FORT HOOD, Texas – Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Basil L. Plumley, former command sergeant major of 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment “Garry Owen,” 1st Cavalry Division, died from colon cancer Oct. 10 at 4 a.m. in Columbus, Ga.<br /> <br /> Plumley enlisted in the Army March 31, 1942 and retired Dec. 31, 1974. He is a veteran of World War II in Operation Husky, the Battle of Salerno, the Battle of Normandy and Operation Market-Garden. <br /> <br /> He is also a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Plumley served as the command sergeant major of 1-7 Cav. during Vietnam and the Battle of Ia Drang.<br /> <br /> Plumley was portrayed by Sam Elliot in the film “We Were soldiers.”<br /> <br /> "On behalf of the soldiers and families of the 1st Cavalry Division, with which Command Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley served in Vietnam, I want to pass our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers to his family and all who were close to him. Command Sgt. Maj. Plumley was a true American hero who spent much of his life placing his nation and its greatest ideals ahead of his own well being,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division here. “He served with great valor and distinction in three wars and continued to mentor soldiers and leaders well after his retirement from active duty. The command sergeant major touched countless lives in his more than 30 years in the Army and while serving as the senior noncommissioned officer in the storied 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment ‘Garry Owen.’ He will be deeply, deeply missed."