Hillis, Charles, Sr., CSM

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Last Rank
Command Sergeant Major
Last Service Branch
Special Forces
Last Primary MOS
11Z-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.

   1952-1954, 1729, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team

Technical Sergeant
From Month/Year
September / 1952
To Month/Year
- / 1954
187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team Unit Page
Technical Sergeant
1729-Infantry Ammunition & Pioneer Platoon & Squad Sergeant
 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team Details

187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
Airborne Unit
Parent Unit
Cold War Units
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2011
My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
50 Members Also There at Same Time
187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team

Westmoreland, William Childs, GEN, (1932-1972) IN 1542 Brigadier General
Westmoreland, William Childs, GEN, (1936-1972) IN 1542 Colonel
Bank, Aaron, COL, (1938-1958) IN 1542 Lieutenant Colonel
Miley, Jr., William M., COL, (1942-1973) IN 1542 Major
Psaki, Jr., Nicholas, COL, (1941-1976) IN 1542 Captain
Richards, Theodore Stanley, CSM, (1942-1972) IN 1542 Captain
Speirs, Ronald C. (Sparky), LTC, (1942-1966) IN 1542 Captain
Baldwin, Daniel Lord III, COL, (1950-1980) IN 1542 First Lieutenant
Davis Sr., Fred E., SGM, (1942-1975) IN 1542 First Lieutenant
Buckley, William, 1SG, (1957-1979) IN 111.07 First Sergeant
Beckwith, Charles Robert, SGT, (1946-1955) IN 1745 Sergeant
Carter, Albert, CSM, (1948-1968) IN 11G50 Sergeant
Shumate, Walter Lee, SGM, (1952-1982) IN 1745 Sergeant
Meares, Cecil Abner, SFC, (1948-1967) IN 1745 Corporal
Harris, Robert Eugene, SFC, (1952-1972) IN 1745 Specialist 4
Plumley, Basil, CSM, (1942-1974) IN 1745 Master Sergeant
Wolfe, Robert Eugene, M/Sgt, (1942-1952) IN 1814 Master Sergeant
Alamo, Gabriel Ralph, MSG, (1940-1964) IN 1745 Technical Sergeant
Brown, Lewis E., CSM, (1943-1976) IN 1745 Technical Sergeant
Fenske, Bernard L., SGM, (1947-1969) IN 1745 Staff Sergeant
Galloway, Thomas, S/Sgt, (1951-1954) MP 4677 Staff Sergeant
Ruddy, Francis J, CSM, (1943-1975) IN 1745 Staff Sergeant
Card, William R., MAJ, (1948-1971) IN 1745 Sergeant
Manley, Jack Robert, CSM, (1950-1981) IN 1745 Sergeant
Newman, Bobby A., CW4, (1951-1985) IN 111.0 Sergeant
Rosser, Ronald, MSG, (1946-1968) IN 1607 Technician Fifth Grade
Bass, William Welton, SFC, (1949-1972) QM 060 Private First Class
Gray, Robert Allen, SGT, (1952-1965) IN 4745 Private First Class
Irby, Charles, SP 5, (1951-1960) QM 4620 Private First Class
Irby, Oneal, PFC, (1952-1955) IN 4745 Private First Class
Walton, Lewis C, SFC, (1952-1971) IN 4745 Private First Class
Waugh, William, SGM, (1948-1972) IN 4745 Private First Class
Webb, Shirley Ray, PFC, (1953-1953) IN 4812 Private First Class
Williams, Robert Lee, PFC, (1945-1953) IN 4745 Private First Class
Lombardi, Edward, SSG, (1953-1958) IN Staff Sergeant
Reynolds, Donald M., MSG, (1941-1963) IN Sergeant
Savoie, Lawrence, SGT, (1944-1955) Sergeant
Trapnell, Thomas John Hall, GEN, (1927-1962) Brigadier General
Labrozzi, Anthony Septembio, COL, (1946-1978) Second Lieutenant
Hussey, Sherman Junior, MSG, (1952-1968) Private First Class
Fick, Leroy Gilbert, SFC, (1950-1952) Technical Sergeant
Porter, Donn F., Sgt, (1951-1952) Sergeant
Button, Howard Earl, SFC, (1951-1968) Corporal
Eidson, Samuel Arlen, SSG, (1950-1965) Corporal
Hinson, Raymond, CPL, (1952-1955) Private First Class
674th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion (105mm)

Meadows, Richard (Dick), MAJ, (1947-1977) FA 1844 Master Sergeant
C Battery

Williams, Delmont, PFC FA 3844 Private First Class

Henry, Nelson Page, 1SG, (1949-1967) Sergeant
K Company

Cummings, Robert Roy, SFC, (1950-1953) IN 1745 Sergeant First Class
Wagenshutz, James J., PFC, (1953-1953) IN 4745 Private First Class

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