Frederick J. Kroesen, Jr.
Frederick J. Kroesen was born in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. He moved to Trenton and graduated from Trenton Central High School in 1940. He attended Rutgers University before entering the Army. He enlisted in the Army Reserve during World War II (August 1942) and the Rutgers ROTC program and was called to active duty (March 1943). | After basic training at Fort McClellan, Alabama, he completed a year of enlisted service before receiving his second lieutenant's commission through the Infantry Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia, 8 August 1944. His initial assignment as an officer was Company E, 254th Infantry, 63d Infantry Division, Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi. He served with the company as platoon leader and a company commander in the European Theater of World War II from November 1944 until the end of the war. He remained in Germany until 1947 serving with the 36th Infantry Division, the100th Infantry Division, and an intelligence headquarters, 7748 Field Information Agency, Technical, in Stuttgart, Hoechst Am Main, and Karlsruhe. He spent three years as an instructor for the Army Reserve units in Maine before attending the Officer Advanced Course at the Armor School, Fort Knox, Kentucky. He then served two years with the 504th Airborne Infantry, 82d Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, before reassignment to the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team in Korea and Japan as battalion commander of the 2d Battalion. He returned to the United States with the 187th ARCT in 1955. | After graduating from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1956, he was assigned to the Army Security Agency Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, where he accomplished research in tactical operations for ASA. He attended the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, in 1959 then spent two years as a logistics advisor with the Joint United States Military Advisory Group, Bangkok, Thailand. He returned in 1961 and graduated in 1962 from the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, where he remained for three additional years as a faculty member. In 1965, he was assigned to the Army General Staff in the Pentagon as Chief of the Force Programming Division, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development. | In 1968 he went to Vietnam as the Commander of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade of the Americal Division. In June 1969 he returned to the Pentagon for duty in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development as Director of Manpower and Forces. In June 1971 he returned to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, as Assistant Chief of Staff, J-3. On 9 July 1971 he assumed command of the 23d Infantry Division (Americal) and was the last commander of the division. He returned the colors of the 23d Division to the United States for inactivation in December 1971, and he returned to Vietnam as the Deputy Commander, XXIV Corps, and Commanding General, First Regional Assistance Command. In July 1972 he assumed command of the 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He commanded the 82d for more than two years and in October 1974 was assigned to Germany as Deputy Commanding General, V Corps. From 29 June 1975 until October 1976, he commanded the VII Corps, Germany and he assumed command of the U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia, on 1 October 1976. He was sworn in as Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army on 5 July 1978 and from 29 May 1979 to 15 April 1983, General Kroesen commanded United States Army, Europe, and Central Army Group (NATO). | General Kroesen retired from the Army in May of 1983. In his retirement he was a self-employed consultant, dealing with military affairs, defense issues, and organizational management. He is a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Land Warfare of the Association of the United States Army amd Chairman Emeritus of the Board of MPRI, Inc. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Army Historical Foundation, the American Security Council Foundation and Net Talon Security Systems. | General Kroesen's military and civilian Education and training includes: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, BS Agriculture, 1944; George Washington University, Washington, D.C., BA and MA, International Affairs, 1962 and 1966; Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia, 1944; Officer Advanced Course, Fort Knox, Kentucky, 1951; Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1956; Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, 1969; Operations Research Systems Analysis (ORSA), Fort Belvoir, Virginia 1968; Rutgers University, LHD (Hon.), Doctor of Humane Letters, 1984. | His awards and decorations include: the Distinguished Unit Citation w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Korean Presidential Citation; Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation (awarded three times); Combat Infantryman Badge, 3d Award; Master Parachutist Badge; General Staff Identification Badge; Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge; Tatigkeitsabzeichen for Fallschirmspringer, Gold, (German Parachutist Badge); List of Awards and Decorations; Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Distinguished Service Medal w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster; Silver Star w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster; Legion of Merit w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters; Distinguished Flying Cross; Bronze Star w/V and 2 Oak Leaf Clusters; Air Medal w/29 Oak Leaf Clusters; Army Commendation Medal w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters; Purple Heart w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters; Good Conduct Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle East Campaign w/3 stars; World War II Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal — Germany; National Defense Service Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster; Korean Service Medal w/1 Star; Vietnam Service Medal w/8 Stars; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon w/4 Oak Leaf Clusters; Legion of Honor (France; Croix d'Officier de la Legion d'Honneur); Vietnam National Order Merit (4th class); Vietnam National Order Merit (5th class); Vietnam Military Service Ribbon; Vietnam Distinguished Service Order (1st class); Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/palm (4 awards); Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; United Nations Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Ribbon; New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal (2 awards) and the Doughboy Award in 1988. | He is a member of the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni; Delta Upsilon Fraternity; The Airborne Association; 63d Infantry Division Association; 82d Airborne Division Association; Americal Division Veterans Association; Disabled American Veterans; 187th Rakkasan Association; Society of French Legion of Honor; Rhin et Danube Association; The Infantry Association; 196th Infantry Association; U.S. Army Officers Candidate Alumni Association; U.S. Army War College Alumni Association (President 1984 to 1990); 504th Parachute Infantry Association; Sons of the American Revolution (SAR); Association of the United States Army, Institute of Land Warfare, (Senior Fellow); Rotary Club (Atlanta, Heidelberg); Former member, Army Science Board.