Lt. Col. George J. Oden, 10th Cavalry, 1919.

For a larger version click here. Although in 1919 Oden held the temporary rank of lieutenant colonel, in this portrait he has on his shoulder cords the double bars of a captain, his permanent rank. Thanks to the Orders and Medals Society of America (, Oden's awards have been identified as first row, left to right: Certificate of Merit, Philippine Congressional, Spanish Campaign, Philippine Campaign, Mexican Service (No. 306 for service as a major in the 4th Cavalry); second row: unknown; Order of the Spanish-American War; Order of the Carabao; Veterans of Foreign Wars; third row: Army and Navy Union; Marksman's badge. Note how Oden feels free to wear social organization medals along with official awards.

Here is a summary of Oden's service record as found in the U.S. Army Register, 1922, followed by supplementary information from other sources:

Oden, George J., major. Retired. Born-Germany, 14 Feb. 75 Accepted-At 1arge., Calif.
Certificate of Merit. Disability in line of duty.
Pvt. Battery H, Artillery 17 June, 98 to 6 July, 99.
Pvt. and sgt. Co. A and bn. and regtl. sgt. maj. 36 U.S. Inf., 8 July, 99 to 4 Mar. 00.
2lt. 36 U.S. Inf. 12 Feb. 00. Accepted 5 Mar. 00.
Hon. must. out 30 June, 01.
1 lt. 10 Cav 2 Feb. 01 Accepted 1 July 01.
Capt. 11 Mar. 11.
Transfered to 5 Cav. 17 Sept. 14, Transfered to 16 Cav. 2 Nov. 16, Maj. (temp) 19 Cav. 5 Aug. 17, Lt.col. (temp.) 4 Cav. 5 Aug. 17.
Transfered to 19 Cav 22 Sept. 17, Transfered to 4 Cav. 29 Dec.17, Hon. dis. as lt.col. (temp.) 18 Sept. 18.
Transfered to 10 Cav. 30 June 19, Retired with rank of maj. 29 June, 20.

Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States, Vol. 32. "Thirty-Sixth Infantry, to be second lieutenants. ...Sergeant-Major George J. Oden, Thirty-sixth Infantry, United States Volunteers, February 12, 1900, vice McGowan, promoted. - (signed) William McKinley, Executive Mansion, February 15, 1900."

Citation for Army Distinguished Service Medal: George J. Oden. Place of Birth: Germany . Home of record: Los Angeles, California.
"The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal in lieu of the Certificate of Merit previously issued to Sergeant George J. Oden, United States Army, for distinguished gallantry as a member of the 36th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Volunteers, in action near Mangaperen, Luzon, Philippine Islands, on 28 November 1899."
(General Orders: D.S.M. issued in lieu of the Certificate of Merit under the provisions of the act of Congress July 9, 1918)
Action Date: November 28, 1899 Service: Army. Rank: Sergeant. Regiment: 36th Infantry Regiment.

Annual Report of Major General Arthur MacArthur, U.S. Volunteers, commanding Division of the Philippines, Military Governor. Vol. 1. 1900.
Roster of Troops: Thirty-sixth Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Company C, Sual, Luzon - Oden, George J. 2d Lieut., with company.

Report on the military government of the city of Manila, P.I. from 1898 to 1901. Manila, 1901. "Metropolitan Police, Company B - G.J. Oden, 2d Lieut., 36th Inf. U.S.V., Lieutenant, Parian."

Affairs in the Philippines Islands: Hearings before the Committee on the Philippines of the United States Senate, 1902. Contains a letter from George J. Oden, First Lieutenant, Tenth United States Cavalry, Commanding. Pototan, Panay, P.I. February 24, 1902, to Adjutant-General Fifth Separate Brigade, stating that the local pueblos do not desire the withdrawal of troops, and there has been no misconduct by troops.

Journal of U.S. Cavalry Association, Vol. XVI, 1905-1906. "List of members: Oden, G.J. 1 lt. 10 cav., Ft. Washakie, Wyo."

U.S. Army Register for 1911, "Oden, George J. First Lieutenant 2 feb. 01, 10 Cavalry."

The Volta Review, Vol. 13, 1912. Volta Speech Association for the Deaf. "New Life Members, George J. Oden, First Lieutenant, Tenth Cavalry, U.S.A., Fort Ethan Allen, Vt."

Life of Eva Todd Burch (a booklet commemorating the late long-time pastor's assistant and teacher of the "We Boys" Sunday school class of the First Methodist Church, Los Angeles). Contains a letter, from George J. Oden, Captain 10th Cavalry, U.S. Army, Fort Ethan Allen, Vt., July 15th, 1911. "I doubt if I have been influenced more for good and right living by any one than by Mrs. Burch, excepting only my mother. ...I have not seen Mrs. Burch since 1902, when I was but a few days in Los Angeles, yet the loss of our teacher comes to me as one with whom I had been in constant association."

The History of the Tenth Cavalry, 1866-1921, compiled by Major E.L.N. Glass, 1921. Contains General Orders No. 23 Headquarters Tenth Cavalry. Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, December 22, 1912. (a resume of the recent achievements of the Machine Gun Platoon since its organization in 1906), signed by G. J. Oden, Captain and Adjutant, Tenth Cavalry, Adjutant. Also contains this picture.

Capt. G. J. Oden and Serg’t Ma... Digital ID: 1233749. New York Public Library

Two Hundred and Seventy-fifth Annual Record of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, 1912-1913. Contains a Roll of Members and Guests, present on the Company's anniversary, June 2 1913, including "...United States Army, Capt. George J. Oden, 10th Cavalry."

Army List and Directory - May, 1914. "Oden, George J., capt. 10 cav., Ft. Huachuca, Ariz." (Not assigned to a particular troop.)

The Official Bulletin, U.S. Committee on Public Information, December 4, 1917. "Temporary promotions to be majors: George J. Oden, Cavalry (assigned to Seventy-seventh Field Artillery.)"

Army List and Directory, February 1, 1920. "Oden, George J. capt. cav., General Hospital, Hot Springs, Ark."

The Volta Review, Vol. 23, 1921. Lists Captain George J. Oden as a life member.

U.S. Army Register, 1943. Repeats Oden's service record as in the 1922 Register, and adds "lt. col. ret. 21 June 30 (act 21 June 30).

Page by Mark Conrad, 2010.