DUBOIS – From Germany to Operation Desert Storm to the Pentagon, Gene Samanka of Treasure Lake knows a great deal about military service.
Samanka will share his experiences through a presentation: “My Career in the Military” as the November speaker for the DuBois Area Historical Society.
The program is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., in the society’s E. D. Reitz Museum, 30 W. Long Ave., DuBois, and is free and open to all.
Samanka retired from the U.S. Army in 1998 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Growing up in Sykesville, he graduated from DuBois Central Catholic High School in 1969 and earned a degree in secondary education/social studies from Clarion University.
Working in Erie but not happy with his progress, in 1975 Samanka was convinced by a U.S. Army recruiter to enlist.
He went in as a private but because of his college degree was soon in officer training school and quickly became a second lieutenant. He went on to serve a three-year stint in Germany, overseeing a nuclear capable field artillery unit.
Later when stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, Samanka, now a captain commanded a control facility for soldiers who had deserted the Army or were being held for misconduct.
Then he commanded a personnel company with some 200 soldiers and had the responsibility for some 17,000 personnel records.
That led to several years at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., working in the Offices of the Deputy Chief of Staff for logistics and Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, where Samanka earned a Meritorious Service Award.
After spending six months serving in Operations Desert Shield/Storm, he earned the Bronze Star Medal.
Samanka earned a Master’s degree in education and human development at George Washington University while in the service. He put those degrees to work, as director of guidance at DuBois Central Catholic from 2009-14 and currently is an adjunct instructor for Butler County Community College in Brockway.
This is the DuBois Area Historical Society’s last program for 2017. The 2018 schedule will be announced at a later date.