GEN Buck Kernan
About William F. “Buck” Kernan
General William F. “Buck” Kernan served for 34 years in the United States military and retired December 2002. In his last assignment, Kernan served as Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic and Commander in Chief, U.S. Joint Forces Command. He has commanded at many levels of the military – starting at the Platoon level and going up through Combatant Command level. He has commanded two Airborne Companies, two Ranger Companies, an Airborne Infantry Battalion, a Ranger Battalion, and the 75th Ranger Regiment. For two years he was an exchange officer to England as a rifle company commander in the 3rd Battalion, the British Parachute Regiment.
He was the assistant division commander (Maneuver) of the 7th Infantry Division, followed by an assignment as the director of Director Plans Policy and Assessments, J5, United States Special Operations Command. He commanded the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) for two years and the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg for 30 months.
Kernan’s combat tours have included Vietnam, Grenada and Panama. During Operation JUST CAUSE, he led the 75th Ranger Regiment in its combat parachute assault onto Rio Hato.
Awards that General Kernan has received include: the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster); Distinguished Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster); Legion of Merit (with three oak leaf clusters); Bronze Star Medal with “V” device; Bronze Star Medal (with oak leaf cluster); Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal (with three oak leaf clusters); Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal (with four oak leaf clusters); Army Achievement Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge; Master Parachutist Badge (with combat star); Air Assault Badge; and Ranger Tab.
General Kernan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a Master of Arts degree in personnel administration. His military education includes the Infantry Advanced Course, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College.
General Kernan served as the Foundation’s chair from December, 2006 to November, 2010.