Military Wiki
Howard Dwayne Graves
Born (1939-08-15)August 15, 1939
Died September 13, 2003 (2003-09-14) (aged 64)
Place of birth Roaring Springs, Texas
Place of death College Station, Texas
Buried at West Point Cemetery, West Point, New York
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1961-1996
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Unit US Army Corps of Engineers
Commands held Superintendent, United States Military Academy
Battles/wars Dominican Republic
Vietnam War
Awards Def. Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal (3)
Air Medal (5)

Howard Dwayne Graves (August 15, 1939 – September 13, 2003) was a former United States Army Lieutenant General, Superintendent of the United States Military Academy (1991–1996), and Chancellor of Texas A&M University (1999–2003). A 1961 graduate of West Point, he was a Rhodes Scholar, earning three degrees from Oxford during his army career.[1] During his service in the Army, he was the personal aide to two Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Admiral William J. Crowe and General Colin L. Powell.[1]

Early life and education

Graves was born in Roaring Springs, Texas to Tommy J. and Velma Lee Clifton Graves. He almost drowned trying to baptise a cat in a pond behind their home but was revived at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp that was close to their rural home. After spending his youth in Amarillo, Texas and graduating from Amarillo High School in 1957, Graves received an appointment to West Point as a member of the class of 1961. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Engineer branch in 1961. He earned a Rhodes Scholarship and spent the first three years of his military career at Oxford, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964. He was advanced to Master of Arts in 1968 and gained a Master of Letters degree in 1971.[2]

Early military career

Upon returning to the United States from his first tour at Oxford, he joined the 82nd Airborne Division where he commanded an Engineer company in the Dominican Republic in 1965. He saw combat in Vietnam, 1968–1969, where he was an Engineer Battalion S-3 and Assistant Division Engineer for the First Cavalry Division. After his second tour at Oxford, Graves returned to West Point in 1970, assigned to the Department of Social Sciences, where he taught International Relations and Comparative Foreign Governments.[2]

Senior military career

In 1974, Graves was appointed Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, James Schlesinger. His duties included coordinating Schlesinger's travel and public appearances, preparing briefings and speeches for Congressional hearings, and providing counsel on matters affecting the Army. In 1976, Graves took command of the 54th Engineer Battalion in Germany, returning to the United States in 1978 to attend the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.[1] After graduation, he served on the faculty of the War College for the next two years. In 1980, Graves took command of the 20th Engineer Brigade. He was then promoted to Brigadier General, after which he joined the First Cavalry Division in 1982 as the Assistant Division Commander. The next year, Graves was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Engineer, U.S. Army Forces Command. In 1984, Graves became Deputy Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy, of the Army Staff. The next year he was promoted to Vice Director of the Joint Staff. In 1987, Graves was appointed Commandant of the Army War College. Lieutenant General Graves then returned to Washington, D.C. to become Assistant to the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1991, Graves was appointed the 54th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, a position he held until his retirement in 1996.[2]

Post military

Graves later joined the Harry Guggenheim Foundation as a Director and in 1998 was visiting Professor, Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Service at the University of Texas. In 1999, He was selected to be the 11th Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. During his tenure as chancellor, Texas A&M added three new universities to its system, Texas A&M University–San Antonio, Tarleton State University-Central Texas in Killeen, West Texas A & M University in Canyon, Texas.[3] Graves battled cancer for several years, finally succumbing at his home in College Station, Texas on September 13, 2003. He is survived by his wife, Gracie Newman Graves, son, Colonel Gregory Howard Graves who is also graduate of West Point (class of 1988) and wife Way Graves, daughter Gigi Graves Kail and husband the late Colonel Eric Kail who was an Army officer, sister Dwanelle Graves van Dyk.He is interred at the West Point Cemetery[4]

Awards, decorations, and badges

U.S. Military Decorations
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit (with oak leaf cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star (with two bronze oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal (with oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Medal (with four oak leaf clusters)
Army Commendation Medal
U.S. Unit Awards
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Commendation (with bronze oak leaf cluster)
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Vietnam Civil Actions Citation
U.S. Service (Campaign) Medals and Service and Training Ribbons
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with bronze service star)
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Foreign Awards
Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal 1st Class
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Inter-American Defense Board Medal
Other Accoutrements
US Army Airborne master parachutist badge.gif Master Parachutist Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.png Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
GeneralStaffID.gif Army Staff Identification Badge
82AirborneDivCSIB.jpg 82nd Airborne Division Combat Service Identification Badge


Military offices
Preceded by
Dave Richard Palmer
Superintendents of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
Daniel W. Christman

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