U.S. Army General George Decker's Garrison Cap
This is a United States Army garrison cap that belonged to General George Henry Decker (1902-1980) while serving as a four-star general from 1956-1962. The cap is green polyester/wool for wear with the green uniform and features four silver stars on the left side, indicating the rank of general. Gold piping is trimmed on the flaps to further display the general's rank. The interior has a leather sweatband and silk lining, which bears the manufacturer's logo for Flight Ace. The initials "G.D." are inscribed on the sweatband.
General George Henry Decker (1902-1980)
George Henry Decker was born in Catskill, New York, in 1902. He graduated with an economics degree from Lafayette College in 1924 and was commissioned a second lieutenant assigned to the United States Army's 26th Infantry Regiment that June. In 1928, Decker went to Hawaii where he joined the 35th Infantry Regiment and he was later promoted to first lieutenant in 1930. Decker received advanced infantry training in 1932 and was subsequently assigned to a number of different infantry regiments until 1936 when he attended the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth.1
After graduating from the Staff School in 1937, the Army assigned Decker to the 10th Infantry Regiment and then the 9th Infantry Regiment. From 1940 to 1941, he worked as a supply and logistics officer to I Corps Headquarters. In 1941, a series of promotions brought him to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He went on to work in Washington D.C. for the War Department General Staff in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Supply. In 1942, Decker was promoted to colonel and made deputy chief of staff of the Third Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. After the outbreak of World War II (1939-1945), Decker served as deputy chief of staff then chief of staff of the Sixth Army. During his time in the Sixth Army he participated in operations in New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines and the early occupation of Japan. He received promotions in 1944 to brigadier general and major general in 1945.2
Decker returned to the United States in 1946 and was assigned to Army Ground Forces and the Army Service Forces Headquarters. This assignment lasted a year before Decker left for Hawaii as deputy commanding general and chief of staff of United States Forces, Middle Pacific. In 1948, Decker became commanding general of 5th Infantry Division. He was promoted to lieutenant general in 1952 and made comptroller of the Army, later receiving a promotion to major general in this position. In 1955, Decker became commanding general of VII Corps, stationed in Stuttgart, Germany. By 1956, Decker was a full general.3
After a year in command of VII Corps, Decker became deputy commander-in-chief of the United States European Command. In 1957, he returned to command in the Pacific as commander-in-chief, United Nations Command, and commanding general, United States Force, Korea and Eighth U.S. Army. Decker served as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army in 1959 before becoming the Chief of Staff of the Army in 1960. He stayed at this position until 1962 when he retired from service. During his time as Chief of Staff, Decker handled the Berlin Wall crisis in Germany, initiated new divisional and forward depot concepts, and oversaw the expansion of both special warfare forces and the Army from fourteen to sixteen active divisions. Decker earned many awards during his service including the Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, and the Distinguished Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster. Decker died in 1980 and was survived by his wife, Helen E. Inman, who died in 1996.4
General Decker originally gave this cap to a man named Ken Lazier along with a signed letter. Elliot Goldman of The National Leadership Foundation later received the cap from Mr. Lazier. The Wilson History & Research Center then acquired the cap from Mr. Goldman in March 2011.
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