Celebrating 50 Years of Service: Military Police Advance Their Careers at SHSU

Brigadier General Daniel Doherty
Brigadier General Daniel Doherty

Following the Vietnam War, when college campuses were hotbeds of protest and unrest, Sam Houston State University opened its doors to military police for an intensive master’s program to guide their future careers.

“During the Vietnam Conflict, those in the military who wanted to go to graduate school were not welcome on college campuses,” said Larry Raab, one of the graduates of the master’s program in Criminal Justice. “Most campuses were protesting the war and most didn’t want military on campus. Three universities welcomed us with open arms, and Sam Houston State University (SHSU) specialized in the correctional aspects of policing. Dr. (George) Killinger, Dr. (George) Beto and the entire faculty welcomed us with open arms and made us feel welcome.”
Statue of three soldiers from the Vietnam WarAfter a two year program crammed into one, the cohort left SHSU and were disbursed to manage army prisons across the country. Since then, the graduates have climbed the ladder in the military, corrections and academia. That class produced a Brigadier General who headed the Criminal Investigation Division for the U.S. Army; the director of the Iowa Department of Corrections; a top administrator for the U.S. Parole Commission and a member of the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole; and an administrator for West Point and Prairie View A&M, to name just a few.

Current students from the College of Criminal Justice continue to be active with the Army through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program on campus, with criminal justice majors representing the vast majority of cadets.

ROTC cadets are sworn in as commissioned Army officers at SHSU.
ROTC cadets are sworn in as commissioned Army officers at SHSU.
“The College of Criminal Justice and the Military Science Department have had a long and fruitful history together,” said Lt. Col. Robert L. McCormick, Professor and Department Chair of Military Science at SHSU. “They have the same goals of protecting this country’s citizens from threats both here in the States, and for the military, overseas. Many of our ROTC’s commissions have gone on to serve in the Military Police or Military Intelligence career fields either on Active Duty, National Guard (NG), or Reserves. Most of our NG and Reserve Officers have pursued a law enforcement career on the civilian side.”

The College’s involvement with the military began in 1968, after being selected by the Department of the Army to train high ranking military police personnel in criminal justice. Then Director, Dr. Killinger, is credited with bringing the program to SHSU because of his service on the Army Clemency and Parole Board at the Pentagon.

Dr. Charles Friel, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the College, said the military graduate students helped elevate the program. “They were really smart guys,” Friel said.

Fort LeavenworthBrigadier General Daniel Doherty was a member of the prestigious class of 1974. He devoted his career to the military before retiring to become a consultant for police departments on policies and procedures. After serving in army prisons and on bases in Kansas, Colorado and Germany – including a stint in Berlin as the officer who ushered people between East and West Germany at the Berlin Wall -- Doherty worked his way up through the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID). He commanded the CID unit for three years, including the investigation of the Aberdeen Proving Ground sex scandal, where training drill sergeants were convicted of raping and sexually harassing female recruits.

Doherty said he used lessons learned in corrections and criminology classes at SHSU to develop programs in army prisons.

“It was a great experience,” said Doherty. “The theory was interesting and I used it in corrections because I went to the Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas. I did go into the assignment with a bit of the foundation.”

After graduation, Raab was assign to Fort Bliss, Texas to operate the then-newest Army prison in the U.S. He credits Drs. Beto and Killinger with introducing him to the “humanistic” way of running prisons.

Larry Raab
Larry Raab
”The biggest challenge was getting it organized to receive new prisoners,” said Raab. “We had brand new rules, policies and procedures, and military soldiers from all over the world.”

Raab would later serve in posts in Dallas, Germany, and Panama, before becoming Chief of Staff at the Military Police School. He also was Director of Academic Advancement at West Point, before being tapped by a former general to join him at Prairie View A&M, where he continues to serve as Director of Space Management.

“We can attribute all of this to the tenets and principles of leadership and management from a humanistic point of view,” said Raab. “That is what I listen to and a view I learned from Drs. Beto and Killinger.”

Lynn Brown too was sent to manage a military prison following graduation. It was the Installation Confinement Facility at Fort Polk, LA., which had just gone through a major disturbance. New tensions were closely monitored the month following arrival sparked by the standoff at the Huntsville prison in Texas. Inmates at the Huntsville Unit had taken hostages in a failed escape attempt. The issue quickly dissipated, however, after state inmates shot and killed some of the hostages, including women, which the Army inmates viewed as cowardly.

Fort Polk, La.After his military service, Brown joined the U.S. Parole Commission as an analyst and later served as a Hearing Officer and Assistant Regional Administrator for the five state area of New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. He used statistics learned in Dr. Friel’s class to begin a pilot electronic monitoring program and would later coordinate with Dr. Friel in completing a nationally recognized Community Sanctions Evaluation project. His Federal career included conducting presentencing investigations for U.S. Probation and making recommendations commensurate with Federal Sentencing Guidelines to the U.S. Court of the Northern District of Texas.

“The master’s degree opens so many doors for you,” said Brown. “I would not have been considered for the Justice Department analyst position without the master’s.”

Upon his retirement from federal service, Brown was appointed by then Texas Governor George W. Bush to serve on the state Board of Pardons and Parole, where he reviewed cases for paroles, revocations and pardons, including the Death penalty case of Karla Faye Tucker.

Brown received additional post graduate education at the University of Texas at Arlington. He then taught criminal justice at Tarleton State University and worked with Elementary school age children with whom he continues to volunteer.

Army tagsAfter his military career, Paul Grossheim returned to his home state of Iowa, where he led the state’s prison system until his death in 1992. “He will be remembered for his professionalism, his straightforward approach to problem solving, and his firm but compassionate way of dealing with people,” said a resolution adopted by the Iowa Legislature. His picture still hangs in the administrative offices of the statewide system.

It stands as a testament to the military men that graced the halls of SHSU and brought honor and dignity to the foundation of the College of Criminal Justice.

“The master’s degree was a building block to a much greater levels,” said Brown.

Member of The Texas State University System