John Gordon Coburn – General, United States Army

Thursday, June 8, 2000

General named marshal of July Forth Parade

The commanding general of the U.S. Army Material Command has been chosen to be the grand marshal for the 71st Annual 4th of July Parade.

Parade Chairman Wesley Prater announced last week that General John G. Coburn had been chosen to be the grand marshal of the parade, which is sponsored by American Legion Post 282 in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

“The reason for the choice is the fact that General Coburn is a local Willow Run High School graduate. And the fact that he is an active four-star general certainly was well within our criteria for the choice of grand marshal.

Coburn is a member of the Willow Run High School Hall of Fame.

“I’m looking forward to being back in Ypsilanti,” said Coburn. “I always look forward to coming home. But being a part of the 4th of July parade is particularly special.

“That’s an important event in honor of a very significant day in the history of our country and I am pleased to be a part of it.”

Coburn assumed command of the Army Material Command on May 14, 1999. Prior to that, he served as the deputy chief of staff for logistics at the Pentagon.

The Material Command is one of the largest in the Army with approximately 60,000 employees in 42 states and more than a dozen foreign countries.

Coburn is a military graduate of Eastern Michigan University, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry.

He has served in a variety of logistics assignments throughout his career.

The general has a bachelor’s degree in education from EMU, a master’s degree in political science from the University of Kansas and is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.

He also has a law degree from the University of Missouri and is licensed to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court, the supreme courts of Michigan and Kentucky, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Court of Military Appeals.

Coburn’s military decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.

Coburn is a native of Kentucky and is married to the former Janice Pepper of Ypsilanti. They have three sons, John, Robert and Matthew.

Lieutenant General John G. Coburn became the Army's 37th Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (DCSLOG) on 3 April. He was Deputy Command-ing General (DCG), Army Materiel Command (AMC), Alex-andria, Virginia, at the time of his appointment. He served as Chief of Ordnance and Commanding General (CG), Army Ordnance Center and School, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, before his assignment to AMC. General Coburn also has served as DCSLOG, U.S. Army, Europe, and Seventh Army, in Heidelberg, Germany.

When Army Logistician asked how he viewed his new position, General Coburn responded:

“I see it as a great opportunity to serve our soldiers and our Army; an opportunity to make a difference; an opportunity to make the positive changes in logistics that will be necessary to support our Army in the 21st century; an opportunity to continue and enhance the world-class logistics support that our soldiers need and deserve.”

General Coburn is a distinguished military graduate of Eastern Michigan University's ROTC program. His military career has taken him, his wife Janice, and their three sons to numerous places throughout the world. He has more than 10 1/2 years in a variety of AMC assignments. In addition to DCG, he was Deputy Chief of Staff for Procurement at AMC headquarters from 1989 to 1991. Before that, he commanded the Materiel Readiness Support Activity, Lexington, Kentucky. Other assignments include pro-curement officer in the Procurement and Production Directorate, and Executive Officer for the Battlefield Systems Directorate in AMC headquarters; plant-depot commander of the Taiwan Materiel Agency, AMC, in Taiwan; and special weapons platoon leader, Savanna Army Depot, Illinois.

Upon returning from his tour in Taiwan, he continued his education by attending the Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and then the University of Kansas at Lawrence where he earned a master's degree in political science. Aside from his logistics expertise, General Coburn possesses a rather unique ability for a logistician: he is a licensed attorney. Having graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Juris Doctor degree, he has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court, State of Michigan; Supreme Court, State of Kentucky; the District of Columbia Court of Appeals; the U.S. Court of Military Appeals; and the Supreme Court of the United States.

From April to July 1991, he was DCG, 22d Theater Army Area Command (TAACOM), in Saudi Arabia. He is also a former commander of the 2d Armored Division Support Command, Fort Hood, Texas, and he commanded a Contract Management Area in South Bend, Indiana.

Among the major staff assignments General Coburn has held are Assistant Chief of Staff, G4 (Logistics), 2d Armored Division; Senior Advisor for Training and Personnel, Army Engineer District-Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh; Executive Officer, Defense Contract Administration Service Region, New York, New York; and Assistant G3 (Operations), II Field Force, Vietnam.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 12/19/1965
  • DATE OF DEATH: 12/20/1965


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