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First Name: Frederick

Last Name: Woerner

Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Frank

Date of Birth: 12 August 1933

Rank: General

Years Served: 1955-1989
Frederick Frank Woerner, Jr.

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1955

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Frederick Frank Woerner, Jr.
General, U.S. Army

Frederick Frank Woerner, Jr. was born on 12 August 1933 in Philadelphia, PA. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry upon graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1955. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in Latin American History from the University of Arizona.

Woerner served in assignments in the U.S., Vietnam, and Latin America. He initially went to Vietnam in 1962 as an advisor, and following his tour there, spent the next 4 years in Latin America. His assignments in Latin America included living in Colombia in 1965, and spending a year studying and traveling throughout northern South America. He spent the next three years in Guatemala as a military advisor, focusing on using military forces in national socioeconomic development, an assignment which earned him a Legion of Merit. He was chosen to attend the Uruguayan Military Institute of Superior Studies in Montevideo. He also was Director of Latin American studies at the U.S. Army War College.

He assumed command of the 193rd Infantry Brigade in Panama from 1982-86, and was concurrently Commander of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Agency, Latin America. He served as the Commanding General of the Sixth U.S. Army at the Presidio of San Francisco from March 1986 to June 1987. Following this assignment, he became the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Southern Command in 1987, and was promoted to four-star rank.

He was relieved of command by President George H. W. Bush in 1989 prior to Operation Just Cause. Woerner had publicly criticized the Bush administration's policy in Panama in February 1989, saying the "Bush Administration was not prepared to deal with Panama's political crisis because of a 'policy vacuum' caused by the change of Administrations." Though Pentagon officials denied a connection, the announcement of Woerner's ouster came a week after a Panamanian official suggested the removal of Woerner as part of a deal to lead to Manuel Noriega's resignation as President of Panama.

Medals, Awards, Badges & Tabs

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Bronze Star Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal
Army Commendation Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon with Award Numeral 5
Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star
Combat Infantryman Badge
Master Parachutist Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge
Ranger Tab

Other Awards

Argentine Order of May of Military Merit (Grand Officer Grade)
El Salvadoran Gold Medal for Merit
El Salvadoran Gold Medal for Distinguished Service
Guatemalan Cross of Military Merit First Class
Honduran Armed Forces Cross
Panamanian Distinguished Service Medal
Venezuelan Star of Carabobo
Ecuadorian Parachutist Badge
Guatemalan Parachutist Badge
Honduran Parachutist Badge
Panamanian Parachutist Badge
Paraguayan Parachutist Badge
Uruguayan General Staff Badge

In Retirement

Woerner has been Professor of International Relations at Boston University. He has also worked as a consultant or associate with several companies, such as Burdeshaw Associates; Military Professional Resources; and Sumner Associates. He has been a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton; The MITRE Corporation; Science Applications International Corporation; and Grupo Melo, a Panamanian corporation. He served as Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission from 1994 to 2001.

Honoree ID: 363   Created by: MHOH




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