The Florida State University community mourns the death of COL William Wood, a true American hero and a brave soldier who now has joined several other FSU alumni in making the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
COL Wood is a Florida State University alumnus. He completed the Army ROTC program here and graduated with a degree in political science.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, 2005, before the FSU Marching Chiefs intone the National Anthem to open the football game between Florida State University and North Carolina State University, we will observe a moment of silence in honor of COL Wood.
As his biography says, he was a "diehard Seminole fan." He knew that the name Seminole was selected by his university to honor the indomitable spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. He knew that the name Seminole honors the bravery, courage, strength and determination of a tribe that persevered to preserve its heritage and traditions. He knew that we use the name to identify not only our athletics teams but also many other internal and external groups and individuals because it represents traits of a heroic people whom we admire and would like to emulate.
But he did not know that he would all too soon become one of those heroic people whom we admire. Our hearts go out to his parents, family and friends.
Florida State University
Colonel William Wesley Wood was born on October 12, 1961 in Lubbock, Texas where his father was serving in the Air Force. He grew up in an Air Force family, and eventually ended up in Panama City, Florida where he attended high school and became a star wrestler. After graduation, he attended a local community college before enrolling at Florida State University and joining the ROTC Program.
COL Wood was commissioned as an Infantry 2nd Lieutenant after graduating from Florida State University in 1984. COL Wood's first assignment was with the 3d Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, and assistant operations officer. While stationed at Ft. Benning, he met his wife Nanci. They were married on October 29, 1988.
Following the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, COL Wood was assigned to Baumholder, Germany and served as a battalion motor officer and commanded two companies. In 1992, his daughter Rachel was born in Kusel, Germany.
COL Wood's next assignment was as an observer/controller at the Combat Maneuver Training Center in Hohenfelds, Germany. COL Wood then returned to Georgia and was assigned as a senior Infantry trainer with the Georgia National Guard. After a year at Command & General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, COL Wood's next assignment was again in Germany, where he served as the battalion operations officer for the 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry Regiment in Vilseck Germany. COL Wood was then selected to serve as the deputy division operations officer for the 1st Infantry Division which deployed to Kosovo. He then served as the brigade operations officer for the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
After returning from Germany, COL Wood served as a senior maneuver observer/controller at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas as part ot the Battle Command Training Program. In June 2002, COL Wood assumed command of the 2d Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. During his two years in command, COL Wood was hand selected by the Commanding General of Fort Jackson; MG David W. Barno to be the G3 for a Task Force comprised of over 31 different Army organizations which deployed to Tazar, Hungary. As the G3, COL Wood was responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of a strategic mission of training Free Iraqi Forces (FIF) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Following a successful battalion command, COL Wood was assigned to the 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia, where he initially served as the deputy chief of staff before joining the Spartan Brigade at the JRTC in September 2004 where he assumed duties as the first deputy commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. COL Wood deployed with 2d Brigade to Eastern Baghdad as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom III, where he was instrumental in the brigade's transition with the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, security for the newly-elected Iraqi Government, and coordinating non-lethal effects throughout the brigade's area of operations.
COL Wood was selected for a second battalion command in the 4th Brigade of the 3d Infantry Division, and assumed command of 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, the "Nightstalkers," in late July 2005. He was instrumental in the success of battalion surge operations leading up to the Iraqi Constitutional Referendum.
COL Wood's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star Device, the Kosovo Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Expert Infantryman's Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
COL Bill Wood was known to all as a devoted husband to Nanci, a loving father to Rachel, a die-hard Florida State Seminole fan, a passionate horseman, and a Soldier.
Dedication Ceremony in Florida at Bay Pines VA Domiciliary
11 January 2014
Patrick Prior, Boy Scout with Troop 236 in St. Petersburg, Florida, organized an Eagle Scout project to build this shelter for Veterans, many who have returned from combat with PTSD.
"My daughter Rachel and I are deeply touched that this shelter is dedicated in Bill's memory. It is our hope that it will provide a place of peace and rest for our wounded heroes and their families. Your sacrifices and those of so many throughout our nation's history will never be forgotten. May God keep you and bless you and your families."
Nanci Wood, widow of Colonel Bill Wood
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