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1992 Distinguished Graduate Award

GEN Andrew Jackson Goodpaster

        As a soldier, statesman, author on matters of National Defense, and respected advisor to four Presidents of the United States, Andrew Jackson Goodpaster has served his country with distinction during a career that began when he graduated from West Point and was  commissioned a second lieutenant of Engineers in 1939 In thirty-nine years of active military service, General Goodpaster was repeatedly called upon to fulfill positions of high responsibility and unparalleled importance to the Army and the nation.

        Less than four years after graduation he commanded a Combat Engineer Battalion in North Africa and Italy in World War II. During this command assignment he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star and was twice wounded in action In 1944 he
returned to the Joint War Plans Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he remained until 1947, when he left the Pentagon for three years at Princeton University. His studies resulted in the award of graduate degrees in civil engineering and political science, and a doctorate in
international relations.

        Four years of service with the Joint Chiefs of Staff as Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe prepared him for a pivotal assignment as Staff Secretary and Defense Liaison Officer to the President of the United States. General Goodpaster's seven years of service to President Eisenhower and President Kennedy gained him the trust and admiration of every member of the legislative and executive branches of the government with whom he came in contact. his diplomacy, his encyclopedic knowledge of military
and Defense Department affairs, and his keen grasp of critical issues and international events significantly strengthened the Office of the Chief Executive during the height of the Cold War.

        General Goodpaster returned to Europe to command the 8th Infantry Division before being recalled to the Pentagon to serve successively as Special Assistant (Policy) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Director of the Joint Staff.

        His far reaching knowledge of world affairs and his reputation as the Army's most brilliant mind brought him assignments as the Senior U.S. Army Member, Military Staff Committee of the United Nations and as a member of the U.S. Delegation for Negotiations with North Vietnam in
Paris. These additional duties occurred while he served full-time as Commandant of the National War College.

        General Goodpaster was appointed Deputy Commander, U.S. MilitaryAssistance Command, Vietnam, a position he held for one year prior to his final active duty tour as Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. His five year command of all
allied forces in Europe came during a critical and unsettled period for the NATO alliance. Beset by internal problems and the threat of overwhelming superiority by Soviet and Eastern bloc ground forces, it was through General Goodpaster's decisive leadership, organization skills, and unflagging dedication that NATO remained strong through the decade of the seventies.

        In 1977, General Goodpaster was recalled to active duty to take the Superintendency of the United States Military Academy. Named by the Secretary of Defense and the Army as the one officer whose leadership ability and widely respected scholarship could solve the problems
troubling the Military Academy, General Goodpaster once again answered his country's call to duty. His four years as Superintendent at West Point were marked by a resurgence of the values that have ever maintained the U.S. Military Academy premier among universities and military colleges worldwide.

        Among his many decorations, General Goodpaster was awarded the Army, Navy, and Air Force Distinguished Service Medals, two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Legion of Merits, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. In 1984, President
Reagan presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to General Goodpaster.

        The Association of Graduates echoes the words of President Reagan in stating that General Goodpaster's work over a selfless career of public service has made a measurable contribution to the security and freedom of the United States and to the cause of peace. General Goodpaster's professional life has epitomized the words of the West Point motto: "Duty, Honor, Country " Accordingly, the Association of Graduates takes pride in presenting the 1992 Distinguished Graduate Award to Andrew J Goodpaster, USMA Class of 1939.