioned through the Army ROTC program as a Signal Corps (Communications) officer. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the School for Advanced Military Studies, having earned two master’s degrees in Military Arts and Sciences. During his 22-year career, Jeffress served in numerous command and staff roles throughout the United States, including Alaska, and in South Korea and Germany. In two assignments with the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), he deployed to Somalia in 1993 as part of Operation Restore Hope; and to Baghdad, Iraq in 2006-2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon return from Iraq, he and his family moved to Johnson City where he served as ETSU’s professor of Military Science, leading the ROTC Program until 2012, when he also retired from the Army. Since then, he has served as director of ETSU’s Roan Scholars Leadership Program and volunteers with numerous organizations, serving on the boards of various, local non-profits. Lt. Col. Jeffress and his wife, Barbara, have three children: Hannah, Colin and Julia.

Virginia Dugger, mother of the late Capt. Daniel E. Graybeal, who lost his life executing an urgent medical mission during Operation Desert Storm.

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