Korea: Two Silver Stars and Bronze Star with Valor device. Seven campaigns in the Cold War. Vietnam: DSC and Purple Heart.
Former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr., a one-time NATO commander and White House chief of staff under President Richard M. Nixon, died on Saturday. He was 85.
Mr. Haig’s military and civilian career spanned the Korean and Vietnam wars, the Watergate scandal and included his misstatement from the State Department podium following the 1981 shooting of President Ronald Reagan that he, and not the vice president or speaker of the house, was “in control.”
In post-government life, Mr. Haig also was a successful businessman and became one of the world’s first Internet millionaires.
“When two of his companies were engaged by a large hostile force, Colonel Haig landed admid a hail of fire, personally took charge of the units, called for artillery and air fire support and succeeded in soundly defeating the insurgent force…the next day a barrage of 400 rounds was fired by the Viet Cong, but it was ineffective because of the warning and preparations by Colonel Haig. As the barrage subsided, a force three times larger than his began a series of human wave assaults on the camp. Heedless of the danger himself, Colonel Haig repeatedly braved intense hostile fire to survey the battlefield. His personal courage and determination, and his skillful employment of every defense and support tactic possible, inspired his men to fight with previously unimagined power. Although his force was outnumbered three to one, Colonel Haig succeeded in inflicting 592 casualties on the Viet Cong…” (HQ US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 2318 (May 22, 1967)
Requiescat in pacem Soldier.