Chief Warrant Officer Four George C. Gratchen was born in Joffre, PA, in 1929.
He entered the Army as a wheeled vehicle mechanic in 1950 and remained on duty as an enlisted man for 11 years, culminating in his assignment as Engineer Operations Sergeant at Headquarters, 7th Army in Europe.
Appointed as a warrant officer in June 1961, he completed seventeen years in a variety of assignments in Europe, the U.S., the Pacific Area, and Vietnam. One of his major accomplishments was the development and implementation of the maintenance system utilizing organic equipment for the removal of all depot stocks from France to Germany during operation FRELOC.
While Commander of the Equipment Support Center in Mannheim, Germany during the years 1972 to 1974, he was responsible for the management and materiel support to Headquarters U.S. Army Europe, Seventh Army, and all installations East of the Rhine River.
He became increasingly concerned with the status of the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Corps while serving in Europe in the mid-1970s. He felt that the schooling, career patterns, standards for technical competence and other requirements for a modern Warrant Officer Corps were lacking. He therefore helped form the European Warrant Officers' Association, and later merged it with the newly formed U.S. Army Warrant Officers' Association. This merger has resulted in substantial improvements in the Army Warrant Officer program. Mr. Gratchen retired in 1978 after 28 years' service.