Former CSA, 25th ID CG, dies at 93

| February 20, 2010 | 0 Comments

U.S. Army-Pacific
News Release

HONOLULU — Retired Gen. Frederick C. Weyand, 28th Chief of Staff of the United States Army, died Feb.10. He was 93.

“The 25th Infantry Division mourns the loss of such a tremendous Army leader as Gen. Fred Weyand and extends our most heartfelt condolences to the Weyand family,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr., commanding general, 25th ID.

“Gen. Weyand is a true legend within the Tropic Lightning Division and the Army. Words cannot truly express his lasting impact on the Soldiers and officers serving today.” 

WeylandWeyand was born Sept. 15, 1916, in California. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1939 and received a Reserve Officer Training Corps commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1938.

Gen. Weyand was the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1974 to October 1976.

During his career, he served in a broad range of command, management, legislative and diplomatic assignments.

During World War II, he served in the China-Burma-India Theater, U.S. Forces Headquarters in New Delhi; in the Northern Area Combat Command, Burma; and in the U.S. Forces China Theater Headquarters in Chungking.

Following the war, he served three years in Hawaii on the staffs of the U.S. Army-Pacific, Joint Task Force 7, and Commander in Chief, Pacific.

In 1950 and 1951, during the Korean conflict, he commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.

He taught tactics at the U.S. Army Infantry School for a year, after which he served as military assistant and executive officer to the Secretary of the Army for three years.

In 1958, following graduation from the National War College, he commanded a Battle Group in West Berlin and served as intelligence officer to the U.S. commander in Berlin.

Weyand was promoted to brigadier general in 1960. Following assignment in France as chief of staff, U.S. Army Communications Zone, he was transferred to Washington as chief of the Army’s Legislative (Congressional) Liaison Office.

In 1964, Weyand assumed command of the 25th ID in Hawaii, and a year-and-a-half later, deployed with it to the Republic of Vietnam where he commanded it for another year.

Later, following promotion to lieutenant general, he commanded II Field Force Vietnam in 1967 and 1968.
In September 1968, he returned to the Pentagon to serve as the Chief of Reserve Components (Army Reserve and National Guard) until March 1969.

In 1969 and 1970, he was a principal in the Vietnam peace negotiations in Paris with Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge.

Following promotion to general, he returned to the Republic of Vietnam in mid-1970 to serve as the Commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam and was responsible for executing the orderly withdrawal of all American combat units from that country.

After the withdrawal of American forces from the Republic of Vietnam,  Weyand assumed command of U.S. Army-Pacific with headquarters at Fort Shafter.

Reflecting on his association with the war in Vietnam, Weyand said in an interview in 1988, “What particularly haunts me, what I think is one of the saddest legacies of the Vietnam War, is the cruel misperception that the American fighting men there did not measure up to their predecessors in World War II and Korea. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Weyand believed that, although the Tet Offensive of 1968 dealt the North Vietnamese a crashing blow, the American public lost its commitment, and noted when that happened “it is futile to keep the Army committed.”
He had played an instrumental role in Tet’s success. He disagreed with Gen. William Westmoreland’s conventional warfare strategy and advocated a campaign to “pacify and secure” small South Vietnamese villages.

He talked Westmoreland into allowing the redeployment of troops away from the Cambodian border, closer to Saigon, which gave U.S. forces, surprised by the attack, enough ground power to crush the North Vietnamese.

But in a 1976 statement to the Army, Weyand noted, “When the American people lost their commitment after the Tet Offensive of 1968, for all intents and purposes, the war was lost.”

In 2006, with his permission, he was revealed as the confidential source for a 1967 article in the New York Times, “Vietnam: Signs of Stalemate.”

He had told the reporter that “…I’ve chased mainforce units all over the country (Vietnam) and the impact was zilch. It meant nothing to the people. Unless a more positive and more stirring theme than simple anticommunism can be found, the war appears likely to go on until someone gets tired and quits, which could take forever.”

In August 1973, he became the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and, in 1974, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Army and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

During his tenure as Chief of Staff of the Army, Weyand was instrumental in reshaping the Army following the end of the Vietnam War.

He retired from active duty in September 1976 and joined the First Hawaiian Bank as vice president and corporate secretary.

He retired from the bank in 1982 and thereafter was appointed Trustee of the now-dissolved Estate of Samuel Mills Damon.

Among Weyand’s military honors and decorations are the Distinguished Service Cross, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with V- Device with Oak Leaf Cluster, and a number of foreign decorations.

For his service and contributions to the Infantry Branch, he was presented the 1998 “Doughboy” award at Fort Benning, Ga., in June 1998.

Weyand was a Berkeley Fellow, and in 1976 was honored as the University of California Alumnus of the Year.
He held an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Akron. He was a past vice president of the United States Strategic Institute.

Weyand was a 33rd degree Mason and a member of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, and the Sojourners.
Military, civic and community organizations in which Weyand served as a board member or member include The 200 Club; the Downtown Improvement Association; the Honolulu Committee on Foreign Relations; the Civilian Advisory Group to the Commanding General, U.S. Army-Pacific.

He was a director or chairman of many other community organizations including Hawaii state campaign chairman, U.S. Savings Bond (1976-1978); director, Honolulu Symphony (1977-1980); director, American Red Cross, Hawaii Chapter (1982-1984); chairman, Hawaiian Open Golf Tournament (1980-1982); director, Rotary Club of Honolulu (1981-1984); Hawaii Export Council (1983); secretary-treasurer, Oahu Development Conference (1983- 1986); Governor’s Committee for Hawaii and Regional Center (1984); chairman, Special Gifts Division, Aloha United Way (1985); and Grand Marshal, Aloha Week Parade (1986).

He was also a director and president of Waialae Country Club, and with more than 30 years of membership in various Rotary Clubs, he served as president of the Honolulu Rotary Club from July 1998 through June 1999.
He was also a member of the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program, which was instrumental in having the traveling replica of the Vietnam Wall displayed in Honolulu, Hawaii, in January 1987.

Weyand was a lifetime member of the Association of the United States Army (National and Hawaii Chapters); the Military Officers Association of America (National and Hawaii Chapters); the 25th Infantry Division Association; the “Go For Broke Association,” 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Infantry; the 3rd Infantry Division Association and the associated 7th Infantry Regiment Association; Trustee Emeritus, Hawaii Army Museum Society; and the Rotary Club of Honolulu.

He also served as director of Hawaii Theater Center; Hawaii Public Radio; and The Alzheimer’s Association, Aloha Chapter. He was also a member of the Legion of Valor.

Weyand was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Arline L. Weyand of Heraldsburg, Calif., who died in Honolulu at the age of 86 in May 2001.

Weyand is survived by his wife, Mary Foster Weyand; a son, Robert Weyand of Cornforth, United Kingdom; daughters Carolyn Harley of Portugal Cove, Newfoundland, and Nancy Hart of Honolulu; stepdaughters, Laurie Foster of Honolulu and Whitney White of Maui; stepsons, Dow Foster of Maui and Bill Foster of Honolulu; and 10 grandchildren. 

General Weyand’s funeral service will be conducted at Central Union Church, 1660 South Beretania St., Honolulu, Feb. 26, at 3 p.m., followed by a reception.

Interment will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Army Emergency Relief
200 Stovall St.
Alexandria, VA 22332,
or online at www.aerhq.org.

A memorial service will be held, Feb. 28, at 11 a.m. in the Fort DeRussy Chapel.





Category: Leadership, News

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