Frederick Kroesen

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Frederick J. Kroesen, Jr.
Frederick Kroesen VCSA.JPG
Kroesen as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army
Born (1923-02-11) February 11, 1923 (age 95)
Phillipsburg, New Jersey
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1943-1983
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held United States Army Forces Command
U.S. Army Europe
Seventh Army
23rd Infantry Division
82nd Airborne Division
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star with "V" (3)
Purple Heart (3)
Air Medal (29)
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.


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. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution based on the service of his grandfather, Johannes Kroesen, who served as a second lieutenant in the Bucks County Pennsylvania Militia during the Revolutionary War. 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

General Kroesen 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. He participated in the particularly tough fighting in Jebsheim.

Baader-Meinhof gang attack

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).[2][3] In 1991, West German prosecutors announced that former East German secret police leader Erich Mielke had been indicted for collusion with the attack.[4]

Later life

After retiring from the Army in 1983, Kroesen became a businessman.[5] He is currently chairman of the board of Military Professional Resources Inc. and a senior fellow at the Institute of Land Warfare of the Association of the United States Army. He is additionally the Vice-President of the American Security Council Foundation.

Military education

Senior assignments

Awards and decorations

110px Combat Infantryman Badge, third award
US Army Airborne master parachutist badge.gif Master Parachutist Badge
Fallschirmspringerabzeichen der Bundeswehr in Bronze.jpg Silver German Parachutist Badge
United States Army Staff Identification Badge.png Army Staff Identification Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Kroesen in 2005
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver Star, with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit, with two oak leaf clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star, with valor device & two oak leaf clusters
Award numeral 2.pngAward numeral 9.png Air Medal, with bronze award numeral 29
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal, with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Purple Heart, with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Presidential Unit Citation, with two oak leaf clusters
Army Good Conduct Medal
American Campaign Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, with three service stars
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal, with 1 oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Korean Service Medal, with 1 service star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal, with eight service stars
Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 3.png Overseas Service Ribbon, with award numeral 3
French Legion of Honour (Officer)
National Order of Vietnam (degree of Officer)
National Order of Vietnam (degree of Knight)
Vietnam Military Merit Medal
Vietnam 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 Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal


  • 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 6 December 2010. 
  2. Stars and Stripes Published: August 5, 2005
  3. 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 6 December 2010. 
  4. "World IN BRIEF : GERMANY : Ex-Security Chief Accused in Attack", Los Angeles Times, March 27, 1991.
  5. Center for Military Readiness
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 General Kroesen bio

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