Major General Sidney Shachnow was born in Kaunas, Lithuania. At the age of six, he was imprisoned for three years during World War II in a German concentration camp before being liberated by the Soviet army. He lived in Europe until he immigrated to the United States in 1950. MG Shachnow enlisted in the Army as a private in the Infantry and later attended Officer Candidate School as a sergeant first class. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in Infantry in 1960 and served as a rifle platoon leader, executive officer and company commander with the 50th Infantry, 4th Armored Division, in Europe. In 1962, he volunteered for Special Forces.
His assignments during more than 34 years of commissioned service have been as a commander or staff officer with infantry, mechanized infantry, airmobile, airborne, and Special Forces units. He served as a Green Beret for 32 years. MG Shachnow attended Franklin Technical Institute in Boston, Mass., and graduated from the University of Nebraska, where he majored in business administration. He also
has earned a Master of Science degree in public administration from Shippensburg State College, Shippensburg, Pa. He has received an honorary doctorate and is a graduate of the Harvard Executive Management Program. His military education includes the Infantry
officer basic and advanced courses, the Special Forces Qualification Course, the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.
MG Shachnow’s decorations and awards include two Distinguished Service Medals, two Silver Stars, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, three Meritorious Service Medals, 12 Air Medals, three Army Commendation Medals with “V” Device, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Ranger Tab, the Special Forces Tab and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He also received the United States Special Operations Medal for outstanding contribution to special operations and was placed on the honor roll in the Infantry Officers” Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Ga.
MG Shachnow retired after 40 years of active service on Oct. 1, 1994. He currently serves as the chairman of Veterans of Special Forces. In 2004, he published the best seller Hope and Honor, which chronicles his dramatic upbringing in war-torn Lithuania through his many years of military service. In 2005, his book was awarded the prestigious Colby Award. MG Shachnow is married to the former Arlene Armstrong of Salem, Mass.; they have four married daughters and 14 grandchildren. He resides with his wife on a horse farm in Southern Pines, N.C.
DISTINGUISHED MEMBER OF THE SPECIAL FORCES REGIMENT