The winners of the Cold War essay contest sponsored by the John Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis at the Virginia Military Institute were recently announced. Among the awardees were Mount Vernon resident, Mark Olinger a retired soldier and manager of the Big Bear Group. LLC.
The John Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis at the Virginia Military Institute sponsors the contest. Any aspect of the Cold War era (1945–1991) is eligible, including papers on military strategy, plans, and operations; the relationship between the armed forces and society; international security affairs; and the connections between Cold War military history and contemporary geopolitical challenges.
After a blind review of all entries, the judges awarded his entry, “Thank God, We Never Had to Go to War with It: The Pentomic Division,” an honorable mention.
The paper examines the evolution of the Pentomic division, that was developed to fight and survive on the nuclear battlefield. Between 1953 and 1960, theArmy undertook a reorganization of its division force structure, and a means to perpetuate unit lineage and honors. Exercises would provide an opportunity to assess the Pentomic division. The lessons learned to provide enduring examples to assist in the development of future organizations.
During his military service, Olinger served in a number of command and staff positions in theUnited States, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Southwest Asia, and Germany. After retiring as a colonel and returning to Texas he has worked as a consultant specializing in logistics, energy, conservation, national security, and international affairs issues; while serving as a voice for small business. He is a 1983 graduate of California Polytechnic State University, Pomona; the Army Logistics Management College in 1991; and is a 2006 graduate of the National War College.