Ferdinand J. Chesarek

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Ferdinand J. Chesarek
Ferdinand J. Chesarek portrait.jpg
General Ferdinand J. Chesarek
Born February 18, 1914
Calumet, Michigan
Died November 20, 1993(1993-11-20) (aged 79)
Nashville, Tennessee
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1938-1970
Rank General
Commands held Army Materiel Command
4th Logistical Command
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Silver Star
Bronze Star
Legion of Merit
Air Medal
Purple Heart

Ferdinand Joseph Chesarek (February 18, 1914 – November 20, 1993) was an American army general.

World War II[edit]

Chesarek graduated from the United States Military Academy and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the field artillery in 1938. In November 1943, General Chesarek went to the European Theater of Operations to become Commanding Officer of the 28th Field Artillery Battalion, 8th Infantry Division. He participated in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe campaigns and was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal, and Purple Heart. He also received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm and Star for his part in these campaigns.

General Chesarek returned to the United States in July 1945 for detail to the War Department General Staff in Washington, D.C., where he served as a legislative officer in the Logistics Division and received the Army Commendation Medal. From June 1948 to April 1950, General Chesarek attended Stanford University and received his master's degree in Business Administration. He returned to the Pentagon to serve as Assistant to the Chairman, Munitions Board, until February 1953 when he entered the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia.


After graduation in July 1953, General Chesarek went to Korea to serve with the Headquarters, Eighth U.S. Army. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his work. In May 1954, he took command of the 5th Artillery Group, which consisted of six United States and four Korean artillery battalions. He later received the Order of Ulchi from the Republic of Korea.

In January 1955, General Chesarek was assigned as Chief of the Military Personnel and Manpower Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, until August 1955 when he entered the National War College. Following graduation in June 1956, he served as Military Assistant and Executive Officer to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. In addition, he acted as International Conference Coordinator for the Secretary of Defense and participated in twelve major international conferences as a Defense Member of the U.S. delegation. During this assignment, he also attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University.

Chief of Staff[edit]

In August 1959, General Chesarek became the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Communications Zone, Europe. He went to Italy in July 1960 to be Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force and was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by the Chief of Staff of the Italian Army. He returned to France in March 1961 for duty as Commanding General, 4th Logistical Command, and received the Legion of Honor from the French Government.

Receiving fourth star from Army Chief of Staff William C. Westmoreland and Mrs. Chesarek, 1969.

In October 1962, he was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, first as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (Materiel Readiness) and then, from August 1964, as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (Programs). He was appointed Comptroller of the Army on August 1, 1966 and served in this assignment until August 1, 1967. Upon the reorganization of the Office of the Chief of Staff on February 16, 1967, he was designated the first occupant of the newly created position of Assistant Vice Chief of Staff from February 1967 to May 1968.

U.K. Speaking tour and Promotion[edit]

One of the highlights of General Chesarek's career was his tour of the United Kingdom in May 1968 as United States 1968 Kermit Roosevelt Lecturer, during which he addressed the students at many British military schools. On July 8, 1968, General Chesarek was appointed Senior U.S. Army Member of the Military Staff Committee of the United Nations, in addition to his primary duty as Assistant Vice Chief of Staff. On March 10, 1969, he was promoted to full general as the second Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command, where he served until retiring in October 1970. General Chesarek died on November 20, 1993 in Nashville, Tennessee of complications from open heart surgery.[1]


  1. ^ http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=SJ&s_site=mercurynews&p_multi=SJ&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB71C2471D0DD34&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "[1]".