Amid its successes and progress in 2019, the AG Corps lost one of its most notable leaders. COL (Ret) Louis Rose who was Director of the AG School (1982 – 1983 and from 1984 – 1985) passed away in August 2019 from lung cancer. He made a lasting impact on the Corps teaching and developing a generation of AG Lieutenants.
COL (Ret) Rose led the AG School during a particularly turbulent period as the AG Corps dealt with the significant downsizing and restructuring of the Army known as The Army of Excellence. These restructurings included the combining of the AG and G1 into a single position in Divisions and the designing and standing up of the Personnel Groups in the Army’s five Corps. Much of the success in navigating these difficult changes were directly attributable to COL (Ret) Rose’s wisdom and expertise.
COL (Ret) Rose was a native of Brooklyn, New York City, and like Gen (Ret) Colin Powell, took ROTC while attending the City College of New York graduating in 1960. As a Lieutenant, he graduated from the Infantry Officers Basic Course, the Ranger Course, and then served a combat arms detail at Fort Hood, Texas. Once he joined the AG Corps, he quickly became an expert on the Army human resources systems and became highly sought after on Army-wide staffs for his expertise. In Vietnam, he served on GEN Westmoreland’s MACV staff.
In the late 1960s, he served a tour as the Administrative Officer for the Army War College that led to his selection as the Deputy Chief of the General Officer Management Office (GOMO) where he oversaw the Army’s general officer selection boards. In 1977, he ran the Army portion of a congressionally mandated review of all general officer positions in the Department of Defense. He was instrumental in helping defend against some severe cuts in general officer positions under consideration.
Later while GEN Bernard W. Rogers, former Army Chief of Staff, served as the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, COL (Ret) Rose served as his Adjutant General of SHAPE and from there he attended the Army War College. He later earned an MBA from Boston University in 1982.
At the conclusion of a long and productive career, COL (Ret) Rose was selected as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel for Sixth Army, a three-star command headquartered at the Presidio of San Francisco, California, that oversaw Reserve and Active integration and training in the western third of the continental United States. Importantly this fulfilled a promise to his wife and two daughters to get them back to their California roots before he retired.
After retirement from the Army, COL (Ret) Rose joined the prestigious multinational services firm Ernst & Young LLP as Director of Administration followed by Associate Director of Human Resources (1990-2001). He was also a Red Cross volunteer for more than 20 years.
COL (Ret) Rose will be missed by his former military and civilian colleagues, friends and family, and last but not least, his Army Ranger buddies. His wife and daughters said that although they will miss him terribly, they are thankful that he is free from pain.
Contributing authors include (in rank / last name order): COL (Ret) Ruth Collins, COL (Ret) Jim Crouch, COL (Ret) Gerry Early, and COL (Ret) Clyde H. Tull.
From COL (Ret) Clyde H. Tull:
I met Lou Rose in the Summer of 1976 when I was selected to work for him as Executive Officer in the Chief of Staff of the Army’s General Officer Management Office (GOMO) in the Pentagon. A superb and trainer and coach, Lou quickly helped me adjust to working in GOMO’s fast-paced, rarified environment. Watching him interact with the Army’s most senior officers, with their strongly held views concerning their own careers, was Lou’s master class in confidence, professionalism, and diplomacy.
I was amazed at how Lou could so carefully analyze the strengths and talents of over 450 generals and make perfect assignment recommendations, which capitalized on each officer’s unique abilities. He was always focused on personnel decisions that were best for the Army and its future, earning him the trust and respect of not only those on the Pentagon E-Ring, but also the entire general officer corps.
Lou set the highest standards of office procedures and practices. He was the best administrator I ever met, keeping track of numerous, complex and time-sensitive tasks, while making time to personally review every document prepared for the President’s signature. He was an excellent writer – clear, concise and thorough. He was patient and unflappable, and he could not have been a better role model. I greatly admired his self-confidence, integrity, quiet dignity, work ethic, and determination.
Fifteen years later at the Presidio of San Francisco, I was honored to work with Lou again for a brief time before he retired. It was a joy to reconnect with him and his lovely wife, Marcia. We socialized on numerous occasions, and I was again in awe of his professionalism and strength of character.
Lou enjoyed a long and distinguished Army career. In every position he held, he exemplified the epitome of the professional AG officer. He sought the tough jobs, and he performed them exceedingly well. He loved being an AG officer, doing the important work of taking care of the Army’s most crucial asset, its Soldiers and their Families. He set the example and encouraged others to do their best.
I am exceedingly grateful to have known Lou. He made my life richer and fuller, and I will miss him.
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