The George Washington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) hosted a formal
gala event at the Belle Haven Country Club on Jan. 26, 2013, to present the SAR's highest national award for public service to General Frederick J. Kroesen, Jr., U.S. Army (retired).
The SAR Gold Good Citizenship Medal is awarded for outstanding and unusual patriotic achievement and service of national importance. Included among past recipients of the medal are former Presidents Truman, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Secretary of Veterans Affairs General Eric Shinseki, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Peter Pace, and former Attorney General Edwin Meese.
Kroesen commanded troops in World War II (France and Germany), the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, including 12 combat campaigns. He commanded an infantry rifle company in WWII, an airborne battalion in Korea, and both a brigade and then the 23rd Infantry Division in Vietnam.
Later he commanded the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. Toward the end of his 40-year military career, he served as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, and Commander, NATO Central Army Group (1979 to 1983), and Commanding General, United States Army Forces Command (1976 to 1978). He also served as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army from 1978 to 1979. During his final command in Europe, he was targeted for assassination by a faction of the Red Army and was injured when an anti-tank rocket hit his vehicle.
Kroesen is a native of Phillipsburg, N.J., and was raised in the Trenton area until enrolling in Rutgers University in 1940. His education was interrupted when the Army ROTC program was discontinued and all enrollees were inducted as privates. He resumed educational pursuits after World War II and earned a B.S. in agriculture from Rutgers and B.A. and M.A. degrees in international affairs from George Washington University.
Since retiring from the Army he has been an independent consultant offering observations and counsel concerning national and international military affairs. He is currently a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Land Warfare and a contributing editor of Army Magazine. He is a member of the board of directors of Net Talon Security Systems of Fredericksburg, vice president of the American Security Council Foundation and a member of the board of directors of the Army Historical Foundation.