Bernard Taylor, Jr. – Colonel, United States Army

From Contemporary Press Reports

Bernard Taylor Jr., 53, a Colonel who was a deputy chief of the Army Reserve, died of a heart attack June 20, 2000 at Howard County General Hospital. He lived in Ellicott City.

Colonel Taylor served on active duty in the Reserve for 30 years, largely in supply, maintenance and logistics functions. In 1997 and 1998, he was deputy and acting commander in Germany of the 7th Army Reserve Command, supporting the peace mission in Bosnia. He was named deputy Reserve chief in December, when he went to part-time status. Since February, he had also been employed by Government Support Services Inc., doing logistics work to prepare for military war games.

Colonel Taylor was a native of Akron, Ohio., and a graduate of the University of Akron. He received a master's degree in public administration from Central Michigan University and also attended the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. He had lived in Maryland off and on since 1977.

His honors included the Distinguished Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, five Meritorious Service Medals and three Army Commendation Medals.

He was a member of the Reserve Officers Association.

His marriage to Judy Taylor ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Katherine Cox Taylor of Ellicott City; two children from his first marriage, Julian Taylor and Malanie Taylor, both of Akron; two stepchildren, Zubaidah Bates Garcia of Longmont, Colo., and Bishara Bates of Baltimore; his mother, Rebecca Bennett Taylor of Akron; three sisters; a brother; and five grandchildren.

One of the U.S. Army Reserve's key leaders was buried July 10, 2000 with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery today.

Colonel Bernard Taylor Jr., deputy chief, Army Reserve (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Office of the Chief, Army Reserve, passed away suddenly on June 20, 2000.  He was 53.  He had been assigned as DCAR (IMA) since December 1, 1999.  In his civilian occupation, he was a senior logistics analyst with Government Support Services, Inc.

Following a standing-room-only memorial service at Fort Myer's Old Post Chapel, Taylor's flag-draped casket was borne on a horse-drawn caisson to its burial space at Arlington National Cemetery.  Accompanying the caisson was a riderless horse with the traditional reversed boots in the stirrups, signifying a fallen commander.  The caisson escort included two platoons of B Company, 3rd U.S. Infantry (“the Old Guard”) and The U.S. Army Band (“Pershing's Own”).

Honors were rendered at gravesite, to include three volleys from a firing party and the playing of “Taps”.  The flag that covered the casket was carefully folded and presented to Taylor's widow, Katherine Taylor.  Condolences were offered to the Taylor family by a large gathering of general officers, senior officers, friends and Taylor's fellow citizen-soldiers. Among those offering their respects were General Eric K. Shinseki, U.S. Army chief of staff, and the senior leaders of both Army reserve components, Major General Thomas J. Plewes, chief, Army Reserve, and Major General Roger Schultz, director of the Army National Guard.   Taylor had served under Shinseki in 1997 and 1998 when Shinseki was the commanding general of U.S. Army Europe and in his final assignment, he served under both Shinseki and Plewes.

Taylor was remembered as a soldier who took on the toughest jobs and found a way to accomplish the mission, no matter how difficult the challenge, according to Colonel Malcolm B. Westcott, deputy chief, Army Reserve. “Bernie Taylor was an outstanding leader, a solid professional and a master logistician who made a significant impact on the efficiency and readiness of not just the Army Reserve but of The Army,” said Westcott.

Taylor's death was a blow to the entire Army Reserve community.  Among those who knew him best were the men and women of the 7th Army Reserve Command in Europe.  Taylor had served there as deputy commander and acting commander.  Simultaneously, he was also the commander of the U.S. Army Europe Mobilization Support Center for Operation JOINT GUARD.

“Bernie Taylor was a man of action, who therefore naturally relished command,” said Brigadier General Paul Patrick, the 7th ARCOM's current commanding general.  “He provided clear direction and focus to the staff and the command when he was selected as the acting commander of the 7th ARCOM when Brigadier General Brautigan left for a new assignment at EUCOM.

“His [Taylor's] approach to his new position was epitomized by his statement to the staff: ‘Acting commander?  Let me tell you all something.  Acting is for Hollywood.'  He then proceeded to provide us his commander's guidance and vision.”

Taylor was a graduate of the University of Akron and held a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education. He also received his Masters degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University. His military education included the Infantry Officers Basic and Advanced Courses, Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. He was commissioned from ROTC in 1970. He served at Fort Benning, Georgia, from 1970 to 1972 as an Instructor at the U.S. Army Infantry School, and later as Executive Officer, 43d Company, 4th Student Battalion (Airborne). Taylor joined the Army Reserve in 1972 and served in a number of Troop Program Unit positions to include Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 11th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and S-4, 11th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Meade, Marylan. In 1984, he joined the Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) program as S-4, 11th Special Forces Group (Airborne) where he served until 1988. He served in subsequent AGR positions as chief, Supply Branch, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, 81st U.S. Army Reserve Command, East Point, Georgia; deputy chief of staff for Logistics, First United States Army, Fort Meade, Maryland; deputy commander and acting commander, 7th United States Army Reserve Command and Commander, USAREUR Mobilization Support Center for Operation JOINT GUARD, Schwetzingen, Germany. At the time of his selection as deputy, Chief Army Reserve (IMA) in 1999, Taylor was serving as the deputy director for Plans, Operations and Logistics Automation, Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C.

His awards and decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Master Parachutist Badge, Special Forces Tab, the Army Staff Identification Badge and the German Army Parachutist Badge (Bronze).

Taylor is survived by his wife, four children and five grandchildren.


Courtesy of Lieutenant Colonel Randy Pullen, a staff member of the Public Affairs and Liaison Directorate, Office of the Chief, Army Reserve.

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