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Andrew Jackson Goodpaster
File:Andrew Goodpaster NATO photo.jpg
Goodpaster during his tenure as SACEUR.
Nickname "GoodP"
Born (1915-02-12)February 12, 1915
Died May 16, 2005(2005-05-16) (aged 90)
Place of birth Granite City, Illinois, U.S.
Place of death Washington, D.C.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch U.S. Army
Years of service 1939–1974
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held Superintendent, United States Military Academy, 1977–1981
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (NATO), 1969–1974
8th Infantry Division, 1961–1962
Battles/wars World War II
Cold War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Purple Heart (2)
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Medal of Freedom

Andrew Jackson Goodpaster (February 12, 1915 – May 16, 2005) was an American Army General. He served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) from July 1, 1969, and Commander in Chief of the United States European Command (CINCEUR) from May 5, 1969, until his retirement December 17, 1974.[1] As such, he was the commander of all NATO (SACEUR) and United States (CINCEUR) military forces stationed in Europe and the surrounding regions. General Goodpaster returned to service in June 1977 as the 51st Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York until he retired again in July 1981.


Goodpaster's entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1935, followed in 1939 by a commission as a second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers after graduating second in his class of 456. After serving in Panama he returned to the U.S. in mid-1942 and, in 1943, attended a wartime course at the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

During World War II, Goodpaster commanded the 48th Engineer Combat Battalion in North Africa and Italy. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts for his service in World War II. His combat experience was cut short in January 1944, when he was severely wounded and sent back to the United States to recover. After his wounds had healed, he was assigned to the War Planning Office under General Marshall, where he served the duration of the war.

Goodpaster was seen by many as the quintessential "soldier-scholar". At Princeton University he earned an M.S. in Engineering and an M.A. in 1949 and then earned a Ph.D. in International Affairs, also from Princeton, in 1950.

Key assignments

First retirement

After retiring in 1974, he served as senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and taught at The Citadel. His book, For the Common Defense was published in 1978.[2] He was brought back to active duty as superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy (1977–1981) after a notorious cheating scandal in 1976. Although he had retired with the rank of General (four star), he served as superintendent with the rank of Lieutenant General (three star), since that billet carries that rank.

Second retirement and later years

In 1981, when Goodpaster retired for the second time, he reverted to the four-star rank.

In his later years, Goodpaster was vocal in advocating the reduction of nuclear weapons. In September 1994, he commented, “Increasingly, nuclear weapons are seen to constitute a nuisance and a danger rather than a benefit or a source of strength.”[3] In 1996, along with General Lee Butler and Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, Goodpaster co-authored a statement for the Global Security Institute[4] advocating the complete elimination of nuclear weapons due to their danger and lack of military utility.


  • In 1961,[5] President Dwight D. Eisenhower awarded Goodpaster the Medal of Freedom for his work in the position of Staff Secretary to the President of the United States, and as Liaison Officer of the Department of Defense to the White House, 1954–1961, “for distinguished service in a position of grave responsibility.”[6] Correction: Goodpaster was actually awarded the Distinguished Service Medal at this ceremony—typographical error on citation. Goodpaster's copy of the citation has the words "Presidential Medal of Freedom" lined out, and Distinguished Service Medal written over it. As a serving US Army officer at the time, Goodpaster could not have received the Medal of Freedom.[7]
  • At General Goodpaster's first retirement in 1974, President Gerald Ford awarded him the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.[8]
  • In 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded Goodpaster the Presidential Medal of Freedom “for his contributions in the field of international affairs.” This was the first and only award of this medal to Goodpaster.[9]
  • In 1992, he received the United States Military Academy Association of Graduates’ Distinguished Graduate Award.


Listed in order of date published, the last is first:

  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. and Rossided, Eugene. Greece's Pivotal Role in World War II and Its Importance to the U.S. Today. Washington, D.C.: American Hellenic Institute Foundation, 2001
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. When Diplomacy Is Not Enough: Managing Multinational Military Interventions: A Report To The Carnegie Commission On Preventing Deadly Conflict. New York: Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, 1996
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. Gorbachev and the Future of East-West Security: A Response for the Mid-Term. Atlantic Council of the United States Occasional paper, April 1989
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. et al. U. S. Policy Toward the Soviet Union. A Long-Term Western Perspective, 1987–2000. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Lanham, MD, 1988
  • National Security and Détente. Foreword by General Andrew J. Goodpaster with contributions by faculty members of the U.S. Army War College. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, Apollo Editions, 1987
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. Strengthening Conventional Deterrence in Europe: A Program for the 1980s. Westview Special Studies in International Security (ISBN 0813370787). Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1985.
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. and Elliot, Lloyd. Toward a Consensus on Military Service - Report of the Atlantic Council's Working Group on Military Service. Tarrytown, New York: Pergamon Press, 1982.
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. For the Common Defense. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 1978
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. Civil-Military Relations: Studies in defense policy. Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1977
  • Goodpaster, Andrew J. and Huntington, Samuel P. Civil-Military Relations. University of Nebraska Press, Omaha: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Washington D.C., 1977
  • Goodpaster, General Andrew J. SHAPE and Allied Command Europe In the Service of Peace and Security. 1973.


External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Sidney Bryan Berry
Superintendents of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
Willard Warren Scott, Jr.
Preceded by
Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer
Supreme Allied Commander Europe (NATO)
Succeeded by
Gen. Alexander Haig

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