"After a few months he was selected to be aide to Brig. General Post, the Asst. Div. Commander.. . .after about one month of "three hots and a cot", Hughes asked to return to Company K just in time for the grueling and bitter hill fighting, as Ridgeway and later Van Fleet drove the Eighth Army north against the Chinese.I ask:How many soldiers would choose this path?I knew of none in eleven months in combat.
"David Hughes has an unmatched devotion
and loyalty to and admiration and love for the American soldier -- virtues
that have prevailed through his active and retired military service. To
this day he is not an elitist;"
"Disregarding the concentrated fire of
the foe, he charged to the crest of the hill, fired his automatic-weapon
until it no longer functioned and then pressed the attack solely with grenades.His
audacious assault completely demoralized the enemy and, as he moved among
them fighting fiercely, his men charged up the slope and engaged the hostile
troops in close combat.Imbued with his own fearlessness, the friendly troops
fought their way over the crest of the hill, inflicting heavy casualties
on the foe and securing the objective."
"In repeated attempts to move the company
forward Colonel Hughes continually exposed himself to heavy enemy fire
often rolling and struggling his way through the deep mud between friendly
positions.Enemy grazing fire laced the unit's position as he scrambled
from man to man in an attempt to rally the company which now had taken
moderate casualties.While the casualties were being moved to the evacuation
area Colonel Hughes, still moving under enemy fire, reformed the company
and mounted a level of fire that forced the enemy to break contact."
" Lt Hughes kept encouraging us.I saw Lt
Hughes rush up the hill firing his weapons at close range.He reached the
top and kept going.When we finally caught up with him most of us had about
3 clips left of ammo.Lt Hughes was motioning for the Chinese to give up.He
captured 129 prisoners after we were relieved.We walked down the hills
with our prisoners with less than 50 people from K Co.I truly believe that
Lt Hughes should have received the Medal of Honor on that day.What he did
was above and beyond the call of duty."
"His battlefield exploits are legendary.He
is an example of the warrior ethos personified.I know of no one who better
exemplifies what a combat leader should be.The United States Military Academy
should hold him up before Cadets and say, "See! Here is what you should
strive to be."I believe that West Point needs to focus on developing graduates
who will aspire to the example that David Hughes has set.There is no better
role model than David Hughes."
"I would have to say that Col. Hughes was
the best commander I had ever seen, and believe me, I had seen and served
under many officers during our long odyssey across Europe [in WWII].It's
not that we didn't have outstanding leadership.We certainly did, but Col.
Hughes was the best I had seen in my war and during the time in Korea when
I was covering not only the First Cavalry Division, but the Third Infantry
Division, the 25th Infantry Division, the First Marine Division and the
Princess Pat Regiment of the Commonwealth Division.He had extraordinary
leadership qualities.He led by example, inspiring those who served under
him to match his courage and calmness under fire."
"Dave Hughes served as my Chief of Staff
in the 5th Infantry Division in 1969-70.His intellect, integrity, dedication,
diligence, and vision of the future were evident from the outset of our
association.He was the strong reed upon which I leaned as we developed
and implemented those measures believed appropriate and necessary in the
difficult times then facing our Army.His faithful dedication to the motto
of our Alma Mater resulted in his contributing significantly to our efforts."
"Working with David Hughes as part of a
small leadership group under our commander, General Bernard W. Rogers,
I came to admire his keen and broad intelligence, his imagination and creativity,
his initiative, his moral courage, and his willingness to take responsibility
for important matters.In all of his work he was notable for his willingness
to think fresh thoughts, to stick his neck out and do what he thought was
right, and to accept responsibility for his actions."
"Dave understood that liberal arts were
part of the armament for a career military officer and he believed in the
"Whole man" concept.He made literature and language come alive and the
classes from about 1956 to 1962 remember him as a dynamic and powerful
influence on their lives."
"He was a superb instructor who made literature
interesting and he tied the material to leadership and to military ethics.At
the same time, he was one of those people who personally inspired me while
maintaining the proper cadet-instructor relationship.He gave me a role
model to emulate which carried me through the early rough months at West
Point.Years later, I discovered what a hero he was and what he had gone
through in Korea.He had never told us, but it did not surprise me."
"For me (Dave Hughes) was a walking symbol of what a West Point Army officer should be: He dressed the part, he looked the part, and his every action bespoke him living the part. He was (I'm sure he still is) a down to earth human being who cared for people (he always found time to discuss a problem and assist you in finding solutions), while at the same time he was an intellectual whose command of the English language was obvious (he was, after all, an English P), and he was a real honest to God hero who had proven himself in combat.
"The lasting impact of Dave Hughes on my
life and me as a person would be difficult to measure. Perhaps the
best way to indicate the continuing effect would be to say this: After
writing or editing a few published books, several published articles, and
after having my ability to present complex ideas in writing noted as one
of my unique skills on twenty-five years of officer efficiency reports,
I am concerned that if Dave Hughes were to read this, he would take out
his red pen."
"I can still remember how this young, almost
baby faced officer, only seven or so years older than we, with rows of
ribbons on his chest led off by the DSC, impressed all of us with his soldierly
bearing, his carriage, his leadership style and most importantly in this
academic setting, his intellect. Dave was living proof that the warrior
spirit could coexist with keen intellect. He quickly became a role
model for his students."
"With Hughes, the great characters and
themes of the literature became vehicles to develop our understanding of
military professionalism, its values, the responsibilities of leadership,
and important attributes like selflessness. Other instructors did that
for sure, but he was far and away the best in my experience - because he
did it with such presence, conviction, enthusiasm and wisdom."
"Editor's Note: The following message to
the Corps is the stirring and profound speech given two weeks ago at the
Notre Dame Rally in the Dining Hall by Captain David R. Hughes, class of
1950. We of the First Class would like to add our humble bit of praise
to the chorus of the entire Corps by stating that this speech is undoubtedly
the most impressive we have heard during our three and a quarter years
at the Academy. At the request of numerous Cadets, and in the hope that
we may capture and perpetuate the purer, stronger spirit described so well
by Capt. Hughes, we offer the following . . . Ē
"Both the Chief of Staff and I were impressed
with the originality, depth of perception, and clear logic reflected in
this study. Please accept this expression of my appreciation for
a job exceedingly well done."
"Your work on the special four man study
group investigating the nature of conflict in the lower spectrum testifies
to your exceptional competence in research and analysis, as well as to
your ability for creative, long range thinking."
"In addition, your outstanding contributions
to the public statements of the Secretary of Defense and several of his
chief advisors have elicited high praise from them and favorable comments
from those experts in the field of counterinsurgency."
"I also described to him the training management
analysis prepared by Dave Hughes and suggested to him that he ask Bill
DePuy for a briefing.That particular study simply demands attention at
the Departmental level because it should provide a wedge to dislodge some
of the sludge that now bogs down our training programs."
"You struck a blow for innovative training
and enthusiastic faith in the Modern Volunteer Army program.While some
of the less artistically inclined members of the audience might stop short
of psychedelic tanks, they should now be able to paint a better, brighter
picture of MVA."
"David Hughes is the kind of person President
Jefferson would have selected to lead such a historic and important mission
[Lewis and Clark Expedition] simply because of two basic qualities: Equanimity
of personality and demeanor (which he displayed on the battlefield) and
a fearless, visionary outlook to the undiscovered/unknown frontiers which
lay before him."
"However, it is Dave's unique visionary
involvement as a pioneer in the world of information technology which distinguishes
him from the graduates of any institution.He is known world-wide as an
active fount of ideas, concepts and achievements in cyberspace.Also being
known as a graduate of the Military Academy, Dave brings great credit to
our Alma Mater as he displays his consistent dedication to the principles
and ideals which undergird it."
"As an example of David's commitment to
his community, he championed the concept of revitalizing "Old Colorado
City" as an economic development based on its historic character as an
alternative to demolition. Not only was this effort a success, but
the Old Colorado City commercial redevelopment project became the cornerstone
of the overall revitalization that has taken place in the entire Colorado
Springs Westside neighborhood, and continues to serve as a great model
for future efforts."
"At 62, Hughes is telecommunications street
corner preacher, a true believer in the power of the personal computer.In
the hands of common folks, he says, they create new job opportunities by
allowing them to sell their talents to customers all over the world for
the cost of a phone call."
"The 55-year old retired Army colonel figures
that as a walking communications center, he is equal to almost anything.Recently,
for example, he took on city hall by mobilizing scores of citizens through
a local network to help fight a proposed home-business ordinance he considered
too restrictive.Besides his "grass-roots electronic politickin'," as he
puts it, Mr. Hughes has used the networks to teach a college course to
students as far away as Australia and to publish a computerized magazine."
"In the late summer of 1987, when I was first campaigning for elected office, I became acquainted with its electronic counterpart: a computer chat-room called "Rogers Bar' hosted by a local "Westsider" named Dave Hughes.I didn't know him and he didn't know me, but I (along with all the other candidates for City Council) was invited to put my platform "on-line" and to discuss my opinions with anyone who visited the Chat-room. "I won that election by a mere twelve votes, and there is no doubt that "Rogers Bar" and its neutral host, Dave Hughes, had a defining impact in that outcome.
"After taking office I convinced other
members that the City Council, City staff and the citizens of our community
should be linked electronically (this was Dave's idea) and Colorado Springs
became only the second city in the country to allow electronic communications
between citizens, staff, and elected officials.The impact this had on decision-making
and public policy was tremendous, even affecting a state election!"
"David Hughes made a true believer of me by teaching me all he knew of the cutting edge of this new marvelous technology and its meaning for the future of the world and, indeed, Democracy.We have been great friends since our first meeting in 1987.
"David was, and is, capable of foreseeing the future and acting upon his vast knowledge and insight to help people everywhere lead a better, more intelligent, connected life.
"David Hughes is an extraordinarily generous
genius.It is my belief that no one could deserve the USMA 2001 award more
than this great man.His foresight and insight truly have made our world
a better, more exciting place and diminished barriers of every kind around
the world long before the internet became a household word."
"Long before the popular rise of the Internet, Dave saw the potential for building a database listing library holdings that could be accessed online either within libraries from computer terminals rather than those old-fashioned many-drawered card catalogs or equally as easily by home computer users by modem. Pikes Peak Library District became a legend in the library community by being the first in the U.S. to offer home access to the full collection through an electronic bulletin board system...
"David Hughes has continued... His
most recent contribution involved demonstration of a wireless Internet
interface for our Old Colorado City branch library (a Carnegie facility
on the National Historic Registry). Dave applied a portion of a National
Science Foundation grant to demonstrate wireless technology to link the
branch library to the main library system and the Internet through local
radio frequency transmission facilities rather than more traditional (and
expensive) T-1/T-3 phone lines... It has demonstrated, once again,
that Dave's view of the technological future of the Internet is progressive
"In my opinion, Dave Hughes embodies in
the highest sense the motto of the United States Military Academy, "Duty,
Honor, Country."In our work together, he has always seemed blithely indifferent
to his personal advantage.He has consistently and with Herculean strength
and energy pursued his imaginative vision of computer communications technology
for education, community development , economic development, and now scientific
research.There are many other positive things I could say about Dave, but
I suspect others will say many of them.Perhaps the best thing I can say
is that knowing and working with Dave Hughes is one of the greatest good
fortunes of a generally fortunate life."
"Dave's greatest contribution, in my opinion, was, and continues to be, his intellectual rigor that exemplifies the best of West Point values.At the age of 49, he taught himself computers and telecommunications to become an internationally renowned expert. . . . .His genius is to be able to think well beyond the best thinkers of the day and to articulate the future.And then go out and implement that future.
"I view Dave's contribution to West Point as modeling the soldier of the future:
Proactive citizenship as good soldiering
Teaching and mentoring as good soldiering
Aggressive learning, thinking and development of intellectual rigor.
"Dave Hughes has been called 'the Ben Franklin
of the Information Age,' and I'd agree he's of that stature without a doubt.But,
history is still being made and Dave's still with us and is none too shy
with his continued offering of his ideas on what we can do, today, to use
technology and telecommunications to make the world a better place.And
his continued willingness to lead by example.My experience compels me to
petition you to listen carefully to his ideas as the future is upon us.And
like good Army scouts who rode out across the unsettled Western frontier
where I live and have been raised, Dave Hughes will always be out ahead,
pointing the way."
"In the meantime six years earlier in the spring of 1989 I had visited Big Sky Telegraph and his home in Colorado Springs.There he told me for the first time of his West Point experience and military career.Never having had exposure to the military beyond the two dimensional experience of a John Wayne movie, it made a profound impression on me.I was profoundly disillusioned by a military that seemed to have chosen the wrong side on which to fight in Vietnam.In Roger's Bar and at Hughes dining room table I began to see that instead of an irrational evil, the military in general and West Point in particular was responsible in many ways for the very characteristics about Hughes which I admired.West Point wasn't there just to train men how to break things and kill people.It was there to instill in its graduates the ability to lead their countrymen and to do so always within the context of an innate understanding of how what they were doing furthered the values and beliefs on which our nation was founded.Hughes seems always to have been guided by what is in the public interest and not by what will get him higher rank, a bigger house or a fancier car.
"Hughes' example of being able to focus
on and illuminate the public interest and the dedication of his life to
those public values make it imperative, that he - a maverick, given the
tenor of our times - be recognized with the distinguished graduate award.Traditionally
you honor the captains of industry, generals of Armies, pilots of state,
and seers of science and I suppose you should.Yet atthis moment you must
also demonstrate your own leadership by understanding, how singular, how
rare, how special is the character of David Ralph Hughes.The qualities
that he possesses and not material goodsand self-interest are the ones
needed to fuel the future of our country.You must show the cadet corps
and those to come after him that you understand this by making the award
and breaking the mold.These are the qualities that are worth dying for
and worth a giving a life time of military service for.We go forward rudderless
because material success is so plentiful and public values so scarce.You
owe it to us all to show by your honoring Dave Hughes that public values
are still worthy of pursuit."
"In 1982, Dave Hughes pioneered the first 'distance learning' course in the world online, via The Source.It was at the formal College level, from Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs.I became one of his online students, from Alaska, so that I could learn how this technology could be used for the education of Alaskans, no matter where they were."
"David Hughes helped me showcase one of the most striking examples of the power of wireless, before an influential gathering of Washington insiders at his 'Emerging Wireless Technologies' conference at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. in May of 1998. I was able to show government officers from the FCC, Department of Commerce, White House, NSF, and other agencies, how the wireless devices that Dave champions, were deployed in severe Arctic weather condition in Toksook Bay, Alaska a tiny Eskimo village on the Bering Sea. This has resulted in this remotest of Alaska communities being connected to the world of information known as the worldwide web. With Dave's help Project Toksook has been featured in numerous publications including the Outlook section of the Washington Post on August 8, 1998.
"Most recently, Dave is once again helping Alaska, by agreeing, to undertake the support of Alaskan Environmental and Biological Scientists at the University of Alaska to better collect data from some of the most severe weather places on the globe. At 72 years of age Dave will be traveling, into the Alaskan field on power boats, ATVs, snowmobiles, snowshoes, and his own footgear to both deploy advanced data radios and satellite systems- and more importantly - teach everyone in Alaska how to do it for themselves, and their communities...
"I will continue to follow his technical
lead, and will publicize his efforts on my weekly statewide television
show "Alaska On-Line".Dave Hughes is an outstanding representative of the
kind of men West Point produces, and he definitely should be recognized
as a Distinguished Graduate!"
"Early in 1994 around 4:00 pm a large 60íish year old man came smiling to my front door in Alamosa, Colorado. "Are you Noel Dunne?" "Yes" "Well Iím Dave Hughes and Iím told we should get together." I didnít know whether I was looking at the reincarnation of Hopalong Cassidy or Gene Autry between the huge gray Stetson, the large bolo and the turned up toes of the cowboy boots the visitor was wearing. When he spoke I knew it was neither of the above but rather a new version of John Wayne.
"I helped Mr. Hughes into our home with his large leather "Doctorsí bag" while he kept hold of a laptop computer. The bag contained a mass of gizmos, gadgets and wires that only the owner knew what they were for. Immediately he got down to setting up his demonstration while a continuous flow of one-way explanation of the power of telecommunications came through his opulent corpus from his agile brain. For the next seven hours I listened with my mouth closed and ears open to the amazing knowledge of this lecturer cum ex-USA Army officer. Never in my wildest dreams did I, an Irish missionary and former priest who worked for 25 years in Chile and Peru, believe I would become a friend of a high ranking West Point graduate. Miracles happen.
"David has left the San Luis Valley to
work in the exotic jungle of Puerto Rico and the deep lakes of Wisconsin.He
is indefatigable.I know he will carry with him the great technological
skills, his enormous capacity for learning, his acumen to cut to the core
of a problem.His greatest gift, however, is his innermost core - his spirituality
that is based on an absolute love for ALL people no matter of what race,
class, creed or beliefs."Prejudice" is a word he does not know."
"I understand that the West Point Society of Annapolis will nominate David Hughes for the US Military Academyís Distinguished Graduate Award for 2001. I have known of Dave for nearly 20 years, and when I wrote what many consider to be the definitive history of online communication, The Virtual Community, I included the following passage about Dave, who certainly does qualify, in my opinion, for this honor:
"Ben Franklin would have been the first owner of an Apple computer. Thomas Jefferson would have written the Declaration of Independence on an IBM PC.But Tom Paine would have published Common Sense on a computer bulletin board," Dave Hughes insists.
"If you want to talk about grassroots activism,
Hughes is a good place to start. He's an old infantryman: you don't always
wait for headquarters to give you permission to cobble something together
in the real world; it might save your ass, you just do it."
"David Hughes has performed in an outstanding manner on several National Science Foundation awards. His focus has been making wireless Internet access available to communities where Internet connectivity is difficult... He has championed the use of broadband spread spectrum wireless access... a true pioneer in this area... He has recently entered the fray in making available to the biology community inexpensive technical solutions to remote wireless techniques for data gathering from difficult remote areas
"Imagine the surprise of researchers in all these fields when they discover that the initiator of these far-reaching techniques is an elderly West Point graduate. I use 'elderly' guardedly since the term is technically correct but functionally inaccurate. Dave is as much at the cutting edge of implementing modern wireless technology as any young geek. In fact the young geek probably would not get his feet wet in the rain forest, climb a tower there, or travel to the far steppes of Alaska, but Dave will and does.
"In fact what he demonstrates over and
over is exactly that willing and doing the far out and difficult with no
regard to personal reward, and in fact at substantial personal risk.
In exactly this sense, Dave is the personification of my limited civilian
image of what a West Pointer is all about."
" From the mountains of Colorado, which he so loves, to the Piedmont of Virginia, to the northern streams of Montana, to the lakes of Wisconsin, to the tundra of Alaska and the rain forest of Puerto Rico, David Hughes has deployed and demonstrated state of the art wireless technology for the U.S. research and education communities and has begun to effect a change in the way they conduct their daily business.As a result of his knowledge and work, he is loved in the classrooms of (K-12) schools, listened to in the lecture halls of universities, as well as in the hearing rooms of Congress and the federal agencies and respected in the boardrooms of multi-billion dollar international corporations for his selfless efforts in the development and deployment of wireless technology. He is frequently sought as a speaker and advisor on wireless infrastructure deployment in less developed countries around the world. With respect to wireless technology and its importance to the future, David Hughes vision has been prophetic and breadth of his practical knowledge is unsurpassed.
"Dave's unique effectiveness is that he radiates the traditional American philosophy of valuing the people with whom he deals above the technology with which he works. A significant number of people I know are engaged in the "technology demonstration" business. They go to a remote community (across the digital divide) somewhere and "do a demo" getting attention and money for themselves and leaving behind nothing but broken hopes and disappointments. That's simply not David Hughes' way of doing business. For well over a decade, David Hughes has been wandering across the country (and around the world) planting seeds of wireless connectivity and hopes for a better tomorrow. Every project he started is still functioning (and even growing) because he has expended the time and effort to train the local community to support and maintain their own infrastructure.
"During our post-colonial period, the legendary
Johnny Appleseed is said to have wandered the wilderness and "crossed the
great divide" planting seeds to benefit future generations. In my mind,
Dave Hughes is Johnny Appleseed wandering the "wilderness" (across the
domestic and international digital divide) to develop a lasting infrastructure
for future generations. In the infrastructure he has deployed and
the people he has trained and mentored, Dave Hughes has built a remarkable
legacy of which he and all those associated with him can and should be
proud.Reflecting on my (over) thirty two years of federal service, including
the Marine Corps in Vietnam, I can think of no individual I have known
more singularly deserving of the respect and honor of his comrades than
"I stand in awe of all the daring, patriotic
and pioneering things that your classmate, Dave Hughes, has accomplished
over his military and post-military career, and I join with my colleagues
in supporting his nomination for Distinguished Graduate.
"As a computer journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, with hippie leanings, politics somewhere between liberal and nonexistent, and other qualities somewhat outside of traditional military culture, I've been asked to attest to the effectiveness with which Dave Hughes bridges the communication gap between your world and mine. I do so with great enthusiasm.
" . . . I've had considerable occasion to see the respect in which people in all walks of life hold Dave Hughes. I happened to be there when he was visiting a small rural town in Colorado, which was to be the site of one of his wireless-Internet pilot projects. The town was traditional, proud, and fairly impoverished, and one of the things that swayed local opinion in his favor was that one of the city fathers recalled his Army days, serving at Fort Carson under Col. Hughes, and if Col. Hughes was behind this project, it had his support.
"Dave's achievements and integrity are also widely respected in the online world, where since long before my time he's been a lively participant in discussions. Most particularly, on the pioneer conferencing system The Well, I've had occasion to see Dave holding forth on subjects from wireless connectivity to the fine points of military strategy. As you'd expect from an online system loosely connected to various Whole Earth enterprises and currently owned by Salon.com in San Francisco, the voice of military tradition is seldom heard in those parts.
"Over the years, Dave has ably and eloquently represented the military point of view in online discussion of historic and present-day issues and conflicts, from Korea to Bosnia, in one of the online world's toughest rooms...
"In closing, I'd like to say that while
I've admittedly met relatively few West Point alumni in the course of living
in a distinctly non-military culture, I have the sense that the Academy
seeks to instill in its graduates a strong ethic of service.It is in this
regard that Dave Hughes particularly excels.The other West Pointers I've
encountered over the years have tended to be industry tycoons, nice fellows
who created and drove a lot of business, contributed to the Silicon Valley
Economy, and in the process did pretty well for themselves also.Dave's
efforts aren't nearly so lucrative, but arguably much more effective where
it counts: in a myriad of ways, he helps people find ways to work, prosper,
collaborate and build better lives through technology."
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation gave
him a Pioneer's Award; in my book he deserves the god damn Nobel Prize.I
write the sentence sober and swear it is born of no bribery nor exaggeration..
. .Anyone with a heart and purpose as big and plentiful as Dave's deserves
all the honor one can bestow on him.
"Fuzzy headed liberals, libertarians, communists, socialists, Marxists and even a Republican or two are all thrown together into the WELL's electronic soup. Discussions ebb and flow in a kind of electronic present that one has to, like childbirth, actually experience to get an idea of its true nature.
"And it is here that Dave has distinguished
himself as a tireless advocate for the military, a stance for which he
has taken more flack than a B-17 on a Berlin bombing run. And he's
never backed down and, as much as it pains me to admit it, he's almost
always right. "
"I first encountered Dave Hughes (and encounter
is probably the right word) on one of the earliest online communities in
the early 1980s. Even back then Hughes was a lone voice in the wilderness,
a digital Jeremiah, preaching the gospel of small communities, and the
virtues of digital self-reliance.Few people realized what he was talking
about back then, but he never gave up; indeed he persisted with increasing
vigor and more gentle persuasion.Mostly Hughes led by example.He walked
the talk.He was a true teacher and leader.The thing that everyone remembers
about Hughes (besides the volume of his voice and size of his cowboy hat)
is his unwavering faith that technology is a "good thing." His enthusiasm
for wiring up the world was infectious and effective. In addition,
the fact that he was a former military officer changed the minds of many
of the people he met. If for no other reasons (and there are many
other reasons) Hughes deserves this award because he became one of the
best ambassadors the military and West Point ever had in those remote territories
we call Nerddom and Telecosm.I salute him."
"The world around us is changing at incredible
speed.David Hughes has not only been able to keep up with the pace, but
he's counting the cadence as well.Many of our graduates have left footprints
in history.But, how many have ever left them in the future?"