Frederick Kroesen Jr.
|Born||February 11, 1923|
Phillipsburg, New Jersey
|Died||April 30, 2020 97) (aged|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1943–1983|
|Commands held|| NATO Central Army Group |
United States Army Europe
United States Seventh Army
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
United States Army Forces Command
82nd Airborne Division
23rd Infantry Division
196th Light Infantry Brigade
|Battles/wars|| World War II |
|Awards|| Defense Distinguished Service Medal |
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal with "V" (3)
|Other work||Chairman, Military Professional Resources Inc|
Frederick James Kroesen Jr. (February 11, 1923 – April 30, 2020) was a United States Army four-star general who served as the Commanding General of the Seventh United States Army and the commander of NATO Central Army Group from 1979 to 1983, and Commanding General, United States Army Forces Command from 1976 to 1978. He also served as Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1978 to 1979. He commanded troops in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, enabling him to be one of the very small number who ever was entitled to wear the Combat Infantryman Badge with two Stars, denoting active combat in three wars.
Kroesen was born in Phillipsburg, New Jersey,the son of Jean (Shillinger) and Frederick Kroesen, who worked for the New Jersey state government. His paternal ancestor, Garret Dircksen Kroesen (1638-1680) arrived in America (New Netherland) from the Netherlands around 1661. Kroesen moved to the Lawrenceville section of Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey as a child and he attended Trenton Central High School. A 1944 graduate of Rutgers University, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. He earned Bachelor of Arts (1962) and Master of Arts (1966) degrees in International Affairs at George Washington University. In addition, he was also a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity to which his membership traces back to his days at Rutgers University.
In 1944 Kroesen was commissioned through the Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, then fought in World War II with the 254th Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division. He was a company grade officer, serving as platoon leader and company commander, in the fighting in the Colmar Pocket and into Germany. On the 26 and 27 January 1945,he participated in the particularly tough fighting in Jebsheim.
During the Korean War Kroesen served in Korea with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team.
Kroesen was the commander of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade of the 23rd Infantry Division in 1968. He was an adviser to the assistant chief of staff, J-3, in Vietnam, and then served there as commander of the 23rd Infantry Division; deputy commander, XXIV Corps; and commanding general, First Regional Assistance Command.
After returning from Vietnam, Kroesen served as Deputy Commander, XXIV Corps (1972), Commanding General, 82nd Airborne Division (1972–1974), Deputy Commanding General, V Corps (1974–1975) and Commanding General, VII Corps (1975–1976).
In 1976 Kroesen was promoted to the rank of four star general (O-10), becoming the first Officer Candidate School (OCS) graduate to hold that rank. He then served as Commanding General, United States Army Forces Command (1976–1978) and Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army (1978–1979).
From 1979 to 1983 Kroesen served as commander of United States Army Europe and a commander of the Seventh United States Army.
Kroesen was injured in Heidelberg on September 15, 1981, when his armoured Mercedeswas targeted with an RPG-7 anti-tank rocket. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the "Kommando Gudrun Ensslin" of the Red Army Faction (aka Baader-Meinhof Gang). In 1991, West German prosecutors announced that former East German secret police leader Erich Mielke had been indicted for collusion with the attack.
After retiring from the army in 1983, Kroesen became a businessman.He was chairman of the board of Military Professional Resources Inc. (incorporated in 1987) and a senior fellow at the Institute of Land Warfare of the Association of the United States Army. He was a Vice-President of the American Security Council Foundation. General Kroesen was a Compatriot of the George Washington Chapter of the Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution based on the service of his ancestor, Johannes Kroesen, who served as a second lieutenant in the Bucks County Pennsylvania Militia during the Revolutionary War.
Kroesen died in Alexandria, Virginia, on April 30, 2020, at the age of 97 after a long illness.He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
|Combat Infantryman Badge, third award|
|Master Parachutist Badge|
|Silver German Parachutist Badge|
|Army Staff Identification Badge|
|Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge|
|Defense Distinguished Service Medal|
|Army Distinguished Service Medal|
|Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster|
|Legion of Merit, with two oak leaf clusters|
|Distinguished Flying Cross|
|Bronze Star, with v device & two oak leaf clusters|
|Air Medal, with bronze award numeral 29|
|Army Commendation Medal, with two oak leaf clusters|
|Purple Heart, with one oak leaf cluster|
|Army Presidential Unit Citation, with two oak leaf clusters|
|Army Good Conduct Medal|
|American Campaign Medal|
|European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, with three service stars|
|World War II Victory Medal|
|Army of Occupation Medal|
|National Defense Service Medal with oak leaf cluster|
|Korean Service Medal, with one service star|
|Vietnam Service Medal, with eight service stars|
|Army Service Ribbon|
|Army Overseas Service Ribbon, with award numeral 3|
|French Legion of Honour (Officer)|
|National Order of Vietnam (Officer)|
|National Order of Vietnam (Knight)|
|Vietnam Military Merit Medal|
|Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order, 1st Class|
|Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm (four awards)|
|Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Knight Commander's Cross)|
|Korean Presidential Unit Citation|
|Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation|
|United Nations Korea Medal|
|Vietnam Campaign Medal|
|Korean War Service Medal|
General Joseph Lawton Collins was a senior United States Army officer. During World War II, he served in both the Pacific and European Theaters of Operations, one of a few senior American commanders to do so. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the Korean War.
Gary Edward Luck is a retired four-star general of the United States Army. Following his retirement, he was a senior advisor to the United States Joint Forces Command prior to that command's inactivation. He is currently a Senior Fellow for the National Defense University in support of the Pinnacle, Capstone, and Keystone programs.
Melvin Zais was a United States Army general who served in the Second World War and Vietnam War.
Edward Charles "Shy" Meyer was a United States Army general who served as the 29th Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
Frederick Carlton Weyand was a general in the United States Army. Weyand was the last commander of United States military operations in the Vietnam War from 1972 to 1973, and served as the 28th Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1974 to 1976.
David E. Grange Jr. is a retired lieutenant general in the United States Army.
Charles Christopher "Hondo" Campbell was a United States Army officer who served as the 17th Commanding General, United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). He previously served as FORSCOM's Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff from April 26, 2006 to January 8, 2007. He assumed the commanding general assignment January 9, 2007, and completed it on June 3, 2010.
William White Hartzog was a United States Army General whose commands during his 35-year career include the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, the 1st Infantry Division, and United States Army South. He was born in Wilmington, North Carolina.
General James Thomas Hill is a retired United States Army four-star general who served as commander of United States Southern Command from 2002 to 2004. Hill also served as the Commanding General, I Corps and Fort Lewis.
Joseph Thomas Palastra Jr. was a United States Army four-star general who served as Commanding General, United States Army Forces Command from 1986 to 1989. During his tenure, in 1987, the title was changed to Commander in Chief, Forces Command. He was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame, class of 2010.
George Samuel Blanchard was a United States Army four-star general who served as Commander in Chief, United States Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group from 1975 to 1979.
Walter Thomas Kerwin Jr. was a United States Army four star general who served as Commanding General, United States Continental Army Command in 1973, Commanding General, United States Army Forces Command from 1973 to 1974, and Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1974 to 1978. He was the first commander of United States Army Forces Command and a member of the Association of the United States Army's Advisory Board of Directors since 1984.
Arthur Edmon Brown Jr. is a retired United States Army four-star general who served as Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army (VCSA) from 1987 to 1989.
Hugh Pate Harris was a United States Army four-star general who served as Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command from 1964 to 1965.
William Robertson Desobry was a senior U.S. Army field commander in Germany during the Cold War, and a Lieutenant General in the United States Army. General Desobry was a decorated hero from World War II, and played a significant role as an advisor to the Republic of Vietnam Army and on the Army Staff during the Vietnam War. In addition to commanding a division and corps, he was the Commanding General of the Armor Center and was the President of the XM-1 Tank Task Force.
John Francis Campbell is a retired United States Army general who was commander of the Resolute Support Mission and United States Forces – Afghanistan. He was the 16th and last commander of the International Security Assistance Force. Prior to this, he served as the 34th Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army. He is currently a member of the board of directors of IAP, and BAE Systems, and serves on the advisory board of Code of Support Foundation.
Michael Ferriter is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General. He served as commanding general of the United States Army Installation Management Command/U.S. Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management from 2011 until 2014. During his career he has participated in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, and served three tours of duty in Iraq. On June 19, 2018, he was named president and CEO of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio.
Frederick Benjamin "Ben" Hodges III is a retired United States Army officer who served as commanding general, United States Army Europe. He is currently the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis.
Fillmore K. Mearns was a United States Army lieutenant general who served as commander of the 25th Infantry Division during the Vietnam War and later as commander of VII Corps in West Germany.
Howard Harrison Cooksey was a United States Army Lieutenant General who served as deputy commander of the 23rd Infantry Division during the Vietnam War.