FWISD cadets enrolled in Honors U.S. Military History and selected JROTC instructors will share with members of the Fort Worth Westerners their remarkable personal experiences visiting Fort Concho and Fort Davis, Texas. Cadets will share their insights on how environments, industries, geography, and culture of the frontier influenced the development of the southwestern United States. This staff ride afforded cadets an active engagement and a meaningful connection to Texas frontier fort history, challenging cadets to reflect critically on the causes and consequences of westward expansion and the U. S. military's role in the process.
Meet Lieutenant Colonel Richard Crossley
Lieutenant Colonel Crossley became the FWISD JROTC Director of Army Instruction (DAI) in July 2011. Under his leadership, FWISD JROTC was the first program in the nation to teach an Honors U.S. Military History Course, increased scholarships and appointments to our military Service Academies and assumed operational control of FWISD Outdoor Learning Center (OLC-LLC). He has served as the Senior Army Instructor and JROTC Department Chair since August 2000 at North Side High School, Fort Worth, Texas. He has served on the Campus Coordinating Committee (CCC), the Site Based Decision Making Committee (SBDMC), the Literacy Team, and service on the High School Redesign Leadership and Management Team at North Side High School.
Prior to becoming a JROTC instructor, he served as the Deputy Inspector General, AAFES HQS, Dallas, Texas. He is an Airborne Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Southern Mississippi Army ROTC, Air Defense Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advance Course, Command & General Staff College, Senior Officer Logistics Management Course and the Inspector General Course, Fort Belvoir, VA. A native of McComb, MS, LTC Crossley began his military career as an enlisted soldier in the 82nd Airborne, Fort Bragg, NC. LTC Crossley served in myriad assignments, and he earned a Master of Public Service degree in 1992 from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (3OLC), Army Commendation Medal (3OLC), National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.
A 2017 recipient of the United States Army Cadet Command (USACC) Director of Army Instruction (DAI) of the Year Award and Bronze USACC Instructor Award, LTC Crossley is currently serving as a member of USACC Program Advisory Council (PAC). Actively engaged as a member of the U.S. Army Dallas Recruiting BN Community Advisory Council, he is a member of the Fort Worth Lone Star Chapter of Military Officer Association of America (MOAA); Charter member & current Scholarship Chair of North–DFW Military Officer Association of America; Member of both Dallas & Fort Worth The Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW); North Texas Audie Murphy Chapter Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA); Member DFW World Affairs Council; Denton County Epiphany (youth/juvenile offenders), and a member of Fort Worth East Rotary Club.
Fort Worth exudes a vivacious Western spirit founded upon a rich history. In 1849, four years after the Republic of Texas became the 28th state, the Army built a fort to keep native tribes west of the Trinity. That fort grew into a focal stop on the Chisholm Trail and later became the western terminus of the railroad. In World War I, Fort Worth housed one Army and three aircraft training bases, while Fort Worth Stockyards, which became one of the largest in the nation, provided multitudes of horses and mules. From pianos on dirt floors to the Van Cliburn Competition, from the earliest portraits by itinerant French artists to world-class art museums, Fort Worth has always been home to high culture. Groups such as the Woman's Wednesday Club made sure art and libraries stood in the old fort town once more famous for its saloons. No matter the era, and no matter the many reasons, Fort Worth will always be "where the West begins."
Meet Dawn Youngblood
Dr. Dawn Youngblood is Director of Historic Preservation and Archives for Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas. The award-winning archives holds many treasures and secrets preserved from the old West past of the region. She is author of two books: The SMS Ranch and Images of America: Fort Worth, which will be available in the fall.
Dawn grew up in San Antonio, where she attended the Alamo Heights Schools and developed a passion for history. She obtained a degree in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, where she met and married her husband, Fort Worth attorney Edwin Johnston Youngblood. They have lived in Fort Worth since 1982 and have two grown children, Christian and Eden.
Following a career in publishing – having worked as a Senior Editor for Harcourt Brace, and Publications Director for Freese and Nichols – Dawn returned to graduate school. She obtained a PhD in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University in 2003 and worked full time at SMU as a curator and professor.
In 2010, Dawn began her current position as Tarrant County Archivist, and in 2017 became Tarrant County Historic Preservation and Archives Officer. In that post, she is working on the first ever County Historic Preservation Plan in the State of Texas, and received a significant grant in support of that effort.