Ronald W. Mordecai was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1917, and immigrated with his family to the United States in the early 1920s. After attending the City College of New York from 1936 to 1940, he began working as a postal clerk in Washington DC and joined the Army in World War II. Following completion of the Ordnance Officer Candidate School at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1943, he took command of a 60-man training platoon at the Ordnance Replacement Training Center. In 1944, he shipped out for England and was assigned as Motor Transport Officer in the 1519th Quartermaster Battalion, where he was responsible for ferrying ammunition from depots to Army Air Force bases. Returning to the States in 1945, he served as Assistant Base Ordnance Officer at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, Ohio.
Mordecai left the Army in 1947, but was recalled to active duty in 1950 during the Korean War to serve as Operations Officer for the Hozono Ammunition Depot in Japan. In April 1951, he took command of the 630th Ordnance Ammunition Company in Korea and assumed responsibility for running three ammunition supply points in support of the I Corps.
In 1952, he returned to the States and was assigned to the Ordnance Center and School, where he served in a series of positions as Instructor, Chief of the Officer Training Branch, Chief of the Enlisted Training Branch, and Assistant Director of the Ammunition Training Division. After graduating from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1956, he was assigned as the Comptroller and Executive Officer of the US Army Ammunition Depot at Miesau, Germany, where he executed a $7 million budget and supervised a workforce of 150 US personnel and 2,000 local nationals.
In 1958, Mordecai assumed duties as Chief, Administrative Motor Vehicle Management Branch, Headquarters, US Army Communications Zone (COMZ), Orleans, France. As part of this assignment, he developed operating procedures for the COMZ's 25 motor pools and negotiated a $2 million purchase of administrative vehicles. In 1959, he assumed the duties of Executive Officer, Headquarters, US Army Missiles and Rockets Directorate, NATO Supply Center, Chateauroux, France.
In December 1959, Mordecai returned to the States to serve as a Department of the Army Inspector General, specializing in inspecting nuclear-capable organizations in the United States and overseas. In 1962, he returned to the COMZ in France as Chief, Munitions and Missile Division, US Army Supply and Maintenance Agency. In this capacity, he directed the US Army's inventory control and maintenance point for seven ammunition depots in France and Germany.
From 1965 to 1967, Mordecai served at Headquarters, US Army Materiel Command (AMC) first as Assistant Chief, Storage Division; and later as Chief, Ammunition and Nuclear Weapons Branch, Storage Division, Directorate of Supply. At AMC, he was involved in joint service ammunition operations, (which represented a $114 million program at the time), and was directly responsible for the storage of munitions program at 12 CONUS depots during the Vietnam War build up. In 1967, he took command of the 191st Ordnance Battalion (Ammunition) in Vietnam where he managed an 80,000-ton stockpile of conventional ammunition and guided missiles for the entire II Corps Tactical Zone.
Mordecai culminated his military career as Chief, Weapons and Munitions Division, Directorate of Maintenance, AMC. In this position, he directed a nationwide program of maintenance for weapons and ammunition and was also responsible for the Army's munitions demilitarization program.
Colonel Mordecai retired in 1970 after 24 years of dedicated service to the Army and the Ordnance Corps. He died in January 2004.