Former AFCEA Board Member Lt. Gen. Emmett Paige Jr. Dies
AFCEA was saddened to learn of the passing of Lt. Gen. Emmett Paige Jr., USA (Ret.), on August 31. A former member of AFCEA’s board of directors, Gen. Paige served in the U.S. Army for more than 40 years. Gen. Paige was 86.
He began his Army career in August 1947 at age 16, when he dropped out of high school to enlist. Gen. Paige completed the Signal Corps Officer Candidate School in 1952 and was commissioned a second lieutenant.
One of his most significant assignments was as project manager for the Integrated Wideband Communications System, Southeast Asia, during the Vietnam War. It was the largest communications system ever installed in a combat environment and the first major system engineered, designed and installed to meet Defense Communications System standards.
His other key assignments included commander of the 361st Signal Battalion in Vietnam and commander of the 11th Signal Brigade at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
Throughout his years of service, he commanded the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Engineering and Installation Agency, the U.S. Army Communications Research and Development Command and the U.S. Army Information Systems Command (USAISC) at Fort Huachuca.
After his retirement from the Army in 1988, Gen. Paige became the president and CEO of OAO Corporation, an aerospace engineering and information systems company in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The USAISC established the Gen. Emmett Paige Scholarship Program in 1989 in partnership with the AFCEA Educational Foundation. Five scholarships were awarded to students pursuing a degree in electrical engineering, electronics, communications engineering, mathematics, computer technology, physics or information management.
In 1993, Gen. Paige was appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by Congress as the assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence.
In 2005, the general received the Vice Adm. Samuel L. Gravely Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to AFCEA Education.
He is survived by his three children, Micheal E. Paige-Davis, Sandra Alexandra and Anthony Paige.