Beaufort’s Fred Channels, 77, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1962 in Philadelphia. After Boot camp at Parris Island and Infantry training, he trained as an aviation mechanic and was first assigned to the unit in Washington that provided helicopter services to the President and Vice-President. He left the Corps in 1966 and joined the Army National Guard, earning a commission and attending OCS at Fort Benning. He then worked for the Guard as a civilian while remaining an active Guard member.

Earning a degree on the GI Bill, Channels returned to active duty in 1984 as a Major, U.S. Army. He spent seven years in the Pentagon before attending Army War College, earning a Master’s Degree. His next assignment was at the Army’s headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. After that he returned to the Pentagon as the Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army. In 1995 he was promoted to Colonel and moved to Fort Leavenworth as Assistant Chief of Staff. That tour was followed by command of the Army National Guard Technology Training Battle Lab.

He retired in 2000 and then went to work for another eight years with the Army in Washington. Recalled to active duty in 2008, he again served in the Pentagon until 2012 when he returned to work for the Army as a civilian until 2017. His active service spanned 39 years. Today he is active with the PI Museum, the Beaufort History Museum and is on the board of the Fort Freemont Foundation.

– Compiled by John Chubb, American Legion Post 9. For nominations, contact jechubb1@gmail.com.

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Beaufort City Councilman Mitch Mitchell presents Bernice Wilson, of Port Royal, with a commemorative lapel pin