Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Dennis J. Reimer, United States Army (Retired), received the Rogers State University Constitution Award during a Nov. 9 ceremony and luncheon on the Claremore campus.
Each fall since 1987, RSU has presented the Constitution Award to an Oklahoman who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution through his or her life’s work. The RSU Constitution Award was established in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.
The highest ranking military officer born in Oklahoma, General Reimer grew up in Medford, Oklahoma. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1962 and was commissioned in the Field Artillery. He earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg State College and held numerous command and staff positions during his 37 years of active service.
In accepting the award, General Reimer discussed the importance of that governing document to the military services, where enlisted men and officers alike swear an oath to protect the Constitution. He noted that the military is governed by an important set of checks and balances as outlined in the Constitution, including a civilian commander in chief and Congressional power to declare ware, raise and support an Army and establishing rules to regular land and naval forces.
General Reimer participated in a question-and-answer session at the conclusion of the event, addressing issues of historical and current events.
Attending the ceremony were students from area high schools, including Claremore, Catoosa, Chelsea, Foyil, Owasso and Verdigris. Members of RSU’s Honors Program, President’s Leadership Class and the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s Guard Officer Leadership Development (GOLD) program at RSU attended the luncheon. Their participation was sponsored through the generosity of the event sponsors.
During a distinguished military career, General Reimer served a Battalion Advisor with Military Assistance Command in Vietnam; Company Commander with the U.S. Army Training Center at Fort Benning, Georgia; Battalion Executive Officer and Operations Officer in the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam; Battalion Commander in the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado and Commander of Division Artillery with the 8th Infantry Division in Germany. He also served as Chief of Staff of the 8th Infantry Division; Commanding General of the 4th Infantry Division; U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans; U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff and Commanding General, Forces Command. In June 1995, General Reimer became the 33rd Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army serving in that capacity until his retirement from active duty in 1999.
Following his military service, he was named the first Director of the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism based in Oklahoma City. In 2005, Reimer became the President of DFI Government Services in Washington, D.C. He retired from that position in 2009.
He also served as the keynote speaker in 2011 when the Oklahoma Military Academy Alumni Association dedicated the OMA Killed in Action Memorial on the RSU campus.
General Reimer currently serves as President of the Army Emergency Relief, is a Trustee of the Association of the United States Army, a member of the Corporation of Draper Labs and a member of the Board of Directors of Mutual of America. General Reimer is also a member of the Oklahoma State Hall of Fame and a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Military Academy.
Past recipients of the RSU Constitution Award include former Ambassador James Jones, U.S. District Judge David Russell, U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan, U.S. District Judge Joseph W. Morris, Senior Judge Stephanie K. Seymour, Chief Judge Robert Henry, Gov. Frank Keating, Judge Lee R. West, U.S. Rep. Lyle Boren, Judge Fred Daugherty, Chief Ross Swimmer, U.S. Speaker Carl Albert, Judge William J. Holloway, Jr., Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Gov. Henry Bellmon, Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, Mayor Patience Latting, Justice Marian P. Opala, Sen. David Boren, Hannah Diggs Atkins, Joint Chiefs Chairman William J. Crowe, Jr., Judge James O. Ellison, Alex Adwan, Judge Thomas R. Brett, G.T. Blankenship, Sen. Charles Ford, Sen. Penny Williams, Sen. Anthony Massad and Gov. George Nigh.