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Lt. Gen. Larry Jordan

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Larry R. Jordan was born on February 7, 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri. Jordan graduated from Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri in 1964 and was accepted in the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1968, he received his B.A. degree in engineering from West Point and was commissioned into the U.S. Army as an armor officer. Jordan went on to earn his M.A. degree in history from Indiana University at Bloomington in 1975. His military education includes the U.S. Army Armor School, the U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the U.S. Army Command and Staff College, the National War College at National Defense University as well as the U.S. Army Ranger Course and the U.S. Army Airborne Course. Jordan also received a certificate for completing the Harvard University Program in National and International Security Management in 1992.

Throughout his thirty-five years of service with the U.S. Armed Forces, Jordan has been assigned to a variety of staff and command assignments at the company, battalion, brigade, and installation levels. In 1993, Jordan reported to Fort Benning, Georgia where he served as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Armor Center and School. Promoted to lieutenant general in 1996, Jordan was appointed as the Inspector General of the U.S. Army where he worked closely with the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army. In 1999, Jordan deployed as the deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army in Europe and the Seventh Army in Germany. He deployed in subsequent overseas missions to Germany, the Republic of Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. His last assignment from 2001 to 2003 was as the deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command headquarters at Fort Eustis, Virginia. In 2003, Jordan became senior vice president of Burdeshaw Associates.

Jordan’s military honors include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge as well as the Armor Association’s Order of St. George and the Field Artillery Association’s Order of St. Barbara.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Larry R. Jordan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 14, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.040

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/12/2013

Last Name

Jordan

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

R.

Schools

Central Academy of Excellence

United States Military Academy

Indiana University

Harvard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Larry

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

JOR07

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

The only legacy most of us leave in life is the people we touch. Either manage your own career or someone else will mismanage it for you.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

2/7/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Barbecue

Short Description

Lieutenant general (retired) Lt. Gen. Larry Jordan (1946 - ) is the former Commanding General of U.S. Army Armor Center, Inspector General of the Army and deputy commander of U.S. Army Europe, in Germany.

Employment

United States Army

Burdeshaw Associates

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/35991">Tape: 1 Slating of Larry Jordan's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/35992">Tape: 1 Larry Jordan lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/35993">Tape: 1 Larry Jordan describes his mother's family background, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/35994">Tape: 1 Larry Jordan describes his mother's family background, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/35995">Tape: 1 Larry Jordan talks about his grandfather's education and career as a doctor in the early 1900s, and his own interest in genealogy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/35996">Tape: 1 Larry Jordan talks about his mother's life in Missouri, her education at Emporia Teachers College and her career as a teacher</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/35997">Tape: 1 Larry Jordan talks about his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/35998">Tape: 1 Larry Jordan talks about his paternal grandparents, and his father's service in World War II</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/35999">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan talks about his paternal family's migration to Oklahoma, and his father's experience in the Philippines during World War II</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36000">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan talks about his father's pride in his unit during World War II</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36001">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan talks about how his parents met and married</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36002">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan describes his likeness to his parents, talks about his sister, and his grandmother living with his family when he was a child</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36003">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36004">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan describes the neighborhood where he grew up in Kansas City, Missouri</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36005">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan talks about the layout of Kansas City, Missouri, school integration in the late 1950s, and moving to a different neighborhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36006">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, in the 1950s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36007">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan talks about elementary school, his childhood interest in science, space and reading, and his favorite dog, Lady</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36008">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan talks about attending an integrated high school system in Kansas City, Missouri</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36009">Tape: 2 Larry Jordan talks about the changing demographics of his neighborhood in Kansas City after integration</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36010">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about integration in Kansas City, and his newly integrated elementary and high schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36011">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about his high school teacher, Mrs. Thumland</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36012">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about his childhood jobs</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36013">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about his family's involvement in the Baptist Church</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36014">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about the Civil Rights Movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36015">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about his observation as a child of differing racial dynamics in different cities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36016">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about his interests as a young boy growing up in Kansas City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36017">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about his academic performance and his interest in sports in school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36018">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about his interest in the ROTC program in high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36019">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about attending the United States Military Academy at West Point</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36020">Tape: 3 Larry Jordan talks about his high school graduating class</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36021">Tape: 4 Larry Jordan describes his experience at the United States Military Academy at West Point</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36022">Tape: 4 Larry Jordan talks about his long term associations with classmates from the United States Military Academy at West Point</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36023">Tape: 4 Larry Jordan describes a typical day at the United States Military Academy at West Point</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36024">Tape: 4 Larry Jordan talks about the academic curriculum at West Point, and the teaching of African American history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36025">Tape: 4 Larry Jordan talks about the training that he received at West Point</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36026">Tape: 4 Larry Jordan talks about mentorship and friendship at the United States Military Academy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36027">Tape: 4 Larry Jordan talks about the academic and athletic rigors of the United States Military Academy and his performance there</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36028">Tape: 4 Larry Jordan reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement and being an African American student at the United States Military Academy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36029">Tape: 5 Larry Jordan reflects upon the civil unrest and riots in the U.S. in the 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36030">Tape: 5 Larry Jordan talks about the Vietnam War</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36031">Tape: 5 Larry Jordan talks about the Vietnam War and graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36032">Tape: 5 Larry Jordan talks about his training and assignment to Fort Hood after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36033">Tape: 5 Larry Jordan describes how he met and married his wife, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36034">Tape: 5 Larry Jordan describes how he met and married his wife, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36035">Tape: 5 Larry Jordan describes his experience in Vietnam in 1969</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36036">Tape: 5 Larry Jordan talks about his assignment as a company commander at Fort Riley, training with the Marine Corps, and his assignment at Fort Benning</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36037">Tape: 5 Larry Jordan talks about an opportunity to teach history at West Point, and getting a master's degree from Indiana University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36038">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan talks about the indigenous people of Vietnam and their views of American soldiers during the Vietnam War</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36039">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan talks about the diversity and close-knit nature of his unit in Vietnam</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36040">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan reflects upon the draft and racial problems within the U.S. armed forces in the 1960s and 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36041">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan describes his experience at Indiana University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36042">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan talks about his master's thesis about the black experience at West Point</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36043">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan talks about the history of African Americans at West Point and in the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36044">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan talks about graduating from Indiana University and teaching history for three years at West Point</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36045">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan talks about attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36046">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan describes his family's experience in Germany from 1979 to 1982</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36047">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan talks about serving at the Pentagon in 1982, his promotion to lieutenant colonel, and his assignment at Fort Hood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36048">Tape: 6 Larry Jordan talks about the commemorative monument to the 761st Tank Battalion, at Fort Knox, Kentucky</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36049">Tape: 7 Larry Jordan talks about his experience at the National War College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36050">Tape: 7 Larry Jordan talks about his mentor, General Frank Franks, serving as his Chief of Staff in Germany, and serving in Desert Storm</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36051">Tape: 7 Larry Jordan talks about Operation Desert Storm, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36052">Tape: 7 Larry Jordan talks about Operation Desert Storm, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36053">Tape: 7 Larry Jordan talks about being promoted to the rank of a 2-Star general and taking command of Fort Knox, Kentucky</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36054">Tape: 7 Larry Jordan talks about Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36055">Tape: 7 Larry Jordan talks about presenting the Army Task Force Report on Extremist Activity, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36056">Tape: 7 Larry Jordan talks about presenting the Army Task Force Report on Extremist Activity, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36057">Tape: 7 Larry Jordan talks about serving as the Inspector General of the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36058">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan describes his experience as Inspector General of the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36059">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan shares his views on the U.S. Army's approval of women for combat duty</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36060">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan talks about his promotion to lieutenant general, and his assignment as the deputy commander of the U.S. Army forces in Europe</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36061">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan talks about the changes to TRADOC after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36062">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan talks about his retirement from the U.S. Army in 2003 and his activities after retirement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36063">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan talks about his sons' careers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36064">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36065">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan reflects upon his life and career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36066">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36067">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/36068">Tape: 8 Larry Jordan describes his photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

11$7

DATitle
Larry Jordan talks about the changing demographics of his neighborhood in Kansas City after integration
Larry Jordan describes his experience in Vietnam in 1969
Transcript
So, where did the white population go?$$They moved, they moved away. I can remember during those times as we were looking for our new home, and searching, there were a couple of things that happened. I think a lot of the veterans of World War II began to use their GI Bill to not only go to school, but for loans. I think in the case of my family, they had saved enough where it was time to move. And in our old neighborhood, which I described as being very stable and, you know, the whole neighborhood knew who you were, and took care of you. I mean, Hillary Clinton says "It takes a village [to raise a child]." It takes a block, you know. And you're doing something bad down the road, and somebody will wear you out right there and then send you home and call your folks and say I wore out your son. And then you'd get it again, for whatever you were doing (laughter). You don't find that now. In fact, you get sued. But by the time we left that neighborhood, it had begun to change, in that there were some of the old families dying out and moving. And it began to see a little blight. And so, blacks who could afford it, moved to better houses. I mean, these were old houses. People tried to keep them up, but they moved to better houses. And the whites just moved further out, moved to the suburbs, moved to the south of the city. And I can remember driving around as we were looking, and you'd see "For Sale" signs. And you'd get to a block where every house had a sign in the yard that said, "This house is not for sale, especially to colors." I mean, you'd see signs like that. And whole blocks would sign contracts that they wouldn't sell--because once the first person sells, and a black or a Mexican or a Puerto Rican family moves in, then you have flight. And everybody sells, and they were worried about their property values, and all the rest. So, those were some--and I should have mentioned that during sights and sounds, too. But that was, that's what happened. So, my neighborhood then, of course, in about six years became, went from two families out of thirty, to probably twenty families out of thirty who were African American.$Okay. Now in '69 [1969] when you were sent to Vietnam [Vietnam War], where were you sent?$$I was sent to north of Saigon, to the 1st Infantry Division. I went to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry. I went Bravo Company, B Company. And I said, the Italian commander put myself and two classmates together in that company. The captain who was over us, was a year ahead of us at West Point [United States Military Academy]. And so, that company really, the leadership, really clicked, because we all knew each other and respected each other. Now, if we had not known each other, I think the same thing would have happened, because we were of the same profession, we were all trained. But it was just very interesting to me to be in that situation where the other lieutenants were my classmates, and the company commander had been a year ahead of us at West Point. I served my time, went to--if you ever buy a Michelin tire for your car, I was at the Michelin rubber plantation. I spent a lot of time there.$$Now where is that? Is that in--$$Vietnam.$$Vietnam? I didn't realize that.$$Yeah. The Michelin family, French family, owned a huge tract of land, and Michelin was the largest rubber plantation in Vietnam. At one time it was divided into four sectors, and each sector had housing for the workers. It had schools for the kids. It was like a little city. By the time we got there, the war was roaring. Only about a third of the plantation was working rubber, still producing rubber. Nobody lived there, but they would come out and collect the rubber. And the Michelin family would come in and inspect about every three months, to look at it, what was left of it. But I spent my time there. From the Saigon River north, it was what we referred to as jungle. It was really thick forest with a lot of bamboo and a lot of bad guys--Vietnamese, North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong. And so, my job was to conduct operations, keep Americans alive, and dispatch bad guys. That's what I did. I saw a lot of the countryside and admired some of the people. I was amazed at the little kids, amazed at things I saw in that country. I learned a lot. I left there after a year, had a son. My oldest son was born while I was there. And I got a chance to see him when he was about two months old, when I had what was called R&R, rest and relaxation, for a week. I went to Hawaii, had a wonderful time, saw my wife [Nannette Pippen] for the first time in several months, and saw my young son.