Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Citation Accompanying the Distinguished Service Medal Presented to General Gruenther.

December 28, 1956

[Text read by Maj. Gen. Herbert M. Jones, Acting The Adjutant General]

THE PRESIDENT of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, has awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (Second Oak Leaf Cluster) to



for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility:

General Gruenther performed exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service to the Government of the United States while serving in positions of great responsibility during the period 10 December 1950 to 31 December 1956. As Chief of Staff of the SHAPE Advance Planning Group from 10 December 1950 to 1 April 1951, he displayed a superb grasp of the many complicated problems inherent in the unprecedented establishment of an international military headquarters. His foresight and brilliant planning contributed in a large measure to the effective and orderly activation of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. As Chief of Staff of SHAPE from 2 April 1951 to 10 July 1953, his handling of the complicated matters involved in developing an integrated staff, coupled with his manner of leadership and consequent ability to gain the confidence of all nationalities and services, resulted in the creation of a cohesive and enthusiastic staff. His executive skill and his profound understanding of multi-service problems did much to make possible the development of sound plans and objectives for the most effective utilization of Allied Forces in the common defense of the free world. As Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and Commander in Chief, United States European Command, from 11 July 1953 to 20 November 1956, his inspiring leadership, his keen appreciation of the individual difficulties confronting each of the member nations, his administrative soundness, and his personal capacity for presenting solutions to existing problems to the various national authorities were major contributing factors in increasing the strength of the alliance. His candor, integrity, brilliance, and unswerving belief in the principles of collective security have won him the respect and confidence of leaders at the highest level in all NATO nations. In so doing, General Gruenther has made an exceptional contribution to the defense of the free world and has carried on the highest traditions of the military service and reflected great credit on himself and the United States.


Note: The President made the presentation in the Cabinet Room at the White House at 11:01 a. m.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Citation Accompanying the Distinguished Service Medal Presented to General Gruenther. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233983

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