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Maxwell R. Thurman
February 18, 1931(1931-02-18) – December 1, 1995 (aged 64)
Maxwell R Thurman.jpg
General Maxwell Reid Thurman
Nickname "Mad Max"[1]
Place of birth High Point, North Carolina
Place of death Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1953-1991
Rank General
Commands held Training and Doctrine Command
Southern Command
Recruiting Command
Battles/wars Cold War
*1958 Lebanon crisis
*Vietnam War
Panama War
Awards Legion of Merit
Bronze Star with "V" device
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Relations Lieutenant General John R. Thurman III (brother)

Maxwell Reid Thurman (February 18, 1931 - December 1, 1995) was a U.S. Army general, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, and former commander of United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.

He attended North Carolina State University graduating with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering (ceramics). While in college he was a member of the Professional Engineering Fraternity Theta Tau. He was commissioned a second lieutenant of Ordnance from NCSU's ROTC program in 1953 but branch transferred to Field Artillery. His first assignment was with the 11th Airborne Division and in 1958 deployed his Honest John Rocket platoon to Lebanon. From 1961-63, he served in Vietnam as an Intelligence Officer for I Vietnamese Corps. Following his service in Vietnam, Thurman was selected one of the first non-Academy graduates assigned as a company tactical officer at the United States Military Academy. In 1966 he attended the Command and General Staff College, then returned to Vietnam, in 1967, where he assumed command of the 2d Howitzer Battalion, 35th Artillery Regiment in 1968.

After completing the U.S. Army War College in 1970, Thurman held numerous troop and staff assignments before, eventually, assuming command of U.S. Army Recruiting Command in 1979, where he initiated the highly successful "BE ALL YOU CAN BE" recruiting campaign. From 1981-83 he was Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, Personnel (DCSPER) and from 1983-87 he was the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA).

In 1989 Thurman applied for retirement while serving as Command General, TRADOC. Instead, he was handpicked by President George H. Bush to be Commander-in-Chief, United States Southern Command. In this position, he planned and executed Operation Just Cause, the 1989 invasion of Panama. He was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia while still commander in chief of U.S. Southern Command shortly after Operation Just Cause. Thurman retired in 1991 after more than thirty-seven years of service, and died in 1995.

Thurman's awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star with "V" device.[1]

See also


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "[1]".

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Carl E. Vuono
Commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
Succeeded by
John W. Foss


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