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St. Bonaventure University’s Army ROTC program hosted the Seneca Battalion spring awards ceremony and ROTC Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday, March 29, in the Rigas Theater in the Quick Center for the Arts.
The Hall of Fame ceremony honored two inductees: Col. Giac P. Modica, ’56, and Col. Beverly Schwenk Pritchett, ’79, both retired.
Col. Giac P. Modica (ret.)
Giac P. Modica enrolled as a student at St. Bonaventure College after graduating from Southside High School in Elmira, N.Y. An Army ROTC cadet, he graduated in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree and a commission as an artillery second lieutenant.
After completing the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, he reported to Fort Bragg, N.C., where he served as a battery XO in a 155mm artillery battalion and battery XO of a 155mm self-propelled howitzer battalion. Modica was transferred to Baumholder, Germany, and became the reconnaissance and survey officer, and later gun platoon commander and weapons assembly officer of a 280mm artillery battalion. He later was as the assistant S2 of the all-nuclear 52nd Artillery Group (Corporal and Honest John missile battalions).
In 1959, he was selected as the aide-de-camp to the commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division Artillery, which required him to attend the U.S. Army Airborne School. After one year, he was selected to command a 105mm howitzer battery in the 2nd Artillery Battalion (ABN). In 1962, he returned to the United States to attend the Field Artillery Advanced Course, after which he was assigned as assistant S3 of the 214th Artillery Group in 1963 and as the S3 of the 17th Artillery Battalion.
In 1964, Modica received orders for Vietnam, where he was the district advisor of Thu Thuy District, Long An Province for six months before being recruited to work with an unnamed agency to train local forces in combat operations. He returned to the United States in 1965 and attended the Command and Staff College and was assigned to the United States Military Academy as a company tactical officer.
Selected for below the zone promotion to lieutenant colonel, he returned to Germany as the S3 of the 210th Artillery Group, and later commanded the 2nd Battalion, 28th Artillery. In 1971, Modica was selected for the Vietnam Province Senior Program, which required him to complete a 24-week language and culture course before being placed in a two-year assignment in Vietnam.
In 1972, he was assigned to Phouc Tuy Province as the province senior advisor. He earned the Soldier’s Medal for pulling a Vietnamese soldier out of a burning armored car and the Air Medal with Valor device for providing suppressing fire from a helicopter during a fire fight. In 1974, Modica was assigned to U.S. Army Staff as Chief of the Missile Branch of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Research, Development, and Acquisition, and in 1976, he was selected to attend the Army War College.
Upon graduation, he became the Director of Tactics and Combined Arms at the U.S. Army Field Artillery School. He was promoted to colonel in 1977 and selected to command the 9th Missile Brigade (Pershing and Lance) and Field Artillery Missile Evaluation Group. From 1979 until 1982, Modica was the J3 of USSOUTHCOM and also served as the senior U.S. military representative on the Combined Board, a joint U.S. and Panamanian organization responsible for the defense of the Panama Canal.
In 1982, he was assigned as the installation commander, Fort Meade Maryland and during his tenure there, Fort Meade was selected by FORSCOM as a model installation. Colonel Modica retired in March 1984.
His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two Oak Leaf Clusters), Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star with “V” device and two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Medal with “V” Device, Army Commendation Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device, Vietnam Honor Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ Gold Star, Parachutist Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and General Staff Identification Badge.
Col. Beverly Schwenk Pritchett (ret.)
A graduate of Immaculata Academy in Hamburg, N.Y., Pritchett enrolled as a psychology and biology student at St. Bonaventure University and accepted a U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship. She graduated magna cum laude in 1979 and received a commission as a Medical Service Corps second lieutenant. She completed the officer basic course and was assigned as a platoon leader and later executive officer in the 583rd Medical Company (Ambulance) at Landstuhl, Germany.
Pritchett served as administrative assistant to the commander of the U.S. military hospital at Nuremburg before returning to the United States to command the medical company at Weed Army Hospital, Fort Irwin, Calif.
She served as Administrative Assistant for the Department of Medicine at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colo., from 1987 to 1990. She subsequently served as Executive Officer at the Dental Activity (DENTAC) at Fort Bragg, N.C. In 1992, she became executive officer of the 5th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) in the 44th Medical Brigade at Fort Bragg.
In 1994, she served in Korea as the 2nd Infantry Division’s Medical Operations Officer. She subsequently commanded the 61st Area Support Medical Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas, and a medical task force in Bosnia in 1998.
She assumed command of the 28th Combat Support Hospital at Fort Bragg and in 2003 deployed to Southwest Asia and led her unit to Baghdad, where it subsequently was redesignated Task Force 28. She was responsible for the establishment of two hospitals in Iraq and, for 11 months, commanded a force of more than 700 military personnel who manned six mobile surgical units and a mental health and health promotion unit.
Her final military assignment required her to coordinate all medical aspects of Homeland Defense across all military services, in conjunction with federal and state medical agencies working in the Capital Region of Washington, D.C. She retired in 2006 as a colonel after 27 years on active duty.
Pritchett became senior deputy director in the District of Columbia Department of Health and planned the District’s response to acts of bio-terrorism and other public health emergencies, including medical support of the 56th presidential inauguration in January 2009 and the response to the H1N1 Influenza outbreak in May 2009.
In November 2011, she became president and CEO of Pritchett and Associates LLC, to provide professional consultation to governmental, non-governmental and private agencies. In November 2013, Pritchett became the Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Regional and Local Health Services and Director, Office of Public Health at the Department of State Health Services for the state of Texas.
She received a master’s degree from Baylor University in Healthcare Administration and was awarded a fellowship with Department of Health and Human Services. She is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School, a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Certified Emergency Manager.
Her awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Superior Unit Award, Public Health Service Achievement Medal, Office of the Secretary Health and Human Services Staff Identification Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Army Staff Identification Badge, Expert Field Medical Badge and Iraq Campaign Medal.
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