Jack was born November 15, 1939, and entered West Point from Virginia. Even
though he battled the academic departments throughout his cadet days, his determination, enthusiasm, and friendly nature
enabled him to beat them. He retired in 1982 after a successful career in the Signal Corps. Jack had not been in good health
recently suffering from diabetes which affected his eyesight.
The Class of 1961 sends its warmest condolences to the entire Martin family.
Personal expressions of sympathy may be sent to the Martin family at 3195 Sycamore Lane, Marietta, GA 30066.
Well done, Jack. Rest in peace!
Jack was an absolutely
great person. We both entered the Signal Corps after graduation from USMA in
June of 1961. In those days over 50 years ago, we tolerated classes at the
Signal School at Fort Monmouth while we enjoyed the New Jersey beaches and New
York City on the weekends. My respect for Jack Martin grew the more that I
discussed with him the war, the Army and where we would go from there. We all
miss you Jack and I guess we'll see you soon. Best wishes.
Mike Eggleston '61
Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:
Jack McConnell Martin, friend, classmate, and
61st member of the Class of '61 to join the departed
ranks of the Corps, lived and served his country as the
embodiment of USMA's traditions of "Duty, Honor, Country". Jack's smile and sense of humor, along with his
contagious laughter, were an encouragement to all who
Jack M. Martin, the oldest of four children, was born in
Kingsport, TN, to John Gray and Ina Elizabeth Johnson
Martin. The son of a police officer, Jack grew up in
Ft. Blackmore, VA. Early encouragement from Jack's mother
was instrumental in stirring his desire to attend West Point.
Jack entered the Academy as a young 17-year-old with
resolute determination and a clear concept of truth and
honor. Jack struggled with academics all four years and
learned the value of perseverance. Through a classmate's
invitation, Jack attended Officers' Christian Fellowship
(OCF) cadet Bible study and came to receive Christ, an
event that significantly impacted his life as well as his
family and friends. As an upperclassman, Jack believed
that demeaning a person's dignity or self-respect was
unnecessary to achieve the highest standards of training.
That early development of Jack's leadership style served him
well in future positions of increasing responsibility. During June Week 1961, another significant event occurred as Jack
fell deeply in love with his future wife, Joan.
Following graduation, Jack attended the Signal Basic
Course at Ft. Monmouth, NJ. Before his first assignment
to the 51st Signal Battalion in the Republic of Korea, Jack
completed Airborne and Ranger training at Ft. Benning,
GA. Next, Jack was stationed with the 501st Signal
Battalion at Ft. Campbell, KY. In April 1964, he married
Joan Marcia Glass in Kingsport, TN. In 1965, Jack
returned to Ft. Monmouth for the Signal Advanced
Course and the birth of son David William. The Martins
next traveled to Washington, DC, where Jack served in
the Office of Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence at the Pentagon and second son Andrew John was born. In 1968,
Jack was assigned to duty in Viet Nam with the 69th
Signal Battalion. The following year, he attended the
Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, VA.
In 1972, Jack earned an MBA from the University
of Alabama, where his third son, Daniel Carl, was born,
and returned to Ft. Monmouth for duty with Army Electronics
Command. In 1974, Jack assumed command of
the Communications Command Safeguard Complex in Nekoma, NO. In 1976, Jack returned to West Point to
serve as Executive Officer of the Corps of Cadets, 4th
Regiment, the Office of the Commandant, and Assistant
Deputy Post Commander. Three years later, in 1979, Jack
was selected to command the 4th Battalion, 3rd Basic
Training Brigade, Ft. Dix, NJ. Jack's final assignment was
with U.S. Army Communications Command-Western
Command, at Ft. Shafter, HI, where he served as Chief,
Plans and Operations Division and Deputy Commander
until his retirement in July 1982. Jack's awards and
decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the
Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters,
the Army General Staff Badge, the senior parachutists
badge, and the Ranger tab.
After retirement, Jack and
his family relocated to San Jose,
CA, where Jack was principal of
a Christian elementary school. In 1983, the Martin family
moved to Marietta, GA, where
Jack became Administrator for
Marietta Christian Schools.
During 1984-93, Jack was Senior
Project Manager at the Institute
of Nuclear Power Operations in
Jack also invested himself in several interests outside his career.
He joined OCF as a cadet and
had the opportunity to lead the
cadet ministry while assigned
to USMA and serve as an OCF representative at several
other posts. Jack and Joan actively participated in Gideons
International. Jack completed graduate work in Christian
Education and also was active in Sons of the American
Revolution. Jack taught many Bible classes and counseled
many young adults, West Point cadets, and young
Family was a high priority in Jack's life. From his sons'
earliest years, Jack challenged them to be stalwart
competitors in athletics and academics. Most importantly,
Jack shared with his sons his faith in God. Jack's deep
love, commitment, counsel, and encouragement instilled
a legacy of courage, confidence, discipline, and moral
character in his sons' lives. Jack and Joan were thankful for
the gift of 34 years of marriage. Their life purpose was to
exhibit a godly lifestyle, magnify and exalt God within
their circle of influence, be good stewards of the resources
entrusted to them, and convincingly pass their faith in
Christ to the next generation. Jack's life reflected many of
the principles articulated in the cadet prayer, "To live
above the common level of life, to choose the harder right
instead of the easier wrong," and to be loyal "to all that is
noble and worthy".
Jack's courage and steadfastness during his last five
years served as an inspiration to many. Jack succumbed to
a stroke in June 1998 in Marietta, GA, after celebrating
his granddaughter's fourth birthday. Deeply missed, we
give thanks for this wise leader who impacted so many. In
honor of Jack, we echo the comments made about the
great Christian leader, John Calvin, at his death, "Life will
be less sweet and death will be less bitter".
Jack is survived by his wife Joan; sons and daughters-in-law--David and Frieda, Andrew and Evangelina, and
Daniel and Joy; grandchildren--Sarah, David, Jr., and
Anna; mother Ina; and siblings--Linda, Kay, and John
Gray. Jack joins two other grandchildren already at home
with the Lord. Jack's grave marker speaks of his faith and
hope in Jesus Christ, simply stating, "Absent from the
body, present with the Lord". Jack is now at rest serving
the one he loved, studied, and taught about for so much
of his life.
His wife Joan, sons David '88, Andrew '90, and Daniel
and classmates Alan Lubke and Gordon Ericksen
MARCH / APRIL 2000 ASSEMBLY
Jack was an absolutely great person. We both entered the
Signal Corps after graduation from USMA in June of 1961. In those days over 50
years ago, we tolerated classes at the Signal School at Fort Monmouth while we
enjoyed the New Jersey beaches and New York City on the weekends. My respect for
Jack Martin grew the more that I discussed with him the war, the Army and where
we would go from there. We all miss you Jack and I guess we'll see you soon.
Best wishes. Mike Eggleston