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View a eulogy for Richard Allen Chilcoat, USMA '64, who passed away on March 16, 2010.

Richard Allen Chilcoat

West Point, 1964

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Jim McCormack on March 31, 2010:

THE CHILCOAT OF ARMY LEGEND is glorious: Wonderful stories will be told for years to come. We, his classmates are better for having known him.

PREP SCHOOL: The Chilcoat of Army legend began in 1960 at the Ft. Belvoir Prep school. A winning smile and strong wit quickly brought him popularity among the Cadet Candidates. He achieved top grades with little effort, and showed strong athletic talent on the basketball and tennis courts. He led our basketball team to glory in a great season. In brief, he was absolutely well rounded and destined to attend West Point.

Always able to live without sleep, Dick had an active, off post, night life. As one of the few among us with a car at Prep School, he knew all the navigable, dirt roads and trails that avoided the gates and MP posts. After curfew on weekday nights, Dick was deft at running these back roads without headlights. He always had plenty of company as he sought a few hours of freedom "down range." After he met Dixie, the Commonwealth Avenue apartment she shared with several roommates in Alexandria became a late hour refuge for Dick and his entourage.

WEST POINT: At West Point, the legend continued to build. While academics continued to be under control, Dick excelled athletically. More than one coach was disappointed when he decided to single sport his contributions to Basketball. Ever popular, he was selected as the IV Class Honor Council Rep, and as new Yearlings we elected him to be President of our class. During Yearling and Cow years he grew in stature on Campus, and by Firstie Year he was The Man, our First Captain. With his cadet career concluded he and Dixie were married, and together they went out into the Army world where they accomplished great things.

VIETNAM: I was with Dick in flight school, and later in Vietnam we served together in an aviation unit. I recall one flight we had together where a cockpit fire sprung up. While I was totally panicked and pinching a hole in my drawers, Dick was calmly shutting down our electrical system. That killed the fire and I was able to return to a safe airfield to land without incident. Dick filled out the inevitable report, which I only saw several months later. Of course Dick claimed that I had saved the day. What a crock!

CHILCOAT OF ARMY: Dick's Army career is well chronicled. As an Infantry soldier he served with great distinction. As a general officer he was called upon to look after the Army War College and then the National Defense University. His service in those posts was so outstanding that Former President, George HW Bush personally called Dick and requested he become the first Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Administration at Texas A&M. Dick accepted and remained for nine years until illness forced him to quit. Dixie brought him home and lovingly cared for him to the end.

He is missed.

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