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Richard C. Baughman

Richard C. Baughman

No. 19980 26 October 1931 - 18 February 2002

Died: Brentwood, TN
Inurned: Westminster Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN

RICHARD CASSELL BAUGHMAN was born at Ft. Benning, GA, to COL Richard Longworth Baughman ’24 and Mary Cassell Baughman. An “Army brat,” Dick grew up at various posts around the country, including West Point, where his father taught math, and Washington, DC, where Dick’s brother, Don ’57, was born. Sadly, in 1943, Dick’s father died in an aircraft accident.

A 1949 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, Washington, DC, Dick was an outstanding football player elected All-City Tackle and All Metro Lineman. He liked to dance, played the piano, sang in the church choir, and was a leader in the church youth group. After high school, Dick spent a year at Sullivan’s Preparatory School, along with friend Landon Spilman. In high school, the two played football together, double dated, and founded a high school fraternity, becoming lifelong friends and later enjoying reunions and vacations together.

At West Point, Dick played Plebe football and lacrosse. New to lacrosse, he practiced faithfully and participated in off -season training. Later, he left the Corps Squad team to coach and play for Company H-2. Dick was also on the brigade champion swimming team. He sang in the glee club and served on the hop committee. He was not a “hive,” but, most important, he was a friend to all.

Dick chose Infantry, attending the basic course, Ranger School, and Airborne School. He and a group of classmates volunteered for Korea but were assigned to the Panama Canal Zone. ere, Dick led a platoon in the 33rd Infantry Regiment (later designated the 20th Infantry) and was the aide to General Hightower in the Caribbean Command. Subsequently, Dick and several other bachelor classmates received assignments to Ft. Campbell, KY, and the elite 101st Airborne Division, where Dick was a company XO in the 327th Infantry. Recognized as a leader, he then commanded a rifle company. Dick and the Panama/Ft. Campbell bachelor group then returned to Ft. Benning for the Advanced Course, where they were promoted to captain. Dick and two other classmates rented a house and enjoyed the social life of Columbus, GA.

After Ft. Benning, the group went their separate ways. In 1961, Dick enrolled at Vanderbilt University, earning a master of arts degree in psychology prior to assignment to the USMA faculty. Dick had been a con- firmed bachelor, but, during a blind date at Vanderbilt, he met his future wife, Susan Mckeand, marrying her in December 1962 in Nashville.

At West Point, Dick taught in the Military Psychology and Leadership Department and was officer-in-charge of the lacrosse team and president of the adult Bible class. He helped coach the Army “B” Squad lacrosse team and officiated at “C” Squad games. He also refereed for the youth league on post and at the New York Military Academy.

In 1965, Dick was sent to Viet Nam, serving as a district advisor in the Bac Lieu province in Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) Psychological Operations (PSYOPS). Afterwards, with wartime experience, he reported to Ft. Bragg to teach at the Special Warfare School. In 1969, he attended Command and General Staff College, followed by assignment to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, International and Civil Affairs Division. In 1972, Dick went back to Vietnam for his second tour in MACV/PSYOPS. ere, Dick was awarded the Viet Nam Gallantry Cross, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, and campaign medals. In 1973, Dick returned from Viet Nam to serve as the professor of military science at Western Maryland College, retiring from the Army in 1976. Dick and his family, which now included Richard, Jr., William (Mack), and Ann, then moved to Nashville.

Dick worked for Hospital Affiliates, a large hospital management company, and eventually became a headhunter for hospital administrators. As always, he was involved with his church, serving as a Stephen Minister and an elder in the Presbyterian Church. For 17 years, he and a friend delivered Meals on Wheels, and Dick tutored adults in the local GED program. Dick also polished his golf game. In 1996, after retiring from his civilian career, he continued his dedication to the Presbyterian Church. His disdain for discrimination, his compassion for the poor, his empathy for older people, his gratitude for everything he had, and his boundless love for his family all came out of his acknowledgement that life and everything good in it are gifts from God.

The military was another strong influence in Dick’s life. In particular, he loved West Point, the alma mater he shared with his father and brother. He also loved our country. He was fascinated by our founders and national history, especially the Revolutionary War and its battles. Dick possessed a deep sense of duty and honor before he went to West Point, and his four years there made it second nature to him. Susan remembers, “Honesty and integrity were just a part of who he was. He was definitely a soldier, but he was a gentle soldier.” Dick’s eldest son, Richard, in a letter written shortly before Dick’s death, wrote, “ The older I get, the more I realize how much I have been shaped by the family you and mom created for us. I am so grateful to have grown up in that family.”

In the fall of 2001, Dick was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away shortly thereafter. Dick had donated his body to Vanderbilt University Medical School. Later, his ashes were interred at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Close friend and classmate Frank Hart remembers Dick as “an individual of great integrity. He had a good personality, was fun to be with yet had a serious side and was one to whom one could turn for studied and serious advice. He really represented the best of West Point’s values. He was a model for others.”

Well done Dick. Be thou at peace.

— Classmates and family

Originally published in TAPS JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2006

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