ST(M)A Fleming Alumni Veterans Award


In 2008, a new, annual tradition began at Saint Thomas Academy – the Fleming Alumni Veterans Award. As a ROTC charter military institute, our list of graduates who have served this nation in our armed forces is long and distinguished. As a result, the STA administration approved a new award to honor our veteran graduates. The award is officially named the “Fleming Alumni Veteran Award,” or simply the “Fleming Medal” after Captain Richard Fleming, Class of 1935, and recipient of the Medal of Honor and our highest decorated graduate. 
A design competition was held for cadets to create a medal that would capture the themes of STA, military service and country. After a difficult selection process, Cadet Andrew Sheaffer, Class of 2008, won the competition. His design superimposed the Maltese cross worn on the Cadet Class A lapel, with the school crest, crossed rifle and saber, and four blue stones to symbolize the pillars of STA. On the top of the medal, a Latin phrase reading PRO DEO et PATRIA, “for God and Country,” is inscribed.





All nominations for the 2016 Fleming Award must be submitted no later than September 1, 2016.  Please submit packets to LTC DePuglio at 

2015 Recipients:


2014 Recipients:

John William Battis– STMA Class of 1942.  United States Army
As with many of his class, he entered the United States Army shortly after graduation. Due to his military training at STMA he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the infantry. He arrived in Italy in 1944 and was assigned to the 45th Infantry Division holding the Anzio beachhead.  After months of fighting in Italy, he participated in Operation Dragoon– the invasion of Southern France. He fought with the 45th Division through Southern France and into the heart of Germany.  He holds the Bronze Star for valor, the
Purple Heart for wounds received in Italy, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.  In 2013, the nation of France decorated him with the National Order of the Legion of Honor, Chevalier for his service in the liberation of France.  Mr. Battis currently resides in Arizona. 

Lt. Col. (Ret) Russell James Jensen - STMA Class of 1949.  United States Air Force
After his graduation from STMA, Lieutenant Colonel Jensen entered the College of Saint Thomas, graduating in 1953 and receiving his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He became an air traffic controller, then a fighter pilot in the F-89 Scorpion.  Ultimately, a command pilot in the C-97 Stratocruiser and C-130 transport aircraft. He served in multiple assignments in the active Air Force and the Minnesota Air National Guard.  These assignments included, The Republic of Korea, flying interdiction missions over the North Pole, flying support missions into Berlin during the Berlin Airlift crisis, support missions into South Vietnam and Philippines during the Vietnam War. His last assignment was as the Commander, 109th Squadron, Minnesota Air National Guard.  He retired in 1991.   When not serving in the Minnesota Air Guard, he practiced law in the Twin Cities.  

LTC (Ret) Robert Clarence Green – STMA Class of 1963.  United States Army.   
After his graduation from STMA, Lieutenant Colonel Green enlisted in the United States Army as an infantryman.  In 1966, he completed Officer’s Candidate School (OCS) and was commissioned as a 2LT in the infantry.  He immediately attended parachute school, Special Forces school, and Vietnamese language training.   In Vietnam, he served as a Green Beret with the 5th Special Forces Group conducting combat operations in Laos and North Vietnam.  During his second assignment in Vietnam, he commanded N Company, 75th Ranger Regiment and conducted combat operations in the central highlands of South Vietnam.  In his 24 years of service, his postings included; Vietnam, Germany, Ft. Benning, Georgia,  Fort Lewis, Washington, and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  His military decorations include; the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star for heroism, the Combat Infantryman’s badge, plus numerous other decorations.  He currently resides in Oregon.

2013 Recipients:

J. Jerome Plunkett, STMA Class of 1942
Mr. Plunkett entered the Army in 1943 as a young, 19 year old, Army infantry second lieutenant with the 2nd Infantry Division.  He landed on Omaha Beach on June 7th 1944 and was immediately engaged in horrific ground combat for the next two months.  He sustained serious wounds from German artillery in August 1944 and was evacuated to England for medical treatment.  After recovery, he returned to his unit in time to face German forces advancing through Belgium in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge.  He returned home in 1945 where he finished college and law school.  He served as a city attorney for St. Paul and a Minnesota district judge until his retirement.  He holds the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Bronze Star, the and the Purple Heart.  Mr. Plunkett passed away in 2000.

COL (Ret) John Stewart, STMA Class of 1952
Colonel Stewart served in the United States Army as a field artillery officer and aviator.  In 30 years of service, he was assigned in 29 locations, including the Continental United States, Europe, Asia and two tours of duty in Vietnam. In 1966, as a light observation pilot, he called for artillery and air strikes against enemy forces attempting to capture two American base camps.  His actions, directly resulted in saving countless American lives.  After his military service he obtained a PhD in Political Science and currently teaches at Penn State University.  He holds the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.

MG (Ret) Robert Pollman, STMA Class of 1965
General Pollmann served in the United States Army and the Army Reserve for over 37 years as an engineer officer.  During his service, he commanded at the platoon, battalion, and brigade level.  In 2004, he served as the chief engineer, Multi-Corps Iraq and Commander of the 420th Engineer Brigade.  While in Iraq, his unit built numerous, bridges, roads, schools, and other infrastructure projects that allowed the Iraqi government to regain control of insurgent areas.  In his last assignment, he commanded the 88th Regional Readiness Command, Fort Snelling.  He holds the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star, plus numerous other awards and decorations.

Click here to see photos from Veterans Day and the Fleming Award presentation.  

2012 Recipients:

Robert Sheahan, STMA Class of 1949
Sheahan was a fighter pilot for the Marine Corps, serving in various aviation fighter squadrons and reconnaissance squadrons. He flew the F-4 Phantom and the A-6 Intruder in 120 combat sorties in Vietnam with Fighter Attack Squadron 314. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit with Combat Device, seven Air Medals, the Navy Commendation medal with the Combat “V” Device, and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of gallantry with bronze star. After Vietnam, Sheahan commanded the 14th Marine Air Group and served as an aviation planner at the headquarters, for the Marine Corps and at the Pentagon with the Joint Staff. He retired from the Marines in 1980, with 27 years of service.

Eric Aberg, STMA Class of 1959
Aberg was commissioned as a second lieutenant by Sen. Hubert Humphrey and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1963. He completed infantry, airborne training and was selected for Special Forces and Vietnamese language training. In 1967, he was serving as a Special Forces adviser in the Mekong Delta. He commanded a Special Forces A-Team and approximately 600 South Vietnamese and Montengard soldiers. He spent the next 25 years serving in the Army in a multitude of Special Forces command assignments and staff assignments. Aberg retired from the Army in 1988, after receiving the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Master parachutist badge, the Green Beret and numerous other decorations. Today he operates his winery, the Kristin Hill Winery, in Amity, Oregon.

Robert Bauleke, STA Class of 2003
After graduating from Saint John’s University in 2007, on an ROTC scholarship, Robb Bauleke was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and branched Field Artillery. After his initial officer’s training, he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery of the 2nd Infantry Division, serving as a fire direction officer and a 155mm howitzer platoon leader. He later transferred to the famous 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment – the “Tomahawks” – serving as a fire support and intelligence officer. During a 2009 deployment in Iraq, the Tomahawks coordinated aviation and artillery strikes supporting several infantry operations, and helped develop the infrastructure, economy and local government of Diyala province, 25 miles north east of Baghdad. Robb Bauleke coached community leaders and citizens how to conduct free and fair elections, and how to overcome corruption. He now commands the Alpha Battery, 3rd Battalion – 6th Field Artillery of the U.S. 10th Mountain Division, which he is preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan in January. The unit will provide close support artillery fire for allied forces and train the Afghan Army on the use of weapons. During his short Army career, Robb Bauleke has received the Bronze Star, the Army Accommodation medal, the Combat Action badge and numerous other decorations.

Peter Bauleke, STA Class of 2006
Peter Bauleke is the youngest graduate to receive the Fleming Medal. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2010 and was commissioned as an infantry officer. After infantry training, he completed Ranger and Airborne schools and was assigned as a platoon leader in Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division, the Army’s premiere unit in mountain warfare. Soon after, Bauleke and his unit deployed to Afghanistan, where they trained and fought with Afghan soldiers, and helped build and open a new school. In addition to being an infantry platoon leader, he also served as a local “mayor,” acting as a liaison between rival tribes and village elders, convincing them to work together against the Taliban. For his efforts and leadership, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He recently returned to Ft. Drum and assumed new duties as the executive officer for Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment. He plans to stay in the Army and attend the Infantry Officer Advanced course next year.

2011 Veterans Day Ceremony Review
Cadets welcomed keynote speaker Lt. Cmdr. Father Allen Kuss , U.S. Navy (ret.), director of pastoral formation and teaching parish program at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas.  Kuss served a total of 20 years as chaplain, deputy command chaplain and command chaplain aboard several ships in the Navy at various military installations in U.S., South America and the Pacific before retiring from the Navy in 2011.
Commandant of Cadets DePuglio and Headmaster Mich presented the Fleming Alumni Veteran Award to the following three recipients:

2011 Recipients:

John Crowley, STA Class of 1971
Crowley served as the operational commander for the Great Lakes region, where he oversaw the more than 7,700 regular, reserve, auxiliary and civilian men and women who secured 6,500 miles of shoreline and 1,500 miles of international border by providing search and rescue, marine safety and environmental protection and maritime law enforcement. As a retired Rear Admiral, Crowley is one of the Academy highest ranking alumnus.

Bertram Maas, STMA Class of 1949
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Maas was a fighter pilot and helicopter pilot prior to and during the Vietnam war. On Aug. 19, 1968, Maas and the unit he commanded, the Marine Gunship and Observation Squadron 6 of the 1st Marine Air Wing, flew in and out of landing zones, under heavy enemy fire to evacuate wounded Marines. Maas, attacked North Vietnamese Artillery emplacements and advancing North Vietnamese Infantry, allowing many Marines to be saved and reinforcements to join the fight, while reducing enemy in the area. He is a recipient of the Silver Star for Gallantry, the Bronze Star, 23 Air Medals, and many other awards. He retired from the Marines in 1980, with 27 years of service, and passed away in 2011. Accepting the medal is his sister Jeanne Maas Schiefelbein

Julian McFadden, STMA Class of 1949
McFadden joined the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant in 1954 and later graduated from pilot training as a fighter pilot, flying the F-102 Delta Dagger interceptor and the famous F-4 Phantom. He served several tours in the Pacific and Asia, flying over 341 combat missions from the bases of Da-Nang, South Vietnam and Udorn Air Base in Thailand.  His missions included combat strikes and close air support sorties in North Vietnam, Laos and South Vietnam.  He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and 17 Air Medals.  After Vietnam, he became rated in the A-10 Thunderboldt and was awarded command of the largest fighter group in the Air Force – the 18th Tactical fighter group based out of Kedena Air Base in Okinawa. He passed away in 2010. Accepting for him are his wife Deanna and daughter LTC NahaKu McFadden.

2010 Recipients:

Eugene Hanousek, STMA Class of 1931
Hanousek worked as a rancher in South Dakota and a baker in Illinois after graduation. As the nation prepared for war, he attended Army Officer Candidate School and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1941. As a 1st Lieutenant in late 1944, he was a platoon leader assigned in France, charged with the mission to push the Germany Army out of the Colmar pocket. With flat terrain and snow, there was little cover for the attacking infantry and Hanousek was killed by direct German artillery fire. His Infantry Division eventually secured the area and advanced into Germany; his unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for Valor.

Thomas [O'Kane] Gramith, STA Class of 2000
Gramith graduated from North Dakota State University in 2005 with a degree in mechanical engineering, obtained a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant and was selected for weapon systems officer training. He completed navigator training and was awarded his wings in 2007. In April 2009, Gramith was deployed to Afghanistan and for three months flew countless missions in support of NATO and American ground forces engaged in combat operations. On 17 July, 2009, he experienced a fatal aircraft accident near Ghazni, Afghanistan. He was awarded The Bronze Star, The Air Medal (with one Oak Leaf Cluster) and numerous other decorations.

Kelly Hinz, STA Class of 1993
Hinz attended the University of St. Thomas after graduation and worked with his father on the Red Tail Project - designed to celebrate and honor African American pilots of WWII. He eaerned his private pilot's license and entered the Marine Corps as an officer. After two years of training, he became a qualified pilot in the F/A - 18 Hornet. In the winter and spring of 2005, Captain Hinz flew numerous missions in support of US ground troops fighting in Iraq. On 5 May, 2005, Hinz and wingman MAJ John Spahr experienced a fatal aircraft accident over south central Iraq.

Matthew Michaud, STA Class of 1993
Michaud enlisted in the MN Air National Guard after graduation. He studied aviation management at the University of Minnesota-Mankato and was accepted for USAF Officers Training School. Over the last ten years, Major Michaud has attained more than 3,700 hours of flight time in numerous aircraft, most notably the B-2 stealth bomber. He has flown globally in the B-2 in support of numerous combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Michaud is currently the Assistant Director of Operations and weapons officer, 325th Operations Squadron, at Whiteman AFB in Missouri.

2009 Recipients:

Jack Clarke, STMA Class of 1948
Clarke enlisted in the Army after graduation and qualified for a number of positions, including jungle warfare expert, and was a graduate of Special Forces school. He commanded infantry units in the U.S., Korea, Vietnam, Germany and Okinawa. He served in Vietnam; his Silver Star Citation reads in part "Throughout long hours of battle and while under fierce enemy small arms and grenade fire, Major Clarke repeatedly exposed himself to evacuate wounded men." In addition, Clarke was awarded two Bronze Stars for Valor, several Air Medals and Purple Hearts, and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallentry.

Ken Deans, STMA Class of 1930
Deans was called to active duty in the Army reserve in 1939. He defended his country at Pearl Harbor and was then stationed in the South Pacific for two years. He was part of the foundation that developed the Army's rocket and nuclear missle program. For the past few years, LTC Deans has shared his Pearl Harbor story with high schools in the Twin Cities. He served as the honorary captain for the 2009 Cadets football team at Homecoming.

Robert Lee, STMA Class of 1943
Lee turned down a Naval Academy appointment to enlist in the Army and fight for his nation. As a commissioned second lieutenant, he became a platoon leader and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He led his men in attacks against the Sigfried Line, crossed the Rhine River and headed into Germany. In March 1945, he led an attached on the town of Olk, Germany, and was fatally wounded at the age of 19; his actions enabled his unit to take their objective. First Lieutenant Lee was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for Valor.

George Monahan, STMA Class of 1951
Monahan accepted an appointment to West Point and after graduation was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. In 1963, he served on the launch crew for the Gemini manned space flight program and flew in support of space and missle testing. He flew 122 combat sorties during Vietnam and received the Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit and numerous Air medals. In the 1980s, General Monahan was assigned as the Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, responsible for developing technology to defend the U.S. against Russian nuclear attack. He passed away in 1993.

2008 Recipients:

Carl Baumgaertner, STMA Class of 1942
Baumgaertner was surprised to also receive his Silver Star medal, which was bestowed on him by Gen. George S. Patton Jr., commander of the 3rd U.S. Army for his acts of heroism and gallantry in 1945 during WWII. Due to combat, Baumgaertner never received the medal. In his remarks, Baumgaertner deferred the accolades stating that all of the U.S. military service personnel are deserving of recognition.

James Garberg, STMA Class of 1941
Garberg is a highly decorated WWII veteran as well, having received the nation’s second highest award for heroism – the Distinguished Service Cross. The last sentence of his award nomination reads: “His gallant, determined heroism, and aggressiveness were inspiring to us all.”