Fort Benning building named for Frank Plass of Columbus

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comJune 5, 2014 

ROBIN TRIMARCHI rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Maj. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, Commanding General of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, and Col. David Davidson, right, 316th Cavalry Brigade commander, stand with retired Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Plass and his wife Julianne as the brigade headquarters building is dedicated and named Plass Hall in honor of the 91 year old Plass. One of 264 triple Combat Infantry Recipients, Plass served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. His other awards include the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal, the National Infantry Association's Order of St. Maurice, and the Doughboy Award in 1997. Dozens of friends and former colleagues, including six retired 29th Infantry Regiment commanders and retired Gen. Carter Ham, were on hand for the ceremony. 06.05.14

ROBIN TRIMARCHI — rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

In a ceremony Thursday morning, the 316th Cavalry Regiment's headquarters building at Fort Benning was dedicated to retired Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Charles Plass of Columbus.

Building 5118 is now Plass Hall.

Plass, who will be 92 in July, said he was "very honored" by the action.

The National Infantry Museum recognizes Plass as one of 264 veterans who have been awarded three Combat Infantry Badges for his service in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Among his many honors is the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal and the National Infantry's Association's Order of St. Maurice.

In 1997, Plass received the Doughboy Award in recognition of his lifetime service to the Army.

Col. David Davidson, the commander of the 316th Cavalry Regiment, said Plass had a distinguished career and called him a "very significant individual."

"Anytime we can honor a living hero is a fantastic day," Davidson said.

Retired Gen. Carter Ham, former commander of the United States Africa Command, spoke at the ceremony and said Plass led by example in everything he did.

He said Plass held himself and other non-commissioned officers to a high standard.

He said loyalty always meant a lot to Plass.

Maj. Gen. H.R. McMaster, commander of the Manuever Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, said that in the Army's legacy of excellence, there is "nobody better to emulate than Sgt. Maj. Plass."

He told those gathered that every day at Fort Benning is a good day but Thursday was a "really, really great day."

The honoree's daughter, Barbara Powell, who lives in Harris County, was on hand for the occasion. She said she is very proud of Plass.

"Everything good he gets in his life he deserves," she said.

Plass enlisted in the Army in October 1938 as an infantryman and retired on July 31, 1971. His final assignment was as the command sergeant major for the 197th Infantry Brigade at Fort Benning.

During his 33 years of active service, Plass served in various leadership positions at Fort Benning.

After his active service, he continued to support the military in many ways.

In 1986, he was selected as the 29th Infantry Regiment's honorary command sergeant major. That same year, after the creation of the 29th Infantry Regiment Association, Plass was elected as the group's first president.

He was commander of American Legion Post 189. In 2007, he was cited by the American Legion Georgia State Commander as the state's top recruiter.

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