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Bill's funeral services will be held on Friday, April 16 at 1pm at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel followed by a graveside service. Due to COVID restrictions continuing to limit travel and in-person att...
OBITUARY

William White Hartzog

September 21, 1941October 15, 2020
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Following a life lived with enduring love for his family and country, GEN (US Army Retired) William W. “Bill” Hartzog passed away suddenly on Oct 15, 2020 in Potomac, MD at the age of 79. GEN Hartzog was born to be a soldier, and proudly served over thirty-five years in the United States Army.

His reputation as a leader and mentor guided by honor, integrity, vision, selfless service and humility will endure in an Army made better by his service. His family and friends also knew him as a most loving husband, father, and “papa” who always provided thoughtful guidance and unwavering support with ample humor along the way.

GEN Hartzog was born in Wilmington, NC on Sept 21, 1941 to Elizabeth and William Hartzog. After graduating from The Citadel, he was commissioned in the US Army in 1963. He subsequently commanded Infantry, Airborne, and Armored units from platoon to Army level throughout his career; and also served in a number of notable staff positions. GEN Hartzog was deployed twice to Vietnam, first in 1967. Annual Charlie Company reunions reinforce the profound bonds forged during this formative deployment. He also served as an instructor at the United States Military Academy where he met the love of his life, the former Roberta (Bobbe) Fitton. They were married Nov 8, 1970 at the West Point Cadet Chapel.

GEN Hartzog’s last dozen years of active duty included serving as the Assistant Commandant of the Infantry School, the J3 of the United States Southern Command during Operation Just Cause in Panama, Commanding General of US Army South, and as Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division. He was Deputy Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Command during the 1994 Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, and was the Commanding General of US Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe from 1994-1998. In this position, he was responsible for the development of the Army’s doctrine, training and combat capability for the future in beginning to transition a cold war force into an Army for the information age.

Following retirement from a distinguished career as a professional soldier in 1998, he remained an active business leader with Burdeshaw Associates LLC, lecturer, advisor to government and industry on a broad range of Defense issues including the most recent Presidential Transition Team, and a member of several advisory management boards. He also served in various positions at the Army Historical Foundation to include as President and Vice Chairman.

During this tenure he invested significant energy on the conception and fundraising for the National Museum of the United States Army opening in Nov 2020. His relentless efforts demonstrates an unwavering belief in the importance of preserving the history of the American Soldier and promoting public understanding and appreciation of the Army and its members to our Nation. The opening of this overdue tribute to America’s Army, soldiers, and families is testament to his leadership.

GEN Hartzog graduated from both the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the US Army War College. He earned a Master’s degree in psychology from Appalachian State University and an honorary Doctorate from The Citadel. He authored numerous articles, as well as the book American Military Heritage.

His many recognitions include membership to the Orders of Aaron and Hur, St. Barbara, St. George, St. Maurice and Mercury. He is a distinguished Eagle Scout, and received South Carolina’s Palmetto Award as well as awards from Appalachian State University and Kansas State University. He received the Doughboy Award in 2017 for outstanding contributions to the US Army Infantry.

His US military decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with four oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star for valor with oak leaf cluster, the Soldier’s Medal, and the Purple Heart. He earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and was a senior parachutist. He also held international awards from Germany, Venezuela, Panama, and the Republic of Vietnam.

GEN Hartzog, an avid ‘tinkerer’ of classic automobiles, rebuilt numerous “oldies but goodies”. He also enjoyed running, and completed five marathons. A devoted man of faith, he was ordained as an Elder to serve his church community.

GEN Hartzog is survived by his wife of 50 years Bobbe, daughter Robyn (Phillip Wise), son William (Mari Samuelsen), granddaughter Charlotte, beloved family and treasured friends.

The family will not be holding an in-person public visitation due to the ongoing pandemic. A funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery will take place at a later date.

Please visit dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/alexandria-va/william-hartzog-9860597 to leave thoughts and memories of GEN Hartzog and find further updates.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in GEN Hartzog’s name to either: the Army Historical Foundation (supporting the National Museum of the United States Army) at https://armyhistory.givingfuel.com/in-memory-of-general-hartzog or by mail (noting GEN Hartzog’s name in the memo line) at Army Historical Foundation, 1775 Liberty Drive, Suite 400, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060 or to the General William W. Hartzog, ’63, Armed Forces Scholarship through The Citadel Foundation, 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston, SC 29409 or at http://foundation.citadel.edu.

Services

  • Virtual Viewing

    Sunday, November 8, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, April 16, 2021

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Memories

William White Hartzog

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Marcia Akresh

April 18, 2021

Bobbe, Will, Robyn ...
We were honored to be included in your dad's service at Arlington... You are, I am sure, very proud of his service and of his being your husband and father ...Marcia and Abe Akresh

Lin Rhame

April 17, 2021

Bobbe , Robin, Will. Was a lovely service, know all of you had a part in his farewell.

Keith Kellogg

April 16, 2021

I miss him dearly. In life, he was truly one of the “good guys”. He will always be in my memory.

Ernest Rogers

December 10, 2020

I was privlidged to command under General Hartzog in the Big Red One. He and Bobbe together made us better. I am thankful for the time I spent with him. Avery and my thoughts and prayers are with Bobbe and his family.

Kevin and Kathy Campbell

November 11, 2020

Dear Bobbe, Robyn and Will,
We were blest to serve with General Hartzog when he commanded TRADOC. He was the sterling example of extraordinary officership.....a leader who sincerely cared for all around him. And Bobbe, you were so warm and welcoming......a lady of grace in all ways. We pray for you and hope you can reflect on the joy you and General Hartzog brought into many of the lives you touched. Kevin and Kathy Campbell

Doug Baarman

November 10, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of getting to know Bill through my involvement with Potomac Presbyterian Church. He was a wonderful person who demonstrated humility and genuine care for others (he never failed to ask how I was doing and how my business was doing). It was years of interacting with him until I learned of his amazing career. He was more interested in talking about his family and the car he was working on. This is a quality I have tried to emulate.

Bill will truly be missed! Your entire family will be in my thoughts and prayers as you celebrate his life.

Sharon Shively

November 10, 2020

Bobbe, Robyn and William,

We will always remember Bill fondly and deeply appreciate that we knew him as an active church member. When we think of Bill, our fondest and most vivid memories are the wonderful Faith and Freedom services that he organized every year at Potomac Presbyterian Church, with the participation of the West Point Alumni Glee Club. We especially looked forward to hearing "Mansions of the Lord" and military service branch medley. Bill would don his military uniform and deliver a beautiful sermon, complete with the reading of Ecclesiastes 3. He commented that he always wished to be a great orator. We think that he achieved that goal, although Bill in all his humility would probably disagree. We also appreciate that you both sent our son Robert a card and very large candy bar after he severely broke his leg at ten years of age and was confined to a wheelchair for months.

We wish you God's grace and healing. If we know Bill, he will return at the end of our own individual lives and lead us to the Lord's Mansion.

Randall Bookout

November 9, 2020

A proud member of the HHC, 3rd Bn 5th Inf basketball team. Brigade champions! He was a stand out and the soldiers loved him for being part of the team.

I know I speak for George Utter, Jack Shannon, Buzz Healy, Jim Wood, Paul Burton, Russ Webb, Bill Francisco, John Keneally, Butch Teston, Dane Woytek, Jim Pelosi, and me, Randy Bookout, when I say General Hartzog inspired us all by being a great leader and a good man. Well done, good and faithful servant. You will be missed. Rest in peace.



Randall Bookout

November 9, 2020

Not only was LTC Hartzog a great commander, he had a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humor and could “get his hands dirty.” Always holding the highest respect and admiration from his soldiers, he was able to be a soldier with them.

Below is a picture of him as “EL JEFE” with beard and cigar, Comandante of the Opposing Force during a Panama exercise in 1978.

Randall Bookout

November 9, 2020

I served with General Hartzog in the late 1970’s. He was LTC Hartzog then, as he commanded the 3rd Battalion 5th Infantry of the 193rd Infantry Brigade at Ft Kobbe, Panama. He took over a good Battalion and made it better. His men loved him. He made us all believe in him through his example. We would follow him to the end of the earth. His high regard for soldiers and pride in serving his country is best offered with his own words. The picture and the comments below are from our 1979, 3rd Bn 5th Inf yearbook.

"The profession of being a soldier is an old and honorable one. The ultimate requirement of a soldier is that he fight in defense of his country or in defense of what his country believes. That is a difficult task that requires much effort and much sacrifice, to be done well. The business of our unit is, and has been, to train ourselves, both individually and as a unit to be competent in combat should we be committed. The soldiers in this unit are good. The leaders in this unit are good. The training in this unit is good. Should we be requested to fight, we will fight well.

This year has seen much change and growth in Panama and its neighboring countries. There has been unrest as a result of that growth. In the midst of political unrest and changing threats, the mission of this battalion remains simple and unchanged. It is, to defend the canal against its enemies. We are now joined with the forces of the Republic of Panama in that task. Undoubtedly, the preparation for that mission in the future will continue to be both challenging and fulfilling.

Personally, I have never served with better officers, non-commissioned officers or soldiers than I found in the 3rd of the 5th. It has been the privilege of a lifetime being your commander. Should you ever need my support, find me and I will give what I can. Thank you for your support --- may we serve together again."

WILLIAM W. HARTZOG
LTC, INF
Commanding

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