Donald R. Keith – General, United States Army

General Donald R. Keith was born 31 January 1927 in Ludington, Michigan. During World War II, he served in the Army as an enlisted soldier. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1949 and was commissioned a field artillery Second lieutenant. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Academy and a Master’s Degree from Columbia University in 1958, preceding a faculty assignment at West Point.  He received an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Akron in 1982.

Some of General Keith’s key duty assignments in his active military service were:

Jan 69 to Jul 70: Commander, 36th Artillery Group, U.S. Army , Europe
Jul 70 to Jun 71: Executive Officer, Office of the Chief of Research and Development,
U.S. Army , Washington, D.C.
Aug 71 to Aug 72 Director, Research and Analysis Directorate, Civil Operations and
Revolutionary Development Support, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
Sep 72 to May 74 Director of Developments, Office, Chief of Research and Development, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
May 74 to Oct 76 Director of Weapon Systems, Office, Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, U.S. Army , Washington, D.C.
Oct 76 to Oct 77 Commanding General, U.S. Army Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Oct 77 to Dec 77 Acting Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
Dec 77 to Aug 81 Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
Aug 81 to Jun 84 Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command, Alexandria, Virginia.

General Keith attended the following military schools: Ground General School, Field Artillery School, Command and General Staff College, Armed Forces Staff College, and Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and numerous foreign awards and service ribbons. He retired from military service on 28 June 1984.


United States Army Photo


Died Thursday, September 9, 2004. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Erika Keith. Also survived by his son, Michael and his wife, Carolyn; grandfather to Chelsea, Lexi and Ryan.

Funeral services will Full Military Honors will be held on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 at Fort Myer Memorial Chapel at 1 p.m. Interment to follow at Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Capital Hospice, 9300 Lee Hwy., 5th Floor, Fairfax, VA 22031 or the American Cancer Society, 124 Park St., S.E., PO Box 699, Vienna, Virginia 22180

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