George Samuel Blanchard
Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1944
Engagements: • World War II (1941 - 1945)• Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)
George Samuel Blanchard
George Samuel Blanchard was born on 3 April 1920 in Washington, DC. He graduated from Eastern High School in 1938 and then attended American University from 1938 to 1940. He enlisted in the National Guard, serving in the Coast Artillery and rising to the rank of Sergeant. He received a National Guard appointment to the U.S. Military Academy and graduated on D-Day, 6 June 1944. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry and deployed to Europe, where he served with the 70th and 78th Infantry Divisions.
After World War II, he served on the General Staff of U.S. Forces, European Theater, and then returned to the U.S. to earn a Master of Science degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell Graduate School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1949.
Blanchard served in various assignments during the 1950s. He was an assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Omar Bradley; a Tactics Instructor at the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA; and as a Military Advisor in Taiwan during 1955-57.
After his promotion to Colonel in 1959, Blanchard assumed command of the 2nd Airborne Battle Group, 503rd Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division and subsequently served as the G-3 of I Corps in Korea. In 1966, he went to Vietnam and served as Assistant Division Commander, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), and later served as Chief of Staff, I Field Force, Vietnam. Following his time in Vietnam, he was assigned as Director of Special Warfare in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations; Director of Plans, Programs and Budget for two major Army General Staff organizations, and served as Executive Officer to two Secretaries of the Army.
After his Pentagon assignments, he took command of the 82nd Airborne Division in 1970. He next returned to Europe to command the VII Corps, and subsequently U.S. Army, Europe, as the Army was transitioning to an all-volunteer force. He is credited with instituting the use of television to broadcast command information. He also instituted the Sergeant Morales competition in 1973; a program designed to improve the morale and performance of the NCO Corps. Blanchard was also known for his attempts to combat alcoholism in the Army, which included banning discount drinks during happy hours in post clubs, prohibiting units from holding drinking contests, and opening the first alcoholism treatment center in Europe for officers and senior enlisted soldiers.
General Blanchard served as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG) from 1975 to 1979. He retired from active duty in 1979.
His military education included the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Basic Airborne Course, Command and General Staff College and the Armed Forces Staff College.
Medals, Awards & Badges
Army Distinguished Service Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
The Association of Graduates, the U.S. Military Academy alumni organization, selected him as the 2001 recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award.
Blanchard retired to McLean, Virginia, where he established General Analysis Inc., a defense consulting firm. He was also a member of the Atlantic Council Board, the Army Science Board, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs and President of both the Retired Officers Association and the United Service Organizations in the 1980s.
In 1990, the Blanchards moved to North Carolina, where he helped organize a program where retirees tutor the illiterate. He and his wife returned to Virginia in 2002 to live at The Fairfax, a military retirement community in Fort Belvoir.
Death and Burial
General George Samuel Blanchard died of pneumonia on 3 May 2006 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital at the age of 86. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 30, Site 938-C.
At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Beth H. Blanchard, four daughters, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
|Honoree ID: 190||Created by: MHOH|