Leon J. LaPorte

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Leon J. LaPorte
Leon J. LaPorte - official portrait, 1998.JPEG
Leon J. LaPorte as Major General
Born (1946-10-05) October 5, 1946 (age 70)
Providence, Rhode Island
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1968-2006
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held U.S. Forces Korea 1st Cavalry 1995-1997
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Gulf War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal(4)
Air Medal (With Valor Device)
Army Commendation Medal (With Valor Device)

Leon J. LaPorte (born October 5, 1946)[1] is a retired United States Army General who served as Commander, 1st Cavalry Division from 1995 through 1997 and as Commander, United States Forces Korea until 2006.


LaPorte graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1968 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army as an Armor Officer. From 1969 until 1970 he served with the 3rd Infantry Division, in 1971 he transferred to the 238th Aerial Weapons Company in the Republic of Vietnam. In 1977 he received his master's degree in Administration from the University of California, Irvine. From 1977 until 1980 he was an assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy. In October 1990 as the Chief of Staff, 1st Cavalry Division he deployed as part of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He returned in 1995 to command the 1st Cavalry Division until 1997. From February 2003 until February 2006 he was commander of United States Forces Korea (USFK) and United Nations Forces, Korea. In February he retired from the Army after 38 years of service, handing command to U.S. Army General Burwell B. Bell III.

LaPorte also played a major part in an investigation of the involvement U.S. military personnel in hiring prostitutes and facilitating human trafficking in South Korea.[2][3][4] Despite his reputation as an extremely abrasive commander, Laporte gave an apology to the families of the two South Korean junior high-school girls that were accidentally run over and killed by a U.S. armored vehicle in 2002.[5]

Major awards[edit]

LaPorte before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 23, 2004