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Chris St John ’74 Is 1st Aggie Inducted Into Commando Hall of Honor

Scot Walker '90 May 12, 2017 6:15 PM updated: May 12, 2017 6:59 PM

Colonel (Retired) Christopher St John '74 receives his medal from General Raymond Thomas III.
Colonel (Retired) Christopher St John '74 receives his medal from General Raymond Thomas III.

By Robert Oliver '74,
Class Agent

Chris St John ’74 was inducted into the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Commando Hall of Honor on April 18 at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. He is the 60th former special operator and the first Aggie to be inducted.

The Commando Hall of Honor was established in 2010 and recognizes those who have served with great distinction and have demonstrated leadership and selfless service within the Special Operations Forces community. Inductees include special operators serving in every major conflict since World War II. 

The U.S. Special Operations Command inducted St John and six other former special operators into the USSOCOM Commando Hall of Honor located at the USSOCOM headquarters. More than 100 people attended the ceremony and watched as each inductee received a medal from U.S. Army Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, USSOCOM commander, and Sgt. Maj. Patrick McCauley, USSOCOM command sergeant major.

"There is no better example of valor and professional excellence for today's Special Operations Forces than the seven honorees with us today," Gen. Thomas said. "Their actions, spirit and example serve as an inspiration for the 70,000 of us who serve in United States Special Operations Command and especially the 8,000 who are forward deployed in over 80 countries right now."

St John graduated and was commissioned at Texas A&M in May 1974. At A&M, he was a member of Corps’ Company A-1, nicknamed “Animal A.” He served in the U.S. Army for 27 years in Airborne Infantry, Ranger, Psychological Operations and Special Forces assignments.

His guests at the induction included his wife, Lt. Col. Minnie Anaya-St John (USAF Retired), Jim St John ’70, Mary Elizabeth St John ‘81, Dr. Rebecca Upham Nichols ‘74, and Chris' classmates of Company A-1 ’74: Bo Cox, Boyd London, Robert Oliver, Nick Nichols, Drew Petrlak and Mike Pugh.

St John was excited that his wife, family members, and classmates could attend the ceremony. He noted that his Animal A fish buddies were with him when he was commissioned, when he retired at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 2001, and at the induction ceremony in Tampa.

“Having a great wife and great friends who are always there for you, makes hard things easy,” he said. “What I learned at A&M and the friendships we developed helped me throughout my military service and keep me strong today.” 

Minnie and Chris live in McAllen, where she is a builder and Chris helps her out.

The Animals Class of ’74 (from left): Nick Nichols, Mike Pugh, Drew Petrlak, Chris St John, Boyd London, Bo Cox and Robert Oliver.

Citation to Accompany Induction into the Commando Hall of Honor:

"Colonel Christopher E. St John distinguished himself during a lifetime of service to the United States and Special Operations Forces in a myriad of assignments culminating as Commander, 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) August 1999 to August 2001. During his long and distinguished service to the United States, Colonel St John played a key and instrumental role as both a Special Forces and a Psychological Operations officer in numerous conflicts and operations including advising the Armed Forces of El Salvador, coordinating counter-drug activities in South America, leading Psychological Operations Task Forces in Operation Vigilant Warrior in Kuwait and United Shield in Somalia, and training and deploying highly capable forces to operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and Joint Task Force- Southwest Asia in Saudi Arabia. His several roles as advisor to key leaders on critical issues, such as advising the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Command during a tense period between Taiwan and China are a testament to his intellect and professionalism. Colonel St John is a Special Operations operator who mastered multiple disciplines and employed those skills in a myriad of roles, participating in and supporting operations and activities across the full spectrum of military operations, ultimately making invaluable contributions to the Special Operations community. He is a quintessential leader, mentor and professional of unquestionable integrity. His noteworthy and often singular achievements are in keeping with the highest traditions of Special Operations Forces."

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