La Vern E. Weber
Lieutenant General La Vern E. Weber as National Guard Bureau Chief
Born(1923-09-23)September 23, 1923
Lone Wolf, Oklahoma
DiedDecember 30, 1999(1999-12-30) (aged 76)
Perry, Oklahoma
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1942–1984
RankLieutenant general
UnitOklahoma National Guard
National Guard Bureau
Commands heldOklahoma National Guard
Army National Guard
National Guard Bureau
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal (U.S. Army)
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Other workExecutive Director, National Guard Association of the United States, 1984–1993

La Vern E. Weber (September 3, 1923 – December 30, 1999) was a United States Army officer who served as Adjutant General of Oklahoma, Director of the Army National Guard and Chief of the National Guard Bureau (NGB). He was the first NGB Chief to hold the rank of lieutenant general.[1]

Early life

La Vern Erick Weber was born in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, on September 3, 1923. He attended the University of Oklahoma and Louisiana Tech University, where he played football before leaving in 1942 to enlist for World War II.[2]

Originally part of the navy's V-12 program,[3] he received a commission in the Marine Corps upon completing Officer Candidate School in 1945. He served in the Marine Corps Reserve until 1948.[4]

He graduated from Oklahoma's East Central State College (now East Central University) with a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1948, and then joined the Oklahoma National Guard as a second lieutenant. In addition to maintaining a farm, he worked as a teacher and coach.[5]

Korean War

In 1950, Weber was mobilized with the 45th Infantry Division for the Korean War. He served as operations and training officer (S3) of the 2nd Battalion, 180th Infantry Regiment.[6]

Post-war

Weber returned to Oklahoma in 1952 and was assigned as operations and training officer for the 179th Infantry Regiment. In 1955, he graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College and was assigned as intelligence officer (G2) of the 45th Infantry Division.[7]

In 1961 Weber became the 45th Division's personnel staff officer (G1), and in 1964 he was appointed division chief of staff, receiving a promotion to colonel.[8] In 1965 Weber was appointed adjutant general by Governor Henry Bellmon and promoted to brigadier general and then major general.[9]

National Guard Bureau

In 1971, Weber was appointed director of the Army National Guard.[10]

In 1974, he was appointed Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Charles A. Ott Jr. succeeded Weber as director of the Army National Guard.[11] In 1979, he was promoted to lieutenant general.[12]

FORSCOM

Gen. Maxwell R. Thurman, left, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, awards the Distinguished Service Medal to Lt. Gen. Weber during Weber's retirement ceremony at the Pentagon. Weber's wife Bette is at right.
Gen. Maxwell R. Thurman, left, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, awards the Distinguished Service Medal to Lt. Gen. Weber during Weber's retirement ceremony at the Pentagon. Weber's wife Bette is at right.

Weber served as deputy commander for mobilization and readiness at United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and executive officer of the Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB) from 1982 until retiring in 1984.[13]

Awards and decorations

Weber's awards included the: [14]

Post-military career

After retiring from the military, Weber was appointed executive director of the National Guard Association of the United States, and he served until 1993.[15]

Retirement and death

In retirement, Weber lived on a farm near Perry, Oklahoma.

He died there on December 30, 1999, as the result of injuries sustained when fence panels he was preparing to install fell on him.[16] Weber was buried in the Oklahoma Veterans Cemetery in Oklahoma City.[17]

Legacy

The National Guard Professional Education Center (NGPEC) at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas, is named for him.[18]

References

  1. ^ U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Biographical sketch, La Vern E. Weber, 1985, p. 646
  2. ^ Office of Public Affairs, National Guard Bureau, General officers of the Army and Air National Guard, Volume 1, 1972, entry for La Vern E. Weber]
  3. ^ Wesley Harris and Malcolm Butler, Louisiana Tech Sports, 1944: Navy Sails to Tech's Rescue: V-12 program helps Bulldog program, September 21, 2010
  4. ^ United States House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, Biographical sketch, La Vern E. Weber, 1981, p. 360
  5. ^ National Guard Association of the United States, The National Guardsman magazine, Volumes 28-29, 1974, page 9
  6. ^ U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations, Biographical sketch, La Vern E. Weber, 1985, p. 646
  7. ^ United States House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, Biographical sketch, La Vern E. Weber, 1974, p. 604
  8. ^ National Guard Association of the United States, Official Proceedings, Volumes 93-96, 1971, p. 50
  9. ^ U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, Biographical sketch, La Vern E. Weber, 1978, p. 591
  10. ^ Association of the United States Army,Army magazine, Volume 24, 1974, p. 66
  11. ^ Braddock Publications, The Executive Bio-pictorial Directory, 1981, p. 68
  12. ^ National Guard Association of the United States, Official proceedings, 1979, p. 51
  13. ^ Denise Gamino, The Oklahoman, Reagan Chooses Sooner for Post, August 13, 1982
  14. ^ Billy R. Wood, Lords of Darkness: A History of the 45th Aviation Battalion (Special Operations) and Oklahoma Army National Guard Aviation, 2011, page 98
  15. ^ Congressional Record, Extension of Remarks: Tribute to Lieutenant General (retired) La Vern E. Weber, Rep. Ernest Istook, January 27, 2000
  16. ^ The Oklahoman, Guard's Ex-Leader Dies in Accident, December 31, 1999
  17. ^ The Oklahoman, Thunderbird, At Rest, January 18, 2000
  18. ^ National Guard Professional Education Center, Home Page, accessed April 10, 2013
Military offices Preceded byFrancis Greenlief Chief of the National Guard Bureau 1974-1982 Succeeded byEmmett H. Walker, Jr.