Major John P. Gagne began his military career with an enlistment in the Army. He served in various administrative positions until June 1962, completing his enlistment as a Specialist Five (E-5). He attended the University of New Hampshire in the fall of the same year, also enrolling in the Army ROTC program. A Distinguished Military Student and Graduate, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Regular Army Infantry when he graduated from UNH in 1965 with a BA in History.
John Gagne was assigned to the 82d Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC, to attend the Combat Platoon Leader's Course and Airborne School. After training completion, he was assigned to the 4/23d Infantry, Cu Chi, Vietnam, where he served as a Platoon Leader and Executive Officer. Wounded in action, he was reassigned from 1967-1970 to serve as a staff officer for general officers at Fort Monroe, VA. Major Gagne subsequently volunteered for Vietnam and combat duty. He was reassigned to the Advisory Team 162 (Red Hats), Vietnamese Airborne Division. During a parachute jump, he was again wounded and medically evacuated to the United States.
Major Gagne next served as an administrative officer at the headquarters level in Izmir, Turkey. Following that assignment, he was reassigned to Headquarters, Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, where he served from 1973-1976 in the Office of the Adjutant General as Chief of the Command Personnel Management Inspection Team. During his final years of service, he served in leadership and executive officer roles to the Army Section Chief in Tehran, Iran, as well as Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He also served as Chief, Administrative Services Division, at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan. He retired from active duty in 1984.
During his military career, he earned a Master's Degree in Management and completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. His decorations include the Bronze Star Medal for Combat Valor, Bronze Star for Combat Service (two Oak Leaf Clusters), Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Medal. His Bronze Star was awarded in 1966 for heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force in Vietnam, while serving as Company Platoon Leader, 4th Battalion, 23d Infantry. He was cited for personal bravery, aggressiveness, and outstanding leadership in close combat with the enemy.
John Gagne began his second career serving the State of New Hampshire in several different roles. From 1990-1994, he served as the Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Specialist, helping veterans find jobs and supportive services. He continued to work for veterans' employment and their rights and benefits when he was selected as Local Veterans' Employment Representative from 1994 to 1999. In addition, he worked a year as manager of the NH WORKS Job and Information Center at Portsmouth before being pron10ted to State Director, Veterans' Employment and Training Service. In all these positions, he contributed to the State of NH while also serving the l11ilitary family.
Major Gagne has served eight years on the Advisory Board to the UNH ROTC Alumni Chapter. During that period, he helped the organization grow to 400 members and professionally induct 26 of its most distinguished veterans into the ROTC Hall of Fame. His membership and contributions on the Advisory Board have enhanced community support for the Army and Air Force ROTC programs.
For outstanding service to the Army Infantry, the state of New Hampshire, and the University of New Hampshire Major John P. Gagne is inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame.