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First Name: Robert

Last Name: McDermott

Birthplace: Boston, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: F.

Date of Birth: 31 July 1920

Date of Death: 28 August 2006

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served:
Robert F. McDermott

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


Robert F. McDermott
Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force

Robert F. McDermott was born on 31 July 1920 in Boston, MA.

McDermott graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1943, learned to fly, and joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. Assigned to the 474th Fighter Bomber Group as Deputy Group Operations Officer, he flew 61 combat missions during World War II in the European Theatre.

After the war, he remained in Europe on General Dwight D. Eisenhower's staff as Adviser for the Air Force. In 1954, he was assigned to the newly established U.S. Air Force Academy as Professor of Economics and was appointed Dean of Faculty in 1956. In 1959, President Eisenhower appointed McDermott the first Permanent Dean of Faculty and promoted him to Brigadier General.

While at the Academy, he pioneered innovations that changed the face of service academy education and became universally acknowledged as the ``Father of Modern Military Education.''

After retiring for the Air Force in 1968, he joined USAA (United Services Automobile Association) as Executive Vice President; he became its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1969. Through his management, the USAA became a successful worldwide insurance and diversified financial service worth $30 billion in assets. He retired from USAA in 1993 and, in recognition for his business and educational activities, was inducted into the American National Business Hall of Fame.

Death and Burial

Brigadier General Robert F. McDermott died from complications of a stroke on 28 August 2006 in San Antonio, TX. He is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX.

Honoree ID: 2828   Created by: MHOH




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