January 23, 1938 - January 20, 1987


Brigadier General David H. Stem was born on 23 January 1938 in Easton Pennsylvania. He received his commission upon graduation from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, in 1960. He also held a Masters of Arts degree in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University, graduated from the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Virginia, and the U.S. Army War College.

General Stem served with distinction in command and staff positions at platoon, company, battalion and brigade levels. He excelled in challenging assignments to include: Chief, Law Enforcement Division, ODCSPER, HQ DA; staff and faculty at the U.S. Army War College; and Assistant Commandant and later the Commandant, U.S. Army Military Police School.

Through his powerful personality, vision and leadership, General Stem formed the Military Police Noncommissioned Officer Academy, won the designation of the Polygraph Institute as the executive agent for the entire Defense of Department, and piloted a new and innovative leadership development program.

As Commandant of the MP School, BG Stem oversaw activation of the MP Corps Regiment, revitalized the MP Regimental Association, instituted worldwide MP conferences, and developed force packages responsive to the needs of today’s Army.  

General Stem was killed in 1987 while serving his country.  General Stem’s dedicated and inspirational leadership was the epitome of what makes the Army and the Military Police Corps Regiment successful.

Copyright 1987 U.P.I.
United Press International January 21, 1987, Wednesday, PM cycle
SECTION: Domestic News
LENGTH: 618 words
BYLINE: By TONI CARDARELLA, United Press International

BODY: An Army brigadier general was among five people killed in the crash of a military plane and a private craft in sunny skies over Missouri, one of two reported airplane collisions Tuesday, and authorities said they feared another victim might be found. In the other incident, two small planes brushed each other near a Rhode Island airport but landed safely, officials said. Seven people aboard the two craft walked away unhurt.

Brig. Gen. David Stem, commander of the Military Police School at Fort McClellan, Ala., was one of three people on the Army plane that collided with a Piper Navaho with two or three people aboard about 12:30 p.m. CST Tuesday at 7,000 feet over Independence, Mo., an Army spokesman said. The debris fell on the grounds of a privately owned ammunition plant 45 miles southeast of Fort Leavenworth, Kan., but did not hit any buildings, and there were no injuries on the ground, Maj. Bill Auer said. The military plane, a twin-engine Beechcraft King Air based with its crew at Anniston Army Depot in Alabama, was on its way to Fort Leavenworth. The private plane was flying from Kansas City to St. Louis, but authorities knew few details about it. A report from a friend of one of those killed on the private plane said she believed three people were in it, instead of two. Authorities said neither of the people known to be in it were pilots and began investigating whether it might have carried three people.

Dr. Bonita Peterson, the Jackson County medical examiner, today said one of the victims in the civilian plane was Rocky Swyres, 39, of St. Louis, who was returning to St. Louis from a one-day business trip to Kansas City. Peterson said the name of the second victim was being withheld until police could contact the family. Fort Leavenworth spokesman Lt. Col. John Garlinger said Stem was the only passenger on the military plane, but added that positive identification of the remains had not been made. The pilot was identified as Maj. Michael Johnston, of Alexandria, Ala. The plane also carried a civilian co-pilot who was not identified.

FAA spokeswoman Sandra Campbell said controllers at Kansas City International Airport were tracking the military plane when it disappeared from radar. It was not known if controllers had contact with the private plane. Garlinger said the Missouri crash was being investigated by teams from the U.S. Army Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala., the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board. Military police stood guard over the wreckage today while investigators studied the debris at the Lake City Ammunition Plant in a rural area of Independence. Garlinger said ''the bigger pieces'' went down in three separate places.

It was the second fatal in-flight collision in five days. On Jan. 15 a small private plane collided with a Skywest commuter plane over suburban Salt Lake City, killing all 10 people aboard both craft. A short time before Tuesday's crash in Missouri, seven people walked away unhurt when a Piper Cherokee commuter flight leaving Westerly Airport ''brushed'' a private Piper Archer from Stratford, Conn., at about 1,700 feet over Westerly, R.I. ''You'd have to say the people are lucky,'' said William Bendokas, president of New England Airlines, which operated the commuter flight that was carrying five passengers and a pilot. Both planes landed safely at Westerly, and only the four-seat private plane was damaged in the 10:50 a.m. EST accident, said Gene Tansey, the Rhode Island airports director. The airport, in southwestern Rhode Island on the Connecticut border, has no air traffic control facilities. ''It could be a no-fault situation, a freak incident,'' Bendokas said.

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