Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Timothy Thorne Templin, who served in an artillery unit in Germany during the Cold War.
Born in Minneapolis, Kansas, in January 1936, Timothy Thorne Templin became interested in the Army when a recruiter came to his high school and discussed the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). His interest in joining ROTC increased when he visited a military building containing military weaponry.
Templin attended the University of Kansas and participated in ROTC all four years. In 1955, he enlisted in the Army Reserve as a private first class. During the summer, he spent two weeks in Wisconsin receiving training while he was a member of the Reserve artillery unit. The major that taught ROTC at the University of Kansas mentored Templin and guided him through the process of joining the Reserve and getting an Army commission.
Templin graduated with a degree in industrial engineering and a regular Army commission. He decided to go into the regular Army instead of the Reserve because he wanted to pick where he would be stationed after graduation. Templin also wanted to receive a regular Army officer designation rather than a Reserve officer because there was more job security, and he could pick which branch he wanted to serve in, which was ordnance.
After graduation, he reported to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for artillery school. Templin enjoyed serving as the observer and calling in the daily artillery fire on the tank targets.
After training, Templin went to Butzbach, Germany, 50 miles north of Frankfurt. There, he served in a combat-support role with a mobile artillery unit. They mounted all artillery cannons on vehicles to ensure that the Army would be ready if the Russians attacked.
Templin saw his entire experience in Germany as a training exercise. They would be out in the field for 30 to 40 days at a time. Nonetheless, his company was consistently the number one ranked out of all European companies, which he believes was due to their comradery and football team-like spirit.
Templin also received specialized training regarding different types and purposes of the fuses and projectile heads that go on Howitzer rounds.
He enjoyed traveling while in the Army and visited Russia and countries across Europe, a passion of his that continued after retiring from the service.
While in Germany, Templin volunteered to represent people accused of petty crimes like stealing sugar from the mess hall. He defended over 100 cases and never lost. This propelled him to want to become a lawyer.
After being turned down to attend law school in an Army capacity due to his age and rank, Templin resigned as a captain from the military to attend Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas. He worked as a corporate attorney for a steel company before starting his own safety supply company in Houston.
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Writer: Katherine Berman
Editor: Lutfia Khaleque & Amanda Baker
Fact checker: Bhaavana Oruganty
Graphic artist: Grace Yang