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First Name: John

Last Name: Foss

Birthplace: Hutchinson, MN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: William

Date of Birth: 13 February 1933

Rank: General

Years Served: 1950-1952 (enlisted), 1956-1991 (officer)
John William Foss

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1956

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


John William Foss
General, U.S. Army

John William Foss was born on 13 February 1933 in Hutchinson, MN. He began his military career when he enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard's 136th Infantry Regiment in April 1950. He transferred to active duty as an infantryman in 1951. Foss received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry upon his graduation in 1956.

He has held a variety of command and staff positions. His overseas tours include four in Europe and four in Asia. Foss served as a platoon leader in the 504th and 187th Infantry Regiments in both Germany and Lebanon and commanded a rifle company in the 3rd Battalion, 32nd Infantry in Korea. He served two combat tours in Vietnam with the 4th Infantry Division as the Operations Officer, 2nd Brigade and as the Commander of the 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry.

His commands include the 3d Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division; the U.S. Army Infantry School and Fort Benning, GA; the 82nd Airborne Division; the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, NC; and Commanding General, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

He also served as an instructor at the U.S. Military Academy; the first exchange instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst; the G-3 of III Corps; Chief of the Joint Military Advisory Group, Manila, Philippines; Commanding General, Seventh Army Training Command in Germany; the U.S. Army Chief of Infantry; and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Department of the Army. He retired from the Army on 1 September 1991.


In addition to his Bachelor of Science degree from the USMA, he holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg State College.

Medals, Awards, Badges & Tabs

Army Distinguished Service Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal with Numeral 73
Army Commendation Medal with Combat Valor Device and 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon with Award Numeral 5
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Vietnam Civil Actions Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Infantryman Badge
Master Parachutist Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Ranger Tab


In September 2009, Foss was awarded the Doughboy Award by the National Infantry Association.

In Retirement

After retirement Foss and his wife, Gloria, live in Williamsburg, VA. Foss has been Chairman of the Commission on the U.S. Army Reserve Command; served as a consultant to various defense industries; been on the Board of Advisors to both the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and the National Infantry Foundation; has been Senior Mentor to Senior Joint Warfighting Course, Armed Forces Staff College; and is a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Land Warfare of the Association of the U.S. Army.


Currently he resides with his wife, Gloria; dog (Charlotte) and cat (Ginger). He has three grown children: John W. Foss, Jr., (wife Theresa), Houston, TX currently working at NASA JSC; Kevin M. Foss (wife Cristina), Portsmouth, VA, currently teaching Biology, Chemistry and Marine Science at Chesapeake Bay Academy, Virginia Beach, VA; and Julia Dunn (husband Jimmy) of Virginia Beach, VA. Through Julia the Foss' have three grandchildren: Bryana, Kyla and Brady.

Honoree ID: 227   Created by: MHOH




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