Blanchard, George S.
1975 TLS as US Army VII Corps Commander in Europe
Autograph ID: 6818
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1920-2006) US Army General, served as Commander in Chief, US Army Europe/ Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/ COMCENTAG) 1975-79. USMA 1944 (graduated June 6th, D-Day), served with 70th & 78th Infantry Divs. in Europe. Post-war, he served on the general staff of US Forces, European Theater, and as an assistant to General Omar Bradley when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After being promoted to colonel in 1959, he assumed command of the 2nd Airborne Battle Group, 503rd Infantry, 82nd Airborne Div., and served as G-3 of I-Corps in Korea. In 1966, Blanchard went to Vietnam and served as Asst. Division Commander, 1st Cavalry Div. (Airmobile) and later as Chief of Staff, I Field Force, Vietnam. After Vietnam, he was Director of Special Warfare in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations; and Director of Plans, Programs and Budget for 2 major Army General Staff organizations, and served as XO to 2 Secretaries of the Army. After service at the Pentagon, he led the 82nd Airborne Division in 1970 then returned to Europe to command VII Corps and subsequently US Army Europe, as the army transitioned to an all-volunteer force. He is credited with instituting the use of TV to broadcast command information and the Sergeant Morales competition in 1973, to improve morale and performance of the NCO corps. Blanchard was also known for his attempts to combat alcoholism, including banning discount drinks during happy hours in post clubs, prohibiting units from holding drinking contests, and opening the 1st alcoholism treatment center in Europe for officers and senior enlisted soldiers. He retired in 1979 and established General Analysis Inc., a defense consulting firm.
TLS “George” as Lieutenant General on 8 ½ x 7 3-star flag letterhead, APO New York, May 13 1975, to Major General DeWitt C. Smith Jr. (“DeWitt”), Commandant, US Army War College. General Blanchard thanks Smith for his letter of congratulations upon his recent nomination as CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG, reflects on incidents at Ft. Carson regarding Smith’s comment that Blanchard has “human blood in his veins”. Blanchard hears good things from AWC students and is confident that “we will move our future commanders and staff officers in the right direction.” One word corrected by Blanchard in text.
DeWITT C. SMITH,JR. (1920 -1985) US Army officer, former deputy Army Chief of Staff, twice (and longest-serving) Army War College commandant 1974 -77, 1978-80. Joined the Army 1942, commissioned 2nd lieutenant, with the 4th Armored Div. in combat after Normandy to the end of the War. Wounded 3 times, awarded Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, and 3 Purple Hearts. Discharged 1946, returned to active duty in Korea and stayed in the military. He was an aide to Chief of Staff Maxwell Taylor, served in the “Old Guard” at Fort Myer, a battalion XO and commander in Germany. He served at the Pentagon before going to the Army War College. Led a combat brigade of the 1st Infantry in Vietnam. In 1970, under his leadership, Fort Carson, Colo. was made an initial test site for the modern volunteer Army concept. After his stints at the War College, he retired in 1980.”