Leon L. Van Autreve

Leon L. Van Autreve

Leon L. Van Autreve was the fourth Sergeant Major of the Army. He was sworn in on July 1, 1973 and served until June, 1975. He was born in Eeklo, Belgium, on January 29, 1920 and died March 14, 2002, in San Antonio, Texas.

Military career

He entered the U.S. Army in August 1941 from Delphos, Ohio. After basic training at Fort Belvoir, he served overseas with the 9th Infantry Division and participated in the invasion of Port Lyautey, Africa. He was discharged in August 1945 and enlisted again in March 1948. After a tour in Germany from 1950 to 1954, he served as an instructor with the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Toledo until 1958. From ROTC duty he was assigned to CONRAC Armor Board at Fort Knox, Kentucky, remaining there until reassignment to Korea in 1960. Upon completion of his tour in Korea, Sergeant Major Van Autreve returned to Fort Belvoir and was promoted to Sergeant Major in 1962. He served as Sergeant Major of the 91st Engineer Battalion from 1962 until 1963.

From 1963 to 1964, Sergeant Major Van Autreve was stationed in Indonesia, 1964 to 1967 in Germany as Sergeant Major, 317th Engineer Battalion, and 1967 to 1969 in Vietnam as Sergeant Major of the 20th Engineer Brigade. In July 1969 he was selected for assignment to Alaska as the Command Sergeant Major, where he remained until he was selected as the Sergeant Major of the Army.

Sergeant Major Van Autreve attended George Washington University, University of Toledo, University of Maryland and Alaska Methodist University, and was a member of Phi Alpha Theta.

Awards and decorations

Sergeant Major Van Autreve awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with two oak leaf clusters), Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star (with oak leaf cluster), Army Commendation Medal (with oak leaf clusters), Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (with two campaign stars), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation, the Parachute Badge, and ten Overseas Service Bar awards.


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