Andrew Goodpaster

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Andrew Jackson Goodpaster
Andrew Goodpaster portrait.jpg
Goodpaster during his tenure as SACEUR.
Nickname(s) "GoodP"
Born (1915-02-12)February 12, 1915
Granite City, Illinois, U.S.
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Washington, D.C.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1939–1974
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held Superintendent, United States Military Academy, 1977–1981
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (NATO), 1969–1974
8th Infantry Division, 1961–1962
Battles/wars World War II
Cold War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Purple Heart (2)
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Medal of Freedom

Andrew Jackson Goodpaster (February 12, 1915 – May 16, 2005) was an American Army General. He served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) from July 1, 1969 and Commander in Chief of the United States European Command (CINCEUR) from May 5, 1969 until his retirement December 17, 1974.[1] As such, he was the commander of all NATO (SACEUR) and United States (CINCEUR) military forces stationed in Europe and the surrounding regions.

General Goodpaster returned to service in June 1977 as the 51st Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York until he retired again in July 1981.


Goodpaster entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1935, followed in 1939 by a commission as a second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers after graduating second in his class of 456. After serving in Panama, he returned to the U.S. in mid-1942, and in 1943, he attended a wartime course at the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

During World War II, Goodpaster commanded the 48th Engineer Combat Battalion in North Africa and Italy. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts for his service in World War II. His combat experience was cut short in January 1944, when he was severely wounded and sent back to the United States to recover. After his wounds had healed, he was assigned to the War Planning Office under General Marshall, where he served the duration of the war.

Goodpaster was seen by many as the quintessential "soldier-scholar". At Princeton University he earned an M.S. in Engineering and an M.A. in 1949 and then earned a Ph.D. in International Affairs, also from Princeton, in 1950.

Key assignments

First retirement

After retiring in 1974, he served as senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and taught at The Citadel. His book, For the Common Defense was published in 1978.[2] He was brought back to active duty as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy (1977–1981) after a notorious cheating scandal in 1976. Although he had retired with the rank of General (four star), he voluntarily served as superintendent at the lower rank of Lieutenant General (three stars), since the billet carries that rank.

Second retirement and later years

In 1981, when Goodpaster retired for the second time, he reverted to the four-star rank.

Advocacy for the elimination of nuclear weapons

In his later years, Goodpaster was vocal in advocating the reduction of nuclear weapons. Later his position evolved to advocating for elimination of all nuclear weapons.

In September 1994, he commented, “Increasingly, nuclear weapons are seen to constitute a nuisance and a danger rather than a benefit or a source of strength.”[3] In 1996, along with General Lee Butler and Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, Goodpaster co-authored a statement for the Global Security Institute[4] advocating the complete elimination of nuclear weapons due to their danger and lack of military utility.


  • In January 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower awarded Goodpaster the Distinguished Service Medal for his work in the position of Staff Secretary to the President of the United States, and as Liaison Officer of the Department of Defense to the White House, 1954–1961, “for distinguished service in a position of grave responsibility.” This award was mistakely identified in the original press release as the Medal of Freedom. Goodpaster was actually awarded the Distinguished Service Medal at this ceremony—the press release is in error. Goodpaster's copy of the press release has the words "Medal of Freedom" lined out, and "Distinguished Service Medal" written over it. As a serving US Army officer at the time, Goodpaster would not have received the Medal of Freedom, a civilian award. Eisenhower mentioned that he was amazed that the award had been kept a surprise; Goodpaster later joked that if he had known about it, the paperwork would have been correct. [5]
  • At General Goodpaster’s first retirement in 1974, President Gerald Ford awarded him the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.[6]
  • In 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded Goodpaster the Presidential Medal of Freedom “for his contributions in the field of international affairs.” This was the first and only award of this medal to Goodpaster.[7]
  • In 1992, he received the United States Military Academy Association of Graduates’ Distinguished Graduate Award.

Civilian service

For many years in retirement, Goodpaster was a trustee on the Board of Trustees of St. Mary's College of Maryland, where he played important roles in advancing the school to national prominence. A building on the school's campus, Goodpaster Hall, is named in his honor.[8]


Listed in order of date published, the last is first:

  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. and Rossided, Eugene. Greece's Pivotal Role in World War II and Its Importance to the U.S. Today. Washington, D.C.: American Hellenic Institute Foundation, 2001
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. When Diplomacy Is Not Enough: Managing Multinational Military Interventions: A Report To The Carnegie Commission On Preventing Deadly Conflict. New York: Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, 1996
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. Gorbachev and the Future of East-West Security: A Response for the Mid-Term. Atlantic Council of the United States Occasional paper, April 1989
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. et al. U. S. Policy Toward the Soviet Union. A Long-Term Western Perspective, 1987-2000. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Lanham, MD, 1988
  • National Security and Détente. Foreword by General Andrew J. Goodpaster with contributions by faculty members of the U.S. Army War College. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, Apollo Editions, 1987
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. Strengthening Conventional Deterrence in Europe: A Program for the 1980s. Westview Special Studies in International Security (ISBN 0813370787). Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1985.
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. and Elliot, Lloyd. Toward a Consensus on Military Service - Report of the Atlantic Council's Working Group on Military Service. Tarrytown, New York: Pergamon Press, 1982.
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. For the Common Defense. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 1978
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. Civil-Military Relations: Studies in defense policy. Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1977
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. and Huntington, Samuel P. Civil-Military Relations. University of Nebraska Press, Omaha: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Washington D.C., 1977
  • Goodpaster, General Andrew J. SHAPE and Allied Command Europe In the Service of Peace and Security. 1973.

See also


  1. "General Andrew J. Goodpaster , USA". NATO. Retrieved 2009-04-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Andrew J. Goodpaster. For the Common Defense. Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books, 1978
  3. Global Security Institute: Quotations by world leaders on the dangers of nuclear arms
  4. Global Security Institute website
  5. Original citation and the corrected press release are in the Andrew J. Goodpaster Collection, Charleston, SC. Goodpaster himself was the original source for the information about the mistake and his statements were corroborated by John S. D. Eisenhower, who read the citation at the ceremony in 1961. Goodpaster's DD-214 and other official documents make no mention of the Medal of Freedom during his military career and he never wore it on his uniform. The Medal of Freedom referenced by the press release is not the current incarnation of the award; the earlier version, created by Harry Truman, was of a lower order of precedence than the Distinguished Service Medal and specific to civilian personnel. See item 3, Executive Order 9586, 10 Fed. Reg. 8523 (July 10, 1945) and item 3, Executive Order 10336, 17 Fed. Reg. 2957 (April 5, 1952).
  6. President Gerald Ford’s remarks at the retirement ceremony of Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, December 19, 1974
  7. Quoted from the announcement of the Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, February 21, 1984
  8. "St. Mary’s College dedicates ‘green’ Goodpaster Hall" Oct. 17, 2007, Jesse Yeatman, Southern Maryland Newspapers Online,

Further reading

  • Jordan, Robert S. An Unsung Soldier: The Life of Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster (Naval Institute Press, 2013) online review

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Thomas Carroll
White House Staff Secretary
Succeeded by
William J. Hartigan
Military offices
Preceded by
Sidney Bryan Berry
Superintendents of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
Willard Warren Scott, Jr.
Preceded by
Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer
Supreme Allied Commander Europe (NATO)
Succeeded by
Gen. Alexander Haig