Andrew Goodpaster

Last updated
Andrew Goodpaster
Andrew Goodpaster portrait.jpg
Commander in Chief of NATO/Supreme Allied Commander Europe (CINCEUR)
In office
May 5, 1969 December 17, 1974
President Richard M. Nixon
Preceded byGEN Lyman Lemnitzer
Succeeded byGEN Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
Director of the Joint Staff
In office
August, 1 1966 March, 31 1967
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byLTG David A. Burchinal
Succeeded byLTG Berton E. Spivy
Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
In office
Preceded byLTG Sidney Bryan Berry
Succeeded byLTG Willard Warren Scott, Jr.
White House Staff Secretary
In office
October 1954 January 20, 1961
President Dwight Eisenhower
Preceded by Pete Carroll
Succeeded by Bill Hartigan
Personal details
Born(1915-02-12)February 12, 1915
Granite City, Illinois, U.S.
DiedMay 16, 2005(2005-05-16) (aged 90)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Dorothy Dulaney Anderson
(m. 1939;his death 2005)
Education United States Military Academy (BS)
Princeton University (MS, MA, PhD)
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Branch/serviceFlag of the United States Army (official proportions).svg  United States Army
Years of service1939–1974
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands 8th Infantry Division
Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
Battles/wars World War II
Cold War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Purple Heart (2)
Presidential Medal of Freedom

Andrew Jackson Goodpaster (February 12, 1915 – May 16, 2005) was an American Army General. He served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) from July 1, 1969 and Commander in Chief of the United States European Command (CINCEUR) from May 5, 1969 until his retirement December 17, 1974. [1] As such, he was the commander of all NATO (SACEUR) and United States (CINCEUR) military forces stationed in Europe and the surrounding regions.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

A General Officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.

NATO Intergovernmental military alliance of Western states

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO’s Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.


General Goodpaster returned to service in June 1977 as the 51st Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York until he retired again in July 1981.


Goodpaster entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1935, followed in 1939 by a commission as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers after graduating second in his class of 456. After serving in Panama, he returned to the U.S. in mid-1942, and in 1943, he attended a wartime course at the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

United States Army Corps of Engineers federal agency under the Department of Defense and a major Army command

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is a U.S. federal agency under the Department of Defense and a major Army command made up of some 37,000 civilian and military personnel, making it one of the world's largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies. Although generally associated with dams, canals and flood protection in the United States, USACE is involved in a wide range of public works throughout the world. The Corps of Engineers provides outdoor recreation opportunities to the public, and provides 24% of U.S. hydropower capacity.

Panama republic in Central America

Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a country in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people.

Fort Leavenworth United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas

Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, in the city of Leavenworth since it was annexed on April 12, 1977, in the northeast part of the state. Built in 1827, it is the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, D.C., and the oldest permanent settlement in Kansas. Fort Leavenworth has been historically known as the "Intellectual Center of the Army."

During World War II, Goodpaster commanded the 48th Combat Engineer Battalion in North Africa and Italy. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts for his service in World War II. His combat experience was cut short in January 1944, when he was severely wounded and sent back to the United States to recover. After his wounds had healed, he was assigned to the War Planning Office under General Marshall, where he served the duration of the war.

Distinguished Service Cross (United States) US army medal for gallantry

The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military award that can be given to a member of the United States Army, for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be of such a high degree that they are above those required for all other U.S. combat decorations but do not meet the criteria for the Medal of Honor. The Distinguished Service Cross is equivalent to the Navy Cross, the Air Force Cross, and the Coast Guard Cross.

Silver Star military decoration of the United States Armed Forces

The Silver Star Medal, unofficially the Silver Star, is the United States Armed Forces's third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat. The Silver Star Medal is awarded primarily to members of the United States Armed Forces for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States.

The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the president to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the U.S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members – the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York.

Goodpaster was seen by many as the quintessential "soldier-scholar". At Princeton University he earned an M.S. in Engineering and an M.A. in 1949 and then earned a Ph.D. in International Affairs, also from Princeton, in 1950.

Princeton University University in Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, and renamed itself Princeton University in 1896.

Key assignments

Richard Nixon 37th president of the United States

Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th president of the United States from 1969 to 1974. He had previously served as the 36th vice president of the United States from 1953 to 1961, and prior to that as both a U.S. representative and senator from California.

Jimmy Carter 39th president of the United States

James Earl Carter Jr. is an American politician and philanthropist who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A Democrat, he previously served as a Georgia State senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. Carter has remained active in public life during his post-presidency, and in 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center.

Director of the Joint Staff US military three-star officer who assists the Joint Chiefs of Staff,

The Director of the Joint Staff (DJS) is a three-star officer who assists the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a cabinet of senior military officers within the United States Armed Forces who advise the Secretary of Defense and President on military matters. The Director assists the Chairman in managing the Joint Staff and with the management and organization of the staff's members. The Director also chairs meetings of the Operations Deputies, a subsidiary body comprising the Director and a three-star delegate from each service who preview or resolve issues before they are escalated to the four-star level of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

First retirement

After retiring in 1974, he served as senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 1975-76, and taught at The Citadel. His book, For the Common Defense was published in 1977. [2]

He was brought back to active duty as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy (1977–1981) after 1976 West Point cheating scandal involving 151 cadets (see also, 1951 West Point cheating scandal). Although he had retired with the rank of General (four star), he voluntarily served as superintendent at the lower rank of Lieutenant General (three stars), since the billet carries that rank.

Second retirement and later years

In 1981, when Goodpaster retired for the second time, being advanced back to four-star rank. He stayed active in retirement serving on various boards and working on his own memoirs. He died at age 90 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery. [3] [4]

Advocacy for the elimination of nuclear weapons

In his later years, Goodpaster was vocal in advocating the reduction of nuclear weapons. Later his position evolved to advocating for elimination of all nuclear weapons. In September 1994, he commented, "Increasingly, nuclear weapons are seen to constitute a nuisance and a danger rather than a benefit or a source of strength." [5] In 1996, along with General Lee Butler and Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, Goodpaster co-authored a statement for the Global Security Institute advocating the complete elimination of nuclear weapons due to their danger and lack of military utility. [6]

Civilian service

Goodpaster was a fellow at the Eisenhower Institute, and the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington. He served on American Security Council and founded the Committee on the Present Danger, emphasizing the Soviet Union's military threat and a corresponding need for a strong defense for the United States.

He served as a trustee and a chairman of the George C. Marshall Foundation, which established the Andrew J. Goodpaster Award to honor, "American business leaders, politicians, military leaders and others who have served our nation in exemplary ways, who, like General Goodpaster, have exhibited great courage, selfless service, patriotism and leadership in their lives and careers." [7] Among the recipients were John P. Jumper, Raymond T. Odierno, Gordon R. Sullivan, and Brent Scowcroft.

For many years in retirement, Goodpaster was a trustee of St. Mary's College of Maryland, playing important roles in advancing the school to national prominence. A building on the school's campus, Goodpaster Hall, is named in his honor. [8]


Dates of rank

Note - During and after World War II officers with temporary commissions were commissioned in the Army of the United States (AUS) whereas permanent commissions were in the United States Army (i.e. the Regular Army).


Listed in reverse chronological order of date published:

See also

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  1. "General Andrew J. Goodpaster , USA". NATO. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  2. Andrew J. Goodpaster. For the Common Defense. Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books, 1977.
  3. David Stout. Andrew J. Goodpaster, 90, Soldier and Scholar, Dies, The New York Times, May 17, 2005.
  4. Adam Bernstein. Gen. Andrew Goodpaster, Presidential Adviser, Dies, Washington Post, May 17, 2005.
  5. Global Security Institute: Quotations by world leaders on the dangers of nuclear arms Archived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Global Security Institute - protecting security for all".
  7. "The Andrew J. Goodpaster Award - News & Events".
  8. Jesse Yeatman. St. Mary’s College dedicates ‘green’ Goodpaster Hall, Archived 2014-04-13 at the Wayback Machine Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, October 17, 2007.
  9. Original citation and the corrected press release are in the Andrew J. Goodpaster Collection, Charleston, SC. Goodpaster himself was the original source for the information about the mistake and his statements were corroborated by John S. D. Eisenhower, who read the citation at the ceremony in 1961. Goodpaster's DD-214 and other official documents make no mention of the Medal of Freedom during his military career and he never wore it on his uniform. The Medal of Freedom referenced by the press release is not the current incarnation of the award; the earlier version, created by Harry Truman, was of a lower order of precedence than the Distinguished Service Medal and specific to civilian personnel. See item 3, Executive Order 9586, 10 Fed. Reg. 8523 (July 10, 1945) and item 3, Executive Order 10336, 17 Fed. Reg. 2957 (April 5, 1952).
  10. "Gerald R. Ford: Remarks at a Ceremony Marking the Retirement of Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe".
  11. "Ronald Reagan: Announcement of the Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom".
  12. Official Register of Commissioned Officers of the United States Army. Various years from 1948-1975.

Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
Pete Carroll
White House Staff Secretary
Succeeded by
Bill Hartigan
Military offices
Preceded by
Lyman Lemnitzer
Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Succeeded by
Alexander Haig
Preceded by
Sidney Berry
Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
Willard Scott