12th Commander - Major General Robert Proudfoot
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12th Commander
White Sands Missile Range
Page 12 of 33
Major General Robert Proudfoot
Commander
Jul 29, 1974 - Jul 31, 1975

     Major General Robert J. Proudfoot, the 12th Commander of White Sands Proving Ground/Missile Range was born in Philippi, West Virginia, on 30 January 1922 and received his formal education in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He was granted his BS Degree from the University of Maryland in 1958, and received a Master of Business Administration Degree from Babson Institute in 1962. In addition to the course at the Industrial College, he has completed courses at the Command and General Staff College, the Ordnance School, and the Ordnance Guided Missile School.
     He enlisted in the Army soon after the outbreak of World War II and received a commission as a second lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps in October 1943. He remained at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, during the remainder of the war years, and in September 1946 was released from active duty.
     General Proudfoot was recalled in 1948 and was assigned to Camp Loeper Ammunition Depot in the Far East. He spent three years on that tour, first in Japan and later in Korea. Soon after return to the States, he entered the missile field and attended the Guided Missile Officer Course. Subsequently, he served as a Guided Missile Project Officer at HQ Second Army and later with the Southern European Task Force (SETAF) in Italy.
     Returning to the States once more in 1961, he attended the Command and General Staff College and enrolled at Babson Institute for his graduate studies. After obtaining his Master of Business Administration Degree, he was assigned to HQ USARPAC in Hawaii as a Special Weapons and Guided Missile Officer. In 1965 he moved to the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks and accompanied the Division to Vietnam in 1966. After a year in Southeast Asia he was assigned to the Army Materiel Command in Washington as Deputy Project Manager, Practice 9. He left that position in August 1967 to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and upon completion in June 1968 was assigned to the US Army Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, as Project Manager, Shillelagh Weapon System and served in this capacity until June 1971. In June 1971, General Proudfoot was reassigned as Project Manager of the Lance Weapon System, US Army Materiel Command, Washington, DC, with duty at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
     On 7 March 1973, General Proudfoot was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations and Logistics) as the Deputy for Materiel Acquisition. He assumed command of White Sands Missile Range in July 1974.
     As the 12th commander of the largest all-land national test range in the United States, General Proudfoot was responsible for nearly 8,000 military and civilian personnel, a budget of almost $150 million and for operations on and over some 8,000 square miles of land in New Mexico and Utah.
     General Proudfoot is married to the former Miss Lois Eastman of Elmira, New York, and the couple are the parents of a son and a daughter. During his military career, he has been awarded the Legion of Merit and the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, for service with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam, the Bronze Star, for heroism while assigned to the Tenth Corps in Korea, and the US Army Commendation Medal.
     General Proudfoot died on 14 Oct 1987.