General Jack Neil Merritt
General Jack Neil Merritt, born in Lawton, Oklahoma, entered the Army as a private in 1952 at the height of the Korean War, and over the next 35 years, rose to 4-star rank. From battery command in Korea to the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery at Fort Hood, Texas, he commanded at every level in the Field Artillery.
He was the Honor Graduate of his Officer Candidate School class in 1953, top graduate of his Artillery Advance Course, Distinguished Graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and Distinguished Graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Moreover, his career touched the entire Army school system. In 1977 he served on the general officer study group that reviewed the West Point honor code, and he commanded the Artillery Center and School 1977–80, the Army War College 1980–82, and the Combined Arms Center including the Command and General Staff College 1983. His final assignment was as United States Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee from 1985 to 1987.
GEN Merritt's awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Distinguished Service Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster, Silver Star, Legion of Merit w/ Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star w/ "V" Device and 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ "V" Device.
After retirement, GEN Merritt served as president of the Association of the United States Army and Chairman of the United States Field Artillery Association. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association, the Honorary Board of the National World War II Museum, and Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Marshall Legacy Institute. Merritt died 4 January 2018 at his home in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, at the age of 87.