Sid Oaksmith '77 Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship seeks undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need who have a parent in the military, either active duty, veteran, retired, or the reserves.
COL (Ret) Sidney G. Oaksmith was born in Annapolis, Maryland on 30 May 1955, the son of Billy and Grace Oaksmith. After a long battle with esophageal cancer, Sid went to be with the Lord on 9 October 2014.
He graduated from Annapolis Senior High School in 1973 and attended Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida where he joined Army ROTC. COL (Ret) Oaksmith graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army in the basic branch of Field Artillery where he served for over 26 years.
COL (Ret) Oaksmith attended the Field Artillery Officer Basic and Advanced Courses at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia and the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He also graduated from Airborne, Air Assault, and Ranger Schools.
His assignments include two tours in the Federal Republic of Germany with the 75th Field Artillery Command and 56th Field Artillery Command and assignment to the 101st ABN Division. He served in both Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM as a Brigade Fire Support Officer for 1st Brigade, 101st ABN Division (AASLT). COL (Ret) Oaksmith has also served as a Political-Military Planner, Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy (J5), Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC. His commands include command of 8-inch and Pershing II Missile batteries in the Federal Republic of Germany, command of the 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery (MLRS) in the Republic of Korea, and command of the 17th Field Artillery Brigade in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He also served as the Director of the Commander’s Action Group with the US Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.
His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal.
Upon retiring from the Army, Sidney began his civilian career as a business developer for L-3 MPRI National Group in Alexandria, Virginia. He later went on to be Vice President of Operations for L-3 MPRI Training Technology Group (TTG) in Columbia, Maryland. He left the defense contracting world, and went to work for First Command Financial Services in Annapolis, Maryland where he could enjoy life and help people achieve financial peace of mind.
He loved his Alma Mater, Virginia Tech, and his band of brothers at the German Club. He was a devout Christian, who had great faith in God. He had a great love of country and those he had the pleasure of serving with during his long career. As he said in one of his speeches, “There is no greater love I have except love of God and family, than love of each one of you.”
Sidney Oaksmith is survived by his wife and high school sweetheart of 37 year, Rebecca Smyth Oaksmith. They have two daughters, Gretchen Oaksmith Butler and Lindsay Oaksmith O’Donnell, who are married to Ben Butler and Adam O’Donnell. He has four grandchildren, Joshua Butler, Ashley Butler, Payton O’Donnell, and Austin O’Donnell. He is also survived by his sister Barbara Smith (Jim), brother Gene Oaksmith (Claudia), and sister Lyn Englert (Bob) and his mother-in-law Peg Smyth, brother-in-law Jeff Smyth (Myra) and sister-in-law Corry Atwell (Steve), as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Sidney is preceded in death by his parents, Billy and Grace Oaksmith, his father-inlaw Ken Smyth, and his brother-in-law Peter Smyth.