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.
Application forms, procedures and additional information
There are many ways to experience
St. Bonaventure for yourself
Learn more about the programs that interest you