Military Wiki
Donn A. Starry
General Donn A. Starry as commander of TRADOC
Born (1925-05-31)May 31, 1925
Died August 26, 2011(2011-08-26) (aged 86)
Place of birth New York City, New York
Place of death Canton, Ohio
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1943–1944 (enlisted)
1948–1983 (officer)
Rank General
Commands held U.S. Readiness Command
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
V Corps
U.S. Army Armor Center and School
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

Vietnam War

Awards Silver Star
Bronze Star with "V"
Soldier's Medal
Purple Heart
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (10)

General Donn Albert Starry (May 31, 1925 – August 26, 2011) was a United States Army four-star general who served as Commanding General, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC) from 1977 to 1981; and as Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (USCINCRED) from 1981 to 1983.

Born in 1925,[1] Starry graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1948 as a second lieutenant of Armor, after having enlisted as a private in 1943. His early career included staff and command positions in the United States, Europe, and Korea. During this same period, he attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Army War College. In 1969, he commanded the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Vietnam War and led its attack into Cambodia in May 1970. On May 5, 1970, Starry was wounded by a North Vietnamese grenade that also wounded future Army General Frederick Franks, Jr.[2]

In 1973, he became commanding general, U.S. Army Armor Center and School, and then commander, V Corps (1976–1977), in the Federal Republic of Germany. Later, as commander of TRADOC, Starry formulated AirLand Battle doctrine, which prepared the Army for warfighting into the twenty-first century. Starry concluded his career as Commander, U.S. Readiness Command (1981–1983), retiring from the Army in 1983.

His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with "V" device, the Soldier's Medal, the Purple Heart, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters. He is also the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment for the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.[3]

Starry earned a master's degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and several honorary doctoral degrees. He was also a member of the Defense Science Board for two terms.[3]

He was married to the former Leatrice (Letty) Gibbs of Kansas City, Kansas. They have four children and seven grandchildren. On April 10, 2010, he celebrated his new marriage to a long-time friend, Karen (Cookie) Deitrick.[3]

Upon retirement from the Army, Starry joined Ford Aerospace, serving first as vice president and General Manager of Ford's Space Missions Group, and later as Executive Vice President of Ford Aerospace and Special Assistant to the chief executive officer of BDM International. He served as a member of the Board of Maxwell Laboratories from 1988 to 1993, and from 1996 to 1998 was chairman of the Board as the company became Maxwell Technologies, switching their focus from government to commercial markets. He has also served as chairman of the Board of Universal Voltronics in Brookfield, Connecticut.[3] In 1991 he became a Senior Fellow on the faculty of the Joint and Combined Warfighting School at the Joint Forces Staff College.[3]

In retirement, Starry, with George F. Hofmann, edited an anthology of U.S. armor warfare history and doctrine titled Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of U.S. Armored Forces. Later his two-volume of select stories, papers, articles, and book excerpts were edited by Lewis Sorley called Press On! Starry was also one of twenty-one signers, all retired flag officers, of a letter to John McCain supporting the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005.[4] His civic projects have included membership on the board of the Eisenhower Foundation in Abilene, Kansas, chairman of the Board of the U.S. Cavalry Memorial Foundation, and a member of the Board of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs.[3]

He died in 2011 after suffering from a rare form of cancer.[2] He was survived by his second wife, Karen.[5][6]

He was buried January 11, 2012.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "[2]".

Military offices
Preceded by
William E. DePuy
Commanding General, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command
Succeeded by
Glenn K. Otis

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