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John K. Singlaub
Born 1921 (age 88–89)
John K Singlaub.jpg
Major General John K. Singlaub
Place of birth Independence, California
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1943–1977
Rank Major General
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Silver Star
Legion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star (2)
Air Medal (2)
Purple Heart

John Kirk Singlaub is a highly-decorated former OSS officer and a retired Major General in the United States Army, and a founding member of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He was a joint founder, with Congressman Larry McDonald, of the Western Goals Foundation, a conservative private intelligence dissemination network. Singlaub is a contributing author to several books and the author of his autobiography as well as numerous articles.



Singlaub was born in Independence, California on July 10, 1921.[1] After graduating from Van Nuys High School in 1939 he attended the University of California at Los Angeles and received after graduation his commission as a second lieutenant of infantry on January 14, 1943.[1]

As a member of the distinguished Operation Jedburgh (Singlaub was part of the three man team code name JAMES), Singlaub parachuted behind German lines in August 1944 to work with the French Resistance fighters or Maquis groups that had swelled the resistance ranks after the D-Day invasion during World War II. He headed CIA operations in postwar Manchuria during the Chinese Communist revolution, led troops in the Korean War, managed the secret war along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam, and worked with the Contras in Nicaragua. Active for 40 years in overt and covert operations, he had private and secret interviews with many military and government leaders worldwide. He personally knew William Casey, Director of Central Intelligence during the Reagan Administration, as well as Oliver North, and was involved in the Iran–Contra affair.

In 1979, Singlaub, with John Rees and Deomocratic Congressman from Georgia, Larry McDonald founded the Western Goals Foundation. According to The Spokesman-Review, it was intended to "blunt subversion, terrorism, and communism" by filling the gap "created by the disbanding of the House Un-American Activities Committee"[2]

Singlaub was founder in 1981 of the United States Council for World Freedom, the U.S. chapter of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL). The chapter became involved with the Iran–Contra affair,[3] with Associated Press reporting that, "Singlaub's private group became the public cover for the White House operation".[4] The WACL was described by former member Geoffrey Stewart-Smith as "largely a collection of Nazis, Fascists, anti-Semites, sellers of forgeries, vicious racialists, and corrupt self-seekers."[5] Singlaub is credited with purging the organization of these types and making it respectable.[6]

U.S. Army General William Westmoreland described Singlaub as a "true military professional" and "a man of honest, patriotic conviction and courage." Congressman Henry J. Hyde (Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, and Intelligence Committees), described Singlaub as "a brave man, a thorough patriot, and a keen observer"; someone who had been "in the center of almost every controversial military action since World War II."

In 1977, while Singlaub was chief of staff of U.S. forces in South Korea, he publicly criticized President Jimmy Carter's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula. On March 21, 1977, Carter relieved him of duty for overstepping his bounds and failing to respect the President's authority as Commander-in-Chief.[7][8]

During his military service, Singlaub was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf clusters, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf cluster, the Air Medal with Oak Leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Purple Heart. His foreign decorations include the French Croix de Guerre with Palm and Bronze Star devices, British Mention in Despatches oak leaf, as well as decorations from China, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Vietnam.

He lived in Arlington, Virginia, and now lives in Franklin, Tennessee.

Publications include

  • Hazardous Duty by Major General John K. Singlaub (with Malcolm McConnell). Autobiography, Summit Books, June 1991. ISBN 0671705164

See also




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