Dr. Ken Hartman

By Ken Greenberg, National Executive Director

Former Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Tom Bowman participated in an advocacy session during the 2022 National Convention.
During the session, National ExecuBy Larry Jasper, National Editor

Meet Dr. Ken Hartman, a man of many talents, from humble beginnings.

Hartman is the son of a Holocaust survivor. His father, Paul, was liberated by a soldier, and he fostered a lifelong respect for the military. He came to America as a refugee.
Hartman’s parents taught him that the privilege and freedom in America were so unique and precious, he should never take them for granted. This inspired him to join ROTC in college and to serve as an Army officer.

Hartman graduated and served mostly in armor and military police units from 1980 until 1989, fulfilling his desire to do something for his country.

After his service, he went on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. He served several decades as a university professor, senior academic administrator, consultant, and university president.
Hartman wrote numerous books and scholarly publications and is an active presenter at industry conferences. He was also the author of a nationally syndicated newspaper column and was a technology reporter for an NBC affiliate in Philadelphia.

In 2009 he found his real passion. It always troubled Hartman that when high school graduates went off to college there was a lot of fanfare, but graduates who went into the military were largely ignored. He founded Our Community Salutes (OCS), a non-profit organization with the motto, “The First to Say Thank You.”

OCS is dedicated to honoring graduating high school seniors and their parents who made the commitment to serve their country. OCS had a humble beginning in Vorhees, New Jersey, where a facility was rented, and recruiters brought their inductees for a dinner and salute to them and their families.

Today, OCS ceremonies are held throughout the country (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Over 250,000 high school seniors have been honored since 2009, with each receiving the 96-page OCS pocket-guide to the nation’s founding documents, as well as an OCS challenge coin.

Hartman has been a member of JWV Post 126 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey for six years. In 2020, the Department of New Jersey awarded OCS its Organization of the Year Award.
If you are interested in learning how to support OCS, contact Dr. Hartman at ken@ocsusa.org.

Hartman lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey with his wife Marti and has two adult children.

Volume 76. Number 3. 2022