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Military

“WE HAVE STOOD IN AWE OF THIS MAN. BUT A TRIUMPH MORE ENDURING PROMOTED HIM TO THIS SINGULAR POSITION: SPECIFICALLY, PETE FIRMLY GRIPPED OUR HANDS IN DEEP AND UNDERSTANDING FRIENDSHIP. CONSEQUENTLY, NEVER WAS A TASK GIVEN HIM NOT SUCCESSFULLY ACCOMPLISHED; FOR AS HE CARED, SO ALSO DID WE. WE WERE NOT COMPLETELY SAGACIOUS, BE WE KNEW A GREAT FRIEND, A GREAT LEADER, A GREAT MAN.”

USMA Class of 1959
Howitzer Yearbook

Commissioned upon graduating from West Point in 1959, Pete’s first three years, while technically on active duty, were spent as a full-time student in England at Oxford University. In the fall of 1962, having completed his tenure as a Rhodes Scholar, Pete returned to the United States to begin his military career in earnest.

After finishing Infantry, Parachute and Ranger training, Pete was posted to the 82nd Airborne Division where he commanded a Rifle Company.

Following further training, including Vietnamese language school, Pete was deployed to Vietnam as Senior Advisor to the Vietnamese 1st Airborne Battalion, and subsequently worked in the Pacification Program.

The final decade of Pete’s military career witnessed a series of commands toward becoming a General Officer, including: a Battalion in Korea, a Brigade at Fort Ord, followed by assignment as Assistant Division Commander of the 7th Infantry Division. Then, Pete was selected to command the 3rd Brigade (“War Eagle” Brigade) in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), followed by assignment as the Division Chief of Staff.

After his promotion to Brigadier General, Pete’s final posting was in the Pentagon as the Army’s Deputy Director of Strategy, Plans and Policy.

Sequence of Assignments

Lieutenant / Captain
1962-1965

9-12/62

Infantry Officer Basic Course (IOBC)

Fort Benning, Georgia

  • Class Commander

1-3/63

Ranger School

Fort Benning, Georgia

  • Class Commander
  • Honor Graduate

3/63-8/64

82nd Airborne Division

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

  • Company Commander E/1-503
  • Assistant G3 Operations Officer Developed and published a comprehensive Division Outloading Plan for 82nd Airborne Division

9/64-5/65

Infantry Officer Career Course (IOCC)

Fort Benning, Georgia

  • Co-Chairman of committee that revised the curriculum of the Career Course
  • Published “Freedom to Fail,” Infantry Magazine, Sept/Oct.1965 Marshall Award for excellence in professional writing
Captain / Major
1965-1968

5-9/65

Defense Language Institute (DLI)

Presidio of Monterey, California

  • Vietnamese Language School Honor Graduate
  • City of Monterey Chamber of Commerce Award

9/65-3/66

1st Airborne Battalion

Vietnamese Airborne Brigade

  • Senior Advisor
  • Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star Medal with two V-Devices (for Valor), Vietnamese Airborne Wings, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with three gold palms
  • LIFE Cover story April 8, 1966

3-9/66

Military Assistance Command – Vietnam (MACV)

MACV Pacification Office

  • Inter-Agency Group created to establish the initial Vietnamese Pacification Program

9/66-8/68

United States Military Academy

West Point, New York

  • Social Sciences Department
  • Instructor, Modern European History 9/66-5/67
  • Co-Director, National Security Seminar 9/67-8/68

5-8/67

Military Assistance Command – Vietnam

  • Special assignment for General Westmoreland. Spent 3 months traveling throughout all 4 Corps Areas, assessing the true effectiveness of the Revolutionary Development (Pacification) Program. Led to the conclusion that the VC “owned” the night, and recommended a fundamental shift in the pattern of US operations.
Major / Lieutenant Colonel
1968-1972

9/68-8/70

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Princeton University Princeton, New Jersey

  • MPA 1970 (Master of Public of Affairs)
  • Ph.D 1977 Doctoral Dissertation: “The United States Army and the ‘Other’ War in Vietnam: A study of the complexity of implementing organizational change.”

9/70-1/71

Armed Forces Staff College

Norfolk, Virginia

    1/71-8/72

    Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army

    The Pentagon Washington, DC

    • Office of the Special Assistant for the Modern Volunteer Army (MVA) Ad Hoc Group charged with developing the strategy and programs to transition the Army from a draft status to one composed entirely of volunteers. Principal author of MVA strategy document: “An Army People Want.”
    Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel
    1973-1981

    8/72-8/73

    1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry 2nd Infantry Division

    • Battalion Commander (Korea)

    9/73-8/75

    White House Fellow

    Washington, DC

    • Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense
    • Executive Secretary of the Committee on Excellence in Education: a 2-year study of the three Service Academies, conducted by the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the three Service Secretaries.

    8/75-5/76

    U.S. Army War College

    Carlisle, PA

      7/76-2/79

      7th Infantry Division

      Fort Ord, California

      • Brigade Commander: Headquarters Command 7/76-8/78
      • Assistant Division Commander 8/78-2/79 7th Division and Fort Ord

      3/79-6/81

      101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

      Fort Campbell, KY

      • Brigade Commander, 3rd Brigade 3/79-9/80
      • Division Chief of Staff 9/80-6/81
      General Officer
      1981-1983

      6/81

      Promoted to Brigadier General

        6/81-7/83

        Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army (OCSA) The Pentagon, Washington, DC

        Strategy, Plans and Policy Directorate

        • Deputy Director
        • Acting Director

        6/83

        Conference of American Armies

          7/83

          Retired

          Fort Myer, Virginia

          • People Magazine (7/83)

          Papers & Studies

          1965

          “Freedom to Fail”

          Broadened the understanding of subtle distortions in the Army’s Officer Efficiency Report process. Contributed to an overhaul of the OER system.

            1965

            Infantry School Curriculum Study (Co-Chairman)

            Encouraged a major change in how Army officers were taught tactics and operations.

              1967

              “The Night Army”

              Strategy document presented to Gen. Westmoreland, that recommended a dramatic change in the tactical approach in VN, built around concentrating offensive operations at nighttime.

                1971

                Volunteer Army Task Force

                As a member of the team tasked to guide the transition from a draft based to a “volunteer” Army, Pete championed markedly raising standards, rather than relaxing them (which was the conventional wisdom of the time) in order to attract and retain highly qualified soldiers.

                  1977

                  Controlling Future Arms Trade (Co-Author)

                  “Conventional Arms Transfers and Control: Producer Restraints”

                    1978

                    “The U.S. Army and the ‘Other’ War in Vietnam. A Study of the Complexity of Implementing Organizational Change”
                    PhD Dissertation

                    A landmark study of resistance to change in large organizations, and strategies to achieve transformational change.

                      1998-99

                      Chairman of a special CEO panel for the Secretary of Defense on “Commercialization” in the Defense Department

                      A thorough, 18-month analysis (leading a panel of CEO’s) of opportunities to import proven private sector competencies in order to dramatically increase Department of Defense effectiveness while, at the same time, achieving major cost savings and budget reductions.

                        2008

                        Leadership: Combat Leaders and Lessons

                        A series of essays by combat leaders from the West Point Class of 1959, inspired by the Class of 2009’s request to learn from those who graduated half a century earlier.