Major General William O. Blakefield

General Blakefield was a nationally known US Army leader who accepted the Presidency of Kemper in August of 1976. He retired from the US Army earlier in August after 37 years of distinguished service.

A native of Berlin, Wisconsin General Blakefield was commissioned a second lieutenant after graduation from Ripon College in 1939. From 1939 until 1946 he served continuously with the 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Army Division, both in the United States and in Europe, rising from platoon leader to regimental commander in that unit.

Following WWII, General Blakefield served on the staff and faculty of the US Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, and as Professor of Military Science at the University of Toledo. In 1953, he was assigned to the Military Assistance Advisory Group, Japan, where he served as an advisor to the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force.

He served in the Pentagon on the Department of the Army Staff and at the White House on a Select Presidential Committee. Later he commanded a battle group in Korea, then served as an instructor at the US Command & General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Blakefield also spent two years in Turkey as the principal advisor to the Turkish Army.

General Blakefield was subsequently assigned to Germany as the assistant Division Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division and then returned to the United States to command the Army Intelligence Command at Fort Holabird, Maryland. In 1970 he returned to Korea as the Chief of Staff Eighth Army, a position he held until 1973.

General Blakefield was a graduate of the US Army Infantry School, Command & General Staff College and the National War College. His awards included the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, Bronze star with "V" device and oak leaves, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Purple Heart.

General Blakefield was Kemper’s 12th President and served from 1976 until 1980.