Chief Warrant Officer 5
Carl E. Beckwith

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Carl E. BeckwithCarl E. Beckwith, born in 1938 in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, joined the Army in 1956. He served until 1968 as an enlisted man, first as a turret mechanic in Germany and Fort Hood, Texas, then as a motor sergeant in South Vietnam and Germany, and finally as the Battalion Maintenance Sergeant of the 530th Supply and Service (S&S) Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Accepting a warrant officer appointment in 1968, he served as the 530th S&S Battalion's Maintenance Technician until leaving for his second tour of duty in Vietnam in 1969, where he served as Maintenance Technician in the 8th Transportation Group.

Beckwith returned from Vietnam in 1970 to serve as Maintenance Technician for the 3/71st Air Defense Artillery Battalion in Germany until 1976. In this nuclear-capable unit, he mastered convoy operations and special weapons handling, receiving top marks on all technical proficiency inspections. In 1977, he arrived at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to serve as Maintenance Technician for the 364th Quartermaster Detachment just in time to deploy for a major exercise. Later that year he again took over as Maintenance Technician for his old outfit, the 530th S&S Battalion. In 1979 he left for his first of four tours in South Korea, serving as Maintenance Technician for Battery C, 1-2d Air Defense Artillery Battalion.

In 1980 Beckwith returned, not for the last time, to Fort Bragg to serve as Maintenance Technician in the 548th Engineer Battalion, a combat heavy engineer unit whose equipment was unfamiliar to him, but he quickly applied his vast knowledge of maintenance operations to dramatically improve the readiness posture of the battalion. From 1982 to 1983 he was assigned to the 520th Maintenance Company in Korea, where he designed and built a tool room and battery repair shop, and implemented an awards program. From 1983 to 1987 he again served as Maintenance Technician for the 548th Engineer Battalion before returning again to Korea from 1987 to 1988 as Maintenance Technician for the 802d Engineer Battalion.

Beckwith returned to Fort Bragg, where he was soon assigned as Maintenance Technician in the 82d Airborne Division's Support Command. He aggressively supported the division's 121 customers, served as project officer for the transfer of LAV-25 armored vehicles from the Marines to the 3/73d Armor, and put the division's automated maintenance management system on an efficient footing. Deploying with the division for Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he solved critical repair parts shortages through cross-leveling, identified problems with fuel injector systems in the wheeled vehicle fleet, and coordinated a modification program for the division's aging M551 Sheridans.

In 1994, Beckwith served a final tour in Korea as Maintenance Technician in the 6th Support Center. He then returned to Fort Bragg to serve as Maintenance Technician for the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, XVIII Airborne Corps. Chief Warrant Officer Five Carl Beckwith retired in 1995 after 39 years of dedicated service, having been held on active duty well beyond his mandatory retirement date to capitalize on his vast knowledge and expertise in all aspects of unit maintenance operations. He died in November 1995, two months after retiring.