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August 4, 2016

Marines name scholarship in memory of E. B. Sledge

The University of Montevallo recently recognized the Howlin Mad Smith Detachment 592 of the Alabama Marine Corps League for their generous gift to name a scholarship in memory of Dr. Eugene B. Sledge. The scholarship will be awarded each year to help a fellow Marine further his or her education and become a leader in the community.

Members of the Marine Corps League, Howlin Mad Smith Detachment 592 presented a check for the annual scholarship to Mrs. Jeanne Sledge in memory of her husband. The presentation was held at the Sledge Memorial in Harman Hall at the University of Montevallo on July 11.

Commandant Danny Rooks said, “Our main civic program is Marines helping Marines. When we have a marine or a Marine’s family member in trouble either health, money, spiritual whatever we are there for them.”

The Alabama Marine Corps League previously honored Sledge by donating $25,000 to the Sledge Memorial and outdoor classroom in October 2015. At that time, the Marines from the Detachment began discussing the idea of a scholarship at the University of Montevallo. Soon afterward, they voted to establish the scholarship in memory of E.B. Sledge.

Sledge is most widely known for his memoir, “With the Old Breed: at Peleliu and Okinawa” written about his service as a marine on the Pacific Island of Peleliu and in Okinawa, Japan. Historians regard his memoir as a significant chronicle of combat and it was the basis for the HBO-mini series The Pacific. “Dr. Sledge’s writing of his life in combat during WWII is a classic and reveals his command of words to show the agony of combat. For this reason, his book is required reading of all Marines in OCS.” said Rooks.

Sledge’s act of service went beyond his military service. At the University of Montevallo, Sledge was a popular biology professor, guiding and mentoring students from 1962 until his retirement in 1990. The Howlin Mad Smith Detachment has approximately 10 members who attended UM and experienced Sledge’s dedication as an educator. Rooks explains, “During the time period of the 1960s, around 40 students were marines. Dr. Sledge was instrumental in many of their lives.”

Marines interested in the scholarship should contact Amanda Fox at foxat@montevallo.edu or 205-665-6035.