John B. Poindexter
John B. Poindexter
John B. Poindexter
|Alma mater||UARK, BS (Hons) (1966)|
NYU, MBA (1971)
NYU, PhD (1976)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1967–1971|
|Awards|| Silver Star Medal|
Bronze Star Medal (2)
Purple Heart Medal (2)
Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry
Early life and educationEdit
Poindexter was born in Houston, Texas.
He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Honors. After several years' military service, he entered New York University, where an MBA in 1971 was followed by a Ph.D in Economics and Finance in 1976.
Military service and aftermathEdit
Poindexter joined OCS in 1967 and graduated that July. After three years with L Troop of the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (as Platoon Leader and Executive Officer in Germany, and then Troop Commander in Fort Lewis, WA), he joined the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam in 1970. Initially serving as Commander of Headquarters Troop, he was then appointed as Commander of 1st Squadron's A Troop.
On March 26, 1970, the hundred-strong Charlie Company of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, unwittingly entered into an area of dense jungle containing a complex of North Vietnamese bunkers and were pinned down by approximately 400 NVA troops.
Captains Poindexter and Ray Armer (of the 2nd Battalion's airborne infantry Alpha Company) heard their call for assistance, and in the absence of orders from Command, Poindexter directed Alpha Troop to aid Charlie Company. In the resulting battle, 20 U.S. troops were wounded, including Poindexter, and there were at least two fatalities. At dusk, with concern that the night would advantage the North Vietnamese, Poindexter ordered a full retreat.
During the next few months before he returned to the United States, Poindexter applied for dozens of decorations to be awarded to members of his troop, and wrote an unpublished account of the battle.
In 1999 he used this account to develop a presention on small unit leadership for an 11th Cavalry professional development program, and subsequently revised it for publication in Armor in 2000.
In 2002, he discovered through reading Keith W. Nolan's Into Cambodia that the decorations he had applied for on behalf of members of Alpha Troop had never been awarded. He resubmitted applications for award in 2003, but only 14 additional individual awards were made. To remedy this, he coordinated a team of a hundred volunteers to help obtain and compile evidence from both documentary and eyewitness sources, and self-published The Anonymous Battle (2004), an account based on his manuscript and the collected evidence.
Because the time elapsed was significant, and consequently not all individual medal claims could be sufficiently substantiated, Poindexter sought award of a Presidential Unit Citation to provide recognition to all members of Alpha Troop.
During his campaign for recognition, he obtained support from generals including Brigadier General John Bahnsen, the retired commander of the 11th Cavalry's 1st Squadron, as well as from Texas Senator John Cornyn, who submitted the dossier in 2004 to the then-Secretary of the Army. In late 2008, award of a Presidential Unit Citation was approved; this was unveiled in California (11th Cavalry being stationed at Fort Irwin) in September, 2009. On October 20, 2009, President Barack Obama presented attending Alpha Troop veterans with the Presidential Unit Citation at the White House.
Philip Keith's 2012 Blackhorse Riders: A Desperate Last Stand, an Extraordinary Rescue Mission, and the Vietnam Battle America Forgot details the action and Poindexter's campaign for its recognition.
Awards and decorationsEdit
For his military service, Poindexter was awarded the Silver Star, the Soldier's Medal, two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.
Poindexter joined Salomon Brothers as an investment banker in New York City in 1971 while completing his doctorate, and until 1985 worked in Venture Capital including a vice presidency at Smith Barney. In 1985, he founded J.B. Poindexter & Co., which as of 2010[needs update] was the world's largest manufacturer of commercial truck bodies.
Poindexter acquired Cibolo Creek Ranch in 1990, and operates it as a hunting resort. His attempt to acquire 46,000 acres of Big Bend Ranch State Park was widely noted, with charges made that bulldozer activity in the development of his ranch had damaged or destroyed archaeological sites.
- Spong, John (February 2006). "The Man in the White Hat". Texas Monthly. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
- "2010 Awards" (PDF). NYU Stern. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
- Schmidt, Chuck. "Poindexter to be Featured Speaker at Reunion Banquet" (PDF). Thunder Run (Q3 2006 ed.). 21 (3): 1, 4. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- "Armor" (PDF) (January–February 2000 ed.). 2000: 18–33. Retrieved 26 February 2015. Cite journal requires
- Lee, Jesse (October 20, 2009). "Saddle Up and Move Out". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- Dao, James (September 30, 2009). "After 39 Years, Soldiers Honored for Vietnam Rescue Mission". New York Times. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- "No longer the Anonymous Battle: Vietnam unit awarded". Seattle Times. October 21, 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- Keith, Philip. Fire Base Illingworth. Macmillan. pp. 29–34. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- Helman, Christopher (September 20, 2009). "Fighting A Two-Front War". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- "Veterans who saved 100 soldiers ask Obama to present citation". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 30, 2009. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "Vietnam-era captain campaigns for soldiers' recognition". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
- "The Final Battle". NYU Alumni Magazine. Fall 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
- "Blackhorse Riders". Kirkus Reviews. 5 Dec 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- Keith, Philip. "Blackhorse Riders: A Desperate Last Stand, an Extraordinary Rescue Mission". Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- "Overview of J.B. Poindexter & Co., Inc". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- Hall, Christine. "John Poindexter fights for his brethren and wins". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- Helman, Christopher (September 30, 2009). "Fighting A Two-Front War". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 28, 2016.
Since the early 1990s, John Poindexter has built his Houston company, J.B. Poindexter & Co. into the world’s largest ($550 million sales) maker of truck bodies for the likes of Ryder, Penske, UPS and Fedex.
- O'Connor, Louise; Thompson, Cecilia. "Marfa and Presidio County, Texas".
- Hershey, Olive (November 27, 2005). "Big Bend Sale was Rightly Stopped". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
- Brittain, Amy; Horwitz, Sari (February 24, 2016). "Justice Scalia spent his last hours with members of this secretive society of elite hunters". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 25, 2016.