Andrew Goodpaster

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.

Andrew Goodpaster
Andrew Goodpaster portrait.jpg
Commander in Chief of NATO/Supreme Allied Commander Europe (CINCEUR)
In office
May 5, 1969 – December 17, 1974
PresidentRichard M. Nixon
Preceded byGEN Lyman Lemnitzer
Succeeded byGEN Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
Director of the Joint Staff
In office
August 1, 1966 – March 31, 1967
PresidentLyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byLTG David A. Burchinal
Succeeded byLTG Berton E. Spivy
Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
In office
Preceded byLTG Sidney Bryan Berry
Succeeded byLTG Willard Warren Scott, Jr.
White House Staff Secretary
In office
October 1954 – January 20, 1961
PresidentDwight Eisenhower
Preceded byPete Carroll
Succeeded byBill Hartigan
Personal details
Born(1915-02-12)February 12, 1915
Granite City, Illinois, U.S.
DiedMay 16, 2005(2005-05-16) (aged 90)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
Dorothy Dulaney Anderson
(m. 1939; his death 2005)
EducationUnited States Military Academy (BS)
Princeton University (MS, MA, PhD)
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1939–1974
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands8th Infantry Division
Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
Battles/warsWorld War II
Cold War
Vietnam War
AwardsArmy 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
National Order of Vietnam

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 Combat Engineer 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."[2] He received a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University in 1950 after completing a doctoral dissertation titled "National technology and international politics."[3] He later received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Princeton in 1979. Princeton says he earned degrees in civil engineering and politics.[4]

Key assignmentsEdit

First retirementEdit

After retiring in 1974, he served as senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 1975–76, and taught at The Citadel. His book, For the Common Defense was published in 1977.[5]

He was brought back to active duty as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy (1977–1981) after 1976 West Point cheating scandal involving 151 cadets (see also, 1951 West Point cheating scandal). 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 yearsEdit

In 1981, when Goodpaster retired for the second time, being advanced back to four-star rank. He stayed active in retirement serving on various boards and working on his own memoirs. He died at age 90 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.[6][7]

Advocacy for the elimination of nuclear weaponsEdit

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."[8] In 1996, along with General Lee Butler and Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, Goodpaster co-authored a statement for the Global Security Institute advocating the complete elimination of nuclear weapons due to their danger and lack of military utility.[9]

Civilian serviceEdit

Goodpaster was a fellow at the Eisenhower Institute, and the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington. He served on American Security Council and founded the Committee on the Present Danger, emphasizing the Soviet Union's military threat and a corresponding need for a strong defense for the United States.

He served as a trustee and a chairman of the George C. Marshall Foundation, which established the Andrew J. Goodpaster Award to honor, "American business leaders, politicians, military leaders and others who have served our nation in exemplary ways, who, like General Goodpaster, have exhibited great courage, selfless service, patriotism and leadership in their lives and careers."[10] Among the recipients have been John P. Jumper, Raymond T. Odierno, Gordon R. Sullivan, and Brent Scowcroft.

For many years in retirement, Goodpaster was a trustee of St. Mary's College of Maryland, playing important roles in advancing the school to national prominence. A building on the school's campus, Goodpaster Hall, is named in his honor.[11]


  • 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 mistakenly 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 could 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.[12]
  • At General Goodpaster's first retirement in 1974, President Gerald Ford awarded him the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • In 1985, he received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement presented by Awards Council member and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Bernard W. Rogers, USA.[15]
  • In 1992, he received the United States Military Academy Association of Graduates’ Distinguished Graduate Award.

Dates of rankEdit

  • Cadet, United States Military Academy - 1 July 1935
  • 2nd Lieutenant, Regular Army (RA) - 12 June 1939
  • 1st Lieutenant, Army of the United States (AUS) - 9 September 1940
  • Captain, AUS - 1 February 1942
  • 1st Lieutenant, Regular Army - 12 June 1942
  • Major, AUS - 29 October 1942
  • Lieutenant Colonel, AUS - 23 June 1943
  • Captain, RA - 1 July 1948
  • Major, RA - 14 May 1951
  • Colonel, AUS - 10 September 1952
  • Brigadier General, AUS - 1 January 1957
  • Lieutenant Colonel, RA - 22 March 1957
  • Major General, AUS - 1 August 1956
  • Lieutenant General, AUS - 27 January 1964
  • Colonel, RA - 12 June 1964
  • Brigadier General, RA - 30 January 1966
  • General, AUS - c. June 1968
  • General, Retired List - c. December 1974 [16]

Note - During and after World War II officers with temporary commissions were commissioned in the Army of the United States (AUS) whereas permanent commissions were in the United States Army (i.e. the Regular Army).


Listed in reverse chronological order of date published:

  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. and Rossides, 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, 1977.
  • 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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ "General Andrew J. Goodpaster , USA". NATO. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  2. ^ "A Tale of Three Cold Warriors," NATO Review, March 1, 2006,
  3. ^ Goodpaster, Andrew J. (1951). National technology and international politics.
  4. ^ "Andrew J. Goodpaster *50". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  5. ^ Andrew J. Goodpaster. For the Common Defense. Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books, 1977.
  6. ^ David Stout. Andrew J. Goodpaster, 90, Soldier and Scholar, Dies, The New York Times, May 17, 2005.
  7. ^ Adam Bernstein. Gen. Andrew Goodpaster, Presidential Adviser, Dies, Washington Post, May 17, 2005.
  8. ^ Global Security Institute: Quotations by world leaders on the dangers of nuclear arms Archived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Global Security Institute - protecting security for all".
  10. ^ "The Andrew J. Goodpaster Award - News & Events".
  11. ^ Jesse Yeatman. St. Mary’s College dedicates ‘green’ Goodpaster Hall, Archived 2014-04-13 at the Wayback Machine Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, October 17, 2007.
  12. ^ 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).
  13. ^ "Gerald R. Ford: Remarks at a Ceremony Marking the Retirement of Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe".
  14. ^ "Ronald Reagan: Announcement of the Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom".
  15. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  16. ^ Official Register of Commissioned Officers of the United States Army. Various years from 1948-1975.

Further readingEdit

  • Jordan, Robert S. An Unsung Soldier: The Life of Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster. Naval Institute Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1-61251-278-5; Chris Booth. H-NET review
  • Nelson, C. Richard. The Life and Work of General Andrew J. Goodpaster: Best Practices in National Security Affairs. Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. ISBN 978-1442272286.
  • Pickett, William B. (2003). "General Andrew Jackson Goodpaster: Managing National Security". In Anderson, David L. (ed.). The Human Tradition in America Since 1945. Wilmington, Del.: SR Books. pp. 25–46. ISBN 978-0842029438.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Pete Carroll
White House Staff Secretary
Succeeded by
Bill Hartigan
Military offices
Preceded by
Lyman Lemnitzer
Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Succeeded by
Alexander Haig
Preceded by
Sidney Berry
Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
Willard Scott