General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf: A Great 20th Century Military Leader
Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. was born August 22, 1934 in Trenton, New Jersey to Ruth Alice and Herman Norman Schwarzkopf. Herbert Norman was the youngest of three siblings. He had two sisters. They were Ruth Ann who were four years older and Sally who were two and a half years older than him. Perhaps because of the closeness in their ages, Sally and Herman enjoyed playing together outdoors while Ruth Ann prefered to be in doors reading or playing the piano (“It Doesn't Take A Hero” Petre, Peter.).
Herbert Norman’s dad Herman Norman, served in WWI as an officer. He fought in the battle of Marne and was gassed with mustard gas, making him vulnerable to the chance of pneumonia for the rest of his life. After his return from the war, he founded the New Jersey State Police. Herman didn’t specialize in leading soldiers, but leading and training military police officers. Herman worked as lead investigator on the infamous kidnapping of Charles Lindenbergh’s son in 1932 (“It Doesn't Take A Hero” Petre, Peter.).
In June of 1942, Herbert was called to Washington D.C. to meet with General George C Marshall to discuss a problem. The allies were having troubles delivering military aid to the Soviets who were in need of supplies and weaponry through the Iran mountains because the mountain tribes were ambushing the convoys or setting up blockades and asking for tariffs. This was during the part of the war when the Nazis were closing in one Stalingrad and the supplies getting to the Soviets were crucial to the war. To deal with this issue, Herman Schwarzkopf was assigned to advise the Imperial Iranian Gendarmerie to train them to make them effective at defending and become the national police force to stop the ambushes in the mountain sides of Iran. Eventually he formed the Shah’s secret police force the SAVAK. For all of this to happen it required Herman Schwarzkopf to live in Iran while the rest of the family stayed back (“It Doesn't Take A Hero” Petre, Peter.).
In August of 1942, Herman Schwarzkopf left for Tehran, Iran on Operation Ajax. Norman was 7 at the time.. Before Herman left,he made Norman the “man of the house” while Herman was deployed. To symbolize this, Herman placed his Army saber which he received in 1917 when he graduated West Point Military Academy in New York into Norman’s hands. As he did Herman said “I’m placing this sword in your keeping until I come back. Now son, I’m depending on you and the responsibility is yours.” Herman then read the army creed engraved in the sword to Herbert, “Duty, Honor, Country.” Herman said that Herbert had to do the “duty” to be the man of the house, that Norman had to “honor” his dad’s wish, all while he served his “country”(“It Doesn't Take A Hero” Petre, Peter.).
With Herman Schwarzkopf being gone, things at home inside the family became tough. The load of maintaining their big house became too much so they moved to a small apartment which was cheaper and easier to maintain. Herbert Schwarzkopf’s mom took it hard having her husband and his dad gone. She turned to alcohol. Herbert would come home from school to find her sitting on the front steps of their apartment building drinking, crying, and talking with slurred speech (“It Doesn't Take A Hero” Petre, Peter.).
Herman Norman was in the military lifestyle his whole life. In 1943, he moved to Iran with his dad and attended the Iranian International Academy. Later, he attended a academy in Geneva, Switzerland. He then returned back to the United States in 1949 and attended Valley Forge Military Academy. In 1952, Herbert was accepted and attended West Point Military Academy. While there, Norman wrestled, played football, and was a member of the chapel choir.
All of this military life style through out Norman’s life gave him the leadership skills and fundamentals to grow up and become a great leader himself. In 1969, Norman became a...
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