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Sam S. Walker

Sam Sims Walker
File:Samuel S Walker.jpg
General Samuel S. Walker
Born (1925-07-31) July 31, 1925 (age 92)
West Point, New York
Allegiance 23x15px United States of America
Service/branch 22x20px United States Army United States Army seal
Years of service 1946-1978
Rank 30px General
Commands held Allied Land Forces South East Europe
15px 3rd Infantry Division
Battles/wars Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star
Air Medal
Relations General Walton Walker (father)
Other work Superintendent, Virginia Military Institute

Sam Sims Walker (born July 31, 1925),[1] United States Army, is a retired General who served as the Commanding General of Allied Land Forces, South East Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST) from 1977 to 1978.

Military career

Walker was born at West Point, New York,[2] and is the son of General Walton Walker, himself a four-star general; they are one of only two pairs of fathers and sons to achieve the rank of four-star general in U.S. Army history.[3] He enrolled in the Virginia Military Institute in 1941, but transferred to the United States Military Academy the next year.[4] Upon graduation from West Point in 1946, he was commissioned into the infantry, and his initial assignment was with the 11th Airborne Division on occupation duty in Japan. He served in the Korean War, during which, as a company commander in the 24th Infantry Division, he earned a Silver Star. Also during his time in Korea, his father, then commanding the Eighth Army, was killed in a vehicle accident, and Walker escorted his body back to the U.S.[5] Returning to the United States at the end of his combat tour in 1951, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Infantry School as an instructor.

After graduating in 1957 from the Command and General Staff College, Walker served in a variety of assignments, to include aide-de-camp to the Chief of Staff of the Army, tactical officer at West Point, and Secretary of the General Staff of the United Nations Command/US Forces, Korea. He was a Distinguished Graduate from the National War College in 1963, and then assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment. He volunteered for duty in Vietnam, serving as G-3, 1st Infantry Division, and took command of the 2d Brigade as a lieutenant colonel, earning a second Silver Star. He led the 2d Brigade during Operation Attleboro.[6]

After Vietnam, Walker attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard, followed by an assignment in the Office of the Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army as Chief of Force Readiness, Force Planning, and Analysis. After that position he was chosen to represent the Army on the Council of Foreign Relations.

He received his first star in 1968, and became the Assistant Division Commander, 82nd Airborne Division, before being selected as the 54th Commandant of Cadets at West Point in 1969. Promoted to Major General, he took command of the 3rd Infantry Division, followed by selection as the U.S. Commander in Berlin.

As a Lieutenant General, Walker served as the Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Georgia from 1975 to 1977. In 1977 he was selected for promotion to General, at the time the youngest four-star general in the army,[2] and appointed to his final position as Commanding General, Allied Land Forces Southeast, headquartered in Turkey. His time in Turkey was a tumultuous one, coinciding with the U.S. arms embargo against Turkey for deploying troops to Cyprus in 1974.[2] At the end of this assignment he was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the Turkish Armed Forces Medal of Distinguished Service. The Army was either unable or unwilling to place him in another four star slot, so, facing non-punitive demotion to three-star rank, he opted to retire from the army in 1978.[2]

Post military career

After retiring from the Army, Walker accepted the position of Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, which he held from 1981 to 1988. He has also served as a board member of the Advisory Council of the U.S.-Korea Foundation, the Council on U.S.-Korea Security Studies, the National D-Day Museum, and the American Friends of Turkey.

He received the 2005 Distinguished Graduate Award from the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy.

Awards and decorations

Individual awards
60px Defense Distinguished Service Medal
60px Distinguished Service Medal
60px Silver Star with 1 oak leaf cluster
60px Legion of Merit with 2 oak leaf clusters
60px Distinguished Flying Cross
60px Bronze Star
60px Air Medal, with 2 silver and 3 bronze oak leaf clusters
60px Army Commendation Medal
60px American Campaign Medal
60px World War II Victory Medal
60px Army of Occupation Medal with Japan clasp
60px National Defense Service Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster
60px Korean Service Medal with 3 campaign stars
60px  Vietnam Service Medal with 2 service stars
Unit awards
60px Presidential Unit Citation
60px Meritorious Unit Commendation
60px Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
60px Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry
60px Civil Actions Medal
Foreign awards
60px Gallantry Cross of Vietnam
60px United Nations Korea Medal
60px Vietnam Campaign Medal
60px Turkish Armed Forces Medal of Distinguished Service
100px Combat Infantryman Badge (two awards)
100px Army Aviation Badge
100px Master Parachutist Badge
100px Army Staff Identification Badge


See also

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  1. ^ Biography
  2. ^ a b c d Case of the Fallen Star TIME Magazine, October 9, 1978
  3. ^ 1990 Marshall Lecture
  4. ^ VMI Superintendents, 1839-present
  5. ^ Walton H. Walker entry
  6. ^ MacGarrigle, George. Combat operations: taking the offensive, October 1966 to October 1967. Government Printing Office. p. 51. ISBN 9780160495403. 
  7. ^ GEN Walker Army Staff