A Hero Gets His Building – Finally

Posted May 3rd, 2014 by Iron Mike

Major Nick Rowe was a living legend, walking quietly among the hundreds of student officers in Building 4 at Benning in ’73.  Almost everyone in Infantry Officer Advanced Course was a combat veteran – many with multiple tours and hair-raising tales – if they told them.
Nick Rowe
Like Nick, most didn’t, – because there was always a bigger hero sitting within earshot at the next table.  

We weren’t there for a bragging contest, we were there to learn how to fight that ‘other’ war – the one we were sure to have with the Russians pretty soon.  Besides, – there was Nick Rowe, – who’d killed his guards and escaped from the VC after five years. Damn tough to top that tale.

I was privileged to shake his hand, even more when he asked me to have a seat. He said “Call me Nick”, – and the best I could do was nod and say “Yes Sir!” I’d already known he was smaller than me – but he just seemed bigger.

And he asked me questions,…how was the course going?…was it worthwhile?…did the instructors seem to know their stuff?

A few years later I learned he got disgusted with Nixon’s “All Volunteer Army”, and had gotten out. Years after that I learned Reagan had talked him into coming back and starting a SERE School.

By 1989 Nick was a Colonel, working with the CIA and others to take down Communist insurgents in the Philippines. As usual – agencies weren’t talking to each other much – each jealous for mission slice, budget, and ‘glory’.

So although somebody in the CIA was aware that Nick was on a Communist hit list – they never told him.

His vehicle was ambushed by CGs in the Manila suburb of Quezon City on 21 April 1989.

Nick Rowe's DIA Schoolhouse

Now – 46 years after his escape from the VC, and 25 years after his assassination – he’s finally having a DIA building named after him. He is among friends – buried at Arlington.

RIP Nick (Sir!), – you were one HELL of a Soldier!

4 Responses to “A Hero Gets His Building – Finally”

  1. Casey Chapman

    Amen and Amen.

  2. Tom Gilroy

    A wonderful tribute to one of the many unsung heroes.

  3. Panther 6

    This is a great tribute to a great patriot and soldier. I did not know and never met Nick but I was well aware of his exploits and his untimely death. He was an American through and through and a true hero. The only sad aspect of this is that such a building should be at Fort Bragg among the Special Forces sites.

  4. Walter Knight

    We know who his killers were. They should be targeted.