May 31, 1925 – August 26, 2011
Not only did the HALO Foundation lose one of its biggest supporters and greatest sources of wisdom when retired General Donn A. Starry passed away last week; the nation lost one of its most brilliant military minds.
“The General,” as he was called by many of his friends, served the HALO Foundation as its first Senior Advisor. He believed in the work we are doing on behalf of the heroes of Flight 93, and was proud of those brave ordinary men and women who gave their lives to foil the plans of terrorists.
General Starry was a soldier’s soldier, beginning military career by enlisting in the Army in 1943. He graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1948. He was, to quote a West Point officer in 2009, “a leader, mentor, scholar, visionary, author and businessman. During 40 years of military service the General was respected as a leader of limitless energy, great vision, and love for the American soldier…”
He served as a commander in Korea, Germany and Vietnam. During his career, General Starry earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with “V” (valor) device, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Soldiers’ Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters. He was proud to be named Honorary Colonel of the Regiment for the 11th Armored Calvary “Blackhorse” Regiment.
As commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, (TRADOC) General Starry developed the doctrine of AirLand Battle. The doctrine was put to the test during the first Gulf War, where U.S. forces overwhelmed the Iraqi army.
His papers were edited by retired Lieutenant Colonel and military historian Lewis Sorely and published in a collection titled “Press On!,” named for General Starry’s traditional sign-off.
General Starry worked his way through the ranks, retiring in 1983 as a four-star General. He joined the private sector, marking a distinguished career at Ford Aerospace, BDM International, and Maxwell Laboratories/Technologies. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Universal Voltronics in Brookfield, Connecticut. In 1991 he became a Senior Fellow on the faculty of the Joint and Combined Warfighting School at the Joint Forces Staff College. In 2010, he and his wife Cookie” Karen Starry accepted our request to serve on our first Advisory Board for the HALO Foundation.
General Starry was a true gentleman, a scholar, and a loyal friend.
We will miss you, General. We will “Press On.”