Frederick Kroesen
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Frederick Kroesen
Frederick Kroesen
Frederick Kroesen VCSA.JPG
Kroesen as commander of NATO Central Army Group
Birth nameFrederick James Kroesen, Jr.
Born (1923-02-11) February 11, 1923 (age 97)
Phillipsburg, New Jersey
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1943—1983
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands heldUnited States Army Forces Command
U.S. Army Europe
Seventh Army
23rd Infantry Division
82nd Airborne Division
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star with "V" (3)
Other workChairman, 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.


Early life

Born in Phillipsburg, New Jersey,[1] 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.

World War II

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,[2] he participated in the particularly tough fighting in Jebsheim.

Korean War

During the Korean War General Kroesen served in Korea with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team.

Vietnam War

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.

Post Vietnam

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).

Red Army Faction attack

From 1979 to 1983 General Kroesen served a commander of U.S. Army Europe and a commander of the Seventh United States Army.

General Kroesen was injured in Heidelberg on September 15, 1981, when his armoured Mercedes[3] 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).[4][5] In 1991, West German prosecutors announced that former East German secret police leader Erich Mielke had been indicted for collusion with the attack.[6]

Later life

After retiring from the Army in 1983, Kroesen became a businessman.[7] 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.

Military education

Senior assignments

Awards and decorations

Military awards

Kroesen in 2005

Other honors


  • General Thoughts: Seventy Years with the Army. Publisher: Institute of Land Warfare, Association of the United States Army, 2003


  1. ^ Mrozek, Steven J. (1997). 82nd Airborne Division (Google books). Turner Publishing Company. p. 194. ISBN 1-56311-364-3. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ p. 546
  3. ^ photo of the car
  4. ^ Stars and Stripes Published: August 5, 2005
  5. ^ Jessup, John E. (1998). An encyclopedic dictionary of conflict and conflict resolution, 1945-1996 (Google books). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 409. ISBN 0-313-28112-2. Retrieved 2010.
  6. ^ "World IN BRIEF : GERMANY : Ex-Security Chief Accused in Attack", Los Angeles Times, March 27, 1991.
  7. ^ "Center for Military Readiness". Archived from the original on 2007-02-03. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b c General Kroesen bio Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Gen. Walter T. Kerwin, Jr.
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1978 – 1979
Succeeded by
Gen. John William Vessey, Jr.
Preceded by
George S. Blanchard
Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe
May 29, 1979 to April 15, 1983
Succeeded by
Glenn K. Otis

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