Andrew Bang Takes Over as New York Advisory Board Chair

The USO New York Advisory Board has a new chair in Andrew Bang.

Andrew, who has been a supporter of the USO for many years, joined the advisory board as a member in late 2021. He is taking over for Col. Jack Jacobs who decided to step down from the board due to other commitments.

Jack has dedicated his life to serving his country. He grew up in the shadow of WWII when America had the draft and men were pulled from school to fight. His father was drafted into the Army and fought in the South Pacific. While Jack recalls his father being frustrated because he was called to fight, he also remembers, years later, how all he could talk about was how proud he was to be a part of saving the world.

These memories stayed with Jack and in 1966 he joined the Army. During his military career, which lasted 20 years, Jack served as a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division, a battalion executive officer in the 7th Infantry Division and a battalion commander with the 10th Infantry Regiment in Panama. He also completed two tours in Vietnam.

Jack was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on March 9, 1968, when his battalion came under intense fire during a mission. The company commander became disabled, and the unit became disorganized until Jack stepped up. Wounded himself, Jack ran through heavy fire to evacuate wounded soldiers, including the company commander. He saved the lives of 15 men that day all while driving off the enemy.

When Jack retired from the Army in 1987, he continued to serve his country through various nonprofit organizations dedicated to assisting the men and women in America’s military. One of those organizations was the USO.

“I knew, from experience, how important it is to have support for the people who are out there serving,” said Jack.

Through his tenure on the board, Jack was instrumental in coming up with new ideas on how to make the USO stronger and help the organization achieve its mission, and influencing USO programs – which is what he will miss most.

“There’s lots of things that still need to be accomplished and I think the people who are on the board now are the kind of people who can make sure that we carry on the mission and do a terrific job of it,” Jack said.

One of those people is Andrew.

According to Jack, “Andrew is a top-quality person who is really going to provide the kind of leadership the board needs in order to move forward.”

Andrew is a West Point graduate who entered the service to give back to his country and become a better leader. He served six years in the Army as an artillery officer stationed at bases in Germany and across the U.S.

His first experience with the USO came when he was a cadet. He and a few friends traveled from West Point to New York City and visited the USO center in Times Square where they received Broadway tickets. It was instances such as this that led him to support the USO through the years.

“This is my small way of continuing to give back to our country and our service members,” said Andrew.

Andrew’s appreciation for the USO and his desire to continue serving the nation are the driving factors behind his excitement for his new role. He is ready to use his position to connect and reconnect with the people who serve and provide them with critical support. Andrew looks to call on his military experience and professional network to bring in potential supporters for the USO and, as a result, extend the organization’s reach and fortify its resources.

Andrew, who has known Jack for quite a while, considers him to be a mentor. Through their relationship, Jack has guided Andrew to give back and do the right thing, and further appreciate the sacrifices the men and women of the military, and their families, make daily. While he is sad to see Jack step away, Andrew is thankful for his years of service to the USO.

“Jack has left big shoes to fill,” Andrew said.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Andrew is ready to fill those shoes and forge his own path as the new board chair.

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