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Dave Richard Palmer

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Name  Dave Palmer
Years of service  1956–1991
Role  Historian

Rank  Lieutenant General
Battles and wars  Vietnam War
Battles/wars  Vietnam
Movies  Blue's Clues: Blue Talks
Dave Richard Palmer
Born  May 31, 1934 (age 81) Ada, Oklahoma (1934-05-31)
Allegiance  United States of America
Commands held  Superintendent, United States Military Academy
Education  Duke University, United States Military Academy
Awards  Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal
Books  George Washington and Bene, George Washington's Military G, Summons of Trumpet, The Way of the Fox: American, George Washington: First in War
Similar People  Traci Paige Johnson, Paul Zehrer, Lucy Walker, Jennifer Twomey, Angela Santomero

Service/branch  United States Army

Dave Richard Palmer (born May 31, 1934) is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General, former Superintendent of the West Point (1986–1991), military historian and author, and former President of Walden University. A 1956 graduate of West Point, he served two tours in the Vietnam War and numerous command positions during the height of the Cold War.


Early life and education

Palmer was born in Ada, Oklahoma, on May 31, 1934. He grew up in New York and Texas, receiving his appointment to the academy from Texas and graduating 37th in his class from West Point in 1956. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the armor branch and embarked on a military career that spanned the Cold War era. During his military career, Palmer received a master's degree in history from Duke University.

Military career

Palmer's initial assignment was as an armor officer in Berlin. He commanded a tank company in the 1st Armored Division, and would later command that same division. From 1969 to 1971, he commanded the 2nd Battalion, 33rd Armor in the 3rd Armored Division. His brigade command was of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas, from 1976 to 1977. His career saw two tours in Vietnam, one of these at the Vietnamese National Military Academy.

Palmer's staff and academic assignments included a tour as an instructor in the Department of Military Art and Engineering at West Point where he wrote The River and the Rock in 1969. He also served as the Deputy Commandant of the Army Command and General Staff College. He also served multiple assignments with the Joints Chiefs of Staff and Army staff at the Pentagon.


  •   Army Distinguished Service Medal
  •   Defense Superior Service Medal
  •   Legion of Merit
  •   Bronze Star
  •   Air Medal
  • Civilian career

    Upon completion as his tour as West Point Superintendent, Palmer retired from the Army in 1991. He joined the Board of Directors of Walden University the following year. From 1995 to 1999, he served as president of Walden University, where he pioneered distance learning methods. Under Palmer's leadership, enrollment at the university doubled, and now has more than 10,000 students. From 1999 to 2000, he was Chief Executive Officer of Walden e-Learning, Incorporated.

    Palmer has been a prolific author throughout his career and is recognized as a premier military historian.


    Dave Richard Palmer Wikipedia