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2001 Distinguished Graduate Award

LTG Howard D. Graves '61

A distinguished soldier, educator, and leader, Howard Dwayne Graves has rendered a lifetime of extraordinary service to his country and the United States Army in successive positions of increasing responsibility during a career that began when he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Engineers in 1961.
Selected to be a Rhodes Scholar, Lieutenant Graves spent the first three years after graduating from West Point in England, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oxford University. Returning to the United States, he joined the 82nd Airborne Division and during that three-year tour, commanded an Engineer company in the Dominican Republic in 1965. Further research study at Oxford in 1968 resulted in the award of Master of Arts and Master of Letters degrees in 1968 and 1971.
During his combat tour in Vietnam in 1968-69, Howard Graves was an Engineer Battalion S-3 and Assistant Division Engineer for the First Air Cavalry Division. Back at West Point in 1970, Major Graves was assigned to the Department of Social Sciences, where he served as an instructor, assistant professor, and associate professor of International Relations and Comparative Foreign Governments.
In 1973, Howard Graves began a series of assignments at the highest levels of national defense, assignments in which his thorough knowledge of foreign affairs proved invaluable to policy makers at the national level.
In 1974, Howard Graves was appointed Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, James Schlesinger. In this capacity, he coordinated the Secretary’s travel and public appearances, designed graphic representations of principal themes for briefings, speeches and Congressional hearings, and provided invaluable advice and counsel on matters affecting the Army.
In 1976, Lieutenant Colonel Graves assumed command of the 54th Engineer Battalion in Germany, returning to the United States two years later to attend the Army War College. After graduation, he served on the faculty for the next two years. In 1980, Colonel Graves was assigned to command the 20th Engineer Brigade. Promoted to Brigadier General, he joined the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in 1982 as Assistant Division Commander. A year later, General Graves was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Engineer, U.S. Army Forces Command.
In 1984, Brigadier General Graves became Deputy Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy, Army Staff. Responsible for policy and strategy affecting the United States Army, he also contributed to policy and strategy directives of the President and Secretary of Defense. Working closely with senior military leaders of Latin America and Asia, he was able to enhance support for democracy in their respective areas.
As Vice Director of the Joint Staff, a position he assumed in 1985, Howard Graves reorganized the staff of over 2,000 mid-level professionals in response to the Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, enhancing its responsibility and streamlining operations. In 1987, General Graves was appointed Commandant of the Army War College, the Army’s senior educational institution. He was responsible for the professional development of many of the officers who held key command and staff positions in Operation Desert Storm.
Lieutenant General Graves returned to Washington to become Assistant to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that pivotal assignment, he was the personal representative of the Chairman at White House and interagency meetings; attended Presidential cabinet meetings on national security issues, and participated with the Secretary of State at bilateral and multilateral negotiations on a wide range of subjects including nuclear and conventional arms control, German reunification, European security, Arab-Israeli peace initiatives, and the diplomatic efforts of Operation Desert Storm.
In 1991, Howard Graves was appointed the 54th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, a fitting climax to a brilliant career of public service. For five years, General Graves provided the decisive leadership, dedication, and management skills that maintained the Military Academy at the apex of American educational institutions.
Retiring from the Army in 1996, Lieutenant General Graves later joined the Harry Guggenheim Foundation as a Director and in 1998 was visiting Professor, Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Service at the University of Texas. In 1999, Howard Graves was selected to be the 11th Chancellor of the Texas A & M University System.
Among his many decorations, General Graves was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters.
Throughout a career of distinguished service to his Nation spanning over four decades, Howard Graves never lost sight of the principles by which he fashioned his life; principles best expressed in the motto of the Military Academy: Duty, Honor, Country.
Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy takes pride in presenting the 2001 Distinguished Graduate Award to Howard Dwayne Graves.

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