Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation

  • and

Retirement Of Brigadier General Daniel J. Kaufman, United States Army

Sen. Jack Reed

legislator photo

Mr. President, I rise today to recognize the accomplishments of Brigadier General Daniel J. Kaufman, United States Army, Dean of the Academic Board at the United States Military Academy at West Point. General Kaufman is retiring on the 6th of June, 2005 after 37 years of active military service in war and peace. His military career exemplifies the finest traditions of the United States Army and demonstrates the rare combination of a combat-tested soldier and a first-rate scholar.

I have had the privilege of knowing Dan Kaufman since 1967 when I entered West Point and was assigned to Company C, Second Regiment, United States Corps of Cadets. Dan was a senior, or as we say at West Point, a ``Firstie,'' shorthand for first classman. He distinguished himself to me as a serious and conscientious Cadet with a wry sense of humor. He ranked academically in the top 5 percent of his class. But, like all of his classmates, Dan's attention was focused on Vietnam as much as academics.

Upon graduation in 1968, General Kaufman was commissioned as an second lieutenant in the Armored Cavalry and assigned to F Troop, 2d Squadron, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Ft. Meade, MD as a platoon leader. After 6 months at Fort Meade, General Kaufman deployed to Vietnam and served as platoon leader in L Troop, 3d Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Later in the tour he served as the Troop's executive officer. For his service in Vietnam, General Kaufman was awarded the Bronze Star with V-device for Valor and two Purple Hearts.

Upon completion of his tour in Vietnam, General Kaufman served from 1970-1971 as the Commander of E Troop, 2d Squadron, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Ft. Meade, MD. General Kaufman left Fort Meade in 1971 to attend the Armor Officer Advanced Course at Fort Knox, KY. After a tour of duty as an instructor at the armor school, General Kaufman attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Here, we again renewed our friendship as we were both students at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. By that time, Dan had married his beloved wife Kathryn and their daughter, Emily, was born in Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. General Kaufman then served as an instructor and assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences from 1974 to 1978. I joined Dan as an instructor in the Department of Social Sciences for the academic year 1977-1978.

After departing West Point, General Kaufman served as Special Assistant to the Director, Planning Analysis, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) in Washington, DC prior to reporting into Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Once at Fort Bragg, General Kaufman assumed the duties of Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, Force Development, 82nd Airborne Division until 1979. From 1979 until 1981, General Kaufman was the S-3 (Operations), 4th Battalion (Airborne), 68th Armor, 82nd Airborne Division.

Following his assignment at Fort Bragg, General Kaufman completed the Armed Forces Staff College in route to Cambridge, MA to study for his Ph.D. in political science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After earning his Ph.D., General Kaufman rejoined the faculty at West Point as a permanent associate processor in the Department of Social Sciences.

In 1990, he was appointed Professor and deputy head of the Department of Social Sciences. During this time, he served as chair for Accreditation Review Committee, Scholarship Committee, and Faculty Development Committee. From 1991 through 1995, General Kaufman served as a key member of several Department of the Army committees, including Chief of Staff of the Army transition teams for both General Sullivan and General Dennis J. Reimer, President-Elect Clinton's DOD Transition Team, as well as a special assistant to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army (1991-1992).

In 1996, General Kaufman was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Social Sciences. There he continued the proud tradition of soldiers and scholars, first begun by GEN ``Abe'' Lincoln right after World War II, carried on by GEN Don Olvey, by GEN Amos Jordan, and General Golden, and now GEN Dan Kaufman. In June 2000, General Kaufman was selected as the eleventh dean of the academic board. As dean of the Academic board, General Kaufman envisioned an academic program relevant to the needs of the Army that contributes to the intellectual and professional development of cadets, supported by 700 first-class staff and faculty, $500 million in facilities, and a budget of $62.7 million. His visionary leadership led to the publication of Educating Future Army Officers for a Changing World, the operational concept for the Academic Program that links cadet education directly to the Cadet Leader Development System and the Army.

General Kaufman oversaw several significant revisions to the academic curriculum to better prepare graduates for the challenges of a transforming Army in the post-Cold War world. The new curriculum places greater emphasis on global and cultural awareness, information technology, and curricular integration; it also offers cadets more choice in the selection of academic majors. He encouraged continued development of the academic assessment system, placing increased emphasis on performance assessments of the academic program goals. The extraordinarily positive assessment results from graduates and commanders in the field attest to the success of General Kaufman's vision. Under his stewardship, the Military Academy continued to lead the Nation and the Army in the use of information technology for education. He oversaw the installation of a secure wireless infrastructure in all academic buildings and encouraged the use of web-based course management tools.

Perhaps the crowning achievement of his tenure was the design of Thomas Jefferson Hall, the Military Academy's new library/learning center. General Kaufman led the effort to secure Army support and Congressional funding for the facility and oversaw all features of the design. In support of the Global War on Terrorism, General Kaufman expanded outreach and support activities to the Army, including faculty support to combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He personally led a team of senior faculty members to help reopen Baghdad University after decades of repression and isolation. During General Kaufman's tenure, USMA cadets won 43 international scholarships; the Military Academy was named an Institution of Excellence, and the Center for Advancement of Leader Development and Organizational Learning was established to provide professional forums for company-grade officers throughout the Army.

BG Kaufman's awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal for Valor, Purple Heart, 2 awards, Meritorious Service Medal, 2 awards, Army Commendation Medal, 2 awards, Vietnam Service Medal, 4 campaigns and other service awards.

The Academic Program at the United States Military Academy has never been stronger and more connected to the Army. General Kaufman has set the course for officer education into the first half of the 21st century. His dedication to excellence and his unsurpassed devotion to duty, honor, and country have marked his distinguished service over the past 37 years. For the past 5 years, he has profoundly shaped the intellectual future of the officer corps. And he has not done this alone. By his side at every step in his career has been his wife Kathryn. They have a wonderful family, including their daughter, Emily, and their son, David. Emily is a proud wife of Steve Thomas. They have brought to the Kaufman family the youngest Kaufman, baby Emma. Dan is a great soldier, a brave scholar, a devoted husband and father, and a steadfast friend.

Dan has used his intellect and wit and devotion to the Army and the country to nurture a generation of cadets who will emerge as the leaders of our Army and our Nation. Because of Dan they will be ready for the daunting challenges that lie ahead. His legacy will be felt in 1,000 places around the world for decades to come.

Whenever a leader of our Army uses his intellectual and ethical power of his or her education at West Point to defend the Nation, protect our soldiers, and advance our ideals, his legacy will be felt in a thousand places. West Point has never had a more faithful son or a better dean. And I have never had a better friend.

I yield the floor.

The Senator from Colorado.