By Rob McIlvaineApril 19, 2012
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 19, 2012) -- Stanley Rogers Resor (pronounced REE-zor), who served six years as the secretary of the Army during the height of the Vietnam War, died at his Washington, D.C. home, April 17, at the age of 94.
Rezor (pronounced REE-zor) was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to serve as secretary of the Army in 1965. He was asked to continue in that position after President Richard M. Nixon was elected in 1968.
Following the My Lai Massacre, Resor appointed Lt. Gen. William R. Peers to head a small team with the limited mandate of examining the adequacy of the original investigations, according to a study written by Maj. Tony Raimondo at the School of the Americas, Fort Benning, Ga.
After six years in government, Resor returned to his law practice in 1971, but not for long.
Called back to government again, Resor served as U.S. ambassador to the mutual and balanced force reduction negotiations in Vienna from 1973 to 1978 and as undersecretary of defense for policy from August 1978 to March 1979. He then returned to practice law with Debevoise & Plimpton until he retired in 1991.
Resor was born Dec. 5, 1917, as the son of Stanley B. Resor, president of the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson. At age 11, his father bought a cattle ranch near Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Resor later served as a board member for the Jackson Hole Land Trust.
He graduated from Yale University in 1939 and then attended law school there. He was a contemporary of Sargent Shriver, Gerald Ford, and Cyrus Vance, who preceded him as Secretary of the Army.
Resor left law school in 1942, though, to serve in the 10th Armored Division during World War II and was among those surrounded at Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge where he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Silver Star.
After leaving the Army as a lieutenant colonel, he went back to Yale and earned his law degree in 1946 and practiced corporate law at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York, where he was made partner.
In 1984, Resor was awarded the United States Military Academy's Sylvanus Thayer Award. Since 1958, this award has been presented to an outstanding citizen of the U.S. whose service and accomplishments in the national interest exemplify personal devotion to the ideals expressed in the West Point motto, "Duty, Honor, Country."
Over time, Resor grew critical of U.S. policy regarding nuclear weapons, and was a member of and spokesperson for the Arms Control Association of America in 1997 when it protested NATO expansion into Eastern Europe based on concerns about the reaction of the Russian government to perceived encroachment by NATO.
He married Jane Lawler Pillsbury in 1942, and they had seven sons. She died in 1994. In addition to his sons, Resor is survived by his wife, Louise, whom he married in 1999.