Robert B. Lander
Colonel Robert Benjamin Lander was born in Abbeville, South Carolina. He began his military career in August 1948 and served with the 82nd Airborne Division until 1951 when he attended the Infantry Officer Candidate Course. Graduating as the Honor and Distinguished Graduate, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Infantry and assigned to the 1st Battalion, 167th Infantry Regiment, Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He was an 81 mm mortar platoon leader, later a machine gun platoon leader, and finally a rifle platoon leader. | In January 1952, the 167th Infantry moved to Camp Atterbury, Indiana. While at Camp Atterbury, Colonel Lander was among the first group of officers selected to attend the newly established Ranger Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon receipt of the Ranger Tab, he received orders to proceed to Korea. In 1952, Colonel Lander was assigned to the 5th Infantry Regimental Combat Team in Korea. There he was assigned to Company L as a Rifle Platoon Leader and subsequently, as the Battalion Intelligence Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Infantry. | Upon his return to the United States in 1953, he was assigned to the 504th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he had consecutive assignments in the 1st Battalion as the Pioneer and Ammunition Platoon Leader; Executive Officer, Company A; Reconnaissance Officer, Company D; and Battalion Assistant Operations and Training Officer (S-3). | In August 1955, he attended the University of South Carolina. He graduated in February 1958, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. | Following graduation, he joined the 506th Airborne Battle Group, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as Executive Officer, Company C and later, Assistant Operations and Training Officer (S-3). He then became Commander, Company D in 1959. | Colonel Lander attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course in 1960. He was then assigned as an instructor, U.S. Army Cold Weather and Mountain School, Fort Greely, Alaska in 1961. He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1963 prior to being assigned as an Exchange Officer to the British Army’s 2nd Parachute Battalion, 16th Independent Parachute Brigade, Aldershot, England. During 1965, he attended the British Army Staff College at Camberly, England. In 1966, after returning from overseas, he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C. as an Intelligence Staff Officer until 1967 when he became Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence. In 1968, he was assigned as the Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel and Administration, Headquarters, U.S. Army Vietnam. He next commanded the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, in the Central Highlands until his rotation to the United States. The year 1969 found Colonel Lander as the Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, Headquarters, Continental Army Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia.In 1970, he attended the U.S. Army War College where he concurrently received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg State College. Colonel Lander was assigned in 1971 to the Brigade and Battalion Operations Department, the U.S. Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia where he consecutively served as Chairman of the Aerial Employment Committee, the Attack Committee, and the Operations and Training Techniques Committee. He then became Chief, Staff Group. He next served with the Airborne Department as the Department Deputy Director. His final assignment was as the U.S. Army Infantry School Logistics Officer. Before his departure from Fort Benning, he was inducted into the Infantry Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. | In 1975, he was assigned as Commander, 2nd Brigade, 7th Infantry Division, Fort Ord, California. After completion of his command tour, he became, in 1978, Defence and Army Attache’, U.S. Embassy, Vienna, Austria, until July 1981, when he was assigned as the Deputy Installation Commander, U.S. Army Military Police and Chemical Schools/Training Center and Fort McClellan, Fort McClellan, Alabama. On 1 December 1982, Colonel Lander assumed the position of Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Chemical and Military Police Centers, Fort McClellan, Alabama. Colonel Lander retired from active service on 1 February 1985. | His awards and decorations include: the Silver Star (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with V Device (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Meritorious Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (9th Award) Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Korean Service Medal (3 Campaign Stars), Vietnam Service Medal (5 Campaign Stars), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (3), Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman’s Badge with Star, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutists Badge, Glider Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Ranger Tab, General Staff Identification Badge, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, South Carolina Meritorious Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation (Unit), Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm (Unit), and Civil Action Honor Medal (Unit).