Marshall Carter

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Marshall Carter
Marshall S. Carter.jpg
Born(1909-09-16)September 16, 1909
Fort Monroe, Virginia, US
DiedFebruary 18, 1993(1993-02-18) (aged 83)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, US
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1931–1969
RankLieutenant General
Commands heldNational Security Agency
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal
RelationsBrigadier General Clifton C. Carter (father)

Marshall Sylvester Carter (September 16, 1909 – February 18, 1993) was a lieutenant general in the United States Army. From 1965 to 1969, he served as Director of the National Security Agency.

Life and career[edit]

Carter was born on September 16, 1909 at Fort Monroe, Virginia, the son of future Brigadier general Clifton C. Carter. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1931 and took an M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1936.

Carter served as an aide to General George C. Marshall during Marshall's time as Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense.

Carter, then a lieutenant general, served as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from April 3, 1962, to April 28, 1965. From 1965 to 1969, he served as Director of the National Security Agency. While serving as Director of the NSA, Carter testified to a House Appropriations Committee about the 1967 USS Liberty incident. He stated that “It couldn’t be anything else but deliberate. There’s just no way you could have a series of circumstances that would justify it being an accident.”[1][2] Upon retirement from the military, he served as President of the George C. Marshall Research Foundation until retiring from that position in 1985.

Carter was inducted into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame. He was portrayed by Ed Lauter in the film Thirteen Days (2000), based on events occurring during the Cuban Missile Crisis.[3] Carter is buried in Arlington National Cemetery with his wife, Preot Nichols Carter (1912–1997).[4]

Carter died of liver cancer on Feb 18, 1993 in his home in Colorado Springs[5]


Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Army Distinguished Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters
2nd Row Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster Bronze Star Medal American Defense Service Medal with Foreign Service Clasp American Campaign Medal
3rd Row Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal
4th Row National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster Chinese Special Breast Order of Yun Hui Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands) Chinese Special Breast Order of Yun Hui (Second Award)


  1. ^ "The Spy Ship Left Out in the Cold". June 2017.
  2. ^ "American Legion Elects First Female Commander and Approves USS Liberty Resolution 40". 28 August 2017.
  3. ^ Thirteen Days (2000) – Full cast and crew
  4. ^ Burial Detail: Carter, Marshall S – ANC Explorer
  5. ^ Barnes, Bart (1993-02-20). "Gen. Marshall S. Carter Dies at 83". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
Government offices
Preceded by Deputy Director of Central Intelligence
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director of the National Security Agency
Succeeded by