General Edward L. Rowny

Edward Rowny received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 1937 and entered the United States Military Academy, where he graduated as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers in 1941. During World War II he served as a company commander and later as S3 of the 41st Engineer Regiment in Liberia, Africa. In mid-1942, he was a member of the cadre of the 92nd Infantry Division, Fort McClellan, Alabama, where he served as Assistant Division G3 and later as commander of the 317th Engineer Combat Battalion.

He attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1943, and in mid-1944 took the 317th Engineers to Italy. Late in 1944, he was assigned to command an infantry battalion and subsequently a regimental task force of the 92nd Division. He participated in two campaigns during the war.

From 1945 to 1947, General Rowny served with the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff in Washington, DC, where he worked on strategic plans for the completion of the war against Japan as well as plans for the design of the post-war Army.

He subsequently attended Yale University, where in 1949 he received his masters degrees in International Relations and Civil Engineering. He was then assigned to the Far East Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, as a planning officer.

In the early stages of the Korean conflict, he helped plan the Inchon Invasion and acted as official spokesman for the Far Eastern Command. He made the landing as X Corps Engineer and was subsequently Corps G4. He then became Executive Officer of the 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, and later served as the 2nd Divisions Chief of Staff. During the last six months of fighting in Korea, he commanded the 38th Infantry “Rock of the Marne” regiment. Altogether, he fought in seven campaigns during the war.

In May 1952, General Rowny was assigned to the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Following his qualification as a parachutist in October 1952, he became Chief of the Advanced Tactics Group and later Assistant Director of the Tactical Department. While at Fort Benning, he initiated the development of Army doctrine on the employment of tactical atomic weapons.

He attended the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, in 1955, and was then assigned to SHAPE in France. There he served as the Deputy Secretary and then as Secretary of the Joint Staff for Generals Gruenther and Norstad. In May 1958, he returned to the United States to attend the National War College.

In June 1959, he became the Army member of the Chairman’s Staff Group, Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position he held until June 1961. From June until September 1961, he was chairman of a special study task force working directly under the Secretary of Defense. General Rowny became the Assistant Division Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in September 1961 and served in this position until May 1962. During that period he also served as Chief of the Field Test Committee of the Army Tactical Mobility Requirements (Howze) Board.

In June 1962, he was sent to Vietnam where he established the Army Concept Team charged with testing and evaluating new Army concepts for counterinsurgency operations. In June 1963, General Rowny returned to the U.S. to serve as the Special Assistant for Tactical Mobility as a deputy to the Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army. He was responsible for providing centralized direction and coordination of the Army tactical mobility program, which led to the establishment of the Army’s first airmobile division.

In June 1965, General Rowny assumed command of the 24th Infantry Division, Augsburg, Germany. He served in this position until September 1966 at which time he became the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Headquarters, United States Army, Europe and Seventh Army, Heidelberg, Germany. During the latter period he was project officer in charge of moving troops and equipment from France. In August 1968, he was transferred to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters, United States European Command, Stuttgart, Germany.

In September 1969, he returned to Washington where he assumed duties as the Deputy Chief for Research and Development. In June 1970, he assumed command of I Corps (Group), Camp Red Cloud, Korea and was promoted to Lieutenant General in July 1970. In August 1971, General Rowny was assigned as the Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee, in Brussels, Belgium and initiated the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR) negotiations.

In March 1973, General Rowny was assigned as the Joint Chiefs of Staff Representative for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II) in Geneva. He served longer than any other U.S. delegate (6 ½ years) and negotiated for more than 1,000 hours.

General Rowny was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Studies by the American University in May 1977 and was a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

General Rowny retired from the Army in 1979. From 1979 to 1980 he served as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and then as a United States Ambassador and Special Advisor for Arms Control to Presidents Reagan and Bush. In 1989, President Reagan awarded Ambassador Rowny the Presidential Citizens Medal. The citation reads: “Edward L. Rowny has been one of the principal architects of America’s policy of peace through strength.” As an arms negotiator and as a presidential advisor, he has served mightily, courageously, and nobly in the cause of peace and freedom.

In 1990, Ambassador Rowny retired from the government to become a consultant on international negotiations. He advised government officials and private organizations on political, military and business affairs in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, China, Japan and Korea.

In 1992, General Rowny published It Takes One to Tango , an anecdotal account of his service to five Presidents: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush. In 1993 he was named a Distinguished Military Graduate from West Point. In 1994, he became president of the Paderewski Living Memorial to perpetuate the legacy of the great Polish patriot and composer.

General Rowny’s military decorations include two Distinguished Service Medals, two Legions of Merit, four Silver Stars and the Bronze Star Medal (combat).