West Virginia State University ROTC Hall of Fame to Induct Two New Members

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
Oct. 6, 2015
West Virginia State University ROTC Hall of Fame to Induct Two New Members

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – Two new members will be added posthumously to the West Virginia State University (WVSU) ROTC Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony Friday, Oct. 9, at 11 a.m. in the auditorium of the Davis Fine Arts Building on the school’s Institute campus.

Joining the ranks of those enshrined in the ROTC Hall of Fame will be Captains Roland Belcher and George Coleman.

Belcher was a native of Red Jacket, W.Va., and a graduate of Magnolia High School. At WVSU he was captain of the varsity swim team, and an active member of ROTC. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1963.

Belcher initially served a tour of duty in Germany before being sent to Vietnam in 1967 with the 196th Infantry Brigade.  He became a company commander and was subsequently killed in action on Jan. 9, 1968, while leading his men in combat.  Belcher was survived by his wife, Deborah (now deceased), daughter, Pamela, and son, Roland.

Coleman was a native of Birmingham, Ala., who left high school in 1954 to enlist in the U.S. Army. After completing his military duties, Coleman enrolled in the Greene County Training School in Greene County, Ala., where he received his high school diploma in May 1958.

Coleman enrolled at WVSU in the fall of 1958 and majored in political science.   He played quarterback and defensive back on the Yellow Jacket football team for three years.  Because he wanted to resume a career in the military, Coleman enrolled in ROTC and received his commission in 1962.  

After serving in several stateside assignments, Coleman was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division and deployed to Vietnam in 1967.   He was killed in action in on May 13, 1968, while leading the defense of his outpost. Coleman was survived by his wife, the former Wanda Springs, son, George, and daughter, Gay.

Since its inception, the Yellow Jacket ROTC Battalion has commissioned over 900 men and women as Second Lieutenants in the United States Army as well as produced more General Officers than any other ROTC program of its size in the country. The Yellow Jacket Battalion includes cadets from Glenville State College, the University of Charleston and the West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

The ROTC Hall of Fame induction ceremony is part of Homecoming activities at WVSU, which will run Oct. 8-10. For more information, and a complete schedule of Homecoming events, visit http://connect.wvstateu.edu/homecoming or call (304) 766-3387.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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