Ron Zielke – Cmdr. Zielke was one of the first training officers in Alabama. He was also the District Commander from 1977-1980. Not only did he execute that station with grace, he was a very good instructor and facilitator
Everyone was overwhelmed with the poised and calm manner in which he did that job. He would drive all over the district to fulfill the roles of trainer and commander, and in those early days, all at his own expense.
If there ever was a smooth operator, it was him. He managed to get the job done no matter what and without ruffling feathers. He just had that understanding heart that made things somehow easier. He was the man who had to oversee and solve the issues of one section of the district being so large and powerful that they overshadowed everyone else. He had to smooth a lot of feathers. We will likely never see a leader so successful in handling diverse opinions and attitudes.
When there were boys in the altar praying, he would have great sobs of joy with tears. He truly loved to see our boys getting saved. As an instructor in our training regiment, he was quite the originator of ideas and methods for getting the point across. He did an amazing job as part of the National Training Camp (NTC) teaching staff.
In everything, his spiritual resolve would show thru. He once erected a gigantic cross on a hill some distance away and at the exact moment, set it ablaze, emphasizing the point of us being on fire for God.
He has been a friend and mentor to numerous District Commanders who followed in his footsteps. Cmdr. Zielke … a most loveable guy.