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Frederick C. Weyand

Early life and educationEdit

Weyand was born in Arbuckle, California, on September 15, 1916. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army through the Reserve Officers Training Corps program at the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated in May 1938. He married Arline Langhart in 1940.

Military careerEdit

 
Lieutenant General Weyand as Commander of II Field Force in Vietnam.
 
1975 photo of General Fred C. Weyand

World War II, Korean War and interbellumEdit

From 1940 to 1942, Weyand was assigned to active duty and served with the 6th Field Artillery. He graduated from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in 1942 and served as adjutant of the Harbor Defense Command in San Francisco from 1942 to 1943. He moved on to the Office of the Chief of Intelligence for the US War Department General Staff in 1944. He became assistant chief of staff for intelligence in the China-Burma-India Theater from 1944 to 1945. In the immediate aftermath of the war he was in the Military Intelligence Service in Washington, D.C. from 1945 to 1946.

Weyand was chief of staff for intelligence, United States Army Forces, Middle Pacific from 1946 to 1949. He graduated from the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning in 1950. He became commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment and the assistant chief of staff, G–3, of the 3d Infantry Division during the Korean War from 1950 to 1951.

Weyand served on the faculty of the Infantry School from 1952 to 1953. Following this assignment he attended the Armed Forces Staff College, and upon graduation became military assistant in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management until 1954. He moved on to become military assistant and executive to the Secretary of the Army from 1954 to 1957. He then graduated from the Army War College in 1958, moving on to command the 3d Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, in Europe (1958–1959). He served in the Office of the United States Commander in Berlin in 1960 then became chief of staff for the Communications Zone, United States Army, Europe from 1960 to 1961. He was the deputy chief and chief of legislative liaison for the Department of the Army from 1961 to 1964.

Vietnam WarEdit

Weyand became commander of the 25th Infantry Division, stationed in Hawaii, in 1964. He continued to lead the division as it was introduced into operations in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966. He served as the head of the 25th Division until 1967, when he became deputy, then acting commander, and finally commander of II Field Force, Vietnam responsible for III Corps Tactical Zone comprising the 11 provinces around Saigon. In 1968, he became chief of the Office of Reserve Components.

A dissenter from General William Westmoreland's more conventional war strategy, Weyand's experience as a former intelligence officer gave him a sense of the enemy's intentions. He realized that "the key to success in Vietnam was in securing and pacifying the towns and villages of South Vietnam" (Mark Salter, John McCain "Hard Call: The Art of Great Decisions"). Weyand managed to convince a reluctant General Westmoreland to allow him to redeploy troops away from the Cambodian border area closer to Saigon, significantly contributing to making the 1968 Tet Offensive a military catastrophe for North Vietnam. [3]

In 1969, Weyand was named the military advisor to Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. at the Paris Peace Talks. In 1970 he became assistant chief of staff for force development. Later in 1970, he became deputy commander of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV).

 
22 March 1969, LTG Frederick Weyand stops in South Vietnam for update briefings at HQ 5th SFG(A) in Nha Trang.

Weyand succeeded General Creighton Abrams, who was appointed as Army Chief of Staff, as commander of MACV on June 30, 1972. By the end of 1972 General Weyand had overseen the withdrawal of all United States military forces from South Vietnam. In March 1973, Weyand was awarded the National Order of Vietnam, first class and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross.[4]

Senior commands and Chief of StaffEdit

Weyand served as Commander in Chief of the United States Army Pacific in 1973 and was Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1973 to 1974.

Weyand was appointed as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from October 3, 1974 to September 30, 1976. As Chief of Staff he supervised army moves to improve the combat-to-support troop ratio, to achieve a sixteen-division force, to enhance the effectiveness of roundout units, and to improve personnel and logistical readiness. Weyand retired from active service in October 1976.

Confidential source for 1967 New York Times articleEdit

In an editorial in The New York Times on December 11, 2006, Murray Fromson, a reporter for CBS during the Vietnam War, stated that General Weyand had agreed to reveal himself as the confidential source for New York Times reporter R.W. Apple, Jr.'s August 7, 1967 story "Vietnam: The Signs of Stalemate."[5] General Weyand, then commander of III Corps in Vietnam, was the unidentified high-ranking officer who told Apple and Fromson (reporting the same story for CBS) that:

I've destroyed a single division three times ... I've chased main-force units all over the country and the impact was zilch. It meant nothing to the people. Unless a more positive and more stirring theme than simple anti-communism can be found, the war appears likely to go on until someone gets tired and quits, which could take generations.

The story was the first intimation that war was reaching a stalemate, and contributed to changing sentiment about the war.[6]

Dates of rankEdit

Insignia Rank Component Date
Second Lieutenant Officer Reserve Corps May 6, 1938
 First Lieutenant Officer Reserve Corps June 24, 1941
 Captain Army of the United States February 1, 1942
 Major Army of the United States November 17, 1942
 Lieutenant Colonel Army of the United States March 4, 1945
 First Lieutenant Regular Army April 22, 1946
 Captain Regular Army July 15, 1948
 Major Regular Army July 1, 1953
 Colonel Army of the United States July 1955
 Brigadier General Army of the United States July 29, 1960
 Lieutenant Colonel Regular Army September 15, 1961
 Major General Army of the United States November 1962
 Colonel Regular Army September 1966
 Brigadier General Regular Army August 1968
 Major General Regular Army August 1968
 Lieutenant General Army of the United States August 1968
 General Army of the United States October 1970
 General Retired List September 30, 1976

[7]

Awards and decorationsEdit

His awards and decorations include:[8]

U.S. Awards & Decorations
Badges and tabs
   Combat Infantryman Badge
   Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
   Army Staff Identification Badge
   25th Infantry Division Combat Service Identification Badge
Personal decorations
   Distinguished Service Cross
   Defense Distinguished Service Medal
  Army Distinguished Service Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters
   Silver Star
  Legion of Merit with bronze oak leaf cluster
  Bronze Star Medal with "V" device and bronze oak leaf cluster
   Air Medal with Award numeral 9
   Joint Service Commendation Medal
  Army Commendation Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster
Unit awards
   Army Presidential Unit Citation
Campaign & Service awards
   American Defense Service Medal
   American Campaign Medal
  Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal with three bronze campaign stars
   World War II Victory Medal
   Army of Occupation Medal
  National Defense Service Medal with one service star
  Korean Service Medal with silver campaign star
  Vietnam Service Medal with five campaign stars
Foreign Awards & Decorations
Personal decorations
   National Order of Vietnam (Grand Officer)
  Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with five Palms
   Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal (1st Class)
   Zaire National Order of Merit (Knight)
   Order of Boyaca (Knight)
   South Korean Order of National Security Merit (Third Class)
   Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Member)
   Unidentified decoration
Unit awards
   Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
   Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Service awards
   United Nations Korea Medal
   Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960– device
   Korean War Service Medal

Personal lifeEdit

 
Weyand (left) in 2005

After retiring from the United States Army in 1976, Weyand moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, which was also the home of the 25th Infantry Division. He became active in Hawai'i community affairs and held a number of prominent business positions, including corporate secretary and senior vice president of First Hawaiian Bank between 1976 and 1982. He was an active member of the Rotary Club of Honolulu and a trustee of the now-dissolved Samuel M. Damon Estate, as well as the American Red Cross Hawaii Chapter, where he served as chairman of the board in 1992 and director of the Honolulu Symphony. He was active in the Sony Open golf tournament, Shriners Club, the East-West Center, the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, and the Hawaii Theatre.

Weyand was also a member of the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program and a member of several military and veteran organizations, such as the Association of the United States Army, the Air Force Association, the Military Officers Association of America, the 25th Infantry Division Association, the Go for Broke Association (100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment), the 3rd Infantry Division Association, and the associated 7th Infantry Regiment Association.

After his first wife died in 2001, Weyand married Mary Foster. He died on February 10, 2010 of natural causes at the Kahala Nui retirement residence in Honolulu, Hawaii.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Emily Langer (February 13, 2010). "Gen. Frederick Weyand, 93, dies; expressed doubts about war". Washington Post.
  2. ^ Grimes, William (February 13, 2010). "Frederick C. Weyand, Vietnam Commander, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  3. ^ Tucker, Spencer (December 16, 2014). 500 Great Military Leaders. ABC-CLIO. p. 818. ISBN 978-1598847574.
  4. ^ "Last U.S. Troops Leaving Vietnam". Sarasota Journal. Florida. March 27, 1973. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  5. ^ Apple, R. W. (1967) "Signs of a Stalemate" New York Times 7 August 1967 http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/19670807apple.pdf
  6. ^ Fromson, Murray (December 11, 2006). "Name That Source". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  7. ^ Official Register of Commissioned Officers of the United States Army, 1948. Vol. II. pg. 1938.
  8. ^ http://www.veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=1547
  9. ^ Greg Small (February 13, 2010). "Former Army Chief of Staff Frederick Weyand dies". Associated Press. Retrieved February 16, 2010.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Creighton W. Abrams
Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
1972–1973
Command inactivated
Preceded by
Alexander Haig
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1973–1974
Succeeded by
Walter T. Kerwin, Jr.
Preceded by
Creighton W. Abrams
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1974–1976
Succeeded by
Bernard W. Rogers