John T. Sheridan

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Vietnam


John Sheridan was born on 10 July 1939 in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from LaSalle Academy High School where he was on the baseball team. He attended the University of Rhode Island; and while there, he was a pitcher on the varsity baseball team, member of Phi Mu Delta Fraternity and participated in the Army ROTC program. In his senior year, he was the Cadet Colonel of the ROTC Detachment. He graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in the US Army in 1961.

He was an Army Ranger and Vietnam Veteran, serving in the United States Army for 22 years. LTC Sheridan’s first assignments were as an infantry platoon leader, company executive officer, company commander, and then Battalion S1 (Personnel) in the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, Hawaii. While stationed in Hawaii at Schofield Army Barracks with the 25th Infantry Division, he married his wife of 51 years, Mollie.

In 1965, Captain Sheridan deployed with the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, to the Republic of Vietnam, as S2 (intelligence officer). On 4 February 1966, during a reconnaissance/search and destroy mission in a large rubber plantation near Cu Chi, Captain Sheridan assumed command when the company commander was killed in action. CPT Sheridan quickly directed retaliatory fire while engaged by intense sniper fire, mines, and booby traps and organized a defensive perimeter while evacuating the six wounded and eight dead. He then successfully led the withdrawal of the company avoiding further casualties. For this exceptional valorous action, he was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device.

He returned to the United States for duty as Assistant Professor of Military Science at Temple University, the first of two ROTC assignments. Then it was back to Vietnam and back to the 25th Infantry Division as a Battalion Executive Officer, Brigade S3 (Operations), and also the Division G3 (Plans).

LTC Sheridan’s career turned from warrior to diplomat. From 1974 until 1977, he was the Army Attache, American Embassy, Madrid, Spain. He then returned as the Director of Training Development at the US Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. His final assignment from 1981 to 1984 was back to teaching ROTC at the University of Miami as the Professor and Chairman of the Department of Military Science with a staff of 14 and cadet corps of 400.

His awards include: Bronze Star with “V” device and three oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal, among others. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and the Ranger Tab. Additionally, he was awarded the Spanish Army Cross of Military Merit by the King of Spain. His advanced degree was a Master’s Degree in European History from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

After retiring in 1984, LTC Sheridan worked a few years in the banking field but ultimately decided to spend his time with family and help with taking care of his four beloved grandchildren: Anthony, Jessica, Lilinoe, and Keikilani from his two daughters, Julie and Dawn and two sons John II and Douglas. LTC Sheridan passed away on 30 June 2015 and was laid to rest at Punchbowl National Cemetery in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Although there were many assignments that gave the family fond memories, John felt that one of his greatest accomplishments was developing his cadets at the University of Miami. During his last months at home under Hospice care, a number of his previous cadets whom he had not seen in years found out about his condition. They emailed, called; and a couple actually came by the house to visit with him. It is evident he was held in high esteem by the statements of his former cadets: “He was a man who by his actions, has inspired many to be better human beings.” “Deeds, not words are the measure of a good man.” “He will never be forgotten, and his legacy with all of us will endure for many years.” “A Warrior, Leader of Men, and a Mentor.” Finally, “A Soldier for Life,” which was engraved on his urn.

Lieutenant Colonel John T. Sheridan dedicated his entire life serving his community and nation during peace and war. His exemplary devotion to duty, personal bravery and outstanding leadership are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his family, his country and the University of Rhode Island.