AirLand Battle doctrine architect interred at Arlington National Cemetery
January 11, 2012
By J.D. Leipold
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 11, 2012) -- The four-star general credited with formulating the Army's AirLand Battle doctrine, which was instrumental in defeating the Iraqi Army twice, was interred at Arlington National Cemetery following a rite of interment at the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Chapel, Jan. 11.
Retired Gen. Donn A. Starry had died at his home in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 26 after a lengthy bout with a rare form of cancer. He was 86.
Starry's Army career began when he enlisted in 1943, but just a year later he was accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He graduated from the school and was commissioned in 1948.
Starry married the former Leatrice (Letty) Gibbs on June 15, 1948, in Kansas City, Kan. They were married until her death Jan. 4, 2008.
His early career included command and staff assignments in the U.S., Germany and Korea. Starry also served two combat tours in Vietnam, including one in 1969 as commander of the 11th Armored Cavalry "Blackhorse" Regiment, from which he would become its 41st Honorary Colonel of the Regiment.
By 1971 Starry had become the director of Force Management on the Army Staff with follow-on assignments as commanding general of the Army Armor Center from 1973 to 1976 and V Corps commander from 1976 to 1977.
From 1977 through 1981 he led the Army Training and Doctrine Command, and was credited with formulating the Army's AirLand Battle doctrine. That doctrine better prepared the Army for modern-day warfare in the 1980s, 1990s and into the early 21st century.
Through his AirLand Battle doctrine, Starry headed modernization initiatives that eventually led to procurement of weapons systems still in use by the Army today. Those systems include the M1 Abrams tank and the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Starry's maneuver-based warfighting vision proved itself in defeating the Iraqi army in 1991 and 2003.
The general capped his 40-year career as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Readiness Command. He retired in 1983.
Starry's awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with "V," the Soldier's Medal, the Purple Heart, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters.
Starry is survived by four children, seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and his second wife Karen.