Lansing resident inducted into LSU Military Hall of Fame
Retired Army Col. William S. “Bill” Orlov of Lansing, was inducted into the Lousiana State University Military Hall of Honor on Saturday, Nov. 6.
The induction was conducted during the weekend-long LSU Salutes celebration sponsored by LSU and Cadets of the Ole War Skule.
The event took place at the LSU War Memorial on the Parade Ground. In addition to the ceremony at the LSU War Memorial, the Hall of Honor inductees were recognized during pregame activities for the LSU vs. Alabama football game at Tiger Stadium.
Hall of Honor inductees are selected based on their involvement with the university, as well as with the military and community. The induction ceremony included a military parade, static displays, a wreath laying and a 21-gun salute. The LSU Corps of Cadets, consisting of LSU Army and Air Force ROTC students, and LSU and Southern students in the Southern University Navy ROTC program participated.
Orlov was one of six distinguished alumni named to the Hall of Honor. Also inducted were the late Army Col. Joseph Gerace of Baton Rouge; retired U.S. Air Force Col. Charlie B. Moore of Monroe, the late Army National Guard Col. Farnham Libby “Ham” Morrison of Baton Rouge, retired Army Col. Michael B. Stupka of Mandeville, La., and retired Air Force Col. John T. “Jack” Twilley of Blanco, Texas.
LSU's military history began 150 years ago with the opening of the university under Superintendent and Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. Then called the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy and nicknamed the "Ole War Skule," the university, located in Pineville, endured two closings during the Civil War before being burned in 1869. After relocating from Pineville to Baton Rouge and taking on the name Louisiana State University, the institution continued to build on its military tradition while still retaining the "Ole War Skule" nickname.
Established as a land-grant institution in 1874 as part of the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862, which required all male students to receive basic military training, LSU required participation in the ROTC by all male students until 1969 when the Board of Supervisors made participation voluntary.
The university's military tradition was never more evident than during World War II. LSU boasted more officers on active duty than any other institution in the nation other than the military academies.
LSU and Cadets of the Ole War Skule co-host other annual events throughout the year, including the Chancellor's Day Parade and the LSU Memorial Day Ceremony. These ceremonies help to preserve and honor the ideals and experiences from previous generations so that they can be passed along to future generations and offer a visible remembrance of the soldiers who have proudly served in America’s armed forces and given their lives to preserve our freedom.
Orlov earned a bachelor’s degree in business in 1957 and an M.B.A. in 1961 from LSU, where, as a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, he was active in interfraternity activities, Student Government, and ROTC. He served as vice president of the College of Commerce, was a member of Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity, and an officer of Scabbard and Blade. He received the President’s Medal as Outstanding Junior Army ROTC Cadet and was recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate. His commissioning through LSU ROTC marked the beginning of a distinguished military career that spanned three decades.
A graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Army Special Warfare School, the Command and General Staff College, the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, and the Army War College, Col. Orlov had a variety of command, staff, adviser and special operations assignments in both the United States and overseas to include multiple combat tours in southeast Asia. He commanded the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry, served as ACOFS, G1, 2nd Armored Division, and commanded the Special Troops, Combined Field Army (ROK/US) at Camp Red Cloud, Korea. At the time of his retirement from active duty he was the Chief of Staff of the Army War College.
In addition to the Combat Infantryman Badge, his military decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star with V device and four oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and the Army Achievement Medal. A member of the National Infantry Association Order of Saint Maurice, COL Orlov has the unique distinction of being designated a Distinguished Member of both the 16th Infantry Regiment and 28th Infantry Regiment (DMOR) by the Secretary of the Army.
Col. Orlov’s second career began in 1988 when he joined Sprint Corp., where he held a variety of management positions in training, planning, and human resources. He retired from Sprint in 2001 and consulted with several defense-consulting firms and is currently the lead for the Leader Development, Education and Training team of the U.S. Army Electronic Warfare Proponent.
With a long history of volunteerism, Col. Orlov is noted for his contributions to the American Red Cross for five decades, starting as the deputy director of water safety program in Rapides Parish in the 1950s. He has served on numerous non-profit boards and holds membership in many organizations devoted to veterans affairs, among them, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Military Order of the World Wars.
Colonel Orlov, a longtime contributor to the LSU Alumni Association, is a member of the Kansas City Alumni Chapter and is a member of Cadets of the Ole War Skule. He is affiliated with the Rotary Club of Leavenworth and the City Club of Kansas City.
He and his wife, the former Gaye Adams, reside in Lansing, and have two children, Sam and Jennifer.