Charles D. Bussey – Major General, United States Army

Charles Bussey, 73; Innovative Army Public Affairs Leader

By Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 21, 2007; Page B06

Charles Bussey, a retired Army major general who was a leader in the Army public affairs community, died of cancer June 22, 2007, at his home in Springfield, Virginia. He was 73.


General Bussey, who was known as Chuck, served as chief of public affairs from 1984 to 1987. Before that, he directed the policy and plans division and was deputy chief of the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs.

He was credited with redefining public affairs and developing his office's concept and policies for the media pool.

General Bussey's office was heavily involved in advising the Army staff and dealing with the media during the 101st Airborne Division aircraft disaster in 1985 in Gander, Newfoundland, said a citation for his 2000 induction in the Army's Public Affairs Hall of Fame. In the Arrow Airlines crash, 256 military personnel and crew members died.

He restructured Soldiers Radio and Television to improve his office's broadcast mission and created the Journalist of the Year award in memory of John T. Anderson, the only Army broadcaster to have been a prisoner of war.

General Bussey was born in Edgefield, South Carolina, and grew up in Washington. He graduated from Cardozo High School. He received a bachelor's degree and was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry from the A&T College of North Carolina in 1955. He also received a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a master's degree in communications from Shippensburg State College, both in the 1970s.

General Bussey began his military career and held varied commands and staff posts, including troop assignments with eight divisions and a separate brigade. He was a professor of military science and senior Army instructor for the Indianapolis public schools' Junior ROTC program and was chief of personnel actions in the Army's infantry branch and executive officer to the chief of the legislative liaison.

From 1987 until he retired in 1989, he was deputy chief of staff for personnel for the U.S. Army Materiel Command. His honors included the Air Medal, two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Legion of Merit, two awards of the Bronze Star, three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal and three awards of the Army Commendation Medal.

General Bussey then worked as senior counsel for Manning, Selvage & Lee Public Relations. He was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland College of Journalism and was an operation center manager for Serco Inc., a professional services firm headquartered in Vienna.

He received the David Apter Award for public service from the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and received the William Randolph Hearst fellowship award from the University of Maryland College of Journalism.

His marriage to Eva Bussey ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Commie Bussey, and their son, David James Bussey, both of Springfield; three children from his first marriage, Terri Lynn McClure of Lorraine, Ohio, Tonia Marie Bussey of Baltimore and Charles Frederick Bussey of Tacoma, Washington; three brothers, Alex Bussey of Englewood, New Jersey, Gilbert Bussey of Washington and Ronald Bussey of Doylestown, Pa.; two sisters, Naomi Alton and Henrietta Shaw, both of Chicago; and two grandchildren.


Age 73, CHARLES DAVID BUSSEY, died Friday June 22, 2007. He is survived by his wife, Commie L. Bussey; his son, David James Bussey; three children from a former marriage, Terri McClure, Tonia Bussey and First Lieutenant Charles F. Bussey; his brothers, Alex Bussey, Gilbert Bussey and Ronald Bussey and his sisters, Naomi Alton, and Henrietta Shaw.

A funeral service will be held on Friday August 31, 2007 at 9 the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel, burial will follow with Full Military Honors in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Army ROTC Scholarship Fund at North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, contact information will be published in a later notice.

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