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OTC honors Meyer with Hall of Fame induction

Email   Print   Share By Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
September 19, 2013 | News
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Mari Meyer, widow of retired Maj. Gen. Stew Meyer, embraces OTC commander Col. Scott Spellmon during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony of Maj. Gen. Meyer into the Tester’s Hall of Fame, Sept. 12 at West Fort Hood. The late general led the testing command from 1974-1977. Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
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Mari Meyer, widow of retired Maj. Gen. Stew Meyer, and OTC commander Col. Scott Spellmon hold a framed copy of the plaque of Maj. Gen. Stewart Meyer that now lines the OTC Hall of Fame at West Fort Hood, following the posthumous induction of the late general into the elite hall. Meyer led the testing command from 1974-1977. OTC
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Mari Meyer, widow of retired Maj. Gen. Stew Meyer, greets former Killeen Mayor Timothy Hancock during a reception Sept. 12 marking Meyer’s posthumous induction into the OTC Tester’s Hall of Fame at West Fort Hood. Meyer led OTC from 1974-1977. He passed away New Year’s Eve 2012. Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
Operational Test Command honored former testing commander retired Maj. Gen. Stewart Meyer Sept. 12 with a posthumous induction into the command’s Hall of Fame during a ceremony at OTC’s West Fort Hood headquarters building.

Since OTC’s first Hall of Fame induction ceremony in October 1994, 33 Soldiers and civilians have been “recognized for their commitment in putting the best possible equipment, systems into the hands of our Soldiers in the field,” Col. Scott Spellmon, commander, OTC, said. “Each year with this ceremony, we attempt to highlight the significant accomplishments of OTC by recognizing the contributions of our incredibly talented workforce.”

Meyer’s leadership during a critical time in the testing command’s history made him an obvious choice for induction into the Hall of Fame.

Meyer, who served with what is now OTC during the 1970s, led the command through a major transfer of authority, reorganization and name change from Modern Army Selected Systems Test, Evaluation and Review under Forces Command to Training and Doctrine Command’s Combined Arms Test Activity.

With the name and major command change, responsibilities in testing and evaluation also increased, including an immediate Division Restructuring Study of the 1st Cavalry Division into an air mobile division for the conflict in Vietnam.

Under Meyer’s leadership, the testing command refocused its efforts onto large-scale, combined-arms operations, Spellmon said.

Meyer’s widow, Mari, said the induction brought her a “cocktail of emotions” and she knew her late husband would appreciate the honor, especially since his time at OTC was among his most enjoyable assignments.

“This institution was very, very dear to him,” she said.

He loved seeing the fruits of the work of those around him, she added. His service and efforts were not about him, but about the team around him.

“In honoring Stew, not only do you honor him, but you also honor all of the men and women who stood by him, with him, representing, fighting, laughing, enjoying life, sharing with each other all of those things that come from wars and peacetime,” Mari said.

Meyer also was a decorated war hero with service in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, and was a recipient of the Silver Star medal.

Following his retirement from the Army, Meyer was a “distinguished civil leader, church leader, and elected official,” Spellmon said.

Meyer retired from the Army in 1979, after more than 36 years of service, and was an active public servant in Harker Heights following his retirement.

Meyer served as mayor of Harker Heights from 1993 until 1997 and is known for his efforts to modernize the city.

“During his tenure, he led the city council in passing new ordinances that would raise business standards, ushering in a key phase of the city’s growth,” Spellmon said, noting that Meyer is credited for building Harker Heights’ city library, a new city park and city hall.

After he left office, Meyer led a voting awareness campaign and served on the Fort Hood Retiree Council.

“Gen. Meyer was certainly a man for all seasons,” Spellmon said.

War hero, unpretentious commander and leader, dedicated mayor, thoughtful friend, straightforward, honest, genuine, and humble: those are the words those who knew him repeat when asked about Meyer, but one word is echoed by all, “Stew.”

“That’s how everyone knew him,” Former Harker Heights Mayor Ed Mullen said. “Everyone called him Stew.”

Mullen, who considered Meyer a close friend and mentor, gets emotional when talking about the man he calls Stew.

“We throw around the word hero a lot,” Mullen said. “Stew was an American hero.”

Ted Smith served on the Harker Heights city council during Meyer’s tenure as mayor.

“He was joyous to work for,” Smith said. “He made citizens feel their problems were important.”

Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin worked for Meyer at OTC, an experience he enjoyed.

“I enjoyed working with him, everyone did,” Corbin said. “He was an absolute hero, but you’d never know it.”
 
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