Lieutenant Colonel Paul F. Helweg, Jr. was a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut and spent his early years there before his family moved to Huntington, Long Island. He graduated from Huntington High School in 1966. Paul excelled as a student scholar and was a standout lacrosse player. Paul entered the University of Rhode Island in 1966 and enrolled in the Army four-year Army ROTC program. At URI, Paul was instrumental in organizing lacrosse as a club sport. He was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. In 1970, Paul graduated from URI with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Ordnance.
Lieutenant Colonel Helweg served honorably in the U.S. Army and the Army Reserves for twenty-eight years. Following active duty for the Ordnance Officer Basic Course, Second Lieutenant Helweg served with the 443rd Civil Affairs Company in Warwick, Rhode Island and then the 76th Division Maneuver Training Command in Cranston, Rhode Island. During that time, he completed three officer career courses: ordnance, chemical and civil affairs.
Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1992, he was assigned to the 98th Regiment, 98th Division, as instructor for the Army Command and General Staff College, a post he held until his 1998 retirement. Lieutenant Colonel Helweg believed that his Army experiences added a very special dimension to his life. Lieutenant Colonel Helweg’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, Reserve Components Achievement Medal and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
In addition to his military career, Lieutenant Colonel Helweg had a 40-year risk management consultant career and was initially employed by the Johnson & Higgins Insurance Agency in Hartford, Connecticut. After retiring from Johnson & Higgins, he relocated to Kingston, Rhode Island where he continued to work as a consultant with Global Risk Consultants. He also helped coach the lacrosse teams at URI and South Kingstown High School and served on the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Lacrosse Association. In his leisure time, he enjoyed sailing, hiking, and biking.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Helweg was pivotal in the planning, fundraising, and initiating the construction of a C.O.P.E (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) course at the Boy Scout camp called Camp Yawgoog in Hope Valley, RI. The camp serves thousands of Boy Scouts each year and the purpose of the C.O.P.E. course is to promote confidence and leadership in the young men who participate on the course.
In 1999, Lieutenant Colonel Helweg became active with the URI Army ROTC Alumni Chapter. He was elected president of the group in 2001 and held that position for the next six years. He worked tirelessly to reinvigorate the URI chapter. During his time as president, several milestones were reached. Paul established the Army ROTC Fund for Military Excellence within the URI Foundation, and he created the URI Army ROTC Alumni Chapter Newsletter. Lieutenant Colonel Helweg also reinstituted the URI Army ROTC Golf Tournament which is a fundraiser to support the ROTC Cadet program. Paul had a passion for supporting the cadets in the ROTC program. Lieutenant Colonel Helweg lived his entire life serving his community and nation. and his accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself, his family and the University of Rhode Island.
Following his untimely death on 3 May 2012, the URI Army ROTC Golf Tournament was renamed the “LTC Paul F. Helweg, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament” in his memory. Lieutenant Colonel Paul F. Helweg, Jr. was buried with full military honors at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter, Rhode Island on 7 May 2012.