Retired Lt. Col. William J. “Bill” Sidebottom, son of Bill and Ruth Sidebottom, of Fountain Lake, was recently inducted into the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame at Fort Lee, Va.
In 2015, Sidebottom was inducted in the Arkansas Military Veterans Hall of Fame for his service to the state and nation, a news release said.
Sidebottom lives in northern
Virginia with his wife, the former
Susan Diane Simmons of Greenville, S.C., where they enjoy the D.C. metropolitan area, gardening, reading, international travel, and hiking the Appalachian Trail.
He graduated from Hot Springs Senior High in 1963 and Arkansas Tech University in
1967 as an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate. Upon his ATU graduation, Sidebottom volunteered for the first of two combat tours in Vietnam, first in
1968-1969 serving as a reconnaissance platoon leader in the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and again in 1971-1972 as a CH-47 helicopter aircraft commander in the 159th Combat Support Battalion 101st Airborne Division.
During his two tours, Sidebottom was awarded the Silver Star for valor, four Purple Hearts for wounds suffered during combat, 14 Air Medals for combat aviation operations, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.
On Feb. 17, 1969, during a search-and-destroy operation, Sidebottom’s reconnaissance platoon located a NVA base camp. While conducting a ground recon of the base camp, his platoon was ambushed by an entrenched hidden enemy force using rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns, anti-personnel mines and hand grenades. During the initial engagement, several of his soldiers were wounded. While directly engaged against an entrenched machine gun position, Sidebottom observed several of his men had been wounded. Facing intense enemy fire and disregarding immediate danger to himself, while carrying four of his wounded soldiers from the ambush, Sidebottom was himself wounded by a hand grenade, the release said.
Returning home in 1969, Sidebottom was accepted into helicopter flight school. Upon his graduation, he volunteered to return to Vietnam as a helicopter pilot, where he flew missions in northern South Vietnam, Laos, and areas near the North Vietnam border.
During the remainder of his Army career, he served two tours in U.S. Army Europe, Fort Hood, Texas, Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Campbell, Ky., Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., and the Tank Automotive Command in Michigan. He retired from the Army in 1990.
Following his Army retirement, he worked in the IT industry focusing primarily on modernizing the Army logistics, financial and supply operations. As the SAP Army Account Executive, Sidebottom guided the Army in discontinuing the operations of hundreds of Government Off The Shelf (GOTS) applications, ultimately replacing them with Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
Sidebottom was instrumental in the Army achieving its Revolution in Military Logistics (RML) and Logistics Transformational goals. One of several COTS ERP systems that he brought into the Army is projected to annually save in excess of $500 million in IT development, operational, and sustainment costs, the release said.
• U.S. Air Force Airman Darren C. Crook Jr., son of Darren C. Crook, of Little Rock, and Jennifer B. Olson, of Hot Springs, and brother of Lauren A. Crook, of
Pearcy, graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
He completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Those who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Crook is a 2017 graduate of Lakeside High School.
• U.S. Air Force Airman Kara L. Motsinger, the daughter of April L. and stepdaughter of David G. Beyer, of Hot Springs Village, graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
She completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Those who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Motsinger is a 2016 graduate of Fountain Lake High School.