OBITUARY

COL (Ret.) William Jerry Tait Jr.

September 10, 1957September 14, 2013
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Colonel William Jerry Tait, Jr., Retired, 56, passed away suddenly on Saturday, September 14, 2013, at his home in Harker Heights, Texas. The visitation will be held at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home on Wednesday, September 18, 2013, from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. The funeral will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Killeen on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 10:00am. Graveside service to follow at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, we ask that contributions be made to the National Ataxia Foundation, HARP (Homeless Awareness Recovery Program) of the Killeen Independent School District, or your favorite charity. Jerry was born on September 10, 1957, in San Diego, California to LCDR USN William Jerry Tait, Sr., Retired, and Erline (Cunningham) Tait. He is a 1980 Distinguished Military Graduate of the University of Alabama, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in Military Intelligence through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. The highlights of his career include one of his earliest assignments with the 7th MI Company, 7th Infantry Division, Fort Ord, California, where he was instrumental in creating the 107th MI Battalion, one of the Army’s first Combat Electronic Warfare Intelligence (CEWI) battalions. During his assignment with the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade in Munich, Germany, he commanded the 5th MI Company, leading the overt intelligence operations that predicted and then exploited the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1993, Colonel Tait was assigned to Fort Hood, beginning a close association with III Corps and Fort Hood that lasted his remaining 17 years in uniform. He served as the Director of Intelligence (CJ2) of Multi-National Corps-Iraq during both Operation Iraqi Freedom II from 2004-2005 and Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007-2009. Upon retirement after 30 years of loyal military service, Jerry joined CGI, a global Information Technology Company. Jerry rose to the position of Vice President in the Army and Defense Intelligence Programs Business Unit. He ran programs that provided support to military and intelligence customers serving in the United States and in combat. Additionally, he served on the highly selective Army Science Board, providing counsel to the Army on their organization and mission. Recently Colonel Tait was nominated for induction into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame. Colonel Richard Allenbaugh, US Army, Retired, who nominated him, stated, “His achievements as an MI officer distinguished him as being among the very best intelligence professionals to ever serve in uniform.” Colonel Tait’s other awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Parachutist Badge. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Ann (Gilliland) Tait of Harker Heights, TX; his daughters and their partners Mary Elizabeth Tait and Nathan Farrell of Waco, Texas, and Carol Ann Tait and SSG (P) Christopher Fraim of Lawton, Oklahoma; his sisters Beth Ezell of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Catherine Endt of Vancleave, Mississippi; his parents LCDR USN William Jerry Tait, Sr., Retired, and Erline (Cunningham) Tait of Vancleave, Mississippi; and his mother-in-law Shirley Gilliland of Guntersville, Alabama. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Mr. and Mrs. William F. Tait, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde C. Cunningham, and his father-in-law SFC Ralph E. Gilliland, Retired. Please share condolences with the Tait family by visiting www.crawfordbowersfuneral.com

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, September 18, 2013
  • Funeral Service Thursday, September 19, 2013
REMEMBERING

COL (Ret.) William Jerry Tait Jr.

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Catherine Endt

September 22, 2014

My dear brother. A year has passed since you left us and I still think of you every day. A lot of dramatic things have happened since then and I have wished so many times that you were here with us. I know from your place in Heaven that you truly are with us but how I long for the comfort of your physical presence. We all love you and miss you terribly! Save a seat for daddy Jerry and show him the way in when he gets there. With love from your youngest sister .

Herbert White

June 25, 2014

I just found out COL Tait passed away. He will be sorely missed. What a great soldier, officer, mentor, and human being. I served with him when he was the III Corps G2 and I was the Deputy G-2, III Corps Artillery. He was a great sounding board and always willing to listen and offer his advice. I became his Operations OIC on various exercises and then as the OIC, C2 Operations FWD in Iraq. I specifically asked to work for him when we deployed and he accommodated me. As you can imagine in the whirlwind that was Iraq, his was always a calming reasoned voice amongst the noise. I was glad to call him a "friend". I last saw him on the steps of INSCOM HQs as he was departing. I was then serving as the XO to MG Lacquement, which was my last assignment before I retired. Even then he offered me words of encouragement and wisdom. What an immaculate professional,,,, what a Great American!! The Army, the MI Corps, and the human race will miss him. You have my most sincerest of condolences

Catherine Endt

March 6, 2014

My dear brother,I have missed you so much and think of you every day. I have part of a prayer for you, Psalm 23:6 Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil .... 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of The Lord forever and ever..... Rest on peace brother !!! You were so loved and respected by everyone who knew you(and even by some who didn't ). Our grief is only a testament to what a fine person you are. I love and miss you every day, Catherine

Susan & Bobby Rocha

March 5, 2014

Rebecca, So sorry to hear of Jerry's passing. We are saddened his bright spirit left this life so early, but very thankful we knew him. We served together as young LTs at Ft Ord and bumped into each other throughout our Army careers, the last time in Iraq in 2005. He was always full of energy and ideas--which we all benefited from. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Hoping you find comfort and joy in his memories very soon.

Susan LaGrange

March 4, 2014

I just found out that Col Tait passed and I am so sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful man and leader that always made you want to do your best. I served with him at 104th MI BN and then ran into him in Iraq in 2004. He gave me many opportunities to succeed and made sure I had all the tools I needed. I'm sure in heaven he is training angels to be the best they can.

Seth Stace

February 25, 2014

Sir,
Unfortunately, I am just finding out about your passing. You seemed to like me when you met me while working for CGI Federal as the Foundry Program's Intelligence Developer & Trainer at NGIC (Charlottesville, VA). We realized I went to high school with your daughters in Harker Heights, and we shared some laughs and memories. Thank you for putting in a good word for me to my bosses at the time, and for sharing a brief memory that day. From what I gather, you were an upstanding Military Intelligence Officer and intelligence professional; one I will continually attempt to emulate. Thank you for your service to this great nation, and may God Bless you in eternity, and your family who is left behind.
-Intelligence Analyst, US Army

Bruce Brown

October 24, 2013

Rebecca, I just found out today about my great friends passing, My heart is heavy with sadness if you ever need anything Pam I am here for you. He meant so much to me as a New CSM he treated me like a brother, I was proud to be his CSM and friend. Lessons learned from Jerry served me well through out my career and life. When ever he visited Fort Huachuca he made time to have dinner with me and Pam. I will miss him.

Charles Johnson

October 24, 2013

I was shocked to learn of COL Tait's passing. He was my former Battalion Commander. What a fantastic leader. He was an inspiration to me and my fellow soldiers at the time. I will miss him dearly.

Michael Frisbee

October 19, 2013

I was passed the sad news of COL Tait's passing by a fellow Soldier - we both had the privilege to serve under COL Tait. If there was ever a "copy-paste" function developed to make officers for our military, COL Tait would the model use. Reading through the condolence guide you see a "who's who" of our military spanning decades, some names are missing but COL Tait was a strong influence in our MI Corps across all ranks. He was a rock for me and my family during a medical crisis overseas and I was very pleased that he was able to meet the result of that crisis (my son!) some years later at Ft Hood. This is a huge loss not just to our community, but to the world that he impacted through those who knew him because in knowing him he changed all of us for the better. May God bless and keep you and your family Rebecca and may the memory of Jerry always warm your heart.

Ingrid Parker

October 2, 2013

Mrs. Tait, I just received this sad news. My prayers are with you and your family. I served with COL Tait when he was the 104th intelligence battalion commander and then again in Iraq. He was a good and honorable man; moreover, I always valued his opinion and respected his selfless service. Again, your family is in our prayers.