The 20 soldiers will be honored May 23 during the division’s All American Week.
The 82nd Airborne’s senior leaders chose this first class of honorees based on nominations received from the division’s subordinate units.
And the division will add up to five new members each year beginning in 2019.
"The All American Hall of Fame is about preserving our legacy and paying homage to our All American Legends,” said Maj. Gen. Erik Kurilla, commander of the 82nd Airborne, in a statement. “This is important to our culture and to who we are as an organization, so we knew we had to get these first selection right.”
No other Army division has a Hall of Fame, said Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne.
“We realized that the 82nd Airborne Division is among the nation’s most iconic institutions, and we do not have a Hall of Fame,” Buccino said. “We knew we needed a way to immortalize those figures who handed this legacy down to us.”
The soldiers were selected based on their service in the 82nd Airborne, their lifelong commitment to the division’s values, and either valorous combat action or contributions to their chosen field outside the 82nd Airborne.
Nominees had to have either been awarded the Medal of Honor or served at least two years in the 82nd Airborne. They also must no longer be eligible for service in the 82nd Airborne, and they must be five years removed from their last service in the division.
The honorees are:
Retired Gen. John Campbell. Campbell served in a number of assignments within the 82nd Airborne, to include company command and division operations officer. He also commanded the division’s 1st Brigade during a combat deployment to Afghanistan.
Campbell later served as the Army vice chief of staff and commander of all U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Félix Modesto Conde Falcón. The division’s only Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War, Conde Falcón was killed while leading his ambushed platoon to destroy multiple enemy bunkers.
He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by then-President Barack Obama in 2014.
Pfc. Charles DeGlopper. DeGlopper was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the early stages of the Battle of Normandy during World War II. He was killed while firing from an exposed position to allow his outmanned platoon to withdraw from contact.
Retired Gen. Ann Dunwoody. Dunwoody was the first female battalion commander in the 82nd Airborne and the first female four-star general in the U.S. military.
She served as division parachute officer during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
First Sgt. Leonard Funk Jr. Funk was a Medal of Honor recipient and one of the most decorated paratroopers of World War II. He jumped into Normandy on D-Day, earned the Distinguished Service Cross for action during Operation Market Garden, and earned the Medal of Honor while leading a platoon of clerks to capture an entire Germany garrison town during the Battle of the Bulge.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. William “Joe” Gainey. Gainey served multiple tours in the 82nd Airborne, including as a platoon sergeant during Operation Desert Storm. He would go on to serve as the first senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Pvt. Joe Gandara. Gandara was killed while saving his detachment from enemy fire in Amfreville, France, three days after D-Day. More than 40 years after his death, Obama presented his family with the Medal of Honor.
Retired Lt. Gen. James Gavin. Gavin, the only American general to make all four World War II combat jumps, commanded the division’s 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment during the first part of the war. He later commanded the division during Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge.
He is among the most revered figures in American military history.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Tadeusz “Ted” Gaweda. Gaweda, a Polish-born immigrant liberated from a Nazi labor camp by American troops, served in the 82nd Airborne for 18 years. He deployed with the division to combat operations in the Dominican Republic and Grenada. He went on to serve as the command sergeant major of the XVIII Airborne Corps.
Retired Capt. Roy Hanna. Hanna earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the Italian Service Cross and the Purple Heart for his actions during the World War II battle of Anzio.
Retired Gen. James Lindsay. Lindsay, a Vietnam veteran, is one of the most decorated officers in the history of the 82nd Airborne. He commanded the division from 1981 to 1983, during which he revolutionized the division’s Rapid Reaction posture. He would later serve as the first commander of U.S. Special Operations Command.
Retired Gen. Daniel McNeill. McNeill commanded at the company, battalion and division levels within the division. As the division G-3, he jumped into Panama during Operation Just Cause. He later commanded U.S. Forces Command and served as the commander of all forces in Afghanistan.
Retired Lt. Col. James “Maggie” Megellas. Megellas, a World War II paratrooper, is the most decorated officer in the division. He jumped into the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden and is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars and two Purple Hearts.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth “Rock” Merritt. Merritt is a D-Day paratrooper who jumped into Normandy on D-Day and the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden.
Merritt, who was awarded the Silver Star, would go on to serve twice as the command sergeant major of the XVIII Airborne Corps.
Lt. Col. Emory Jenison Pike. Pike was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Vandieres, France, during World War I. He is the first Medal of Honor in division history and the namesake of Fort Bragg’s Pike Field.
Retired Gen. Matthew Bunker Ridgway. The legendary Ridgway transitioned the division to its airborne configuration in 1942 and led the division into World War II. He is among the most important figures in World War II history.
Retired Gen. Roscoe Robinson Jr. Robinson was the first African-American commander of the 82nd Airborne. He would go on to become the first African-American four-star general in Army history.
Retired Gen. Maxwell Taylor. Taylor served as the first division chief of staff and fought during World War II in Sicily and Italy. He went on to command the 101st Airborne Division on D-Day and later was the Army chief of staff and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Retired Gen. James Thurman. Thurman was in the 82nd Airborne as a lieutenant and junior captain. He would later command Forces Command and all UN forces in Korea.
Sgt. Alvin York. York, a Medal of Honor recipient, is one of the most decorated American soldiers of World War I. During the Meuse-Argonne offensive, he singlehandedly led a squad to capture more than 130 German soldiers,
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.