The William Jordan Verbeck Award (by Edmond F. Henry) **
Over 20 years ago, this award was decided upon.
Past president Edmond F. Henry spoke concerning it at an Association meeting at that time, saying:
"The late Major General William Jordan Verbeck, onetime regimental commander of the 21st Infantry and onetime Division Chief of Staff, demonstrated in myriad ways - and consistently, from his Division days of '44 and '45 to the day of his death on November 4, 1965 – an unparalled love for and devotion to Division. It was an obsession with him, a magnificent one.
"It is this enthusiasm, this spirit, which the Executive Committee has sought to memorialize. Hard in the conviction that any honor bearing the name of this beloved comrade-in-arms will carry its own ready acknowledgement of that for which it stands, the Committee was firm that it should be known merely as the 'William Jordan Verbeck Award'. The name 'Verbeck' is synonymous with 'Excellence' in many areas and for many things, but to Taro Leafers particularly, the name represents special excellence in all matters germane to the 24th Infantry Division and its appurtenant parts.
"Bill Verbeck was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. He was loved and admired by everyone who knew him, and especially worshipped by those Gimlets who were and are proud to say 'I served with Colonel Bill Verbeck'. He was truly an ideal soldier, gallant in action, with a rare gift for leadership, yet with a common touch that endeared him to us all. He died, mourned as few men are mourned, because like Bayard, that model of brightly virtue, he could be truly called 'Without fear; and without fault'.
"General Verbeck loved the 24th Infantry Division; and was devoted to this Association, which he served as President during the last year of his life.
"An award bearing his name would be an inspiration to each of us and a source of constant pride to the member who receives it. Your Executive Committee has accepted the offer of one of our number to donate to the Association a symbol of that award and has resolved that the award shall be made to that member who, by his service to the Association, best exemplifies the ideals of General Verbeck. The award is intended to set a high standard. The William Jordan Verbeck Award will be given only sparingly on the vote of the Executive Committee and all because of the unusual quality of performance required to earn it.
"It is and ever shall be the highest honor which our Association can bestow.
"The symbol of the award, this bowl, shall pass from one honoree to the next, with a miniature thereof being given for the permanent possession of each recipient."
** from “WORKBOOK for the 40th Annual Meeting, of the 24th Infantry Division Association, Schaumburg, IL, August 15, 1987”