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First Name: John

Last Name: Coburn

Birthplace: Corretta, WV, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Gordon

Date of Birth: 09 October 1941

Rank: General

Years Served: 1963-2001
John Gordon Coburn

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)
•  Gulf War (1990 - 1991)


John Gordon Coburn
General, U.S. Army

John Gordon Coburn was born on 9 October 1941 in Corretta, WV. He is a distinguished military graduate of Eastern Michigan University, where he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. As a member of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1963.

His assignments have included:

1963-64 Special Weapons Platoon Leader, Savanna Army Depot, IL.

1967-68 Assistant G-3 (Operations), II Field Force Vietnam, U.S. Army, Vietnam.

1968-71 Executive Officer, Defense Contract Administration Services Region, Defense Supply Agency, New York, NY.

1972-73 Plant/Depot Commander, Taiwan Materiel Agency, AMC, Taiwan.

1975-77 Procurement Officer, Procurement and Production Directorate, Headquarters, U.S. Army Materiel Command; Senior Advisor, Training and Personnel, U.S. Army Engineer District-Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

1977-78 Executive Officer, Battlefield Systems Directorate, Headquarters, U.S. Army Materiel Command.

1978-80 Commander, Defense Contract Administration Services Management Area, Defence Logistics Agency, South Bend, IN.

1980-82 Commander, 124th Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, TX.

1982-83 Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4 (Logistics), 2nd Armored Division.

1984-86 Commander, Division Support Command, 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, TX.

1987-89 Commander of Materiel Readiness Support Activity, Lexington, KY.

1989-91 Deputy Chief of Staff for Procurement, U.S. Army Materiel Command.

April 1991 to July 1991 Deputy Commanding General, 22nd Theater Army Support Command, Saudi Arabia.

1991-92 Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany.

Other assignments in his career include Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), Alexandria, VA, and Commanding General, U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.

He also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, U.S. Army, Pentagon and, on 14 May 1999, he assumed the duties of Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command.

Coburn attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS, and then the University of Kansas, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Political Science. He is also a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort McNair, Washington, DC, and has a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri School of Law. He is licensed to practice law before the Supreme Court, State of Michigan; Supreme Court, State of Kentucky; District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States.

General Coburn retired from active Army Service in 2001.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze Star Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Award
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star
Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Medal
Army Staff Identification Badge

In Retirement

General Coburn has extensive experience in the areas of logistics and contracting. Further, he has extensive experience in International relations and business, both international and domestic. He is also a noted author.

He is Chairman and CEO of VT Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), a global company, which he joined in November 2001 and grew from 61 million dollars to 1.3 billion dollars.


General Coburn, a native of Kentucky, married Janice Pepper of Ypsilanti, MI; they have three sons, John, Robert and Matthew. A daughter, Kayleen Ruth Coburn, was born 19 December 1965 and died 20 December 1965.

Honoree ID: 208   Created by: MHOH




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