Hillis, Charles, Sr., CSM

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Last Rank
Command Sergeant Major
Last Service Branch
Special Forces
Last Primary MOS
11Z50-Infantry Senior Sergeant
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1978-1978, 00Z, Army Garrison Fort Dix, NJ
Service Years
1948 - 1978
Foreign Language(s)
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate
Order of the Spur
Golden Dragon Certificate

Special Forces

Command Sergeant Major

Ten Service Stripes

Twelve Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SP 4 Richard Bradley to remember Hillis, Charles, Sr., CSM.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
West Melbourne, Florida

Date of Passing
Dec 07, 2009
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Department of the Army Military Intelligence Infantry Shoulder Cord Army Staff Identification US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

Drill Sergeant Badge Drill Sergeant Campaign Hat (Male) United Nations Command Joint Security Area (Korean) 101st Airbone Division

Civil Affairs And Psychological Operations 1st Cavalry Division 24th Infantry Division Special Forces Group

 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne Combat Advisor Army Honorable Discharge (1984-Present) Cold War Medal

Order of The Spur

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
After retirement Charles attended the Morris College of Business in Melbourne, Florida, and operated a small business until returning to McMinnville in 1982, where he owned and operated a computer training facility.  In May, 2008, he moved to Melbourne, Florida where he died at home on December 7, 2009.

Charles was preceded in death by his mother, Florence Bain Hillis, his father, Linzie Hillis, and four brothers J.L. Hillis, Earl Hillis, Bill Hillis, and Barry Hillis.

He is survived by his former wife and mother of his children, Shirley F. (Wiggins) Windham of Melbourne, Florida, and their three children, Charles R. Hillis, Jr. of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Brenda F. Cornman and husband Ron of West Melbourne, FL, and Cynthis H. Wheeler and husband Keith of Lake Mills, WI.  Charles had six grandchildren, Aimee and Ryan Cornman of West Melbourne, FL,  Sophie Carver of Greenfield, WI, Matthew Wheeler of Madison, WI, Chase Wheeler of Mountain, WI, and Vanessa Wheeler of Boston, MA.  He is also survived by three Great-Grandchildren Jayden K. Carver, Madeline E. Carver, and Kyla N. Gress.  Charles is also survived by his brother Eddie Hillis and wife Sharon and sisters Marsha Hillis and Linda Durjham and husband Terry.   
Other Comments:
McMinnville Funeral Home, Locally & Family Owned

Charles Ray Hillis, Sr.
(March 26, 1933 - December 7, 2009)

Mr. Charles Ray Hillis, Sr. Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army, Special Forces, (Retired), age 76 of West Melbourne, Florida (Formerly of McMinnville, TN) died Monday, December 07, 2009.  He was born on March 26, 1933, in Campaign, TN, to the parents of Linzie and Florence Bain Hillis.  Due to complications during live birth, he was named in honor of Dr. Charles M. Clark who was the attending home physician.

He attended the Warren County School System prior to entering the U.S. Army in August 1948 (at 15 years of age) and completed basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina in November 1948.  Upon completion of basic, he was assigned to occupation duty with the 24th Infantry Division in southern Japan.  There he attained the rank of Corporal and was selected to receive International Morse Code Training.  He served as high speed radio operator until he was discharged as a minor in October 1949.  Reenlisting in the Army in March 1950 (Apparently after his 17th birthday and parents signatures), and volunteered for parachutist and glider training at Fort Benning, Georgia, graduating in June 1950.  He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  While serving in the 82nd Airborne, he received his high school equivalency and then received more specialized training in the fields of communications and combat intelligence, and was elected to attend the advance Non-Commissioned Officers Course at Fort Benning, Georgia.  Graduating in December 1951, he was further reassigned for duty with the 2nd Battalion, 187th (Airborne) Regimental Combat Team in Korea.  While engaged in hand-to-hand combat during the prison riots on Koeji Do Island in May 1952, he was seriously injured and was evacuated to a hospital in Japan.  Upon recovery and a short leave, he again volunteered to return to his Regiment in Korea, where he served as a Platoon Sergeant on the front line until the war ended.  After the Korean war, he served as Jump School Instructor, Path Finder Platoon Sergeant and First Sergeant with the 11th Airborne Division and the famed 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, until he volunteered for Special Forces Training in 1958.  He served with the First Special Forces Group stationed on Okinawa until December 1961.  While stationed on Okinawa, he studied the Thai and Laotian languages and received specialized training from the Central Intelligence Agency.   He participated in off-island operational exercises in Korea, Phillippines, Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan and served on operational guerrilla warfare teams in Laos and South Vietnam.  During the period 1961-1962, he served with the Joint United States Advisory Group in Thailand as Ranger Advisor to the Royal Thailand Army Ranger Battalion in Lophuri, Thailand.  Returning to the 1st Special Forces Group on the Island of Okinawa, he served as a Company First Sergeant until his return to the United States.  From September 1964 to August 1966, he served as Company First Sergeant at the Armor Training Center at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  Returning to Vietnam in August of 1966, he served two tours of duty with the 2nd Battalion, (Airborne) 12th Cavalry, 1st Airmobile Division (1st Cav Div).  His company particiapated in more than seventy-five Combat Air Assaults and was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for a singular combat operation.  On his second tour, he was seriously wounded in combat and reassigned to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he served for four years.  At West Point, he served on the staff of the Superintendent and was a Cadet Instructor.  He attended Orange County Community College and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major shortly after his arrival on the base.  After completing his tour at West Point, he was reassigned to duty as a Non-Commissioned-In-Charge (NCOIC) of the U.S. Army Instructor Group at Valley Forge Military Junior College at Wayne, Pennsylvania.  There he taught Tactics and Communications, and also served as a Tactical Officer until being reassigned for duty with the Joint United Nations Headquarters in Seoul, Korea.  There he served on the Joint Staff under the command of General Richard Stillwell, Commander-In-Chief, United Nations Forces, until returning to the United States in 1976.  During the 1976-1978, he served as Non-Commissioned-Officer-In-Charge (NCOIC) of the U.S. Army Instructor Group at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and was honorably discharged at Fort Dix, New Jersey in August 1978, where he received the coveted Legion of Merit for Distinguished service.

 Besides the above listed awards, Charles Hillis also recieved the Nationalist Chinese Parachutist Badge and the Royal Thai Army Parachutist Badge and Fourtagere.

   1962-1963, 00D, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)

Sergeant Major
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1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Unit Page
Sergeant Major
00D-Special Duty Assignment
 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Details

1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Constituted 5 July 1942 in the Army of the United States as the 2d Company, 1st Battalion, First Regiment, 1st Special Service Force, a combined Canadian-American organization Activated 9 July 1942 at Fort William Henry Harrison, Montana Disbanded 6 January 1945 in France Reconstituted 15 April 1960 in the Regular Army; concurrently consolidated with Company B, 1st Ranger Infantry Battalion (activated 19 June 1942), and consolidated unit redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Consolidated 30 September 1960 with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Forces Group (constituted 14 June 1957 in the Regular Army and activated 24 June 1957 in Japan), and consolidated unit designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces (organic units concurrently constituted and activated 4 October 1960) Group inactivated 30 June 1974 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina Activated 1 September 1984 at Fort Lewis, Washington (Former Company B, 1st Ranger Infantry Battalion, withdrawn 3 February 1986, consolidated with Company N, 75th Infantry, and consolidated unit redesignated as Company N, 75th Ranger Regiment , hereafter separate lineage) Redesignated 1 October 2005 as the 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Regiment CAMPAIGN PARTICIPATION CREDIT World War II *Aleutian Islands *Naples-Foggia *Anzio *Rome-Arno *Southern France (with arrowhead) *Rhineland 1st Special Forces Battalion additionally entitled to: War on Terrorism Global War on Terrorism 2d Special Forces Battalion additionally entitled to: War on Terrorism Campaigns to be determined DECORATIONS *Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered PACIFIC AREA 1972-1973 *Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered ASIA 2002 *Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered JULY-AUGUST 1972 Company C, 1st Special Forces Battalion, additionally entitled to: Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN IRAQ 2007 Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered CENTRAL IRAQ 2008-2009 Company C, 2d Special Forces Battalion, additionally entitled to: Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN IRAQ 2007
Ground Unit
Parent Unit
Special Forces Units
Created/Owned By
SF Cooper, Mark E, MAJ 46

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2011
My Photos For This Unit
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75 Members Also There at Same Time
1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)

Kiernan, Thomas, COL, (1960-1989) JA 27A Colonel
Burns, Hugh, LTC, (1946-1969) IN 1542 Major
De la Pena, Miquel, LTC, (1942-1967) MI 9300 Major
Firth, John G., LTC, (1944-1970) IN 1542 Major
Brodt, James Henry, CPT, (1955-1963) IN 11A Captain
Cordell, Terry Denver, CPT, (1957-1962) IN 11A Captain
Dexter, Herbert John, MAJ, (1949-1965) IN 1542 Captain
Durrwachter, Herman Karl, CPT, (1947-1962) IN 1542 Captain
Sylvester, Bill, MAJ, (1962-1985) IN 1542 Captain
Towery, Herman Turner, CPT, (1953-1964) IN 1542 Captain
Terry, Frederick Garside, MAJ, (1960-1968) IN 1542 First Lieutenant
Payne, Paul Charles, SGM, (1943-1967) IN 11Z50 Sergeant Major
Brown, Lewis E., CSM, (1943-1976) IN 11Z50 Master Sergeant
Hendricks, Gilbert, SGM, (1948-1968) IN 11F10 Master Sergeant
Reynolds, Donald M., MSG, (1941-1963) QM 1620 Master Sergeant
Williamson, Fred R, MSG, (1948-1968) IN 11F40 Master Sergeant
Alvarado, Jose, SFC, (1962-1965) IN 112.10 Sergeant First Class
Benzel, Richard Dale, SFC, (1950-1962) EN 12B10 Sergeant First Class
Brockman, Verndean Arthur, SFC, (1952-1963) IN 11B10 Sergeant First Class
Combs, Alfred Henry, SFC, (1951-1965) IN 11B10 Sergeant First Class
Everhart, William Joseph, SFC, (1949-1963) IN 11F10 Sergeant First Class
Gray, Jesse Alexander, SFC, (1948-1964) IN 11F10 Sergeant First Class
Manley, Jack Robert, CSM, (1950-1981) IN 11B10 Sergeant First Class
Newman, Bobby A., CW4, (1951-1985) IN 11F40 Sergeant First Class
Sansone, Dominick, SFC, (1950-1964) IN 11B10 Sergeant First Class
Shumate, Walter Lee, SGM, (1952-1982) IN 11B20 Sergeant First Class
West, Donald Frederick, SGM, (1947-1971) IN 11B10 Sergeant First Class
Lied, John, SFC, (1952-1975) SC 05B10 Staff Sergeant
MacDougall, Edward H., MSG, (1943-1973) IN 11B10 Staff Sergeant
McKitrick, Michael, SSG, (1961-1974) MD 91B10 Staff Sergeant
Plank, Gerald Allen, SFC, (1966-1975) IN 11B10 Staff Sergeant
Slaughter, Charles Kenneth, SGM, (1955-1976) IN 11C20 Staff Sergeant
Alderman, Joe, MSG, (1958-1980) IN 11B20 Sergeant
Anson, James, SGT, (1959-1968) SC 1766 Sergeant
Britton, Fred, LTC, (1961-1989) SC 05B Sergeant
Britton, Fred, LTC, (1961-1989) SC 051 Sergeant
Brown, Earl Frederick, SSG, (1958-1966) EN 12B10 Sergeant
Green, Donald, MAJ, (1961-1992) SC 05B Sergeant
Kendra, John, SSG, (1961-1966) SC 05B Sergeant
Pace, Giles, SSG, (1961-1972) IN 111.10 Sergeant
Stevens, Lowell Wesley, Sr., MSG, (1959-1980) IN 112.10 Sergeant
Bonner, Jack Lee, 1SG, (1953-1974) IN 11B10 Corporal
Bass, William Welton, SFC, (1949-1972) MD 91S Specialist 5
Cross, Glenn, SP 5, (1962-1964) MD 91B10 Specialist 5
Evans, Robert L., SP 5, (1954-1964) MD 91A Specialist 5
Gabriel, James, SP 5, (1958-1962) IN 11C20 Specialist 5
Smith, Billy Morrison, SP 5, (1958-1964) MD 91B10 Specialist 5
Hadley, Gerald, SP 4, (1961-1964) MD 91A Specialist 4
Moran, Jim, SP 4, (1962-1964) MI 05D4S Specialist 4
Pudney, Don, SP 4, (1963-1965) SC 05B Specialist 4
Tenca, David, PFC, (1963-1966) SC 1646 Private First Class
Herrlein, Wesley, LTC, (1950-1971) IN Major
Brick, Sherman, SFC, (1977-1997) Staff Sergeant
Marchand, Wayne Ellsworth, SSG, (1950-1962) Staff Sergeant
Waugh, William, SGM, (1948-1972) Staff Sergeant
Beckwith, Charles Alvin, COL, (1952-1981) Major
Carter, Sherwood, Sr., LTC, (1942-1967) Major
Williams, Lavester Lee, CPT, (1954-1963) Captain

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