It is with great regret and sorrow that we must inform you of the death of
Reginald J. Brown, Company M-1, USMA Class of 1961, on December 17, 2005 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.
Arrangements for Regi’s funeral are as follows:
Memorial Service: 1000, Wednesday, 28 DecemberBoth will be at the Everly - Wheatley
Funeral Home, 1500 West Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22302 (703) 998-9200.
Visitation: 1400-1600 and 1800-2000, Tuesday, 27 December
Funeral: 1330, Thursday, 29 December, at the Old Cadet Chapel, West Point, NY, with interment to follow at the West Point
In lieu of flowers, Emmy and family have asked that contributions in Regi's memory be made to:
PanCAN Action Network
2141 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 7000
El Segundo, CA 90245
Elan Vital, Inc
28720 Canwood Street, Suite 201
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Our deepest sympathy goes to Emmy and the family. Condolences can be
sent to Emmy at 2707 Franklin Court, Alexandria, VA 22302.
Well done, Regi. Be thou at peace!
Attending the Memorial Service were: Ed Brown, Dick and Trish Buckner, Tom Cuthbert, Joe and Ginna Fishburne, Bob Glass,
Gene Goodell, Mac Greeley, Bob and Betty Hampton, Bob Hardiman, Pat and Jan Hillier, George and Karen Joulwan, Hank Kenny,
Webb and Judy Kremer, Phil Mallory, Ken Meissner, John and Barbara Neiger
Class Memorial Pages\M-1 Reggie Brown.pdf
Memorial Service Tributes:
Eulogy to Reggie Brown
Delivered by Robert M. Kimmitt '69
Deputy Secretary, U.S. Treasury Department
December 28, 2005
Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home
On February 3rd of this year, I was among those privileged to attend Reggie Brown’s retirement party at the
Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington. What a joyous evening that was, with not just good food and drink, but also healthy doses
of the faith, family, and friends that symbolized the life of dedicated service we honored that evening.
Thus, it was quite a shock when Emmy called me last week with the news of Reggie’s death. But she softened the blow by
asking if I would give a brief remembrance to help celebrate the life of the husband, father, grandfather, friend, and
soldier/serviceman we honor again today, at the spiritual retirement ceremony our heavenly Father has waiting for us all.
Of course, I immediately said yes to Emmy – how can anyone say no to that smiling face and sweet voice? – but in so doing I
knew I would have to reveal a secret Reg and I kept between us and smiled about often for almost forty years: that the current
Deputy Secretary of the Treasury received his lowest grade at West Point in Economics 101, taught by a newly-minted Harvard
MBA graduate named Reginald J. Brown. Fortunately, I seem to have retained far more of what Reggie taught me than I was able
to convey years ago during daily recitations on Paul Samuelson’s epic Economics text. That semester’s encounter with
Reg in a windowless room of Thayer Hall launched both a professional and personal relationship that spanned decades of service
together both in and out of uniform.
Reg was a proud member of the West Point Class of 1961 – whose motto was “Second to None. Only 534 of the original 741
members of the Class – Reg high among them – received their diplomas from then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson on June 7, 1961.
That was two months before the Berlin Wall went up; 15 months before the Cuban Missile Crisis; two years before President
Kennedy’s assassination; and four years before regular Army units went into Vietnam. What an era was just beginning.
After Reggie completed a decade of dedicated uniformed service as an Airborne Ranger in the United States, Korea, and in
combat in Vietnam – the proud unit patches at the foot of the casket tell that story – he commenced a distinguished career in
a wide variety of civilian service positions, including the Defense Manpower Commission, the President’s Commission on Military
Compensation, the Office of Wage and Price Stability, and the Congressional Budget Office. After a stint in the private
sector, including service as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies – or, as it was sometimes
known, “Social Sciences Department South” – Reg returned to government service in 1989 as Assistant Administrator of the
Agency for International Development under the first President Bush and Secretary of State Jim Baker. It was my great honor
while serving as Undersecretary of State to swear Reg in to this important position – and Reg was diplomatic enough that day to
mention in his remarks only our West Point connection and not economics grades. Reg’s service was absolutely superb during the
four years of the first Bush Administration, which saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union that so
dominated the Army that Reg had entered over 30 years before.
After another successful tour in the private sector, Reg returned to government as Assistant Secretary of the
Army for Manpower & Reserve Affairs in 2001. As you have heard and will hear, he was the exact right man for that critical
position during the Army’s swiftest personnel transformation ever after terrorists hit his troops – literally and figuratively –
on September 11, 2001. As a reservist mobilized shortly after that fateful day, I both saw and benefited from Reg’s
unparalleled knowledge of and care for the Army and its people. And even in the midst of the ‘round-the-clock schedule he kept,
Reg never hesitated to take time for others – always for his beloved family but also including treating my Dad and me to lunch
after the two of them had met at a dinner. When my Dad, a retired Army Colonel, died less than 6 months later, he had in his
pocket the Army coin Reg had given him that day at lunch.
Reggie Brown began a life of service by raising his right hand on the Plain at West Point in the summer of
1957, and I am but one of the legions of people whose lives he touched and whose careers he inspired. The poem entitled “If”
by Rudyard Kipling has some passages that capture this life of service we celebrate today:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it
The earth was certainly Reggie Brown’s, and now so much more.
Well done, Soldier. Be thou at peace.
Delivered by COL Tony Stamilio '74
Good Morning. I am honored that Emmy asked me to speak about my relationship with Reggie as colleague and co-worker. I
only hope that I can do justice to this tribute on behalf of the many soldiers and civilian employees with whom Reggie worked,
and who will honor his memory. I am sure that I could have done some research, and have prepared an eloquent talk highlighting
the accomplishments of Reginald Brown, and his lasting contributions to our nation. However, this morning I would like to
talk about my personal observations and recollections about the time I spent with Reggie.
I remember the first time that we met. It was early the Spring in 2002. I was stationed in Germany, serving soldiers as a
commander. I was asked to come to Washington to interview for the position as Executive Officer for the Assistant Secretary of
the Army. I was not particularly enamored with the thought of returning to the Pentagon for a THIRD sentence, now serving with
soldiers in the field after 5 years on staff, I certainly did not care about going to work for some “suit.” So my interview
strategy was to try to be as opinionated as possible, and when I ended with “if you hire me, you will have to put up with me
speaking my mind”…the answer was “you are hired.” I knew at that moment that I was probably in trouble.
Once in the job, I clearly came to understand, that I was not working for some “garden variety” presidential appointee.
As you all know, Reggie Brown was a man of incredible intellect and dedication, who accepted his authority and responsibility
to the Army with solemn commitment. Reggie Brown made it his business to be well informed about every issue, so that he
could make the right decision for the Army and the soldiers. This combination made for some interesting times as Reggie dealt
with commanders, staff officers, and civilian managers across the Army.
LTC Steve Apland, one of Reggie’s Military Assistants, was called upon
frequently to assistant his boss in preparing for meetings and conferences. Initially, Steve would provide some very broad
responses to requests for information on Army units and organizational
capabilities from his boss. It did not
take long for Steve to understand, that a general answer was not what the
Secretary was looking for. Graduating
number one in his class in Military History, Reggie leveraged that background
with his own curiosity and “homework,” so when he asked Steve a question, he
already knew most of the general background on the subject…Steve had to adjust
his approach. Reggie was equally prepared in the financial arena. Some of the most interesting conversations
about a budget topic often started with a question by the Secretary that
started with a statement that went something like this: “When you
were here 6 months ago on this topic, you told me that number was X, NOT the
number you showed me today.”
Each of these potentially uncomfortable encounters with the Secretary
were handled in the most positive and professional manner, motivating each of
us to do better, so we would not let the boss down. Reggie was a man we wanted to serve.
I would like to mention briefly two anecdotes that illustrate Reggie Brown’s
commitment to doing the right thing by soldiers and the right thing for the
Army. During my tenure with him, this was often a very delicate balance to
First, as a part of his duties, Reggie decided on cases of soldiers
requesting some re-consideration for adverse personnel actions, such as
involuntary separation from the Army and even clemency for those in confinement. Not one of these decisions was ever a “rubber
stamp” of a chain of command recommendation, as LTC Butch Alexander will
attest. Butch is the staff officer
through whom many of these requests flowed. When called into the Secretary’s Office, Butch knew he would not have to
brief on the case, because Secretary Brown would have already studied it. A meeting of this sort was to help Reggie
deliberate, and decide on an issue that would impact the life of a soldier, his
or her family, and the institution. An
individual soldier’s request was never dealt with in a matter of fashion.
As the Assistant Secretary, Mr. Brown was the official empowered to
mobilize reserve units and soldiers for the Global War on Terrorism. Recognizing the Army’s urgent need to
mobilize Reserve and National Guard units for duty in the war, Secretary Brown
never forgot that there was a person attached to that duffle bag, and generally
a family and an employer to consider. Secretary
Brown knew that with a stroke of his pen, he was going to influence thousands
of lives—sometimes with the most serious consequences. Mr. Dan Denning, MG Pete Chiarelli, and Mr.
Bob Smiley spent many nights trying to answer the question… ”Please tell me why
this unit and all of its soldiers cannot receive 30 days notice before they
have to go off to war?”
I only had the opportunity to serve with Reggie Brown for a short 14
months. In his capacity as Assistant
Secretary, there are many more that served with him longer. Certainly across the Army, there were more
that he influenced by his decisions. One
thing that we all have in common is that for short periods or long, through
personal contact, or as a result of a policy decision, there are thousands
across the Army who have positively been touched by Reggie Brown.
I returned to the Pentagon somewhat reluctantly to work for “a
suit.” I am honored and humbled to be standing
here trying to memorialize the tremendous work of a truly gifted and dedicated
public servant, who contributed enormously to our Army. We salute a great man who has the heart of a
Delivered by Eric Brown, Regi's Son
On behalf of my family, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for coming here today. We are deeply honored that so
many friends and loved ones have gathered to say farewell to my father. I know that he would be both pleased and humbled
at the turnout.
I’d also like to thank
Deacon Steve Morello for officiating over the service today. And to the other
speakers, thank you for the kind words about my father.
Today is the 18th
anniversary of my paternal grandfather’s funeral. When my mother asked me to
say a few words at my father’s service, I thought back to that day. My dad
delivered the eulogy for Pop that day and it was eloquent, moving and
mesmerizing. One of my mother’s close friends who was in attendance said to
my mother afterward, “Wow! I sure hope Regi can speak at my funeral.”. You
see, among his many other gifts, Dad was an accomplished public speaker, a
skilled orator who had been captain of the debate team at West Point. Those
of you who have heard him speak in a public setting know exactly what I am
Well, here I am 18
years to the day after my Pop’s funeral standing in the same shoes that my
father stood in on that day in 1987 and, dad, I’ve got to tell you, “You left
some mighty big shoes to fill”. Unfortunately for those of you in
attendance today, I am not the polished orator that my father was. But, I
guess I will have to do. You’re gonna have to put up with me for a few
minutes while I talk about my dad.
There is something
special about the way that a son idolizes his father and this son standing
before you is no exception. We sons certainly look up to and respect our
mothers as well, but with our fathers it is different. Not only do you look
up to and respect your father, but you also aspire to grow up to be just like
When I was young, my
father was larger than life to me. I felt so much pride and admiration for
him. Really, I was in awe of him. He cut such a striking presence, the
soldier, the West Pointer, the army ranger. I was five years old the
year that my dad was stationed in Vietnam and I remember playing soldier,
pretending to be him.
Well, here I am today,
41 years old and I realize that I have never stopped being that little boy
looking up to his father with a sense of awe and reverence. When he was
sworn in as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs
in August, 2001 – I felt the same mix of admiration and pride.
Many of you are already
aware of my dad’s distinguished career in public service and his many
professional accomplishments. The same defining characteristics observed by
those who knew him professionally were also evidenced in his private life.
He did not put on airs. What you saw is what you got. And what you got was
a man of great honor and integrity, a man who was not concerned with taking
the easy path, but with taking the right path. He was not a complicated man
in many ways. He was straightforward and didn’t believe in short cuts.
He saw things in a
certain way. I remember watching football games with him as a young child.
It would infuriate him to no end when a punt returner or running back would
run sideways with the ball, “east-west”, trying to run around defenders. Dad
was a “north-south” guy. Get the ball and run straight up the field,
directly towards the goal line. If anyone is in your way, meet them head on,
don’t try to run from them or go around them.
I imagine that was much
the same approach that he took against his opponents when he boxed at West
Point and was undefeated with 10 wins and one draw, the one draw being
against a much taller man. My father was not large in stature.
When he graduated from West Point, he was all of about 135 lbs. But
what he lacked in physical size, he made up for in heart and intelligence and
As a child, I remember
my dad telling me about a man named Bill Deuel who was a fellow member of the
Class of 61 at West Point. When they were at West Point the cadets would
sometimes go on field exercises which could involve walking long distances.
When they were out on a field exercise, someone would have to carry the
machine gun which was quite heavy. My dad described how this big fellow, I
think he may have been an Army football player, got fatigued carrying the
heavy machine gun and could not handling lugging it over the long distances
they were traveling. He told me how Bill Deuel, who was another little guy
like my dad, a gymnast, took the machine gun from the much larger man and
carried it along with his own gear for the duration of the exercise and never
got tired or needed help. I could tell that Bill Deuel’s strength of will
and determination impressed my dad. And my dad was a pretty hard man to
On September 30, 1966
while serving as a battalion advisor in the Republic of Vietnam, hostile fire
claimed Bill’s life. Bill is interred at the West Point cemetery where
my father will be buried tomorrow. I know that dad will be proud to be
laid to rest with Bill and the many other valiant men who are buried there.
It was the sort of
determination described in these stories from and about my father that helped
spur my dad from his modest beginnings in a housing project in Richmond,
California to student body president of his high school to his congressional
appointment to West Point and all of the accomplishments that followed.
I know that my father
had a deep and abiding appreciation for the gift of life. He had a knowledge
that true peace and contentment must come from within one’s self and cannot
be found through the attainment of material possessions or outward
achievements. In talking to him when he first found out about his
illness, he shared with me that he was at peace and that he would be okay, no
matter what the outcome.
I have just a few words
for my family:
Mom, dad told me more
than once during his illness that he did not know what he would do without
you. That applies not just to these past few months but to the 42 years
that the two of you were together. You were the love of his life and he
was a very lucky man to have you and he knew that.
Denise, I know that
this has been a difficult time for you and that you have taken this hard, but
I hope there is some small solace in knowing how much dad appreciated
everything you did for him during his last months. I saw a closeness
between the two of you that touched me as I watched you care for him.
Ethan, I know my sister
is grateful for the support that you have provided to her during this time.
Just as I am grateful
to my wife, Kelley, for her support. Kelley, thanks for holding down
the fort at home those days that I drove straight to the hospital from work
and did not get home until late. Days when you were with the baby all
day and then had to take care of her all evening as well with no relief.
Thanks for getting on me about seeing my dad when I was taking it for granted
that he would be around longer and assuming that he still had a good 6 to 9
And, Monique, Shannon,
Danny, Kelley and Alexa, grandpa loved you all very much and cherished the
time that he was able to spend with you.
A friend of mine sent
me a note of condolence this week. In his note, he mentioned that he
still thinks about his dad every single day, even 15 years after his passing.
After reading his note, it struck me that while we are saying goodbye today,
that I will carry my father with me forever. A part of him will always be
with me. The lessons he taught me, the influence he had on me, his wisdom and
advice, all of these things will persist.
Dad, we love you and
will miss you terribly.
Funeral Service Tributes:
Delivered by Joe Fishburne '61
I AM PROUD TO STAND BEFORE YOU THIS AFTERNOON AND SPEAK WITH YOU ABOUT REGINALD JUDE BROWN. REGGIE
BROWN IS MY FRIEND. ON THE SECOND OF JULY1957 WHEN I WALKED THROUGH THE SALLYPORT TO ENTER WEST POINT, HE WASN’T THE
FIRST CADET I MET. AT THE END OF THAT LONG FIRST DAY AFTER THE CLASS OF 1961 HAD PLEDGED TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
UNITED STATES, REGGIE AND I TALKED OF OUR ANXIETIES OF BEING AT WEST POINT AND WHAT MAY LIE AHEAD OF US. REGGIE WAS MY
ROOMMATE FOR THOSE FIRST TWO MONTHS OF BEAST BARRACKS. AS TEENAGERS AND VERY YOUNG ADULTS, WE WERE SIDE BY SIDE LEARNING
IMMUTABLE PRINCIPLES AND LAYING DOWN THE FOUNDATIONS OF DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY.
SOMEWHERE TOWARD THE MIDDLE OF BEAST BARRACKS, I CAME TO KNOW MR. SHEETS, THE BRIGADE SERGEANT MAJOR WHO HAD
OBSERVED ME NAPPING IN A MILITARY CLASS. MR. SHEETS INVITED ME TO STOP BY HIS ROOM AFTER DINNER, I DISCUSSED THIS
WITH REGGIE AND WE HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS IN STORE FOR ME BUT AGREED THAT IT WASN’T GOING TO BE GOOD!
I REPORTED TO MR. SHEETS AT THE APPOINTED HOUR AND WAS INFORMED THAT HE WANTED TO CONDUCT A UNIFORM
FORMATION. THIS MEANT THAT HE WOULD TELL ME IN WHAT UNIFORM I WAS TO REPORT AND THAT I WOULD DO SO WITHIN A SPECIFIED
AMOUNT OF TIME. MR. SHEETS’ ROOM WAS IN THE FAR CORNER OF CENTRAL AREA AND MY AND REGGIE’S ROOM WAS IN THE SOUTH MOST
CORNER OF SOUTH AREA. I WAS TOLD THE FIRST UNIFORM AND AN INCREDIBLY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME BY WHEN I MUST RETURN TO MR.
SHEETS’ ROOM IN THAT UNIFORM. AS I FRANTICALLY DASHED INTO OUR ROOM, I INFORMED REGGIE AS TO WHAT I HAD TO DO WHILE
CHANGING MY UNIFORM. AT THAT TIME WE HAD BEEN ISSUED APPROXIMATELY THIRTEEN DIFFERENT UNIFORMS OR UNIFORM COMBINATIONS.
I HURRIEDLY THREW ON THE REQUIRED UNIFORM, REGGIE CHECKED THAT I HAD IT RIGHT AND DASHED BACK TO MR. SHEETS MAKING IT JUST IN
TIME AND WAS GIVEN THE NEXT UNIFORM TO WEAR AND TIME IN WHICH TO RETURN. WHEN I GOT BACK TO OUR ROOM, REGGIE HAD
ALL OF MY UNIFORMS LAID OUT IN ORDER SO THAT I COULD MORE SPEEDILY MAKE THE REQUIRED CHANGE. THANKS TO REGGIE’S
AND THE TEAMWORK WE HAD DEVELOPED, I WAS ABLE TO MAKE ALL OF THE REQUIRED UNIFORM CHANGES WITHIN THE TIME LIMITS GIVEN.
REGGIE IS MY FRIEND!
REGGIE DID WELL ACADEMICALLY GRADUATING HIGH IN OUR CLASS. HE WAS ALSO A MILITARY LEADER AND SERVED ON
THE BATTALION STAFF OUR FIRST CLASS YEAR. HOWEVER, REGGIE’S ACHILLES HEEL WAS SWIMMING. ALL CADETS HAD TO PASS
BASIC SWIMMING SURVIVAL SKILLS IN ORDER TO GRADUATE. REGGIE WAS NOT A SWIMMER AND DID NOT PASS SURVIVAL SWIMMING WITH
MOST OF THE CLASS. AS A RESULT, HE WAS INVITED FOR EXTRA INSTRUCTION THAT HAD TO BE CARVED OUT OF TIME THAT WOULD
OTHERWISE BE SPENT ON ACADEMICS OR OTHER CADET ACTIVITIES. REGGIE JOINED WHAT WAS EUPHEMISTICALLY KNOWN AS THE “ROCK
SQUAD”. IMAGINE MY SURPRISE YEARS LATER TO BE INVITED BY REGGIE AND EMMY TO JOIN THEM FOR A SAIL ON THE CHESAPEAKE
BAY. MY WIFE, GINNA, AND I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF SAILING IN THE
CARIBBEAN OCEAN WITH REGGIE AT THE HELM. REGGIE
ENJOYED BEING ON THE WATER OR WATCHING THE WATER BUT NOT BEING IN THE WATER. HE EMBRACED ADVERSITY AND TURNED IT TO HIS
PURPOSE. REGGIE IS MY FRIEND. REGGIE IS A BATTLE TESTED SOLDIER, A BUSINESSMAN, A STATESMAN AND A
FRIEND. HIS IMPACT HAS BEEN WIDE AND HIS INFLUENCE HAS TOUCHED THE LIVES OF MANY PEOPLE. I KNOW THESE STATEMENTS TO
BE TRUE. AS I SPEAK WITH YOU TODAY REGGIE’S INFLUENCE IS IN MY CHARACTER AND IN MY BEING AND WILL REMAIN WITH ME ALWAYS.
REGGIE BROWN IS MY FRIEND!
Delivered by US Senator John (Jack)
F Reed '71
Emmy, Eric, Denise
We are here, today, to celebrate the life
of an extraordinary gentleman, our friend, Reggie Brown.
His life was powerfully shaped by his
family and by West Point. He brought great qualities of heart and
mind to this place. And, here, he found the great credo of service that would
frame his life; Duty, Honor, Country.
Reggie was a soldier and a scholar; a
combat infantryman and an expert on public management.
I first met Major Brown when I was
assigned to his Economics Section as a Yearling. He was a very talented
teacher, but I was just a fair student of economics at that time. However,
time and election to the Senate teamed to transform me into one of his best
students or so Reggie claimed at his confirmation hearings.
I recall him then as a bright and
sympathetic young officer. And, neither his intelligence nor his compassion
dimmed over the intervening years.
In the years after my graduation, I was
fortunate to join Reggie as an alum of the Department of Social Sciences.
Through this connection, I kept track of his work at the Agency for
International Development and other important policy positions. Our paths
would cross at various SOSH reunions. It was always good to share time with
Reggie and Emmy.
Over the last few years, I had the
privilege and pleasure to work with Reggie in his role as Assistant Secretary
of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Reggie, as always, was the
consummate professional. He applied his considerable energy and skill to
meeting the needs of the Army in one of its most challenging periods as your
Army engaged, and continues to be engaged, in sustained combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, Reggie’s service was particularly special because
he knew that it was not just about budgets and line items and press
releases. It was about those magnificent young Americans that he had the
privilege to lead as a Soldier and now was serving as Assistant Secretary.
His vision and his dedication made a profound impact on the lives of our
Reggie also represented the Department of
the Army in the deliberations of the West Point Board of Visitors. In this
capacity, he made a great contribution to
West Point. His quiet advocacy, buttressed
by his knowledge of and passion for
Point, was a critical factor in making our voice heard within the Pentagon.
He can take credit for enabling much of what the Board of Visitors was able
to do for West Point.
Reggie Brown was a man of many qualities,
but there is one he possessed that is not at all common. You were always
glad to see Reggie Brown. You knew you were in the presence of a true
gentleman whose good humor and good sense would be shared freely. He was a
man without pretensions; a man whose decency was obvious and compelling.
And, if you were lucky enough, as I was,
to share some quiet time with Reggie and Emmy, you witnessed a loving family
whose thoughtfulness and kindness embraced you.
In a few moments, we sill sing the Alma
Mater and, with special poignancy and meaning, bid our friend, Reggie, “well
done, be thou at peace.” He has finished that “long and arduous journey” that
began 44 years ago on the Plain; a journey that has taken him through the
jungles of war, the halls of academia and the corridors of power; a journey
enriched and ennobled by the mutual love of his wife and children and
grandchildren; a journey made lighter by the shared laughter of classmates
and friends; a journey of principle and purpose and fidelity to those he
loved and the Nation and the Army he so proudly served.
The Honorable Reginald Jude Brown, West Point,
Class of 1961 “Well Done, Be Thou at Peace”
Class of 1961:
for all your wonderful and beautiful cards, condolences, prayers, and
support. All of this gave me great comfort. I also want to thank you for
your donation in Regi’s name to PanCan. I hope one day they can find a cure
or at least a way to diagnose this cancer earlier.
service and burial at West Point were very moving and touched the heart. They
picked a perfect spot, under a big tree overlooking the Hudson River.
Reginald Brown was one year behind my brother at El
Cerrito High School. Regi, as he was called, was nicknamed "The Brain" at El
Cerrito High. I learned that Regi got an appointment to West Point through
our Congressman John Baldwin when he graduated in 1957. I was in the 7th
grade when Regi started at the academy. I wrote to him, he had no idea who I
was, but I explained that I was very interested in going to West Point and
Regi became my penpal. On Christmas leave in 1957 Regi came to my home and
met me. Regi was a very brilliant, generous individual who was admired by
many. I am very saddened to learn just today that Regi has joined the "Long
Grey Line" in the sky. My thoughts and fond mem! ories are with you Regi, not
to mention my utmost admiration.
BROWN, REGINALD J. (Age 65)
On Saturday, December 17, 2005 at his residence. He is survived by his
beloved wife, Emmy; his son, Eric; his daughter, Denise and five
grandchildren. Family will receive friends on Tuesday, December 27 from 2
to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at EVERLY-WHEATLEY FUNERAL HOME, 1500 W. Braddock Rd.,
Alexandria, VA, where a service will be held December 28 at 10 a.m. A
military service will take place, Thursday, December 29 at 1:30 p.m. at Old
Cadet Chapel, West Point, NY. Interment to follow in West Point Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to PanCAN, 2141
Rosecrans Ave., Suite 7000, El Segundo, CA 90245 or ELAN Vital, PO Box
2220, Agoura Hills, CA 91376.
Published in The Washington Post on 12/22/2005.
Reginald J. Brown Army,
Reginald J. Brown, 65, who retired in January as assistant secretary of
the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, and spent much of this year as a
senior executive officer for the under secretary of defense for personnel
and readiness, died Dec. 17 at his home in Solomons. He had pancreatic
After active-duty service in the Army, Mr. Brown began his federal
career in the early 1970s. His positions included: associate director for
economic analysis at the Defense Manpower Commission; executive director of
the President's Commission on Military Compensation; and director of
energy, chemicals and public utilities in the Office of Price Monitoring of
the Council on Wage and Price Stability.
For much of the 1980s, he was a senior fellow for energy and strategic
studies at Georgetown University's Center for Strategic and International
He was an assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International
Development before joining the Army Department in 2001.
Reginald Jude Brown was a native of New Orleans and a 1961 graduate of
the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He received a master's degree
in public administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at
Starting in 1961, he spent a decade in the Army, served in the Vietnam
War and rose to the rank of major. His decorations included the Bronze Star
and the Meritorious Service Medal.
His federal honors included the Army's Distinguished Civilian Service
Medal, the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award and the Secretary of
Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.
He was a board member of Capital Technology Information Services of
Rockville, which provides software for managing large-scale clinical
trials; and Caelum Research Corp. of Rockville, a government contracting
firm specializing in aerospace engineering and applied sciences.
He had a second home in Alexandria.
Survivors include his wife, Emilia Chong Brown, whom he married in 1963,
of Solomons and Alexandria; two children, Eric Brown of Vienna and Denise
Lawson of Springfield; a brother; two sisters; and five grandchildren.
© 2005 The Washington Post Company
"Brown sworn in as Assistant Secretary of the Army for
Manpower and Reserve Affairs"
Senior Assistant Secretary of
the Army Reginald Brown Retired January 28, 2005
REGINALD J. BROWN 1961
Cullum No. 23354-1961 | December 17, 2005 | Died in Solomons Island, MD
Interred in West Point Cemetery, NY
Reginald Jude Brown, born February 13, 1940 in New Orleans, LA, was the oldest of four
children and the first member of his family to attend college. His family moved
to Richmond, CA when he was 4 years old. He attended El Cerrito High School,
where he was student body president and a national debate champion. He was
appointed to West Point by Congressman John F. Baldwin Jr. and entered the
Academy on July 2, 1957. During his cadet days, he was a leader on the Debate
Team and the president of the Debate Council and Forum. Gary Webster, Regi’s
roommate, said that Regi was always prepared to excel, but he always put his
classmates first. He graduated 73rd out of 536 cadets in the class of 1961. He
was also a military leader and served on the battalion staff during his first
year. Classmate Joe Fishburne remembers that Regi’s Achilles’ heel was swimming,
and he was a member of the rock squad as a cadet. Later in life, Regi became an
accomplished sailor, owning his own 32-foot sailboat and inviting classmates on
sailing adventures in the Caribbean. Regi enjoyed being on the water, he just
didn’t like being in the water
When Regi graduated from West Point on June 7, 1961, he was the 32nd African
American to graduate from the Academy. Upon graduation, he became an Infantry
officer and, for the next 10 years, he served in the Infantry as an Airborne
Ranger in the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea and later with the 4th Infantry
Division at Fort Lewis, WA. He served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970 with the 82nd
Airborne Division and with MACV Advisory Team 44. He rose to the rank of major.
His military decorations include the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service
After returning from Korea in 1963, Regi attended the Defense Language Institute
in Monterey, CA, where he graduated first in his class. During this time, he met
his wife, Emmy Lowe Chong. After a six-month courtship, they were married in El
Cerrito, CA on October 12, 1963. He received a master’s degree in public
administration from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. Regi
returned to West Point in the summer of 1966 as a faculty member in the
Department of Social Sciences, where he taught economics and government for
three years. He also became the head coach of the West Point Debate Team. Regi
was the first African American West Point graduate to join the academic faculty
and teach at the Academy. After completing a decade of dedicated military
service, he began a distinguished career in a wide variety of civilian service
positions for entities that included the Urban Institute, the President’s
Commission on Military Compensation, the Cost-of-Living Council, the Defense
Manpower Commission, Congressional Budget Office, and the Center for Strategic
and International Studies. In 1989, under President Bush and Secretary of State
Jim Baker, Regi was appointed Assistant Administrator of USAID for Program and
Policy Coordination and later Assistant Administrator for the Nearest Bureau,
where he managed a $2.2 billion budget
In July 2001, Regi received a political appointment in the Army leadership as
Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. It has been
said that he was the exact right man for that critical position during the
Army’s swiftest personnel transformation ever, due to the terrorist attacks on
the Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He spent many long
hours dealing with the aftermath of the 9/11 attack that hit his specific area
of the Pentagon, where the Army lost 28 people. A year later, his ASA M&RA
office was relocated to the spot where the plane hit. Regi was directly involved
in the deployment of U.S. forces to Iraq and Afghanistan. He had an unparalleled
knowledge of the Army and its people. He was committed to doing the right thing
for soldiers and all Army personnel
After retiring on January 20, 2005 as Assistant Secretary of the Army, he took
one last assignment at the request of Under Secretary of Defense Dr. David Chu.
Regi became the chief of staff for the next Quadrennial Defense Review report.
Although very ill, he continued to work from home on the QDR report until the
end of his life. After giving his all to overcome pancreatic cancer, he died at
age of 65 on December 17, 2005 with his family present at his home in Solomons
Island, MD. His federal honors include the Army’s Distinguished Civilian Service
Medal, the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, and the Secretary of
Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. Over the years, Regi valued the
friendship and camaraderie of many classmates.
He attended many class reunions and M-1 company gatherings over the years. He
was a family man who spent many weekends with his kids and grandkids exploring
and hiking the state and national parks in the Washington, DC area. Regi was
also a great inspiration to two of his nephews, who both joined the Army. Regi
is survived by his beloved wife of 42 years, Emmy; his son, Eric; daughter,
Denise; and five grandchildren. He was laid to rest on December 29, 2005 in the
West Point Cemetery. Regi had a deep and abiding appreciation for the gift of
life. When he found out about his illness, he said that he was blessed with a
good life and was at peace. Regi was honored to have had the privilege to serve
his country and the Army that he loved
“Be Though at Peace….”
— Family and Classmates