Command Sergeant Major (Retired)

Alexander “Al” Fontes

 

Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Fontes was born 18 June 1931 in Los Angeles, CA and enlisted in the Army 31 January 1948. After completing Basic Infantry Training at Fort Ord, CA, Al served with the 11th Airborne Division, Japan Occupation Forces until the mission ended in 1949.

 

From 1949 - 1953, while stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, Al deployed with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team and 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment during the Korean War. In 1954, Al served a short time with the 77th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a Light Weapons Leader and then with the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC.

 

In 1955, He returned to the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY and onto Germany. From 1955 - 1958, Al served as a Platoon Sergeant and NCO Academy Instructor under the 11th Airborne Division, Germany and also participated in the Lebanon intervention of 1958.

 

He then returned to Fort Campbell, KY and served with the 101st Airborne Division until early 1961. That is when Al attended Language School in Monterey, CA and studied Mandarin Chinese in preparation for Special Forces operations in Southeast Asia. From 1962 - 1971, Al served in Special Forces; 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Japan, 62 - 64, as an Intelligence Sergeant; 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, NC, 64 - 66, as an Area Support Sergeant; 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Vietnam, 66 - 67, as an Operations and Intelligence Sergeant; United States Army John F. Kennedy Center Special Warfare, Fort Bragg, NC, 67 - 68, as an Operations Sergeant; 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), USAPAC, 68 -70, as a Special Operations Augment (Command and Control); 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, NC, 70 -71, as an Operations Sergeant; Al also served with the Military Assistance Command Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group Recon Team Iowa and Mobile Launch Team 3 Heavy Hook.

 

After Al's Special Forces time, he attended German Language School, Fort Myer, VA. From 1971 - 1975, Al served with the 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, CO; Recondo School Sergeant Major, Camp Red Devil, 71 - 73; Brigade Sergeant Major, 73; Training Command, Command Sergeant Major, 73 - 75.

 

Al retired honorably 28 July 1975 and remained in the Colorado Springs area with his family. While in retirement, he earned a Bachelors of Science from Regis University in 1980 and was actively involved with the establishment of the Special Forces Association Rocky Mountain Chapter 24, 1976, (President 77 - 87 and 91 - 92); Special Operations Association and Veterans of Foreign Wars member.

 

On 13 February 1998, Al passed away.

 

 

 

Command Sergeant Major Fontes’ Awards, Decorations and Schools: Bronze Star Medal (Valor/ Two Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Purple Heart (Two Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (Two Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Good Conduct Medal (7th Award), Army of Occupation Medal (Japan), National Defense Service Medal (One Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Korean Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Lebanon), Vietnam Service Medal (13 Bronze Service Stars), Vietnam Campaign Medal (w/device), Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (w/palm), Meritorious Unit Citation, Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal; Combat Infantryman's Badge (2nd Award), Master Parachutist Badge (Two Bronze Service Stars), Ranger Tab, Vietnamese Airborne Wings; Airborne and Jumpmaster Courses, Ranger Training, Intelligence Analyst SF Course, NCO Air Ground Orientation, Battle Indoctrination Course MVD, NCO Academy, Language School (Mandarin Chinese and German).

 

 

Command Sergeant Major Fontes’ Military and Civilian Honors: Special Forces Association Rocky Mountain Chapter 4-24 Dedication Colorado Springs CO

 

Command Sergeant Major Alexander M. Fontes. Burial Site: Shrine of Remembrance Mausoleum, Colorado Springs CO

 

Command Sergeant Major Fontes was married to Margaret and had one daughter and four sons.

 

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