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General Wilson

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A tribute to “General Sam”
Lt. Gen. Samuel V. Wilson (Ret)


Lt. General Samuel V. Wilson
inducted into the
Ranger's Hall of Fame - 1993


Rangers Hall of Fame
@ Marauders.ORG

Wilson Center for Leadership
Hampden-Sydney College

Other links relating to General Samuel V. Wilson:


General Samuel V. Wilson was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame for heroism, extraordinary achievement, and continued service to his country and the special operations community. General Wilson began his special operations service with the Office of Strategic Services and subsequently with the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), popularly known as Merrill's Marauders, in the China-Burma-lndia Theater during World War 11. As a highly decorated combat veteran, General Wilson returned to the United States where he entered the Army's Foreign Area Specialist Training Program. Upon completion of the program, he was assigned to various tours involving the Iron Curtain countries and the Soviet Union. His expertise was recognized quickly and he was assigned to several high level positions within the Department of Defense and Department of State. As a general officer, some of his assignments included: Assistant Division Commander (Operations), 82d Airborne Division; United States Defense Attaché to the Soviet Union; Deputy to the Director of Central Intelligence; and Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. General Wilson's expertise in the area of special operations has been recognized and he remains a consultant to the Secretary of Defense and the Congress for matters concerning both special operations and intelligence.

Webmaster's note: In 1967, (upon completion of my Special Forces Training) I was assigned to the 6th Special Forces Group at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.  My duty assignment was to Headquarters,  6th Special Forces Group where I worked for the Group Commanding Officer: Colonel Samuel V. Wilson.  Colonel Wilson was probably one of the most interesting and "visionary" people I had the good fortune of knowing and serving with during my time with the US Army.  From Colonel Wilson, I learned aspects of leadership that are rarely in the textbooks.

William E. Pamplin


Lt. Gen. Samuel V. Wilson, US Army (Retired)
Chronology of Assignments and Positions

  • 2000-Present President Emeritus, Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia, and
    James C. Wheat, Jr. Professor of Leadership

  • 1992-2000 President, Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, Virginia

  • 1977-1992 College professor; writer/lecturer; consultant to industry and government at State and National levels

  • 1976-1977 Director, Defense Intelligence Agency

  • 1974-1976 Deputy to Director, Central Intelligence Agency,
    for the Intelligence Community

  • 1973-1974 Deputy Director for Estimates, Defense Intelligence Agency;
    Deputy Director for Attaché Affairs, Defense Intelligence Agency

  • 1971-1973 U. S. Defense Attaché/Moscow, USSR

  • 1970-1971 Assistant Division Commander (Operations)
    82nd Airborne Division, US Army

  • 1969-1970 Assistant Commandant, John F. Kennedy Institute for
    Military Assistance, US Army

  • 1967-1968 Commander, 6th Special Forces Group (Airborne)

  • 1966-1967 U.S. Mission Coordinator/Vietnam and Minister-Counselor,
    American Embassy, Saigon

  • 1964-1966 Associate Director for Field Operations, USAID/Vietnam

  • 1961-1963 Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Operations

  • 1940-1960 Numerous assignments in all ranks of US Army, including:
    Rifle Company Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant and acting First Sergeant;
    Officer in World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS);
    Intelligence/Reconnaissance Platoon Leader and Rifle Company Commander
    5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) -- "Merrill's Marauders"
    Infantry School Instructor
    Post-graduate student, Columbia University/Russian Institute
    Student in US Army Foreign Area Specialist Training Program/Russian
    Intelligence Officer, US Army General Staff
    Consultant on Soviet Affairs, Office Secretary of Defense and Operations Coordinating Board (White House)
    CIA Clandestine Operations Case Officer; Director of Instruction, US Army Special Warfare School.

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