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James George Kalergis was a career U.S. Army officer whose career spanned the World War II and Post-Vietnam eras and played a significant role in the post-Vietnam era reorganization of the U.S. Army.

James George Kalergis
Born(1917-01-13)January 13, 1917
Lowell, Massachusetts
DiedApril 13, 1991(1991-04-13) (aged 74)
Washington, D.C.
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1941-1975
RankLieutenant General (United States)
Commands held597th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
I Corps Field Artillery Forces
2nd Armored Division (United States)
United States Army Materiel Command, Deputy
First United States Army
Battles/warsWorld War II
Vietnam War
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal
Bronze Star

Contents

Youth and early careerEdit

Kalergis was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on January 13, 1917. His father, George Demetrios Kalergis, and his mother, Nicoletta Vasilakos Kalergis, were immigrants from Greece. Kalergis graduated from Boston University. His education continued during his military career when he earned a master's degree in international relations at George Washington University and attended the six-week Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He also attended U.S. Army officer training at the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the Army War College.

Kalergis enlisted in the U.S. Army in February 1941, prior to the start of World War II. He was commissioned as a lieutenant after attending the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1942.[1] He served as an artillery officer with the 882nd Field Artillery Battalion. By November 1943, he was a captain and battalion adjutant and promoted to major shortly after the unit arrived in France in February 1945.[2][3] He was awarded the Bronze Star while with the 882nd which generally supported the 70th Infantry Division's 274th Infantry Regiment during the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns.[4][5]

From 1949 to 1952, Kalergis, as a major, was an assistant professor of military science and tactics at Saint Bonaventure College, a Franciscan school in St. Bonaventure, New York.[6] As a lieutenant colonel in 1954, Kalergis commanded the 36th Field Artillery Group's 597th Armored Field Artillery Battalion in Hanau, Germany.

Vietnam and army reorganizationEdit

In the 1960s, Kalergis served tours in South Korea and as commander of 2nd Armored Division (United States) at Fort Hood, Texas. During the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1968, he commanded the artillery for the corps-level organization I Field Force, Vietnam (United States). The next year, he served as First Field Force's chief of staff.[2] In Vietnam, he was recognized in efforts to quantify and reduce "harassment and interdiction fire", artillery fire intended to reduce enemy morale and movement. Yet in practice, it was rarely observed or checked for results and generally proved useless in countering enemy activities in a war without fronts. Kalergis developed systems to quantify and significantly reduce its use due to ineffectiveness, collateral damage to civilians and its high cost.[7]

As a major general, Kalergis was Deputy Commanding General for Logistical Support of the United States Army Materiel Command from 1970-1972.

In early 1972, Kalergis was recognized for his organizational abilities and tasked with drawing up the 1973 reorganization of the U.S. Army, the most extensive reorganization of the Army in the continental United States since 1942.[8] Operation STEADFAST resulted in the establishment of U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).[9] It was followed by subsequent reorganizations in Army Staff Headquarters and of units in the field. The effort to accomplish internal reorganization was initiated with the Army, forestalling efforts by the executive or legislative branch in the post-Vietnam era.[10] Kalergis then served as assistant vice chief for Army Chief of Staff.

RetirementEdit

In 1974 Kalergis succeeded Glenn D. Walker as commanding general of the First United States Army at Fort Meade, Maryland. He served in this post until his 1975 retirement.[11]

In retirement in 1976, Kalerigis chaired a task force that drafted an action plan Tank Weapon System Management. A Program for Maximum Effectiveness to improve armored forces management.[12] His retirement activities also included serving as a Pentagon consultant, and from 1979 to 1982 as chairman of Vinnell Corporation which trained the Saudi National Guard.[2]

Kalerigis died of cancer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on April 13, 1991, at the age of 74. He resided in Alexandria, Virginia and was married to Norma Butler (1919-1996) for 50 years at the time of his death.[2]

General and Mrs. Kalergis are buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 7A, Grave 61.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Clement, David. "Fort Sill Field Artillery Officers Candidate School Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  2. ^ a b c d Washington Post (April 15, 1991). "Retired Lt. Gen. James Kalergis Dies at 74". The Washington Post. pp. D6.
  3. ^ Yeide, Harry. "70th Infantry Division Association: Attached Units Tanks". Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  4. ^ Unknown. "70th Infantry Division Association: Honor Roll - 882nd Field Artillery Battalion". Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  5. ^ Unknown. "70th Infantry Division Association: 882nd FAB, After Action Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  6. ^ Frank, Dennis. "Saint Bonaventure Faculty List 1859 to 1952". Friedsam Memorial Library, St. Bonaventure University. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  7. ^ Hawkins, John M. (2006). "The Costs of Artillery:Eliminating Harassment and Interdiction Fire During the Vietnam War". Journal of Military History. 70 (1): 91–122. doi:10.1353/jmh.2006.0068.
  8. ^ Brown, James A. (1985). "Operation Steadfast: The United States Army Reorganizes Itself". USMC Command and Staff College. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  9. ^ Bell, William Gardner and Karl E. Cocke (1973). "4". Department of the Army Historical Summary Fiscal Year 1973. United States Army Center of Military History. p. 44. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  10. ^ Brown, James A.
  11. ^ Ray, Max (1980). The History of the First United States Army From 1918 to 1980. Fort Meade MD: First United States Army.
  12. ^ Kalergis, James G. (1976). "Tank Weapon System Management. A Program for Maximum Effectiveness". Chief of Staff, United States Army. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  13. ^ Arlington National Cemetery, entries for James and Norma Kalergis, accessed June 5, 2013

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit