CSM Forrest Eugene Hinkle RET, 63, died at Southern Regional Medical Center Thursday, Aug. 6, 2004.
He was a resident of Clayton County for 19 years. He was born Jan. 23, 1941, in the town of Inez, Martin County, Ky. to the late Joe and Lydia Bowen Hinkle. He attended Inez elementary and graduated from Inez High School in 1959. After graduation he enlisted in the United States Army, completing his 25-year career as a Command Sergeant Major.
He attended basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, where he completed his training and then attended school for military police training in 1960. In 1963 he transitioned into the infantry corps. He then completed a tour in Korea during 1963-1964. After his return he successfully completed the non-commissioned officer academy. In 1965, he became a Drill SGT and worked with new recruits until his departure for Vietnam in 1968.
He served two tours in Vietnam in 1968-1969 and 1971-1972. His decorations from Vietnam are as follows: Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w/device 60, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/Palm (2), Overseas Service Ribbon.
After his deployment he returned to Fort Jackson, S.C. and became an instructor for the Drill Sergeant School. He later attended the senior non-commissioned officer command staff course and was promoted to the rank of E-8. He was transferred to Fort Leonard Wood, Miss. in 1975, where he was assigned as First Sergeant of a mechanized Rifle Company. He was responsible for training and supervising company operations.
In 1979, he was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany, where he continued his role as a 1SGT. In 1982 he was promoted to E-9, a Sergeant Major. He attended the command sergeant major course at Fort Bliss, Texas and was transferred to Fort Campbell, Ky. to the 101st Airborne Division. He took the job as the battalion CSM.
He retired from the United States Army in April of 1985 with 25 years of service with the decorations and medals as follows: Expert Infantryman Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Overseas Service Ribbon w/3 bars, Army Commendation Medal (1st OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (1st OLC), NCO Professional Development Ribbon (5), Good Conduct Medal (8th award), M-16 Rifle Qualification Badge (sharpshooter), and a campaign ribbon awarded for Vietnam Counter Offensive Phase IV.
After retirement from the Army, he worked in the Civil Service at Fort McPherson for the U.S. Army Reserve Command, Training Division. He retired from service in 2001.
CSM Hinkle is survived by his sister, Linda Gayle Arms of Swamp Creek, Ky.; children, Deborah Green of Albany, Ga., Barbara Behling of Orange City, Fla., Forrest E. Hinkle Jr. of Fayetteville, Ga., Diane Froemming of Apoka, Fla., and Amy Selman of Fort Knox, Ky.; grandchildren, Brittany Hinkle, Forrest E. Hinkle III, Jeffery Behling, Shannon Behling, Mckinnsey Froemming, Bridget Froemming, Jacob Froemming, John Selman and Sarah Selman; three nieces and one nephew.
Pope Dickson & Son, Jonesboro Chapel is in charge of arrangements. (770) 478-7211.