Dan entered the Army in October 1966 under the “College Option for OCS” Program having just graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Education. Having chosen Armor as his preferred branch, he graduated from Ft Knox OCS on August 10, 1967. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Armor in Germany. His assignments were as Tank Platoon Leader, Support Platoon Leader and S-4. Dan was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his service. While in Germany, he served on the joint staff coordinating the first “Reforger” in January, 1969 and was later assigned to evaluate logistic support for the M551 (Sheridan) for eventual deployment to Europe (his negative report was ignored). He returned to the U.S. in August 1969 and transferred his commission to the Illinois National Guard where he served as Recon Platoon Leader and Detachment Commander (now “Combat Support”) for the 1st Bn 129th Infantry. In June of 1970 he was badly burned in a gasoline fire at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, and spent 6 months at the hospital at Great Lakes Naval Base. On return to the Guard he served as S1 and was promoted to the rank of Captain. Upon being rated 40% disabled from his injuries he was transferred to the standby reserves.
Dan has BS and MS (Political Science) degrees from Illinois State University and a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Illinois. He practiced law for 30 years as a Criminal Prosecutor and Corporate Lawyer. He has authored or coauthored 8 books, including When the Nation Called the Third Time: Army Officer Candidate School at Ft Knox, Kentucky: The Vietnam Era with three other graduates of Ft Knox OCS.
Dan has been active in civic affairs, philanthropic endeavors and University matters in his hometown of Bloomington, Illinois. He is married to Paula Esworthy and they have one daughter, Elizabeth Ash, who is in the General Counsel’s office of CVS/Caremark handling national environmental and safety matters.