COLIN D. "DOUG" CILEY, JR.
Colin D. “Doug” Ciley, Jr., (Colonel, US Army, retired), age 91, of Niceville, Florida, passed away on Friday, December 21, 2018. Born on February 11, 1927 in Edmonton, Canada, Doug graduated from high school and junior college, in Calgary, Alberta. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska, and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
Joining the US Army Doug was commissioned second lieutenant in 1946 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and immediately was assigned to the First Cavalry Division in the Occupation of Japan. In August of 1948, he returned to the US for duty in Washington, DC and was detailed as a White House Social Aide during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. While stationed in Washington, DC, he received his US citizenship.
Doug realized a boyhood ambition when he was sent to pilot training school. In 1951 he received orders to Korea, with helicopter pilot training en route. For the next six months, while flying combat missions and emergency medical evacuations, he flew over 1,000 combat flying hours, was shot down, lost a landing gear on a mission and landed successfully without one, was wounded in ground combat, and experienced more than his share of helicopter engine failures in that inhospitable Korean flying environment.
In 1966 Doug volunteered to be assigned to Vietnam, where he spent the next two years. By 1969, he was promoted to Colonel. In 1972 he was reassigned to Hawaii. Because of a reorganization, he assumed command of the Troop Command of the US Army, Pacific, a command of over 16,000 personnel, and reaching from units in Hawaii to Okinawa. By 1975 nearing 30-year retirement, Doug was asked if he would remain on active duty to advise and help with his earlier work in the use Synthetic Flight Simulators in Army Aviator flight training. He is largely responsible for the present use of Computer Generated Imagery in the AH-60 flight and weapons training simulators. He retired from the US Army in September 1977.
As a civilian Doug managed a Behavioral Science Research Company involved in the development of innovative pilot training programs. He was president of an international relocation company and the owner-broker of a large and successful real estate company. In 1988 he sold those interests to reside in Bluewater Bay, near Eglin AFB in the panhandle of Florida, where, to use his words, he “praises the Lord, sings and witnesses in churches and prisons, and plays golf — in that order!"
Doug Ciley served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was twice awarded the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He also held the Bronze Star with V device, the Meritorious Service Medal, numerous Air Medals, three awards of the Army Commendation Medal, and the Purple Heart, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and the Knights Cross of the Korean Order of Military Merit, as well as a number of other service decorations. He best liked to be known as a Christian and a good and faithful friend.
Doug was predeceased by the love of his life, Thangh, on December 17, 2017. He leaves to mourn his passing his son Scott Ciley and his wife Peggy of California; his daughter Catie Loeffler, her husband Eric, and his daughter Angela Ciley of Florida. Grandchildren Paul Ciley (Kristi), David Ciley (Dawn), and Antonio Arriola (Cami), Nick Arriola (Jordyn), all of CA; 4 great grandchildren, Emilee, Callan, Kaiden, and Mae Ciley. Doug’s family and friends mourn the loss of this kind man, who will be remembered for his caring and gentle spirit. His élan, charisma, and humor are deeply missed.
The inurnment with military honors will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. May Doug’s memory be a Blessing. Donations may be made to:
Wounded Warrior Project 7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256 Tel: 1-877-832-6997 Web: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
Expressions of love and sympathy may be placed and viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com
A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday at 3:30 PM., with a visitation to follow, at the funeral home, on the 15th of January 2019 at the Emerald Coast Funeral Home Chapel, with the Rev. Wes Yates officiating.
Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256