6 July 1972
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to General William C. Westmoreland (ASN: 0-20223), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Chief of Staff, United States Army, from July 1968 to July 1972. During a period marked by significant changes in national strategy and priorities, General Westmoreland's outstanding professional ability, personal integrity, and untiring leadership efforts were an inspiration to all the Army. Under his guidance, the Army began the complex transition from a force of one and a half million men, shouldering the major burden of our prolonged national commitment in Southeast Asia, to a smaller, highly professional force, qualitatively structured to support the national strategy requirement of the Seventies. General Westmoreland initiated programs to provide for the restructuring, realignment, and modernization of Army forces in order to improve force capabilities and best meet our global national commitments. He instituted measures to revitalize leadership and professionalism throughout the ranks, to include the design of a new Officer Personnel Management System, a Noncommissioned Officer Education System, and an Enlisted Qualitative Management Program. General Westmoreland was particularly concerned with the men and women of the Army and devoted himself unsparingly to improving service life and providing the soldier with an unprecedented sense of personal choice, dignity, and self discipline. He insisted on meaningful and challenging training for every person in the Army and the effective utilization of skills in tasks directly related to unit missions. He directed that the responsibilities for designing unit training programs be returned to the unit commanders and urged leaders at all levels to make use of mission-type orders and permit their subordinates maximum initiative in accomplishing assigned tasks. In adjusting the priorities for future military spending, General Westmoreland resolutely defended programs aimed at improving the working environment and living standard of American soldiers worldwide. His imaginative and unrelenting efforts to improve service attractiveness, job satisfaction, and public understanding have been instrumental in moving the Army toward the President's goal of an all-volunteer force. His exceptional leadership and selfless dedication to duty throughout this period are the hallmarks of his brilliant career. A grateful Nation recognizes that General Westmoreland's long and distinguished service, covering three wars and more than 36 years of devoted duty, has been in the finest traditions of the military profession. His loyal and illustrious service to the United States, in successive positions of the greatest responsibility, reflects the highest credit upon himself, the Army, and the Nation.
General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 30 (July 6, 1972)
Action Date: July 1968 - July 1972
Company: Chief of Staff