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Franklin F. Wise


5 Legions of Merit

Born in Little Rock, AR, Franklin F. Wise graduated from Fuller High School in Sweet Home, Arkansas. He graduated in 1965 as a Distinguished Military Graduate from ROTC at Arkansas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, Adjutant General Corps, but was Branch Detailed Infantry for service in Vietnam.

On 12-13 November, 1966, serving as a weapons platoon leader in Company C, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, Lieutenant Wise’s company was ordered to defend the battalion forward support base.  The base was attacked by a hostile force estimated to be a reinforced enemy battalion with regimental artillery and mortar support.  As the attack commenced, Lieutenant Wise moved from mortar position to mortar position checking and directing the fire of his men.  Upon being informed of the commander’s absence, he unhesitatingly assumed command of the company and directed the defense of the company perimeter.  Although wounded, he refused medical treatment and personally adjusted friendly artillery and mortar fire and provided much needed surveillance for aircraft flying in the support of the company.  Lieutenant Wise supervised the care and evacuation of the wounded to a position that afforded them greater safety.  His calm and decisive leadership in the intense enemy fire was a deciding factor in the successful defense of the company perimeter.  His outstanding display of aggressiveness, devotion to duty, and personal bravery contributed to the successful defense of the battalion support base, evacuation of the wounded, and likely saved countless lives.

Following his two year detail as an Infantry officer, Colonel Wise reverted back to his basic branch, Adjutant Generals Corps where for the next 28 years he held command positions at company, battalion, and brigade levels.  After attending the Naval War College 1983-1984, Colonel Wise’s career included service in significant positions of responsibility. He served four years on the staff of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, HQDA, and three years as the Chief of Staff, US Army Personnel Command, in Alexandria, VA. Colonel Wise culminated his 30 years of Army Service as the Installation Commander at Fort Story, Virginia.  In addition to two Bronze Stars, one for Valor, Colonel Wise received the Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, five Legions of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals and three Army Commendation Medals. COL Wise and his wife Jeanne of 48 years have retired in Basye, Virginia, and they have three children: daughter Jeanine and sons John and Robert, and they have six grandchildren.