Kern, John Hunter, BG

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Last Rank
Brigadier General
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1999-2005, 00GC, 352nd Civil Affairs Command
Service Years
1970 - 2005


Special Forces
Brigadier General

Four Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Kern, John Hunter (Jack), BG.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Kingston, Ontario
Last Address
Arlington, VA

Date of Passing
Jul 03, 2012
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007) Civil Affairs And Psychological Operations

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Brigadier General United States Army, Retired
March 16, 1948 - July 3, 2012 Brigadier General John Hunter Kern, United States Army, Retired, died unexpectedly, on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, at Inova Alexandria Hospital, Virginia, from complications following open heart surgery. The son of the late Colonel William Bentley Kern, USA, Retired, and the late Anne Nichol Kern, Jack was born in Kingston, Ontario, 16 March 1948, while his father was posted as an instructor to the Canadian Army Staff College. He traveled with his family throughout the world to Fort Monroe, Virginia, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, The Presidio of San Francisco, California, Fort Sheridan, Illinois, Paris, France, Fort Meade, Maryland, Hawaii, Algeria, Morocco, Israel, India, Egypt, Jordan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, and China. Jack was an ardent member of the Boy Scouts of America attaining Eagle Scout rank in 1964. He continued to serve the Scouts throughout his lifetime. Jack graduated from Groveton High School, Alexandria, Virginia in 1966, where he lettered in track and wrestling. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and was commissioned an Infantry officer through the Army ROTC program in 1970. He entered U.S. Army active service in 1971, attending the Infantry Officers Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was the honor graduate, followed by the Basic Airborne and the Mortar Platoon Leaders Courses. Thereafter, he was assigned as training officer of a basic training company at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Upon completion, he was assigned to the 172nd Infantry Brigade, Fort Richardson, Alaska where he served in the 60th Infantry Regiment as a rifle platoon leader leading sovereignty patrols north of the Brooks Range, and as an infantry company executive officer. BG Kern left the active military in 1975 and continued his military career in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he commanded Company C, 1st Battalion, 11th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He later served as the Battalion S-3 in Newburgh, N.Y. He was a CAS-3 instructor at the 2070th USAR Forces School at Fort Belvoir, VA and then commanded the 1st Battalion, 11th Special Forces (Airborne) in New Windsor, NY. BG Kern served 18 years with Special Forces. During his tenure, he greatly improved the professionalism, proficiency, and combat readiness of these units, and led his Soldiers in several winter warfare exercises in the Norwegian Arctic. He joined the 352nd Civil Affairs Command in 1994 as Assistant G-4. He deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 352nd in 1996, serving as the Chief of Staff, Office of the High Representative, of the NATO Implementation Force's Combined Joint Military Civil Task Force in Sarajevo. This office was part of the Force deployed to implement the Dayton Accords to end the Bosnian Civil War. In 1998, he commanded the 4th Brigade (Combat Service Support), 80th Division (Institutional Training), Charleston, West Virginia. BG Kern returned to Special Operations as Commanding General, 352nd Civil Affairs Command in 1999. He deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2001, where he directed efforts to restore a civil society and met regularly with President Hamid Karzai. Upon return to the United States, BG Kern participated in the planning effort for the liberation of Iraq. In 2003, he led the 352nd Civil Affairs Command in the invasion and liberation of Iraq and provided civil-military support to the Coalition reconstruction effort and the restoration of civil society in Iraq. BG Kern loved being a Soldier. Having served tours in Alaska, Norway, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, BG Kern had a profound respect for the professional accomplishments, personal sacrifices, and courage of the men and women of the United States Army, both military and civilian. BG Kern was a graduate of the Infantry Basic and Advanced Courses, Civil Affairs Officer Advanced Course, Airborne, Jumpmaster, Special Forces, and Logistics Executive Development Courses, Command and General Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Class of 1992. BG Kern's personal awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4th Award), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (7th Award), National Defense Service Medal (3rd Award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2nd Award), Armed Forces Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Ten Year Device-Gold (3rd Award), Armed Forces Reserve Medal and Mobilization (3rd Award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon (9thAward), North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Special Forces Tab, and Norwegian Armed Forces Parachutist Badge. He retired from the U.S. Army on November 11, 2003, having served his country for over 33 years. In addition his U.S. Army Reserve service, Jack worked for the Army in a civilian capacity beginning at Fort Dix, N.J. in 1975. He moved to the Washington, D.C. area in 1982 where he served as a senior member on the U.S. Army Staff at the Pentagon for 21 years. As the Chief of the Army's Equipping and Readiness Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, he coordinated Army Equipment Readiness support efforts through major operations such as Panama, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Haiti, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. His civil service career culminated with the position of as the Chief of the U.S. Army's Prepositioning Stock Division, where he directed the Army's war reserve program that consisted of equipment and supplies stored around the world on land and afloat prepositioned in 14 countries and the United States of America and ships berthed in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Upon retirement, Jack established Kern Consulting, LLC, a defense firm specializing in logistics management and post hostilities consulting. Jack loved life and lived it to the fullest. He was a consummate professional and took on any challenge that faced him. No matter what the difficulty, he never gave up. He always kept moving forward. He loved his family and friends, his country, and the United States Army. His passions were the Virginia Military Institute, the 11th Special Forces Group, U.S. Army Civil Affairs, and the Bryce Resort Ski Patrol. His hobbies included sailing his 43' ketch, "Civil Affair", patrolling with the Bryce Resort Ski Patrol, golfing for the ever elusive par, naval history, windsurfing and running marathons (completing 10 Marine Corps Marathons). He enjoyed a good steak, a great cigar, and Lagavulin single malt scotch. An outstanding leader, disciplined soldier, brilliant mentor, and a wonderful man of kindness, compassion, generosity, and fairness, Jack walked with faith and courage, a wake of goodwill behind him, always seeking and treading the right path. An extraordinary extraordinary life... Jack Kern will be remembered. He is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Melanie A. Hughes, his children, John H. Kern, Jr. and Bonnie S. Kern, four grandchildren, Hayden and Ty Miller, and Madeleine and Jack Kern, his sister Anne K. "Lawrie" Branson and her husband Dr. Ira D. Branson, his sister Katharine "Kathy" K. Candido and her husband Lieutenant Colonel (USA, Retired) Robert H. Candido, his brother Colonel (USA, Retired) William H. Kern and his wife, Lieutenant Colonel (USA, Retired) Elizabeth A. Hart, his aunts, Lorraine M. Nichol and Albina S. Kern, as well as many other beloved in-laws, out-laws, nieces and nephews, cousins, and many, many wonderful colleagues and friends. Visitation will take place at Demaine Funeral Home, 520 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA on October 17, 2012, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services and burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on October 18, 2012, beginning at 3 p.m. at Fort Myer Old Post Chapel. Reception will follow at the Fort Myer Officers Club, immediately after the burial The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project. The family wishes to thank the staff at the Demaine Funeral home for their caring professionalism and kindness. Friends may sign the on-line guestbook by visiting
De Opresso Liber
Secure the Victory
Published in The Washington Post from July 14 to July 16, 2012
Other Comments:
Not Specified

 Ribbon Bar

Expert Infantryman
Master Parachutist
Civil Affairs

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1971, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Brigade, Infantry Officer Basic Course (Fort Benning, GA), A
 Unit Assignments
352nd Civil Affairs Command
  1999-2005, 00GC, 352nd Civil Affairs Command
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  2001-2002 OEF-Afghanistan/Consolidation I (2001-06)
  2003-2003 OIF/Liberation of Iraq (2003)
 Colleges Attended 
Virginia Military Institute
  1966-1970, Virginia Military Institute
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