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First Name: Joseph

Last Name: Palastra

Birthplace: Portsmouth, NH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Thomas

Date of Birth: 10 November 1931

Rank: General

Years Served: 1954-1989
Joseph Thomas Palastra, Jr.

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

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Joseph Thomas Palastra, Jr.
General, U.S. Army

Joseph Thomas Palastra, Jr. was born on 10 November 1931 in Portsmouth, NH. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1954 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. Palastra also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Auburn University. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses; the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; and the Air War College.

In 1968-69 Palastra served in Vietnam as Commander, B Company, 4th Aviation Battalion, and as Commander, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, in Vietnam's highlands. Palastra was a War-Plans staff officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations, Washington, DC, and, after attending the Air War College, returned to Washington to serve as a Force Structure Analyst in the Office of the Chief of Staff.

Palastra also commanded the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY, and served as Deputy Director for Estimates in the Defense Intelligence Agency.

His other key assignments include Commanding General, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) Fort Polk, LA; Chief of Staff, Eighth U.S. Army/U.S. Forces Korea; and Deputy Commander-in-Chief / Chief of Staff, U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, HI. Palastra also commanded I Corps in Fort Lewis, WA.

From 1986-89, he served as Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM). During his tenure, in 1987, the title was changed to Commander in Chief, Forces Command (CINCFOR). He retired from active service in 1989.

Medals, Awards, Badges and Tabs

Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with Numeral 8
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
Combat Infantryman Badge
Senior Aviator Badge
Senior Parachutist Badge
Office of Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge
Ranger Tab


Palastra is married to the former Anne Rich. They have a son and four daughters.

Honoree ID: 297   Created by: MHOH




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