Robert C. Kingston

United States Army

16 Jul 28 - 28 Feb 07


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Robert Charles Kingston was born in Brookline Massachusetts, 16 July 1928.  He enlisted in the US Army in November 1948 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry on graduation from Officer Candidate School on 20 December1949.

Between 1950 and 1954, he served as a Platoon Leader, Company XO, and Company Commander in the 3rd Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regt, 7th Infantry Division, Korea.   During his second tour in Korea he was Commanding Officer, Far East Command Special Mission Group.  This was the first of his many contributions to Unconventional Warfare/Special Operations.

In 1954-55, he served as XO, Ranger Mountain Camp, Dahlonega, GA, and from 1956-59, was a Company Commander and later Assistant G2, in the 82nd Airborne Division.   In 1960 he graduated from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth Kansas.  Later in 1960 and thru July 1961, he was an Airborne Exchange Officer with the British 16th Independent Parachute Group, and for nine months commanded C Company, 3rd Parachute Battalion, British Army.

His next assignment was with the Operations Division, HQ, USAREUR, in August 1961.   He returned to CONUS in June 1963 and served with the Test and Evaluation Group, US Army Airmobile Test Unit at Fort Benning, GA.  He graduated the University of Omaha with a Bachelor of General Education Degree in 1965 and in January 1966 graduated the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA.

From February-May 1966, he was Senior Advisor to the Republic of Vietnam, Ranger Command, and then spent nine months as Commander 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. His next assignment was with the Studies and Observation Group (SOG) HQ Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), from March-September 1967.

On return to CONUS he became Chief General Planning Branch, Plans and Programs Directorate, Office of the Assistant Chief, Force Development, Washington, DC.  From 1968-1969 he attended the National War College and in 1969 he received his Master of Science in International Relations Degree from George Washington University.

In July 1969, he returned to Fort Bragg to command 3rd Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces and at the end of the year returned to Vietnam to command the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) until September 1970 when he was again assigned to the Pentagon.  He served as Chief Coordination Division, Deputy Secretary of the General Staff (Coordination and Reports) until June 1971 and then as Deputy Secretary to the General Staff, Office of the Chief of Staff, United States Army until May 1972.  During this period he also attended the Advanced Management Program for Executives at the University of Pittsburgh.

He returned to Vietnam in June 1972 where he was promoted to Brigadier General on 29 December and served as the Deputy Commanding General, Second Regional Assistance Command, and Deputy Senior Advisor II ARVN Corps and Military Region II RVN.  He left Vietnam for Thailand in January 1973 where he became Commander Joint Casualty Resolution Center, Nakhon Phanom, until December 1973.

On his return to CONUS he was assigned as Assistant Division Commander, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, KS on 4 February 1974.  On 1 September 1975, he was promoted to Major General (Backdated to 1 June 1973) and on 1 October 1975, he became Commander of the US Army John F. Kennedy Center for Military Assistance, and Commandant, US Army Institute for Military Assistance, Fort Bragg, NC.

On 20 June 1977 he returned to Korea as the Assistant Chief of Staff, J3, and on 28 July 1977 he became Assistant Chief of Staff, to the Tri-headquarters which is known today as United Nations Command / Combined Forces Command / United States Forces Korea.

On 1 June 1979 he assumed command of the 2nd Infantry Division and commanded the "2nd to None Division" until 16 July 1981 when he was promoted to Lieutenant General.  Following his promotion, he assumed command of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, McDill Air Force Base, Florida, on 17 July 1981.

On 1 January 1983, he was appointed Commanding General United States Central Command, McDill AFB, Florida and was promoted to General on 06 November 1984. General Robert C. Kingston retired from active duty on 30 November 1985 after 37 years of distinguished service to the U.S. Army and his country.

In May 2006, General Kingston suffered severe injuries from a fall that incapacitated him for several months until he passed away in his sleep on 28 February 2007.  He was laid to rest 23 March 2007 in Arlington National Cemetery with full Military Honors.



Distinguished Service Cross
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal with First OLC
Silver Star with First OLC
Legion of Merit with three OLC
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star with V Device and First OLC
Air Medal with 36 OLC
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal with First OLC
Army of Occupation Medal (JAPAN)
National Defense Service Medal with First OLC
Korean Service Medal with Nine Battle Stars
Vietnam Service Medal with Seven Battle Stars
NCO Professional Development Ribbon w/Numeral 1
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Ribbon with Numeral 2
Order of National Security Merit, Chonsu
National Order of Vietnam (Fourth Class)
National Order of Vietnam (Fifth Class)
Vietnamese Gallantry Cross w/Palm, Individual (6)
Vietnamese Honor Medal (First Class)
United Nations Service Medal
United Nations Medal
US Army Presidential Unit Citation
US Navy Presidential Unit Citation
Valorous Unit Award
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross
Republic of Vietnam Civic Actions Unit Citation
Combat Infantryman Badge (2nd Award)
Master Parachutist Badge US Ranger Tab
Gliderman Badge
Korean Parachutist Badge
Parachute Wings United Kingdom
Cambodian Parachutist Badge
Vietnamese Jumpmaster Badge
Vietnamese Ranger Badge
Overseas Bars (12)