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First Name: Frederick

Last Name: Kroesen Jr.

Birthplace: Phillipsburg, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Lawrence Township, NJ
Middle Name: James

Date of Birth: 11 February 1923

Date of Death: 30 April 2020

Rank: General

Years Served: 1943-1983
Frederick James Kroesen Jr.

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Frederick James Kroesen, Jr.
General, U.S. Army

Frederick James Kroesen, Jr. was born on 11 February 1923 in Phillipsburg, NJ, and is a graduate of Rutgers University. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs at George Washington University.

Kroesen commanded troops in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He fought in World War II with the 254th Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division. He was a company grade officer, serving as platoon leader, and company commander, in the fighting in the Colmar Pocket and into Germany. He participated in the particularly tough fighting in Jebsheim.

He was Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command from 1976 to 1978. He served as Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1978 to 1979.

From 1979 to 1983, he served as Commanding General of the Seventh U.S. Army in Germany and as Commander of NATO Central Army Group. He also served as Commander of U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR).

General Kroesen was injured in Heidelberg (where Seventh Army and USAREUR Headquarters are located) on 15 September 1981, when his armored Mercedes staff car was targeted with a RPG-7 anti-tank rocket and automatic rifle fire as he and his wife, Rowena, motored along a Heidelberg street on the way to the dentist. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the "Kommando Gudrun Ensslin" of the Red Army Faction (aka Baader-Meinhof Gang).

Rowena recalled that she looked at her husband and saw blood running down his neck. The two were taken to the hospital, where bits of glass were removed from their skin and clothes. Then General Kroesen went to Fulda to give a talk and Rowena went on to the dentist.

General Kroesen retired from active duty in 1983.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal with "Valor" Device and 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Purple Heart with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal with Award Numeral 29
Army Commendation Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Good Conduct Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star
Korean Service Medal with Bronze Star
Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon with Award Numeral 3
Vietnam Military Merit Medal
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Medal with Palm
United Nations Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Army Presidential Unit Citation with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Combat Infantryman Badge with 2 Stars (3rd Award)
Master Parachutist Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge

Other Medals and Awards

French Legion of Honour (Officer)
National Order of Vietnam (degree of Officer)
National Order of Vietnam (degree of Knight)
Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Knight Commander's Cross)

In Retirement

After retiring from the Army, Kroesen became a businessman. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Military Professional Resources Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Land Warfare of the Association of the U.S. Army. He is also the Vice-President of the American Security Council Foundation.


General Thoughts: Seventy Years with the Army. Publisher: Institute of Land Warfare, Association of the U.S. Army, 2003.

Honoree ID: 267   Created by: MHOH




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