Kroesen as commander of NATO Central Army Group
|Birth name||Frederick James Kroesen, Jr.|
|Born||February 11, 1923|
Phillipsburg, New Jersey
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1943—1983|
|Commands held||United States Army Forces Command|
U.S. Army Europe
23rd Infantry Division
82nd Airborne Division
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Defense Distinguished Service Medal|
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star with "V" (3)
|Other work||Chairman, Military Professional Resources Inc|
Frederick James Kroesen, Jr. (born February 11, 1923) is a United States Army four-star general and was the Commanding General of the Seventh United States Army and the commander of NATO Central Army Group from 1979 to 1983, and Commanding General, United States Army Forces Command from 1976 to 1978. He also served as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army from 1978 to 1979. He commanded troops in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, enabling him to be one of the very small number who ever was entitled to wear the Combat Infantryman Badge with two Stars, denoting active combat in three wars.
Born in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Kroesen is a 1944 graduate of Rutgers University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. He earned Bachelor of Arts (1962) and Master of Arts (1966) degrees in International Affairs at George Washington University. In addition, he is also a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity to which his membership traces back to his days at Rutgers University.
In 1944 General Kroesen was commissioned through the Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, then fought in World War II with the 254th Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division. He was a company grade officer, serving as platoon leader and company commander, in the fighting in the Colmar Pocket and into Germany. On the 26th and 27th January 1945, he participated in the particularly tough fighting in Jebsheim.
Kroesen was the commander of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade of the 23rd Infantry Division in 1968. He was an adviser to the assistant chief of staff, J-3, in Vietnam, and then served there as commander of the 23rd Infantry Division; deputy commander, XXIV Corps; and commanding general, First Regional Assistance Command.
After returning from Vietnam, General Kroesen served as Deputy Commander, XXIV Corps (1972), Commanding General, 82nd Airborne Division (1972-1974), Deputy Commanding General, V Corps (1974-1975) and Commanding General, VII Corps (1975-1976).
In 1976 he was promoted to the rank of four star general (O-10), becoming the first Officer Candidate School (OCS) graduate to hold that rank. He then served as Commanding General, United States Army Forces Command (1976-1978) and Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army (1978-1979).
General Kroesen was injured in Heidelberg on September 15, 1981, when his armoured Mercedes was targeted with an RPG-7 anti-tank rocket. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the "Kommando Gudrun Ensslin" of the Red Army Faction (aka Baader-Meinhof Gang). In 1991, West German prosecutors announced that former East German secret police leader Erich Mielke had been indicted for collusion with the attack.
After retiring from the Army in 1983, Kroesen became a businessman. He was chairman of the board of Military Professional Resources Inc. (incorporated in 1987) and a senior fellow at the Institute of Land Warfare of the Association of the United States Army. He was a Vice-President of the American Security Council Foundation.
|Combat Infantryman Badge, third award|
|Master Parachutist Badge|
|Silver German Parachutist Badge|
|Army Staff Identification Badge|
|Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge|
|Defense Distinguished Service Medal|
|Army Distinguished Service Medal|
|Silver Star with one bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Legion of Merit, with two oak leaf clusters|
|Distinguished Flying Cross|
|Bronze Star, with valor device & two oak leaf clusters|
|Air Medal, with bronze award numeral 29|
|Army Commendation Medal, with two oak leaf clusters|
|Purple Heart, with oak leaf cluster|
|Army Presidential Unit Citation, with two oak leaf clusters|
|Army Good Conduct Medal|
|American Campaign Medal|
|European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, with three service stars|
|World War II Victory Medal|
|Army of Occupation Medal|
|National Defense Service Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster|
|Korean Service Medal, with 1 service star|
|Vietnam Service Medal, with 8 service stars|
|Army Service Ribbon|
|Army Overseas Service Ribbon, with award numeral 3|
|French Legion of Honour (Officer)|
|National Order of Vietnam (Officer)|
|National Order of Vietnam (Knight)|
|Vietnam Military Merit Medal|
|Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order, 1st Class|
|Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm (four awards)|
|Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Knight Commander's Cross)|
|Korean Presidential Unit Citation|
|Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation|
|United Nations Korea Medal|
|Vietnam Campaign Medal|
|Korean War Service Medal|