Portal:Military of the United States/Selected biography/18

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Sid 2.jpg

Sidney Sanders McMath (June 14, 1912 – October 4, 2003) was a decorated U.S. Marine, renowned attorney and progressive Democratic reform Governor of Arkansas. McMath received an ROTC commission as a second lieutenant in the Marines upon graduation from college. During World War II he served with the Marines after voluntarily returning to active duty in 1940. Assigned to train officer candidates at Quantico, Virginia, he was promoted to captain, then to major, and in 1942 he was ordered to American Samoa in command of the combined forces jungle warfare school. He served as acting CO of the 3rd Marine Regiment during the Battle of Bougainville, single handedly rallying troops pinned down by enemy fire. He received a battlefield promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded the Silver Star and Legion of Merit. Shortly afterward, McMath was stricken with malaria and filariasis and hospitalized for several months in San Diego, California. He then served in the Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. planning an amphibious invasion of the Japanese home islands.

In 1967, he helped found the Marine Corps JROTC at Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Arkansas, which became one of the top JROTC units in the country. Ever since, cadets there have been known as "Sid's Kids."