DIVARTY Commanders

General John W. Vessey Jr.

My Image FileColonel John W. Vessey Jr. was the Division Artillery Commander during the years I was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery (67 to 69). He then served as the Division Chief of Staff from 1969 to 1970. Any information on other commanders may be included, but I felt that General Vessey’s later tenure as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff earned him special mention here. The following biography information is from the website of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Daryl W. Gordon, HHB, 2/6 FA, 67 to 70)

Army Gen. John W. Vessey Jr. Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff June 18, 1982, to Sept. 30, 1985 Vessey received a battlefield commission at Anzio Beachhead in Italy in May 1944 after fighting in the North African campaigns with the 34th Infantry Division and rising through the enlisted ranks to first sergeant. His experience in troop units, combat leadership and career-long concern for the well-being of troops earned him the nickname “A Soldier’s Soldier.” He was promoted to general in 1976 to command the U.N. Command and U.S. Forces Korea. In 1978 he became the first commander of the Republic of Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command. From his next post as vice chief of staff of the Army, Vessey was appointed the 10th chairman by President Ronald W. Reagan. 


General Raymond T. Odierno

My Image FileAnother 3d Armored DIVARTY Commander (XO) to advance to the rank of full General. In a change of command ceremony at Fort Hood, Texas, in July 2008, LT GEN Raymond T. Odierno turned over command of III Corps and will become the top commander in Iraq replacing General David Patreus. With this command he will be receiving his fourth star, confirmed by Congress on July 10, 2008. Odierno was Executive Officer of the 2d Battalion, 3d Artillery during Desert Storm and was then the DIVARTY Commander of 3d Armored Division prior to its deactivation.

Here are a couple of links with more information on General Odierno:

Joint Chiefs of Staff Web Site (as of March 1, 2005) He followed his Joint Chiefs assignment with the command of III Corps.