U.S. Army General Frederick Carlton Weyand, who served in three wars and held numerous positions including Army Chief of Staff and commander of the U.S. Army Pacific during a 38-year military career, died on February 10, 2010.
The 94-year old war hero was put to rest on Saturday February 27th at the National Memorial Cemetery Of The Pacific.
Weyand was best known for serving as the last commander of American military operations in the Vietnam War from 1972-1973 and as the 28th US Army Chief of Staff from 1974 to 1976.
The final survivor of four US commanders in Vietnam, including Gen. Creighton Abrams, Gen. William Westmoreland and Gen. Paul Harkins, Weyand was never blamed for the U.S. problems in Vietnam.
Born in Arbuckle, California, in 1916, Weyand went through ROTC at the University of California, Berkeley. He majored in fine arts, also studying criminology and serving one year as a local policeman before graduating in 1939 as a second lieutenant. Three years later, he was in Burma where Gen. Joseph Stillwell was training Chinese forces to fight the Japanese.
Weyand, one of the rare top commanders who did not attend West Point, began serving as a combat officer in Vietnam in 1966. He was known as an acute analyst of intelligence data.
Among Weyand’s awards are the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star Medal. After retirement he was presented the prestigious Doughboy Award by the Infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1998.
During the Korean War, he received The Combat Infantry Badge and the Silver Star for gallantry in combat while commanding the 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment. Under his leadership, the battalion earned a Presidential Unit Citation for helping to turn back the 1951 Chinese spring offensive.
Speaking at Weyand’s service last Saturday, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki told the story of the first time he met Weyand. “We were at a forward operating base in Vietnam. It was like John Wayne had just arrived.”
To be sure, the 6 foot, 5 inch Weyand was physically an imposing sight, but Shinseki was quick to point out that it was much more than Weyand’s size that made him a force to reckon with: his devotion to duty, distinguished service in war and peace, and love for friends, family and the soldiers who served in his command all made him the man who so many looked up to. Shinseki says that in three decades, he never heard the general say a bad word about anyone.
A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job. General Weyand was a man who had a clear sense of right and wrong, and was consistent in what he believed. In his life and his work, the General lived the core values that are the Army’s character