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First Name: Ferdinand

Last Name: Chesarek

Birthplace: Calumet, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Joseph

Date of Birth: 18 February 1914

Date of Death: 20 November 1993

Rank: General

Years Served: 1938-1970
Ferdinand Joseph Chesarek

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1938

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Ferdinand Joseph Chesarek
General, U.S. Army

Ferdinand Joseph Chesarek was born on 18 February 1914 in Calumet, MI. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy with the Class of 1938 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery.

In November 1943, Chesarek went to the European Theater of Operations to become Commanding Officer of the 28th Field Artillery Battalion, 8th Infantry Division. He participated in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe campaigns.

Chesarek returned to the U.S. in July 1945 for assignment to the War Department General Staff in Washington, DC, where he served as a legislative officer in the Logistics Division. From June 1948 to April 1950, Chesarek attended Stanford University and received his Master's Degree in Business Administration. He returned to the Pentagon to serve as Assistant to the Chairman, Munitions Board, until February 1953 when he entered the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, VA.

After graduation in July 1953, Chesarek went to Korea to serve with Headquarters, Eighth U.S. Army. In May 1954, he took command of the 5th Artillery Group, which consisted of six U.S. and four Korean artillery battalions. In January 1955, General Chesarek was assigned as Chief of the Military Personnel and Manpower Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, until August 1955 when he attended the National War College. Following graduation in June 1956, he served as Military Assistant and Executive Officer to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. In addition, he acted as International Conference Coordinator for the Secretary of Defense and participated in twelve major international conferences as a Defense Member of the U.S. delegation. During this assignment, he also attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University.

In August 1959, Chesarek became the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Communications Zone, Europe. He went to Italy in July 1960 to be Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force. He returned to France in March 1961 for duty as Commanding General, 4th Logistical Command.

In October 1962, he was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, first as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (Materiel Readiness) and then, from August 1964, as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (Programs). He was appointed Comptroller of the Army on 1 August 1966 and served in this assignment until 1 August 1967. Upon the reorganization of the Office of the Chief of Staff on 16 February 1967, he was designated the first occupant of the newly created position of Assistant Vice Chief of Staff from February 1967 to May 1968.

One of the highlights of Chesarek's career was his tour of the United Kingdom in May 1968 as the U.S. 1968 Kermit Roosevelt Lecturer, during which he addressed the students at many British military schools. On 8 July 1968, Chesarek was appointed Senior U.S. Army Member of the Military Staff Committee of the United Nations, in addition to his primary duty as Assistant Vice Chief of Staff.

On 10 March 1969, he was promoted to General as the second Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command, where he served until retiring in October 1970.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Army Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal with Combat Valor Device and Oak Leaf Cluster
Purple Heart
Air Medal
Army Commendation Medal
American Defense Medal
American Theater Campaign Medal with Bronze Star
Asia Pacific Medal
European, African, Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four Campaign Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Croix de Guerre with Palm and Star (French)
Croix de Guerre (Luxembourg)
Legion of Honor (French)
Order of Ulchi with Silver Star (Korea)
Order of Merit of the Italian Republic Medal (Italy)
Order of Cloud and Banner (China)
Order of National Security Merit-First Class (Korea)
Army Staff Identification Badge
Army Secretary of Defense Identification Badge

Death and Burial

General Ferdinand Joseph Chesarek died on 20 November 1993. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.


Origin of Nickname/Handle:
First part of his last name.

Honoree ID: 203   Created by: MHOH




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