John David Scandling
Colonel, United States Army
of the United States Military Academy:
John David Scandling, NO. 17887
As cadets we remember Jack's ever-present big smile and laughing eyes that seemed to mark his view of life. While outwardly he appeared to be quiet and unassuming, he was often part of some practical joke in his company to bedevil the upperclassman as a plebe and some plebe as he became an upperclassman. As a member of the Catholic Squad participating as a Missal Reader and Acolyte he and his fellow mass servers were frequently admonished by Father Moore or Father McCormick for mumbling rather than clearly enunciating the Latin responses. He was also active in the French and Handball Clubs.
Jack was born on 3 December 1925 in Rochester,
New York and attended Brighton High School, Fairport High School and Christian
Brothers Academy in Albany, New York graduating in 1943. He had aspired
to enter West Point at an earlier age and enrolled in the Braden School
in Cornwall-on-Hudson, for three months before entering the service in
September 1943. To further his preparation for West point he was assigned
to the ASTRP unit at Princeton University in October 1943; and then to
the USMAP unit at Lafayette College in October 1944; and then to the USMAP
unit at Amherst College from December 1945 to March 1946 finally to enter
Upon graduation he was commissioned in the Infantry and assigned to the 356th Infantry Regiment and then to the 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Dix, New Jersey. It was during that assignment, on 16 June 1951 that he married Joan McHugh, a Student at Fordham University, where he had dated during his second and first class years. They then went on to Fort Benning where Jack attended the Basic Infantry Officers Course and from there he was assigned to the 45th Infantry Division in Korea where he earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, as a combat Infantry platoon leader. Upon his return to the U. S. He was assigned to the 164th Infantry at Camp Rucker; then to Fort Benning; ROTC duty at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth; then with the 35th Infantry in Hawaii and the 27th Infantry in Thailand; then to Syracuse University where he earned a master’s degree in personnel management, followed by a tour of duty in the Pentagon with the Office of the Comptroller of the Army. In 1967 he was assigned as a Senior Province Advisor in VietNam where he won a second Combat Infantry Badge and an Air Medal and returned to the States for duty with the Strategy and Tactical Analysis Group in Bethesda, Maryland, until his retirement in 1970.
During his career Jack and Joan assembled a beautiful family of six children – John, Joanne, Mark, Laura, Timothy, and Daniel - all of whose lives reflect the personal discipline and family values learned from the examples set by Jack and Joan. Their fondest memories are of the family dinner when all joined in lively conversations expressing freely their different views on any and all subjects of the day. John, Jr., now a medical doctor in California, recalls his father’s “interest in our extracurricular activities, scouting in particular, and our family vacations to his hometown, Canandaigua, New York. Canandaigua always was a special spot for my father, and it has become a special spot for all us kids.”
Upon retirement Jack worked as an administrative officer for the Alexandria, Virginia Police Department. Tragically, during that time Jack began to show signs of Alzheimer's disease and a debilitating kidney disease, both of which led to long term suffering and, ultimately, to his death.
During those years of suffering, Jack accepted his burden stoically and prayerfully and remained, as he did throughout his life, a true and loyal son of West Point and an outstanding example of our motto, "Duty, Honor, Country."
- Family and Classmate