Edward Rowny

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Edward Leon Rowny
Edward Rowny.jpg
Lieutenant General Edward L. Rowny
Born (1917-04-03) April 3, 1917 (age 99)
Baltimore, Maryland
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1941-1979
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held 317th Engineer Combat Battalion, 92nd Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Combat Infantryman Badge
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (3)
Legion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star (2)
Air Medal
Presidential Citizen Medal
Order of Polonia Restituta - Commander

Edward Leon Rowny (born April 3, 1917)[1] is an American, retired United States Army Lieutenant General of Polish origin. He was a commanding officer in World War II and Korea, a military advisor to five U.S. presidents and a negotiator on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

Biography[edit]

Edward L. Rowny was born in Baltimore, Maryland on April 3, 1917 where his father had emigrated from Poland in 1912. His mother was born in the United States, her parents having come from Poland in 1887. Rowny was raised by his maternal grandmother, Adamina Radziszewski, who was well-educated, and spoke five languages fluently. She steeped Edward in knowledge of Polish history and culture particularly about Thaddeus Kosciuszko and Casimir Pulaski, Polish officers who fought in the American Revolution. She introduced him to the music and career of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, the famous Polish composer, pianist and statesman.

General Rowny graduated from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, an engineering high school, in 1933. During college, as a Polish American, he chose to pursue a trip through the Kosciusko Scholarship to explore Polish culture and history in Krakow.[2] Rowny earned a BS from Johns Hopkins University in Engineering, and holds degrees from West Point, Yale (MAs in Engineering and International Affairs) and American University (PhD in International Studies).

General Rowny commanded troops in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. After the 92nd Infantry Division was decimated in the invasion of Italy in 1944, Rowny was brought in as a battalion commander that drove the Germans up the Western coast of Italy until the end of the war. A day after the end of World War II in Europe, he was assigned to planning the invasion of Japan.

Assigned to General Douglas MacArthur, he became his spokesman and one of the planners of the landing of Inchon (September 15, 1950), which forced a North Korean retreat and enabled the taking of Seoul. Rowny air dropped a bridge to cross a chasm permitting the rescue of the surrounded Marines and Army troops at the Chosin Reservoir. He was in charge of the evacuation of U.S. troops which rescued one hundred thousand North Koreans who wished to join South Korea.

During the Vietnam War he tested the helicopter as a platform for the Army to fight insurgency. Subsequently, as deputy chief to General Andrew P. O'Meara he was in charge of relocation of NATO troops from France.

In 1971 he was appointed the US representative to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) and held this post under three presidents: Nixon, Ford and Carter. In June, 1979 he retired from the Army in protest over President Carter's signing of the SALT II Treaty which he believed would undermine United States security. He subsequently led the fight to prevent the Congress from ratifying the faulty SALT II Treaty. After the election of President Reagan, General Rowny was appointed to the rank of Ambassador as the President's chief negotiator on Strategic Nuclear Arms (START). During his second term, President Reagan appointed Rowny his Special Advisor on Arms Control. He was awarded the Presidential Citizen Medal[1] with the citation: "Rowny was one of the chief architects of peace through strength", Rowny continued as President George H.W. Bush's special advisor for arms control for the first two years of his term.

In 1990, General Rowny retired from the Government after fifty years of Government service to become an international consultant on negotiations. He also began advising the Administration and Congress on National Security matters and combating terrorism which he continues to this day. In 1992 he authored It Takes One to Tango, a memoir of his service to five presidents and his dealings with the Soviets.

In 1992, Rowny fulfilled his fifty-year ambition to return the remains of Ignacy Jan Paderewski to Poland. Paderewski was not only a famous composer and pianist but an eminent statesman. He inspired the 13th of President Wilson's 14 points for the Versailles Treaty which resurrected a free and democratic Poland. Paderewski became Poland's first Prime Minister a post he held from 1918 to 1921.

In 2003, Ambassador Rowny became the Vice President of the American Polish Advisory Council (APAC) an organization which promotes Polonia's Agenda and encourages them to vote and become government officials. When President Nicholas Rey died in 2007 Rowny became President of APAC an office he still holds.

In 2004, he established the Paderewski Scholarship Fund to bring Polish University students to Georgetown University to study American style democracy.

In 2005, the 25th anniversary of Solidarity, he received the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, along with John Paul II, Anna Walentynowicz and the ten million unsung heroes of first free trade union, Solidarity.

In 2007, Rowny received the Walter Judd Freedom Award from The Fund for American Studies.

Rowny married Elizabeth Ladd in 1994 and has five children from his former wife Mary Rita who died in 1988.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver Star with two bronze oak leaf clusters[1]
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters[1]
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster
Air Medal ribbon.svg Air Medal
Prescitmed.gif Presidential Citizens Medal
American Defense Service ribbon.svg American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg Army of Occupation Medal
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
Korean Service Medal - Ribbon.svg Korean Service Medal
AFEMRib.svg Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
POL Polonia Restituta Komandorski BAR.svg Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
United Nations Medal.svg United Nations Medal
United Nations Service Medal for Korea Ribbon.svg United Nations Korea Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png Vietnam Campaign Medal
US Army Airborne master parachutist badge.gif Army Airborne Master Parachutist

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d American Polish Advisory Council – Gen. Edward L. Rowny
  2. ^ "A Great American with a Polish Heart: General Edward L. Rowny". Cosmopolitan Review. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]