John M. Riggs

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John M. Riggs
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1965-2005
Rank Lieutenant General
(retired as a Major General)
Commands held 7th Infantry Division (United States)
First United States Army
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross

Lieutenant General John M. Riggs (born c. 1946) United States Army retired, is an American Army general who was retired, apparently as a result of his contradiction of the U.S. government stance on troop strength needed to support the actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.[1] He had attained the rank of Lieutenant General (three-star), but was retired with the loss of one star, at the rank of Major General (two-star) in 2005. According to the Army, this was because of misuse of contractors — though the infractions were deemed to be so minor that they were not put into his permanent record.[citation needed]

In 2006, Riggs, along with a number of other retired senior U.S. military officials — Lieutenant General Gregory S. Newbold (USMC), Major General Paul Eaton (U.S. Army), and General Anthony Zinni (USMC) — called for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over his handling of the Iraq War. In an interview with NPR's Michele Norris, Riggs said, "I think he should step aside and let someone step in who can be more realistic."[2]

Riggs, is a native and 1964 graduate of Caruthersville, Missouri High School, enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1965. Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1969, he graduated from the Infantry Officers Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He served a combat tour in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot.

Riggs commanded at company, battalion, brigade, division, and army levels serving in Vietnam, Germany, Korea, Belgium and numerous assignments throughout the United States. Later assignments were as Assistant Division Commander for the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany; Deputy Commanding General United States Army Aviation School, Fort Rucker, Alabama; Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff Operations and Plans, Washington, DC; and Commanding General 7th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.


Riggs was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions as a helicopter pilot during Vietnam.


Riggs earned B.A in political science and a M.A. in personnel management and administration. In addition, Riggs completed a National Security Fellowship at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

See also


  1. Bowman, Tom (2005). "General's career ends when he criticizes the Iraq War: Unceremonious End to Army Career", The Baltimore Sun, May 29, 2005. (URL accessed April 13, 2006)
  2. "Gen. Riggs Joins in Calling for Rumsfeld to Quit, All Things Considered, NPR radio interview, April 13, 2006. (URL accessed April 13, 2006)

Further reading

External links