The Memorial Rifle Squad Beginning

The first All-Volunteer Memorial Rifle Squad, to provide military honors at a Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery, St. Paul/Minneapolis Minnesota.

By 1978 Minnesota had lost most of its active duty Armed Forces contingents. In the Twin Cities area, the availability of providing Military honors at funerals of veterans became nearly impossible – especially at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery. This became more and more apparent as families of veterans began contacting the various congressional officers and the State Headquarters of the major Veterans organizations. As the requests increased, it was determined that the presence of an organized Rifle Squad was needed if those requests were to be answered, and if military service burial traditions were to be observed.

Determined to provide full military grave site honors, George J. Weiss Jr., with the cooperation of the Fort Snelling Cemetery Committee and other concerned veterans, formed a special committee, those veterans then became the co-founders.


Founders & Co-Founders
George J. Weiss Jr., US Marine Corps, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Frank J. DeMay, US Air Force, American Legion
Lawrence Pluta, US Navy, Fleet Reserve Association
Robert Anderson, US Army, Veterans of Foreign Wars
James Stewart, US Navy, Fleet Reserve Association
Joseph J. Nicosia, US Army, Military Order of the Purple Heart

– Denotes Deceased

As plans progressed, an additional group of veterans volunteered, and then became the Charter Members in accordance with the By-Laws that were adopted on January 23rd, 1980.


The Charter Members
Ray Frisvold Dennis Christy
Bill Weber Anthony Cuff
Dick Clancy Russell Green
Carl Falkowski Dean Hamre
Wallace Herron Lloyd Isaacson
Lloyd Jackson Joseph Jasper
James Lang Alfred Schaeppi
Bob Swanson Neville Wagoner
William Wright Ed Rosander
Melvin Schofield
Glenn O’Malley

– Denotes Deceased

Squad Commanders 1979-Present
George Weiss Jr., 1980-1981 Neville N. Wagoner, 1982 Dennis H. Christy, 1983
Albert P. Schaeppi, 1984 James F. Lang, 1985 Charles P. Korlath, 1986
Charles S. Fouzie, 1987 Albert G. Grenz, 1988 Chester E. Daneilson, 1989
Kenneth E. Nelson, 1990 Oliver C. Pederson, 1991 Kenneth K. Tjosvold, 1992
Lloyd J. Jackson, 1993 Richard E. Clancy, 1994 Kevin E. Burns, 1995
Raymond V. Frisvold, 1996 Glenn E. O’Malley, 1997 Peter L. Buie, 1998
Hugh E. Vasatka, 1999 Wallace J. Herron, 2000 Daniel O. Winsjansen, 2001
John L. O’Neill Jr., 2002 *Mark H. Jessen, 2003-Resigned *George Weiss Jr., 2003-2004 Assumed Command
Bernie R. Melter 2005 Theodore A. Nemzek 2006 Clarence L. Dick 2007
Gordon L. Carlson 2008 Timothy J. Gabrio 2009 Archie W Hazzard 2010
Robert H. Nelson 2011 Gregory A. Rollinger 2012 Daniel J.Fisher 2013
Terri A. Winter 2014  Richard Geiss 2015  Michael Pluta 2016