Home » A Soldiers Story » Lt. General Paul Cerjan dies in Florida at age 72 (Updated 05/01/2011 W/Obituary)
 

Lt. General Paul Cerjan dies in Florida at age 72 (Updated 05/01/2011 W/Obituary)

More information on Lt. General Paul Cerjan:

President of Europe, Mideast & Africa Agility Defense and Government Services (2008-2011)
Vice President of Worldwide Military Affairs Quick-Med Technologies Inc (July 2000)
Director of Land Operations for Loral Corporation
Director of Intelligent Transportation Systems for Lockheed Martin Corporation
Vice President and Program Manager LOGCAP III – KBR (July 2004 to July 2005)
L-3 Communications Government Services Inc. (May 2006)
President and CEO of the National Defense University Foundation
President of Regent University
Commandant U.S. Army War College
Former Drum official dies on way to church

DANIEL WOOLFOLK – TIMES STAFF WRITER -  FORT DRUM — APRIL 19, 2011 -  Lt. Gen. Paul G. Cerjan, the assistant division commander for support at Fort Drum from 1985 to 1987, died suddenly Sunday morning on his way to church in Valrico, Fla., his son, Robert, has confirmed. The retired officer was 72.

His family is not yet certain of the exact cause of death.

Gen. Cerjan, a brigadier general when he worked on post, has been credited with being the post’s architect and designing it with growth in mind.

“Perhaps, more than any other person, his fingerprints are in the layout of Fort Drum,” said F. Anthony Keating, a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army.

The two knew each other informally when Gen. Cerjan worked on post and they grew closer in the 1990s.

In designing the post, Gen. Cerjan worked closely with two of his fellow 1960 graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point — Lt. Gen. William S. Carpenter Jr., who then commanded the 10th Mountain Division as a major general, and the division’s chief of staff, Col. Michael T. Plummer.

The two officers are now retired. Mr. Plummer lives in Watertown.

“He did all those clever things that some people don’t think about,” Mr. Plummer said.

Gen. Cerjan received a civil engineering graduate degree from Oklahoma State University.

He created Riva Ridge Loop to be a physical manifestation of the command structure.

Hays Hall, the division’s headquarters, is in the center, and line units are on the outside.

“The flow was designed from inner to outer to take in the fact that there were multiple brigades that had to deploy,” Mr. Plummer said.

The division didn’t add its 3,500-member 3rd Brigade Combat Team for two decades, but constructing buildings for the new unit was easier because the post already had room for it on the loop, he said. The water mains and connections were there. And, in case the division ever became mechanized, Mr. Cerjan had reinforced concrete used for the motor pool.

The planning is still paying off, according to Mr. Keating.

“Much of what he laid out in the initial stages has facilitated and enhanced the ability to grow in these 26 years,” he said. “In his own way, he’s a genius.”

After his north country assignment, Gen. Cerjan went on to become executive to the supreme allied commander in Europe, and the commandant of the Army War College. As a civilian, he served as vice president of Brown & Root worldwide military affairs and as president of Regent University, among other positions in academia.

“Once he left the place, he never left it in terms of his heart,” Mr. Keating said. “Whenever he was asked to do anything to benefit Fort Drum, he was willing to do it.”

The Rome native, and son of former Watertown residents George and Betty Cerjan, spent summers in the Henderson home he purchased in 2005.

When the post was being looked at for base closures in 1994, the general was hired as an expert witness, but he didn’t accept a payment, Mr. Keating said.

More recently, he was invited to be the grand marshal of the Armed Forces Day Parade next month, according to its organizer, Stanley E. Zaremba.

For two decades, Gen. Cerjan saw Fort Drum grow into his master plan and thought the current size of the post was “astounding,” Mr. Plummer said.

In drawing out the installation, superiors pushed for more traditional designs, but Gen. Cerjan and the division commander pushed back.

“He and Bill Carpenter would get together and drink a beer and say, ‘That’s not right for the soldiers and their families,’” he said, “and lesser generals wouldn’t have done that.” (Click HERE for original article)

CERJAN, General Paul G. (Ret.) 72, passed away at his home in Valrico, on Sunday, April 17th, 2011. He is survived by his wife Patricia, of 48 years, along with son Col. Robert and Heidi Cerjan, David, and Timothy as well as two grandchildren, Christopher and Meghan. Born to George and Elizabeth Cerjan, he was raised with his brother, Steve, in Rome, NY. He attended the United States Military Academy, West Point that began a 34-year military career with the United States Army. Paul served in seven different U.S. Army divisions, rising to the rank of Lieutenant General. Key military assignments included serving as the President of the National Defense University, Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Army, Europe and Seventh Army, Commanding General, 21st Theater Army Area Command, U.S. Army, Europe, Commandant of the Army War College, Assistant Division Commander for Support, the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, NY, Executive Officer for the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and Director of the High Technology Test Bed for the 9th Infantry Division in Ft. Lewis, WA, Commander 7th Engineer Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division G3 and Battalion Commander, 10th Engineer Battalion. He served two combat tours in Vietnam with 1st Cavalry Division and 101st Airborne Division. He earned a Master of Science degree in Construction Management from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the United States Military Academy, West Point. He attended the U. S. Army War College, as well as the Senior Government Leaders Course at Harvard University. He was a Registered Professional Engineer, Commonwealth of Virginia. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Ranger Tab and Parachutist Badge. Following retirement from the U.S. Army in 1994, General Cerjan continued to work, first for Loral Corp., then Lockheed Martin. He served as President of Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA from 1998, until his departure in 2000. Afterwards, he and Mrs. Cerjan moved to Valrico. During the past 11 years, Paul continued his service and support to U.S. and Allied service members around the world through work at Kellogg, Brown and Root, L-3 Communications and Agility Logistics. As a civilian in 2004, he spent a year living in an active Iraqi combat zone serving U.S and Coalition Forces. General Cerjan’s exemplary leadership was an inspiration wherever he was assigned. He believed in not just impacting the lives of officers, soldiers and customers, but their families and communities. He worked tirelessly to ensure the highest standards of service and leadership. A caring and inspired leader, he loved people, loved soldiers, loved to train, to coach, to teach and mentor. He always led by personal example and from the front. He will be cherished for the joy he felt while spending time with his family, and for his pride in his children and grandchildren. They celebrate his life and know he has passed on to Glory with the Lord. General Cerjan will be interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, date TBD. He went with his boots on. Well Done – Be Thou at Peace. Stowers Funeral Home, Brandon (Click HERE for original article)

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2 Comments

  1. Comment by Former Army SGT Mike Alberts:

    I was talking to my girlfriend and telling her stories of my days at the U.S. Army War College and how honored I was to be pulled from the base MP Unit to work for LG Paul Cerjan (at the time the Commandant of the War College. I can not say enough kind and respectful words about Paul Cerjan. He was a kind, caring and honorable man who made me feel honored to have served in the Army. I worked for him and Cpt Mason Thornal back in 1990-1991.
    What a great man! RIP General Cerjan

  2. Ping from You Want Him on That Wall:

    [...] years ago I spent four days with retired Lieutenant General Paul Cerjan in a leadership training class. The first day he gave me an assessment of my strengths and [...]

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