With World War II looming, Chuck’s assignments and responsibilities changed rapidly. His graduation leave was cut short, and he was made platoon and troop commander of A Troop, 8th Engineer Squadron, 1st Cavalry Division, for maneuvers in Louisiana and North Carolina. Next he served as tactical officer, company commander, and battalion commander in the rapidly expanding Officer Candidate Regiment at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. After he was shipped overseas, Chuck commanded the 1271st Engineer Battalion in the Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, and Central Europe campaigns. He also commanded the 288th Engineer Battalion with the Occupation Forces.
After the war, Chuck joined the Manhattan Project as the executive officer at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and liaison officer to the newly established Atomic Energy Commission. In 1948, he earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was elected to Sigma Xi. His subsequent assignment was to the War Department General Staff in the Pentagon as plans officer in charge of the atomic desk, which rapidly expanded to a key role in planning the defense of Western Europe. Upon the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Chuck was selected a member of the small American advance party at the new SHAPE headquarters in Paris, France. He served there under General Eisenhower in the Plans and Operations Division and the Office of the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, General Cortland Schuyler.
In 1954, Chuck returned to the United States, where he was made deputy district engineer of the New York Engineer District. He subsequently attended the Army War College, after which he took command of the 151st Engineer Combat Group at Fort Benning, with a follow-on assignment as district engineer in Louisville, Kentucky. From 1960 to 1963, he directed the Atlas and Minuteman ICBM Base Construction Program, then was assigned to the National War College, where he earned a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University.