A Devoted Leader Behind the National Army Museum

General William W. “Bill” Hartzog, U.S. Army Retired, former Chairman, Vice Chairman, and President of the Army Historical Foundation, passed away on October 15, 2020. Few individuals were as instrumental to constructing the National Museum of the United States Army as Gen. Hartzog. 

The General began a life dedicated to the service of our country after graduating from The Citadel and receiving his commission as Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1963. As a young officer, he deployed twice to Vietnam. Over the course of his career, he commanded Infantry, Airborne, and Armored units at every level, leading Soldiers in times of combat, peace, and humanitarian crises. 

The General’s senior staff and operational postings included Assistant Commandant of the Infantry School, J3 of U.S. Southern Command during Operation JUST CAUSE; Commanding General, U.S. Army South; Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division; and Deputy Commander in Chief of Atlantic Command during Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti. From 1994 to 1998, he served as Commanding General of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

In the summer of 2019, General Hartzog and his fellow servicemen from Vietnam (along with their spouses) were able to come together for a sneak peak of the Museum prior to opening.

Gen. Hartzog’s fellow Soldiers said he exemplified the Army’s core values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Most notable among his awards and decorations are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Soldier’s Medal, the Bronze Star with “V” device and Oak Leaf Cluster, a Purple Heart, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Gen. Hartzog continued to serve the Army and our nation after he returned to the civilian world. For nearly two decades, he served in leadership roles with the Foundation as it carried out the ambitious campaign to build the National Army Museum. The Museum’s completion is a testament to the General’s leadership, devotion and unwavering commitment to preserve the history of the American Soldier.  

Gen. Hartzog invested significant energy in the Museum project because he believed in the importance of preserving the history of the American Soldier and promoting public understanding and appreciation of the Army and its members. The General was able to visit the Museum before his passing. He told Foundation President Lt. Gen. Roger Schultz, U.S. Army Retired, “The visiting public needs to learn about our Army and this place helps do just that.”