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First Name: John

Last Name: Galvin

Birthplace: Wakefield, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Rogers

Date of Birth: 13 May 1929

Rank: General

Years Served: 1954 - 1992
John Rogers Galvin

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1954

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


John Rogers Galvin
General, U.S. Army

John Rogers Galvin was born on 13 May 1929.

Galvin began his service as an enlisted man in the Massachusetts National Guard in 1947. He received an appointment to the U. S. Military Academy and graduated with the Class of 1954.

During his career, Galvin had the rare opportunity to command 2 different Department of Defense Unified Commands. He served as Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command in Panama from 1985 to 1987 and as Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command from 26 June 1987 to 23 June 1992. During his assignment as Commander, U.S. European Command, he also served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. Prior to being Commander, U.S. Southern Command, General Galvin served as Commander of VII Corps from July 1983- February 1985.

During his time as SACEUR, many stay-behind networks in Europe were dismantled. The process started with revelations by Italy's then prime minister, Giulio Andreotti, who disclosed to the Italian Parliament the existence of a Gladio stay-behind anti-communist paramilitary network headed by NATO and present in most European countries.

General Galvin retired from the Army in June 1992.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross
Soldier's Medal
Bronze Star Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with Valor Device
Combat Infantryman Badge
Senior Parachutist Badge

Foreign Awards

Great Cross of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany
Ordre de la L├ęgion d'honneur Grand Officier
Spanish Order of Military Merit Grand Cross
Order of Orange-Nassau Grand Cross, 1992


The U.S. Military Academy awarded Galvin the 1997 Distinguished Graduate Award.

The Galvin Middle School in Wakefield, MA, is named after General Galvin.

In Retirement

General John Rogers Galvin has served as Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston, MA. He also served as a member of the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century.


Galvin lives with his wife Ginny and they have four daughters.

Honoree ID: 231   Created by: MHOH




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