HILBERT Major General Donald C. Hilbert U.S. Army (Ret.) Major General Donald C. Hilbert, U.S. Army (retired) passed away peacefully and with family at home in Potomac, MD on May 17, 2020. He was 86. Major General Hilbert was born in Brooklyn, NY on July 31, 1933. In 1955 he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. He also held a Master of Arts degree in Government from the College of William & Mary. His military education included completion of the U.S. Army Infantry School, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, L'Ecole d'Etat - Major (French Staff College), and the National War College.
Major General Hilbert served in a variety of progressive assignments. These included his initial assignment as Platoon Leader and XO with the 24th Infantry Division in Korea followed by an assignment with the 1st Calvary Division in Japan. He subsequently completed a tour with the 3rd U.S. Infantry (Old Guard) at Ft. Myer, VA. He served as instructor for the Command Staff Department at Ft. Benning, GA and as a professor of military science at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. In 1965 he was deployed to Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division as a Company Commander, Battalion S-3, and Brigade Assistant S-3. He served with the EUCOM Airborne Command Post in England in 1968, followed by a tour as Commander in the 3rd Armored Division based in Germany. He returned to Vietnam in 1970 as Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. After attending the National War College in 1973, he completed a tour as G3 in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. Major General Hilbert was selected to command the 3rd Infantry Regiment (Old Guard) in 1977.
During his military service he held several important command and staff positions to include Commanding General of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. Other key assignments include Chief of Staff of the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, HI; Deputy Vice Director for Foreign Intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C.; and Defense and Army Attache' at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France.
Upon his retirement from the military in 1990, Major General Hilbert was appointed by President Bush to be the Governor of the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home, a continuing care retirement community for enlisted retirees and veterans located in Washington, D.C. In 2002 he became the CEO & Executive Director of the Army Distaff Foundation-Knollwood, a retirement community for retired career officers of all armed services and their spouses, also located in Washington, D.C.
Following his retirement at Knollwood he served as a Senior Consultant for the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. As a representative of the organization he significantly impacted the lives of thousands of Vietnam veterans and their families as he thanked and honored them in their hometowns.
Awards and decorations received include: Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), French Legion of Merit (Grade of Commander), 15 Air Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Combat Infantryman Badge and Master Parachutist Badge.
Major General Hilbert was a true leader and great husband, father and friend. He was loved by all and will be sadly missed. He built many lifelong friendships during his military career and was especially close to his West Point alumni brethren. He enjoyed being surrounded by friends and family and was a staple at regular gatherings of colleagues at the Hunter's Inn in Potomac, MD and the Army Navy Club, Washington, DC.
He spent summers with his extended family and friends in Breezy Point, NY, a beach community where he grew up and met his childhood sweetheart and bride of 38 years, Chickie. He was a dedicated fan and longtime season ticket holder of the Washington Redskins and followed the Nationals closely. He also enjoyed a round of golf with his friends at the Avenel Golf Club.
He was married to Marie (Chickie) Hilbert until her death in 1994. He was married to Carla S. Hilbert from 1997 until her passing in 2014. Survivors include five children, Suzanne (Joe) Neurauter of Wilmington, NC; Donald Hilbert, Jr. of Atlanta, GA; Catherine (Jim) Cowan, of Breezy Point, NY; Marianne (Paul) Smith of Suwanee, GA and James (Agnes) Hilbert of Severna Park, MD., a sister, Judith Grace of Pocono Lake, PA, and seven grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements will be handled by Demaine Funeral Home, Alexandria, VA. A celebration of his life, and subsequent internment at Arlington National Cemetery, will be held at a later date.
The Washington Post
May 24, 2020