Marvin G. Back
Initial service of two years on active duty (1956-1957) and upon being discharged, joined the U.S. Army Reserve. While assigned to the Army Reserve as an enlisted man he achieved the rank of sergeant first class (E-7) and enrolled in Officer Candidate School in 1963. Upon graduation he was commissioned a second lieutenant, Ordnance Corps. Over the next 30 years he rose in rank to the grade of Major General.
During his commissioned service he commanded at every level from Company to division commander, to Army Reserve Command (ARCOM) commander. As ARCOM commander he had responsibility for over 10,000 soldiers and a civilian support contingent of over 500. Included in these responsibilities were the training, administration, food service, maintenance, supply, security, mobilization readiness, and health and physical fitness of assigned personnel. A multi-million dollar budget and accountability for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment and facilities were components of his job description.
Additional assignments during his service as a general officer included:
(1) Being the Logistics Sub-committee Chairman for the Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee which had reporting responsibility to the Army Chief of Staff on matters affecting the readiness of the reserve components (Army Reserve and Army National Guard).
(2) Service in Operation Desert Storm as deputy commanding general of the Army’s Theater Logistics Force. The command was responsible for the reception of troops and materiel, onward movement of personnel and supplies to multiple countries in the middle-east, and sustainment of forces in the theater of operations. He had additional responsibilities related to enemy prisoners of war (POW’s), negotiations for contracts with the host nation (Saudi Arabia), coordination of anti-missle defense systems placement, relationships and communications with other U.S. Forces, support of humanitarian and United Nations activities, and security of bases and housing areas. Additionally, he was directly involved with shipment of materiel back to CONUS or Europe once the ground war was over.
(3) Was appointed by the Chief, Army Reserve to serve as a member of the Army Reserve’s Long Range Plan steering committee.
Completed the following military education courses:
1. Ordnance Officer Basic Course
2. Ordnance Officer Advanced Course
3. Infantry Officer Advanced Course
4. Military Police Officer Advanced Course
5. Command & General Staff College
6. Air War College
7. Army War College--Senior Reserve Component Officer’s Course
8. Industrial College of the Armed Services
9. National War College
10. NATO Counterpart & Contingency Training
11. Nuclear Weapons Course
Awards include: Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Aircraft Crewman’s Wings and several others.
Transferred to the retired reserve on 23 April 1993. Total service time: Over 37 years.
He also retired from Clark Equipment Company where he served in several supervisory positions and as National Service Manager.
General Back and his wife, Andriette, reside in Georgia and have been married for over 40 years.