LTG Robert Jacob Baer, USA, Ret

A longtime resident of Fairfax Station, General Baer passed away on February 26.  

Robert J. Baer was born in Jamestown Missouri in 1924, entered the U.S. Military Academy, West Point in 1944 graduating with the Class of 1947.  That same year he married Ann O’Hara who accompanied him on a long and distinguished journey of service to country and community. Ann passed away in 2002.  They are survived by their four children, son John and wife Debra of Yorktown, VA, son Tom of Phoenix, AZ, daughter Teresa and husband Stanley of Ft. Myers FL and son Stephen of New York City.  Bob and Ann’s legacy lives on through five grandchildren and two great grandsons, all of whom brought him a great deal of joy.

   General Baer served his Army and nation proudly for 36 years, first as a LT with the 2ndArmored Calvary Regiment in Germany.   In 1952 he returned to staff duty at the Armor Center in Fort Knox, KY.   In ‘54 he was a Tank Company Commander in the 24thInfantry Division in Japan. In ’58, following graduation from the Command and General Staff College, he returned to West Point as an instructor in Military History.  After a brief tour in Korea and graduation from the Armed Forces Staff College in 1963, he commanded 1st Battalion, 66th Armor, 2ndArmored Division at Fort Hood, TX.  Graduation from the Army War College in ‘67 was followed by two tours of duty in Vietnam culminating with command in combat of the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division for which he received numerous commendations including the Silver Star and Distinguished Service Medal.
Promoted to Brigadier General in 1971, his General Officer service is highlighted by his performance as the first Program Manager of the XM1 Main Battle Tank Program that produced the Abrams M1 Tank which continues to prove its superiority in service with many Armies today. Promoted to LTG, he culminated his uniformed service as the Deputy Commanding General for Research and Development, U.S. Army Material Command—supervising eight major R&D commands, 50 project and product managers and a workforce of more than 30,000. Retiring from the U.S. Army in 1980, he became senior vice president of XMCO Inc—utilizing his program management skills for both government and industry clients.

  Since 1988 General Baer has been a private consultant, but his real joy was in spending time with his children, grandchildren, great grandsons, and more recently fiancee Elise and the Haldane family, and many special friends .

  A memorial mass was held on 1 July, 2011, at the Fort Myer Chapel followed by internment at Arlington National Cemetery and a reception at the Fort Myer’s Officers Club.