ARTICLE: MAJOR GENERAL WILTON BURTON PERSONS, JR. UNITED STATES ARMY (RETIRED) THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE ARMY (1975-1979) Skip over navigation
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Military Law Review

ARTICLE: MAJOR GENERAL WILTON BURTON PERSONS, JR. UNITED STATES ARMY (RETIRED) THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE ARMY (1975-1979)

Summer, 1996

153 Mil. L. Rev. 177

Author

MAJOR MICHAEL E. SMITH *

Excerpt

I. Introduction

Major General Wilton B. Persons was one of the most influential The Judge Advocate Generals (TJAG) because no TJAG before or after him held such critical jobs at such watershed times and had such a positive impact on the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps and the Army. From his involvement in the Civil Disturbance Commission at the Pentagon during the Vietnam War to the creation of the Trial Defense Service, Major General Persons shaped Army policy and elevated the role of judge advocates. This article is primarily based on two oral histories taken of Major General Persons in 1985; one by two graduate course students, Major Dan Wright and Captain James Rupper, the other by two students at the Army War College, Colonels Herbert J. Green and Thomas M. Crean. 1 This article distills Major General Persons' invaluable, but voluminous, oral histories and captures his distinguished service record for future judge advocates. By studying the programs Major General Persons initiated and his views on leadership, on commanders, and on the Army in general, young judge advocates will benefit from his example of service, devotion to duty, and tenacious pursuit of controversial programs he knew would benefit his client.

II. Family

To understand Major General Persons' accomplishments and character, one must examine his rich heritage. His grandfather, Frank Stanford Persons, was the youngest of ten children from a poor family in Montgomery, Alabama. 2 What Frank lacked in physical stature, he made up for in determination. He ...
 
 
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