Brigadier General Theodore L. Futch

By the time Brigadier General Theodore L. Futch retired from L.W.M.A. in 1967, he was a legend among the boys who had passed through his training. Yet many of them may have been unaware that he had a distinguished military career be for coming to L.W.M.A. in 1959.

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A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point in just over three years (6/15/14 - 8/29/17) and a veteran of two major world wars, his military career was marked by high achievement. His numerous military decorations included:
Legion of Merit; Bronze Star with three oak leaf clusters; Soldier's Metal; Army Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant; Mexican Border Service Metal; WWI Victory Medal with battle clasp; Army of Occupation of Germany Medal (WWI); American Defense Medal with Foreign Service star; American Theater Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Medal with one silver star (in lieu of five bronze stars); for participation in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe campaigns; WWII Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal with Germany clasp (WWII); National Defense Service Medal (for service during the Korean War); Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.

Decorations given to him by foreign governments include:

  • France: Legion of Honor, degree of Chevalier
  • France: Croix do Guerre with Palm
  • Netherlands: Order of the Orange Nassau, degree of Knight Commander.

He was also an honorary member of the Association of Citadel Men (Citadel Alumni Association). This was the third award in the history of the Citadel. General Futch had been the Professor of Military Science and Tactics and Commandant of Cadets at the Citadel while he was on active duty in the Army in 1946 to June of 1950.

Between Oct 1921 and Sep 1925 he was an Instructor of Military Science and Tactics at Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa.

During 1935 and 1936, he was the Assistant Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute in Auburn Alabama, now named Auburn University.

At different times he was a student, many times an instructor, and the Assistant Commandant of the "School of Fire" - Field Artillery School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was considered the foremost instructor in field artillery and gunnery in the Army. He was also an instructor at the artillery schools at Camp Taylor, Ky. and Camp Knox, Ky. from 1920 - 1922. While at Fort Sill, he developed and perfected the "Futch Method", a system of firing, that was ultimately taught as part of the curriculum. General Futch was considered one of the nation's leading authorities on artillery tactics and strategies and had written a number of manuals on the subject which have been widely used by the army.

During WWII General Futch commanded all the artillery units of the 35th Infantry Division in Europe and was decorated (Legion of Merit) for his work before, during, and after the battle of St. Lo, France.

After WWII in Germany he attained his "Most Significant Duty Assignment" as "V Corps Artillery Commander".

General Futch retired in 1954 after forty years of service (including his West Point Cadet time) to his country in the United States Army.

As Commandant of Cadets at L.W.M.A. General Futch taught Military Science and Tactics. He was also an academic teacher and taught advanced mathematics courses at the academy. He set high standards that the boys worked hard to meet. Through his leadership he was able to have the school accepted into the National Defense Cadet Corps, N.D.C.C., program in 1962 and then the J.R.O.T.C. program in 1966. He is credited in large measure with the R.O.T.C. Honor Rating L.W.M.A. attained early on from the Department of the Army.

  Mr. Robert C. Bell('64), President of The L.W.M.A. Alumni Association, and Mrs. Ellen Turner, Gen. Futch's daughter, unveil the marker for the Brig. Gen. T. L. Futch Parade Field.

Mr. Robert C. Bell('64), President of The L.W.M.A. Alumni Association, and
Mrs. Ellen Turner, Gen. Futch's daughter, unveil the marker for the
Brig. Gen. T. L. Futch Parade Field.

  Reviewing stand and Parade Field Marker - May 1992

Reviewing stand and Parade Field Marker - May 1992

  Parade Field Marker - May 1992

Parade Field Marker - May 1992

General Futch retired from L.W.M.A. in 1967 to return to his home in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He died there in January of 1992 after a lingering illness. Because of the recommendations of his former students, the current L.W.M.A. parade field was named and dedicated in his honor on May 2, 1992.