Jeffrey L. Wishik
LT Wishik was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism on 18 and 19 March 1968 near Phouc Vinh , Vietnam while serving as an Infantry rifle platoon leader with Delta Company, 3rd Bn 187th ABN Inf (Rakkasan), 101st Airborne Division. First Lieutenant Wishik distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 18 and 19 March 1968, as a platoon leader during a reconnaissance-in-force mission conducted by his company and an attached reconnaissance platoon near Phuoc Vinh. The combined American forces engaged an estimated reinforced battalion of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army regulars. The fierce enemy onslaught of small arm, automatic weapon, claymore mine, and grenade fire inflicted heavy casualties on the point platoon, including the platoon leader. Charging through the storm of bullets, Lieutenant Wishik took command of the stricken lead element. While exposed to the hostile fire, he positioned the men and carried the wounded back to the defensive perimeter. Receiving the order to pull back, he directed an orderly withdrawal, and then began to lead a scouting party to secure a trail to a landing zone where the casualties could be evacuated. As they made their way to the site, the communists exploded a command detonated mine, injuring three members of the party and killing the others. As he staggered to his feet, bleeding profusely from multiple fragmentation wounds, Lieutenant Wishik was assaulted by six screaming enemy soldiers. Dropping to one knee, he switched his rifle to full automatic and shot the assailants with one long burst. Through the remainder of the long night the three survivors feigned death to avoid capture by hostile troops who passed within inches of their position. Just before dawn and shortly before they were rescued, a lone North Vietnamese Army regular came upon them. After rifling Lieutenant Wishik's body to obtain "C" rations, the soldier turned him over, sat on him and began to eat his food. With his last bit of strength, Lieutenant Wishik drew his survival knife and slit the throat of the intruder.
LT Wishik was born in Montgomery, AL in 1946. He attended Morningview and Bear Elementary Schools, Cloverdale Junior High School, and one year at Sidney Lanier High School before transitioning to Marion Military Institute in his junior year. He completed high school at MMI in 1964 and Junior College in 1966. During those years he played basketball, high school and college golf, drilled with the White Knights and was a member of the Morgan’s Raiders. In 1966 following graduation with an Associate of Science Degree, he accepted a golf scholarship to Mississippi State University. In Oct of 1966 he received an offer from the Department of the Army for early commissioning followed by active duty. On 1 November he was commissioned an Army 2LT in the Infantry. He was the first early commissioned cadet of Marion Institute – a program which is still active today. In January of 1967 he reported to Ft. Benning, Ga for the Infantry Officers Basic Course, Ranger School and Airborne School. Following Fort Benning he was assigned to Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division. His assignments there included platoon leader, Alpha Company 3rd Bn, 187th and S-3 Air, 3rd Bn 187th. He continued in the S-3 Air role through the units’ deployment to Vietnam. Shortly after arriving in country he joined Delta Co, 3rd Bn 187th. Following the action on 18-19 March, 1LT Wishik was medically evacuated through the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Long Binh, RVN to the 106 General Hospital in Japan. After three additional weeks of medical treatment and recovery he was further evacuated to the states and Ft. Gordon , Ga. It was deemed that his recovery would require an extended period so he was transferred to the Air Force Hospital, Maxwell AFB for follow-on treatment and recovery. Some four to five months later LT Wishik returned to limited duty at Ft. Rucker , AL. In June 1969 he entered flight school at Fort Wolters, TX and completed flight training at Hunter Army Airfield, GA. Following Chinook transition at Fort Ruck, AL he returned to Vietnam and was assigned to the 271st Aviation Company, Innkeepers. Upon completion of his second tour in Vietnam, he returned to the states to complete his bachelor’s degree at the University of West Florida. Following degree completion, he was assigned to Fort Sill for the Prefix 5 course and Field Artillery Officers Advanced Course. He completed the FA Advanced Course as an Infantryman and immediately branch transferred to the Field Artillery. As a Captain, his first Artillery assignment was to the 1st Calvary Division, Ft Hood, 1st 82st FA. He held positions of S-1 and 155 Self Propelled Howitzer Battery Command. Upon completion of command he was assigned to the Aviation Test Directorate, West Fort Hood. In 1976 he left Ft Hood for graduate school at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, in anticipation of assuming an assistant professorship in the Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership, United States Military Academy. Upon completion of his graduate degree he attended the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. In 1978 he joined the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership where he taught General Psychology and Counseling. In 1981, following the Pershing Officer Course at Fort Sill, OK , Maj Wishik received orders to the 56FA Command, 1st 81st FA, Neu Ulm, Germany. He served as the S-1 and the Charlie Battery Commander until 1984 when he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and transferred to Heidelberg, FRG to become the Director of Personnel and Community Activities. In 1985 LTC Wishik returned stateside to assume Command of the only Conus based Pershing Battalion in the US Forces. In 1987 he relinquished command to become the TRADOC Systems Manager for Pershing. In 1988 LTC WishiK and his family retired to Orlando, Fl and joined Martin Marietta.
LTC (Ret) Wishik’s Awards and Decorations include Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal w/ OLC, Air Medal w/ 18 numeral, Army Commendation Medal w/OLC, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/ one silver star and one bronze star, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon w/ Num 1, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Aviator Badge, Airborne Wings and The Ancient Order of Saint Barbara.