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Memorial Day salute to Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf PDF Print E-mail
1st Gulf War vets’ “Bear”: Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf!

Reportedly, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf (1934-2012), “Saw himself as a successor to Alexander the Great, and we didn’t laugh when he said it!” recalled a former West Point roommate of the cadet they called “The Bear.”

Added retired Gen. Leroy Suddath of the man who met the mission in America’s first Persian Gulf War in 1990-91, “Norman would predict not only that he would lead a major American army into combat, but that it would be a battle decisive to the nation.”

Indeed, he did, as commander-in-chief of the United States Central Command in charge of both domestic and foreign Allied troops in that war, the first US commander ever to lead Middle Eastern forces into conflict.

Another roommate, Ward Le Hardy, was quoted in the Feb. 4, 1991 edition of Time as saying, “He’s got the tactical brilliance of Patton, the strategic insight of Eisenhower, and the modesty of Bradley.”

As a veteran warrior of Vietnam, Grenada, and the Gulf Wars, Schwarzkopf (the last name means “black head” in German), in 1994 was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Graduate Award by the United States Military Academy’s Association of Graduates/AOG.

Stated the citation as published in the AOG’s July 1994 Assembly magazine, “As military commander, staff officer, soldier-statesman, and peerless combat leader…Schwarzkopf has rendered extraordinary service to his country, to the US Army, and to his fellow soldiers.”

Over the course of 35 years of service, the four-star general served in nine months of combat in seven military operations, earning two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, two Air Medals, a Commendation for Valor, and the Purple Heart for wounds received in action under enemy fire.
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