Special operations legend, MG John Singlaub dies aged 100

| January 31, 2022

Major General John Singlaub, a legend in the special operations community, has died at age 100. Singlaub’s career with the Army began in the early days of World War II when he volunteered for service with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA. During WWII he served behind enemy lines in France coordinating resistance activities with the Maquis. He was then deployed to the Pacific Theater.

Post war he helped form the CIA and headed the CIA operations in Manchuria during the Chinese Communist revolution. He led troops during the Korean War, and then spent decades working covert operations all over the world. He fought the communists along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and Vietnam. He was chief of staff of US forces in Korea in 1977 when he publicly criticized President Carter’s proposed troop withdrawal. Relieved of command over it, he again publicly spoke out against Carter and was forced to retire.

After his retirement from the Army he continued to work in anti-communist operations all over the world. He worked with the Contras in Nicaragua and the Afghans against the Soviet invasion.

Singlaub turned 100 last July. His awards and decorations include two Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Soldier’s Medal, two Bronze Stars, and two Air Medals.

Army Times has more on this incredible man. 

Category: Army, Real Soldiers

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I respect a man of integrity who, despite the consequences, was unafraid to speak up for what he thought was right.

Rest in peace, sir!


Where were the current day Singlaubs during Brandon’s fustercluck in AFG?



Rest Well Sir


What a man. A Rest Well-Earned!
Thank you for so very much, Sir!


My beloved brother (LTC. SigC) served with the General and respected him more than anyone else in his career. He had a huge autographed picture of him in his home office. I’m sure he met him at the Valhalla gates as the Gen as a sponsor/advance party.


I remember him from when I was active duty. Carter was horrible but Singlaub seemed like a good guy, to me. Living to 100 is pretty impressive no matter what you did before you got there.


A Warrior’s Warrior! Godspeed Good Sir, and Rest Well. Valhalla is a safer place with you there. The General was spoken of with Reverence by the Green Beanies I met with at Bragg in ’74.

A Proud Infidel®™

Another Warrior joins his Comrades in Valhalla.


Rest in peace General. You spent your life securing it for others


Reading about him on Yahoo News of all places this morning. How is it heroes and warriors like him often are not known until after they pass?


Well Andy, one reason is that the US media really doesn’t give a shit about our military heroes until they do something wrong or die. General Singlaub was virtually unknown to the public until Jimmah Carter fired him from his command in Korea for speaking truth to power.


General Singlaub had an amazing career. As a young LT, he was parachuted into France as a member of an OSS three man Jedburgh team. After fighting with the Maquis for a couple of months, he was ultimately sent to the OSS’s China operation. Following WWII, he served with the CIA in China and Korea. The general (then an LTC) was finally given his first infantry command in 1952; he commanded the 2nd Battalion, 15th Inf. and earned his CIB. As a full colonel, in Vietnam, Singlaub commanded MACV/SOG for thirty months from 1965 to 1968.

I had the privilege of meeting him in Germany in 1969 when he was our Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver of the 8th ID. Needless to say, I knew nothing about his illustrious career at the time. For those interested, his autobiography, “Hazardous Duty” tells the full story of his career as an Army officer/spook. It starts with his selection for OSS by “Wild Bill” Donovan himself.

Name withheld by request

A life well lived. I salute you, sir.

We need more men like him and less like Milley & Austin.


And how!


If Singlaub was still serving during the 0bama regime, the Obamunists would have found a way to get rid of him, like they did with most flag officers of like experience and patriotic professionalism.

Green Thumb



Was he the last of the operational Jedburgh team members?

Rest in Peace General.


He was also a skydiver, from back in the days when that meant surplus military equipment, barely steerable canopies, and slamming landings into the ground. He helped kick start the Fort Campbell Sport Parachute Club, the oldest and safest Sport Parachutist Club in the Army from the early 1960’s until it finally shut down 50 years later, still without a fatality or even a serious injury. Generals Westmoreland and Creighton Abrams both criticized him for his “unseemly” interest in freefall parachuting.


Interesting. My experiences as a sport parachutist made me a better military jumper and jumpmaster.


Singlaub does say in his biography that he ordered an ex-SF NCO on his staff to start the first military parachute club. I know from my service that by 1971 there was one at practically every U.S. Army base where paratroopers were garrisoned. We even had one at little Ft. Devens. I considered joining until I was told I would have to spend about $1k on equipment like a Para-Commander. Plus, I was spending most of my free time romancing my LT nurse. I likely would have joined if the group made good on my request to go to HALO school.


Young Poe joined the skydiving club at Fort Campbell back in 1961 but like you counselor, he had more romantic interests to pursue on weekends so he never attended the training or bought the equipment although he paid his monthly dues for several months. One day the 1st Sergeant called him in and told him he was tired of getting calls from the club administrator wondering about Poe’s total lack of attendance.

After listening to young Poe’s explanation of having more carnal weekend pursuits, Top’s response was something to the effect of, “Either get your fuckin’ ass out there to the fuckin’ airfield this fuckin’ weekend, Lover Boy, or get the fuck outta the fuckin’ club, cause I’m fuckin’ tired of gettin’ these fuckin calls! Now get the fuck outta my fuckin’ office!

Considering the import of that many fucks in a single sentence young Poe wisely resigned forthwith…

Last edited 1 year ago by Poetrooper

Great story. We all know what our secondary, but primary, driver was when we were “young, dumb, and fulla cum,” as my favorite ROTC NCO liked to say. (Ah, SFC Murray, the only NCO I ever encountered with a 187th RCT patch from the Korean War on his right sleeve.)


When young Poe arrived at Fort Campbell to attend jump school in November 1959, those Rakkasan right shoulder patches were everywhere and the 187th Airborne Battle Group was much respected. Their barracks area was the prime location on the troop line, right on the main drag coming in from Gate 3, the main gate, and right across that street from the division’s jump school.

In fact there were still quite a few WWII vets serving in the division then including Paul Huff (DIV CSM) and Lewis Millette, OIC of Recondo School (he of the “Last Bayonet Charge” in Korea) both MoH awardees. And of course, the division commander was MG William Westmoreland, an O-6 in WWII and married to Maxwell Taylor’s daughter.



Legends truly walked among us in those days and as a member of the 101st Military Police Detachment in the Command and Control Battalion, the Division command element, a truly awed young Poe was fortunate to see many of those iconic warriors, the stuff of WWII and Korean airborne lore, rather routinely.

Those were indeed great times to be a young paratrooper.


That was Gate 4 that was the main gate. You’d think as many times as he pulled gate guard duty on that gate he’d remember that, but then, Ol’ Poe’s memory isn’t what it used to be.


rest well sir

Green Thumb

Rest well, Sir.

We have the watch.