November 14, 2014

Gillibrand Awards Veteran With Army Commendation Medal

Corporal James Ganser (Ret.) Recognized For Military Radio Shows That Lifted Troop Morale At Height Of Cold War

Hudson Falls, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today awarded Corporal James Ganser (Ret.) with the Army Commendation Medal. Corporal Ganser is an Army veteran who served in the 1950s and went on to have a storied journalism career. Corporal Ganser’s famous radio shows entertained American troops during the height of the Cold War.

The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to soldiers who distinguished themselves by heroism, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service. It can be given to members of the United States Military who served after December 6, 1941. 

“It is an honor to present such an influential veteran from New York with the Army Commendation Medal,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Corporal Jim Ganser had a successful career in the military, and then went on to serve his country as one of the great journalists of his generation. His radio shows were a constant source of motivation and morale for American soldiers in the height of the Cold War, and this medal is a testament to the quality and importance of his life’s work.”

“I'm proud and humbled to receive this medal,” said Corporal James Ganser (Ret.). “It was awarded to me in 1957 at the conclusion of my army career. I knew it was available but didn’t act on it until recently. I knew that Senator Gillibrand was on the Armed Services Committee and hoped that she could help me. She responded quickly to secure this medal and I am delighted to receive it.”

Corporal Ganser enlisted in the United States Army in 1954, and attended basic training at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, and advanced training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He served in the Army’s Public Information Office in Fort Knox, The Pentagon, and the Military District of Washington, from September 20, 1955, to June 14, 1957, when he was honorably discharged.

Corporal Ganser produced two highly regarded radio shows during his military career: “The Army Band Show” and “Night Train to Churchill.” The shows were broadcast to US military bases in an isolated area of Canada at the height of the Cold War, and greatly improved the living environment for the soldiers stationed there at that time. “The Army Band Show” is still a regularly scheduled radio show, with an audience comprising both military personnel and civilians.

Following his honorable discharge from the Army, Corporal Ganser went on to have a successful career in journalism at ABC News and then CBS News. Over the course of his career, Corporal Ganser interviewed President Kennedy, President Johnson, and President Nixon, among dozens of others.