NO. 17775 • 6 September 1928 – 25 March 1991
Died 25 March 1991 in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, aged 62 years
Interment: Cremated in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
WILL ROGERS MUST have used Ray as a model when he made his famous statement, "I never met a man I didn’t like." In all my time as a cadet and in the Army as well, I never met a man who did not like Ray Maladowitz.
Ray was born to Rose and Wasyl Maladowitz on the 6th of September 1928 in Garfield, New Jersey. He joined a close‑knit Ukranian immigrant family of two brothers and five sisters. In Garfield High School, Ray became known throughout the state as a bright, promising scholar‑athlete. The Garfield football team won the Northern Region State Championship and Ray starred as a fullback, passer and kicker; a true triple threat man. He was
heavily recruited by major eastern universities, to include the Ivy League, but West Point won. Ray became one of "Blaik's Boys" and entered West Point with the Class of '50.
Ray was as successful a cadet as he had been at Garfield High School, and he was very proud of being a starting member of the Army football team. Ray also went out for the lacrosse team and went on to become one of the outstanding lacrosse players on the East Coast. Ray was recognized on the All Eastern Team.
All of Ray's time was not, however, spent studying and participating in athletics. He frequently could be found escorting his high school sweetheart, Gladys Bobacker, a pretty, vivacious strawberry blond. They "dragged" for four years; completely discrediting the old cadet theory that said, "If you enter the Academy with one sweetheart, you will graduate with another." Obviously this didn't happen. Ray and Gladys were not in a hurry to get married and were not the first couple to be married after graduation; they were the second.
Ray hit the ground running in combat in Korea, commanding troops of the 24th Infantry Regiment, 1950 – 51. Many of our classmates made the supreme sacrifice during this same period. Ray left Korea well decorated, along with a reputation as a fighting platoon leader who looked out for his men; both exceedingly important for a career soldier.
After completion of the Associate Infantry Company Officers Course at Fort Benning, Ray was assigned to the 47th Infantry Regiment at Fort Dix, New Jersey, as a company XO and commander. Next, Ray was chosen to be the aide‑de‑camp for Major General Zwicker, the Commanding General at Fort Kilmer. From there back to Fort Benning for the Advanced Course followed by Ranger School. Ranger Maladowitz next went to Europe as a company commander in the 86th Infantry Regiment and Plans Officer in the V Corps G‑3 section. After completion of the Russian course at the Army Language School, Ray returned to West Point as a Russian 'P" - 1960‑63.
Ray also attended Middlebury College, Vermont, and earned his master's degree in foreign languages. After his USMA tour, Ray attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and from there back to Korea as a member of the Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG), but this time Gladys and the kids went along, a great family experience. From Korea back to the U.S. for a tour on the Army Staff, OACSFOR, at the Pentagon. Ray and Gladys became homeowners, the girls busied themselves with school and community activities, and Mark formed a very energetic, loud, amateur rock band. Not many people knew that Ray was a pretty good violinist in spite of having the biggest hands in the class. He passed on his musical skills to his son Mark.
Ray left the Army staff for battalion command in Vietnam, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Ray demonstrated the same leadership characteristics that made him successful in Korea and was an outstanding battalion commander. Ray next was Deputy Brigade Commander. After a year at the Army War College, he returned to West Point, this time as Commander, 3rd Regiment, USCC.
Ray then went to Fort Bragg to the Institute for Military Assistance (IMA) at the JFK Special Warfare Center, where he was responsible for the Army's Foreign Area Officer (FA0) program. Upon promotion to colonel, he commanded the 5th Special Forces Group. Ray was the ideal man for this job. His rugged physical stature, understanding of indigenous forces, knowledge of foreign languages and proven leadership in command positions was exactly what was needed. Next, back to the JFK Center as Deputy Commandant, responsible for the FAO Program and all Special Forces Training as well. Ray retired from the Army from the JFK Center in 1980, after 30 years of service.
Ray was a devoted and faithful husband and father. His children, Mark, Lynne and Leslie, were the apple of his eye. Intellectual activity was balanced with sports and outdoor and cultural activities.
After retirement, Ray and Gladys moved to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, just outside Charleston. Ray worked for General Business Services for one year and then established his own business consulting firm, working with small businesses in the Charleston area. Ray’s business was successful, and his clients had complete confidence in his recommendations.
Ray died suddenly while playing tennis in a seniors tournament, competititive to the end. Ray is survived by his wife Gladys; children Mark and wife Leslie and son Ray; Lynne and husband, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Hood, son Jason and daughter Katherine; and Leslie and husband Davis Barnett and daughters Kristen and Brooke.
Ray may be gone but he will not be forgotten. Everyone who knew Ray Maladowitz will remember him for his kindness, willingness to help his friends and love for his family.
Jack and Gladys