Oklahoma Military Academy
2012 Distinguished Alumni Honorees
First presented in 1983, the Oklahoma Military Academy Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes those alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professional or military careers and in service to their community by participation in the OMA Alumni Association or in the activities of Rogers State University.
Mr. Joe C. Daniel, ‘69
A second-generation Oklahoma Military Academy alumnus, Joe C. Daniel (’69) credits his time on the Hill – three years of high school and two years in junior college – as influential to his successful military career of more than 40 years of active and reserve service.
Daniel followed the footsteps of his father, Major (Ret.) Gilmore C. Daniel, on the path to OMA. While the younger Daniel was a student, he was a member of the Chevron Society and the Saber Society. He also was honored as a member of the Dean’s Honor Roll and received a Merit Ribbon. His prowess with firearms earned him designation as a rifle expert M-1 and captain of the rifle team.
“OMA helped me learn and obtain those qualities that I have needed to achieve my goals in life,” Daniel says. “Honor, courage and loyalty have been key words in my life and have helped guide me during hard times.”
Retired from active duty as a colonel in 2008, Daniel received numerous awards throughout his distinguished career, including the Defense Superior Service Medal upon retirement. During his career, he served in Germany, Panama, Korea, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Bahrain, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Great Britain and Holland. He also served as a Department of Army Civilian, Dual Status Tech with more than 23 years of DOD service. In his final military post, he served as assistant division chief assigned to Joint Staff J-1 Personnel Readiness Division from 2002 to 2008.
Outside of his military career, he served more than 15 years in state and local law enforcement. He also worked as an executive at a savings and loan and operated his own real estate appraisal company in Bartlesville.
Currently, Daniel works for the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the director of operations for civilian expeditionary workforce and recently completed a 10-month detail serving as human resource advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff’s Afghanistan Pakistan Hands Program to prepare officers for working within the culture of that region.
Daniel has been married to his wife Susan for more than 26 years. He has three daughters and three grandchildren. He remains proud of the OMA legacy and is working with the administration to explore reinstating ROTC to the Rogers State University campus.
“The history of this school has been second to none,” Daniel says. “We have had a large core of outstanding OMA alumni over the years to be proud of. I’m proud to have attended a school my father attended.”
Lawrence Lee Lantow, ‘38
Lawrence Lee Lantow used his Oklahoma Military Academy training to become a successful leader, both in the military and in the business world.
A 1938 graduate from OMA junior college, Lantow was active on campus, especially as a trombone player in Capt. Kelly’s marching band, concert band and symphony orchestra. The band was honored in 1936 with the opportunity to play on national radio. As a student, he excelled academically and was recognized with inclusion on both the president’s and dean’s honor rolls. He also was a master counselor of the Claremore DeMolay chapter.
In 1942, he joined the U.S. Army and went through basic training at Ft. Knox and later attended officer candidate school. He became an instructor at Ft. Knox and then a platoon leader, serving in France, Belgium and Germany during World War II. For his service during the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded a Bronze Star.
In addition to Lantow, three of his brothers also served in the U.S. military. His brothers Bob and Norman also were paratroopers during WWII and dropped into France during the D-Day invasion. Both were killed in 1944 during separate battles. His little brother Bill followed his brothers’ footsteps, serving as a Marine during the Korean War. Following the war, Lantow left the military and began a long, fruitful career with Hope Lumber and Supply Co. in Tulsa, Okla. During more than 36 years with the firm, he worked his way up through the company and ended his career there as its vice president. Lantow also has been active in the community, including more than 19 years with Project Get Together, now known as the Community Action Project of Tulsa County, helping low-income individuals and families with food, lodging, educational resources and health care.
He has been an active member of the Tulsa Executive Club, the Optimist Club and Junior Achievement. He served as director for the Oklahoma Lumbermen’s Association, a board member of the Southwood Club, and various leadership roles for Eastside Christian Church since 1952.
Lantow and his wife Ola Mae have two daughters, Linda and Jeanne, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.