Cover photo for Col (Ret) Ralph Thomas Tierno, Jr.'s Obituary
Col (Ret) Ralph Thomas Tierno, Jr. Profile Photo
1923 Col (Ret) Ralph 2012

Col (Ret) Ralph Thomas Tierno, Jr.

January 6, 1923 — July 17, 2012

Col (Ret) Ralph Thomas (Rocky) Tierno, Jr., age 89, went to be with his Lord on July 17, 2012. He was born January 6, 1923 in Philadelphia to Raffaelo Tierno and his wife Lucy Vesilovsky Tierno. He graduated from Pleasantville High School, Pleasantville, NJ June 1940. He enlisted in the US Army January 1941. His first station was at Schofield Barracks, Territory of Hawaii, arriving there in March 1941. He was a member of the Company A 3rd Engineer © Battalion 24th Infantry Division from the West Point Preparatory School at Schofield Barracks. He entered the US Military Academy July 1942. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry June 1945. After a brief stint with Combat Invasion Units in Philippines he was deployed to Japan and spent 38 months with 441st CIC Detachment GHQ, in Japan. Returning to CONUS he was assigned the Seventh Infantry Regimental Combat Team (7th RCT) at Fort Devens, Massachusetts only to deploy to Korea (Wonson N. Korea) 1950. His combat action was in and about Huksu-RT south of the Chosen Reservoir N. Korea. He was wounded in action (Purple Heart, CIB and Bronze Star with V) in December 1950. Following rehabilitation at Valley Forge Army Hospital he was assigned the Infantry School (TIS) Fort Benning, Georgia. Following graduation from the Advanced Course TIS, he served as an instructor, TIS until redeployment to the 5th Infantry Division US Army Europe (Augusburg, Germany) after a brief assignment to the staff of 2nd Armored Division (Europe) Bad Krueznach, Germany. He returned to the 7th Infantry Division to redeploy to Fort Ord, CA. He earned a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. (MSEE) 1957-1960. This was followed by attendance at the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, KS graduating 1960. He was assigned as a White House Fellow.
From 1961-63 he was assigned as a Systems Safety Officer, Defense Atomic Support Agency (DASA) Sandia Base, New Mexico.
He was assigned to the Seventh (7th) Infantry Division, Eighth US Army Korea where he commanded the Second Mechanized Infantry (Buffalos) Battalion, 17th Inf Division which participated in the defense of the De-Militarized Zone (63-64).
Assigned the US Army Research Advisory Group (USARAG) working with Research Anaysis Corporation (RAC) 1960-1963 in McLean, VA. The assignment to the US Army War College, Class of 1968 resulted in being assigned the Institute of Advanced Studies (USA CDC ISNS) at the War College 1968-1971. He was assigned the Military Group Commander, Bolivia 1971. As a commander he advised the Defense Forces of Bolivia and developed security forces (Army-Navy-Air Forces) to promote 3rd World Country development with security and stability operations. (1971-1974) The highlight of his tour was the visit to Army Chief of Staff General Creighton Abrams and secretary of the Army Froelke, 1974. He returned to Strategic Studies (US CDC IAS) at the United State Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA – upon retirement he and wife, Carmela P. Tierno, remained in the Carlisle Area. He returned to Shippensburg State College and earned a Certification in High School Physics and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He began teaching an electrical occupations course (certificate earned at Penn State). For the next twenty-six years he taught a three year course to High School Students (a hands-on course) thirteen years plus twelve years (retiring) and a substitute teacher of Science subject at Carlisle High School. At the Post Catholic Chapel, Carlisle Barracks he taught Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) to high school juniors and seniors. He served on the Code Enforcement Board of the Borough of Carlisle and for twenty six years as an admissions officer for US Military Academy.
He is survived by his wife of 65 + years, Carmela P. Tierno; a son Robert F. Tierno and wife Karen; a daughter Susan F. Tierno; and a son Ralph T. Tierno III and wife Wanda and one grandchild, Francesca Nicole. Preceded in death by four (4) brothers, Anthony R., Carmen and twins Joseph and John Tierno.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at the USAWC Memorial Chapel Monday, July 23, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. with CH (Col) Gregory J. D’Emma as celebrant. Interment will be held at a later date in West Point, NY. A viewing will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Sunday, July 22, 2012 at Hoffman-Roth Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., 219 North Hanover Street, Carlisle.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Andrew J. Fontanella Parish Activity Center Building Fund, 152 East Pomfret Street, Carlisle, PA 17013.
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