Andrew Goodpaster

Andrew Goodpaster
White House Staff Secretary
In office
October 1954  January 20, 1961
President Dwight Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Preceded by Pete Carroll
Succeeded by Bill Hartigan
Personal details
Born (1915-02-12)February 12, 1915
Granite City, Illinois, U.S.
Died May 16, 2005(2005-05-16) (aged 90)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Alma mater United States Military Academy
Princeton University
Military service
Nickname(s) "GoodP"
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1939–1974
Rank General
Commands 8th Infantry Division
Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
Battles/wars World War II
Cold War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Purple Heart (2)
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Medal of Freedom

Andrew Jackson Goodpaster (February 12, 1915 – May 16, 2005) was an American Army General. He served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) from July 1, 1969 and Commander in Chief of the United States European Command (CINCEUR) from May 5, 1969 until his retirement December 17, 1974.[1] As such, he was the commander of all NATO (SACEUR) and United States (CINCEUR) military forces stationed in Europe and the surrounding regions.

General Goodpaster returned to service in June 1977 as the 51st Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York until he retired again in July 1981.


Goodpaster entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1935, followed in 1939 by a commission as a second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers after graduating second in his class of 456. After serving in Panama, he returned to the U.S. in mid-1942, and in 1943, he attended a wartime course at the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

During World War II, Goodpaster commanded the 48th Engineer Combat Battalion in North Africa and Italy. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts for his service in World War II. His combat experience was cut short in January 1944, when he was severely wounded and sent back to the United States to recover. After his wounds had healed, he was assigned to the War Planning Office under General Marshall, where he served the duration of the war.

Goodpaster was seen by many as the quintessential "soldier-scholar". At Princeton University he earned an M.S. in Engineering and an M.A. in 1949 and then earned a Ph.D. in International Affairs, also from Princeton, in 1950.

Key assignments

First retirement

After retiring in 1974, he served as senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 1975-76, and taught at The Citadel. His book, For the Common Defense was published in 1977.[2]

He was brought back to active duty as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy (1977–1981) after 1976 West Point cheating scandal involving 151 cadets (see also, 1951 West Point cheating scandal). Although he had retired with the rank of General (four star), he voluntarily served as superintendent at the lower rank of Lieutenant General (three stars), since the billet carries that rank.

Second retirement and later years

In 1981, when Goodpaster retired for the second time, being advanced back to four-star rank. He stayed active in retirement serving on various boards and working on his own memoirs. He died at age 90 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.[3][4]

Advocacy for the elimination of nuclear weapons

In his later years, Goodpaster was vocal in advocating the reduction of nuclear weapons. Later his position evolved to advocating for elimination of all nuclear weapons. In September 1994, he commented, "Increasingly, nuclear weapons are seen to constitute a nuisance and a danger rather than a benefit or a source of strength."[5] In 1996, along with General Lee Butler and Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, Goodpaster co-authored a statement for the Global Security Institute advocating the complete elimination of nuclear weapons due to their danger and lack of military utility.[6]

Civilian service

Goodpaster was a fellow at the Eisenhower Institute, and the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington. He served on American Security Council and founded the Committee on the Present Danger, emphasizing the Soviet Union's military threat and a corresponding need for a strong defense for the United States.

He served as a trustee and a chairman of the George C. Marshall Foundation, which established the Andrew J. Goodpaster Award to honor, "American business leaders, politicians, military leaders and others who have served our nation in exemplary ways, who, like General Goodpaster, have exhibited great courage, selfless service, patriotism and leadership in their lives and careers."[7] Among the recipients were John P. Jumper, Raymond T. Odierno, Gordon R. Sullivan, and Brent Scowcroft.

For many years in retirement, Goodpaster was a trustee of St. Mary's College of Maryland, playing important roles in advancing the school to national prominence. A building on the school's campus, Goodpaster Hall, is named in his honor.[8]



Listed in order of date published, the last is first:

See also


  1. "General Andrew J. Goodpaster , USA". NATO. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  2. Andrew J. Goodpaster. For the Common Defense. Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books, 1977.
  3. David Stout. Andrew J. Goodpaster, 90, Soldier and Scholar, Dies, The New York Times, May 17, 2005.
  4. Adam Bernstein. Gen. Andrew Goodpaster, Presidential Adviser, Dies, Washington Post, May 17, 2005.
  5. Global Security Institute: Quotations by world leaders on the dangers of nuclear arms Archived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. Global Security Institute website
  7. The Andrew J. Goodpaster Award
  8. Jesse Yeatman. St. Mary’s College dedicates ‘green’ Goodpaster Hall, Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, October 17, 2007.
  9. Original citation and the corrected press release are in the Andrew J. Goodpaster Collection, Charleston, SC. Goodpaster himself was the original source for the information about the mistake and his statements were corroborated by John S. D. Eisenhower, who read the citation at the ceremony in 1961. Goodpaster's DD-214 and other official documents make no mention of the Medal of Freedom during his military career and he never wore it on his uniform. The Medal of Freedom referenced by the press release is not the current incarnation of the award; the earlier version, created by Harry Truman, was of a lower order of precedence than the Distinguished Service Medal and specific to civilian personnel. See item 3, Executive Order 9586, 10 Fed. Reg. 8523 (July 10, 1945) and item 3, Executive Order 10336, 17 Fed. Reg. 2957 (April 5, 1952).
  10. President Gerald Ford’s remarks at the retirement ceremony of Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, December 19, 1974
  11. Quoted from the announcement of the Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, February 21, 1984

Further reading

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Pete Carroll
White House Staff Secretary
Succeeded by
Bill Hartigan
Military offices
Preceded by
Lyman Lemnitzer
Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Succeeded by
Alexander Haig
Preceded by
Sidney Berry
Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
Willard Scott
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