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Class Notes

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2002 Distinguished Graduate Award

GEN Arthur E. Brown, Jr. '53

General Brown’s career of service to the nation began with his assignment as an Infantry platoon leader to the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team and reached its zenith with his selection for four-star rank and the position of Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. During a distinguished career of over thirty-five years, he also saw duty as both an advisor and battalion commander during two tours in Vietnam and served as Deputy Superintendent at West Point and Director of the Army Staff.
Upon retirement from active duty, he totally immersed himself in service to his community by membership on and leadership of various educational boards, foundations, commissions, and task forces. He also took a dynamic role as a trustee at large of the Association of Graduates and, later, as Chairman of the Alumni Support Committee.
Following Airborne and Ranger training, then-Lieutenant Brown became a rifle platoon leader with the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team; later, he would command a rifle company of the 60th Infantry Regiment as the Cold War intensified. Still later, then-Captain Brown traveled to the other side of the world to serve with the Military Advisory Assistance Group-Vietnam in 1962–63 and earn the coveted Combat Infantryman Badge, a Bronze Star, and an Army Commendation Medal for Valor. He then earned a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh before reporting for duty with the Directorate of Plans, Army Combat Development Command, and awarded a Legion of Merit for his work on the Assessment of Combat Effectiveness Study and the Dynamics of Firepower and Maneuver Study, as well as for his efforts as a member of the Pacification Role in Vietnam Study Group and his work with the Institute of Land Combat. In 1967–68, he served as executive officer to the U.S. Representative, NATO Military Committee in Belgium, garnering a Joint Service Commendation Medal.
Upon completion of the Army War College, he returned to Vietnam in 1969, this time to command an infantry battalion and serve as an advisor to the 9th Infantry Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam. While commanding the 1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry Regiment, of the Americal Division, then-Lieutenant Colonel Brown was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for Valor. He also earned the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, and numerous Air Medals. Returning to the Army War College as Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Studies, he later served as Director, General Purpose Forces Strategy Studies. He planned and coordinated the Arms Control and Disarmament Elective and chaired the Current Affairs Panel, earning a third Legion of Merit. After successful command of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division, he spent 1975–78 as a division chief and executive officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, gaining a fourth Legion of Merit.
During 1978–80, then-Brigadier General Brown returned to troop duty as the Assistant Division Commander of the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. He then assumed the post of Deputy Superintendent at West Point, responsible for all administrative support and budget activities. During this time, he planned the welcome, housing, and transition of the American hostages released by Iran, earning a Meritorious Service Medal. In 1981, then-Major General Brown took command of Mobilization and Readiness Region IV, responsible for Reserve and National Guard units in five southeastern states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
In 1983, then-Lieutenant General Brown was assigned as Director of the Army Staff. During his tour, the Army staff oversaw the greatest modernization program since World War II. This included significantly upgrading both the tank and armored personnel carrier force and the aviation fleet while fielding four light infantry divisions. He also managed the staff reorganization mandated by the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 and served as a member of the Stilwell Commission on security. He concurrently provided daily public affairs guidance on matters as diverse as the Gander aircraft tragedy, Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, and the POW-MIA issue. For his work as the Director of the Army Staff, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
In June 1987, General Brown was appointed Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. He served as Chief of the U.S. Delegation to the 1987 American, British, Canadian, and Australian Conference on Military Standardization and provided analyses and advice on the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force Arms Control Treaty. He also implemented measures that improved the quality of life for service members and their families, reduced the ground and aviation accident rate, and enhanced maintenance productivity and spare parts availability. Upon retirement, his service was recognized with the conferral of both the Defense and Army Distinguished Service Medals.
In retirement, he continued his selfless service, not only as a trustee and committee chair with the Association of Graduates, but also in his community. He joined the board of the United Way of Beaufort County in 1990 and was named Volunteer of the Year for 1991–92. He became a trustee of the Technical College of the Lowcountry Foundation in 1992; served as chairman in 1994–97; and received the foundation’s Leadership Award in 1996. He joined the board of the Hilton Head Island Foundation in 1995; served as vice chairman in 1996–98; and was elected chairman in 1998. He also served as a volunteer with a number of other charitable, religious, and civic organizations.
For a lifetime of selfless service to West Point, the Army, and our nation, the Association of Graduates takes great pride in presenting the 2002 Distinguished Graduate Award to Arthur Edmon Brown, Jr., USMA Class of 1953.

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