Charles Edward Stokes, Jr., Colonel United States Army (Retired). Greenbrier Military School (GMS) Class of 1956. He came to GMS from Buffalo, WV and sent four year at GMS. He served as Executive Officer of Band Company, playing football on the Junior Varsity (High School) Team. He played trumpet and a very distinguishable revile and taps. He currently resides at Holden Beach, NC.
Charles has a Bachelor’s Degree from West Virginia State (WVSU) and a Master’s from Louisiana State University in Political Science. He is also a graduate of Senior Services College (War College with less that 2% selection from all services) and the Foreign Service Institute
His teaching experience includes International Relation and African Affairs, Campbell University, Military Science, WVSU, Comparative Political Systems and Government & Politics of Latin America at the United States Military Academy (West Point), and University of Maryland (Overseas Program, Korea).
Charles military career spans over 25 years. He is a Viet Nam Veteran. His Awards and Decorations include Master Parachute Badge, Ranger Tab, Bronze Star with V device, Air Medal. Legion of Merit, and two Purple Hearts. Most of Charles’ service was as a Tactical Strategic Intelligence Officer (TSIO) which includes Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs (PSYOPOS-CA). The standards for the Branch assignment are very high and include Combat Arms Basic and Advance Course, Airborne, Masters Degree, Language skills (reading, writing, and speaking). Advancement in the Branch includes service as a Detachment Commander, Staff Officer at the Battalion level, Instructor in a Service School, Staff Officer at a Brigade or higher organization. Officer in a Special Forces Group, Headquarters Company Commander, and Political Military Affairs Officer in a Psychological Operations Command, and Propaganda Officer .
Charles’ last active duty command was Deputy Commander of the Special Warfare Center and School, FT. Bragg, NC his duties included overseeing curricula directed toward engaging Special Operations in the Global War on Terror. He was responsible for the entire Special Warfare Center and not just the Special Forces School.
To truly appreciate and understand Charles’ contribution to our national interest, one must look at the dates of his service, locations, political and historical significance, and the state of world affairs. 1964-65: Commander of the 681st Intelligence Corps Detachment, Dominican Republic: 1967-68: Commander, 181 MI Company, 101st Airborne Division, Republic of South Vietnam, and operational control of the 2nd South Vietnam Military Intelligence Company; 1978-80: Commander, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion Of which there is only one active duty Battalion in the entire United States Army; 1980-82: Commander, Recruiting Battalion, WV achieveing a successful rating of 8th out of 56 (previously the rate was 52 out of 56); 1982-85: Defense Attache, Guatemala, during a time when Nicaragua was near collapse and falling under communist control, Honduras was in conflict with the Contras and El Salvador was having civil strife, and the Northern half of Guatemala was being overrun by communist guerillas.; 1985-86: Director of International studies at John F. Kennedy Center, Ft. Bragg, NC; 1990-93: 1st Gulf War, Charles was selected as support manager, wrote execution , alert, defense plans for expatriates, and evacuation plans for the Saudi families, Support Manager for Saudi Naval Base, Jubail, Saudi, Arabia; 2000-2002: Republic of Nigeria, source of 17% of the United States’ crude oil , recognizing the need for a stable and civilian government. Charles provided consultation to reform Nigerian Armed Forces and wrote their National Security Strategy and Defense Policy; 2003-07: Lead seventy monitors and support staff investigating allegations of abuse and atrocities against civilian in Sudan and Kenya. Charles considers his assignment as Deputy and later Project Manager of the Civilian Protection Monitoring Team his most noble position ever held; 2006-2007: Ethiopia, neighboring Somalia and considered one of the most dangerous areas of the world. Somalia was previously controlled by warlords and is best known for the incident of “Blackhawk Down”. Somalia is now controlled by Ethiopia, and Charles was charged with Curriculum and Coordinator and Principal Instructor in the Ethiopean Defense and Staff College; 2008-09: Charles was hired by the Department of Defense as Program Manager, Special Operations in Zamboanga, Philippines. The area is an Al Qaeda stronghold on the Sullu Sea which is considered by many as the second most dangerous region in the world for piracy and second only to the Horn of Africa/Somalia.
Charles has had a most interesting career and has brought credit to GMS, his country and himself. We are proud to name him to the GMS Wall of Honor.