Committed to Service: Beta Eta Alumnus Participates in Veteran Memorial Ceremony

Ralph Cross, Beta Eta (Florida State), tells his story of lifelong service as a member of Pi Kappa Phi and the U.S. Military.

“In November of 2017, I again participated (also in 2012) in the Reading of the Names ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial Wall commemorating the 35th Anniversary of the building of the Wall and remembering the 58,267 soldiers who paid the ultimate price. I served with the 101st Airborne Division’s 326th Medical Battalion (aeromedical casualty evacuation) in Vietnam during 1970 and 1971 when the Division was the last combat division in Vietnam at that time.

I retired from the United States Army as a Colonel in 1996 after a thirty-year career (two years of active duty and twenty-eight years in the Reserve). My assignments during this period included serving as Commander of Enlisted Personnel at Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, DC, Executive Officer of the 326th Medical Battalion, 101st Airborne Division in Viet Nam, Commandant of the 3457th Medical Training Center, Houston, Texas,  Chief of Staff of the 807th Medical Brigade, Seagoville, Texas, Executive Officer of the 94th General Hospital and Executive Officer of the 2291st Evacuation Hospital that were mobilized during Operation Desert Storm. My military awards and honors include the Bronze Star Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, five Army Commendation Medals, and induction into the Military Order of Medical Merit.

I am a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the Army Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and a Life Member of the Army War College Foundation.

While serving as Chief of Staff of the 807th Medical Brigade, I served on the Board of the Texas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to locate employment opportunities in the Dallas area for returning service members.

As a civilian, I have served as a speaker and faculty member at programs and symposiums sponsored by the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and Texas Medical Association. I served three terms as Vice Chairman of the American Medical Association’s Commission on Emergency Medical Services and was the first non-physician ever elected to an office of the AMA. I am a Life Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

I am editor of the text Working Effectively With Managed Care Plans – Strategies for Success, co-editor of the text The Hospital’s Role in Emergency Medical Services Systems, and author of twenty articles in professional healthcare journals.

I recently served as a Team Leader of twenty-five docents and volunteers at the George W. Bush Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.”

Ralph E. Cross
Beta Eta 1963