Richard L. Hartness, Sr., Wynne, Arkansas, native while pursuing a 35- year career in supply chain management earned an MA in history. After retiring in 2006, he earned a second MA in heritage studies. He is a past charter president of both the Cross County and Mississippi County historical societies, and a past member of the Poinsett, St. Francis, and Faulkner county societies. He is a published author of books, booklets, and several journal articles on Arkansas topics, and is a public speaker. In 2012, the Cross County Chamber of Commerce chose him as Cross County’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year. Since 2012, he has been an adjunct professor of history for East Arkansas Community College.
A community activist, Hartness has served on the boards of several organizations, the most recent being the Arkansas Delta Byways, the AState Alumni Association, and the Friends of the Arkansas State Archives. Currently he is president of the Northeast Arkansas chapter of the Military Officers Association of America and commander of the Red Wolf Alumni Battalion at AState in Jonesboro, where he received a commission in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1967.
His scholarship in Russian history and geography of the USSR, enhanced with a top-secret clearance, and branch training in Military Intelligence, helped earn him an assignment as the Order of Battle officer at V Corps G2 in Frankfurt/Main, Federal Republic of Germany, just before the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. For his performance during those tense days, he received an Army Commendation Medal.
Inspiration behind his personal advocacy for Arkansas topics initially came from listening to his maternal grandmother describe her family photograph collection. This was enhanced through fifty-eight years of curiosity about who his soldier-father was – the subject of this current endeavor. Richard and his wife, Herberta, are currently living in Jonesboro.