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Richard L. Fischer, 78, an Army Colonel and Vice President of Government Affairs for Amoco Oil Company, died of congestive heart failure December 29, 2007 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. He lived in Alexandria, Virginia.
Colonel Fischer represented the oil industry in Washington, D.C., for 14 years until his retirement in 1992.
He was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh) in 1929. As a gifted athlete, he was scouted while in high school by Paul Brown, Ohio State’s famous football coach and from 1946 to 1952 he played professional minor league baseball for the Boston Braves farm system. While playing baseball, he was appointed to West Point, but decided to forego attending and in 1949 married his high school sweetheart, Lois Streiner.
In 1953, after four years of enlisted service, he entered the Army (Air Defense Artillery) and was commissioned through Officer Candidate School at Ft. Bliss, Texas. Some of his first assignments were in Japan as Battery Commander of the 29th AAA Battalion and then in 1956 as the Assistant Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, Artillery.
In 1962, he was the Intelligence Advisor to the Chief of the Royal Thai Army in Bangkok, where he commanded the largest ever counterinsurgency field exercise which involved 11 battalion combat teams, 14,000 troops, and para-military forces, operating in widely separated remote areas of Thailand.
In 1966, he received his bachelor of arts degree in history from Park College in Parksville, Missouri. After being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1966, he served as Commander of the 3rd Battalion, 517th Artillery (HERCULES) Division at Selfridge Air Force Base in Detroit, Michigan.
In 1972, he was promoted to Colonel, graduated from the U.S. Army War College, and received his master of science degree in mass communications from Shippensburg State College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
He served as Chief of the U.S. Senate Liaison Division to the Secretary of Defense from 1974 to 1977. After turning down a promotion to brigadier general, Col. Fischer retired from the Army in 1977.
Colonel Fischer’s work as Vice President of Government Affairs for Amoco Oil Company involved working and traveling with senators, as well as briefing senators daily on oil industry-related matters. He served as Chairman of the American Petroleum Institute’s General Committee on Federal Relations, and on the Chemical Manufacturers Association’s Government Relations Committee, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Washington International Business Council, and the Meridian House Board of International Governors.
While a career military officer, Colonel Fischer was awarded numerous medals, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (three times), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Legion of Merit Medal.
His wife of 58 years, Lois Streiner Fischer, died on 4 April 2008 and was laid to rest with him in Arlington National Cemetery. He is survived by three children, Ann Fischer Nguyen of Alexandria, Michael Fischer of Potomac Falls, and Carolyn Fischer of Alexandria, and two granddaughters.
Date of Birth: 16 March 1929
Place of Birth: McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
Date Commissioned: 19 March 1953
Date Retired: 30 June 1977
Date of Death: 29 December 2007
Date Buried at Arlington National Cemetery: 7 February 2008, Section 64, Plot 6212
Spouse: Lois Fischer (married 58 years)
Date of Birth: 12 April 1926
Date of Death: 4 April 2008
Date Buried at Arlington National Cemetery: 23 April 2008, Section 64, Plot 6212
Children: Three (Ann, Michael, and Carolyn)
Enlisted service--nearly four (4) years.
1953 Commissioned from Officer Candidate School (OCS); attended Battery Officer and Advanced Officer courses with a tour as an instructor in between—Fort Bliss, Texas.
1953 to 1954 S1 & Battery Commander, 509th AAA Battalion, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1954 to 1956 Battery Officer, Battery Commander & S3, 29th AAA Battalion, Japan.
1956 to 1957 Assistant S3, 1st Cavalry Division, Artillery, Japan.
1957 S3, 7th Battalion, Fort Bliss, Texas.
1958 to 1959 Instructor, C & S Department, U.S. Army Air Defense Systems (USAADS),
Fort Bliss, Texas.
1959 Battery Commander, 5th Missile Battalion (HAWK), 57th Artillery, Fort Bliss, Texas.
1959 to 1960 Instructor, HAWK Missile Department, USAADS (HAWK-guided missile systems), Fort Bliss, Texas.
1961 Attended and graduated U.S. language school (Thai), Monterey, California.
1961 Attended and graduated Artillery and Missile School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
1962 to 1964 Intelligence Advisor to Chief, Army Field Force, Royal Thai Army, Bangkok, Thailand (counter insurgency).
1965 Graduated from Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
1966 Graduated from Park College, Parksville, Missouri, B.A. in History (3.9 GPA, top third of class).
1966 Chief, Weapons System Division, Headquarters, U.S. Army Air Defense Command (ARADCOM), Colorado Springs, Colorado.
1967 Promoted to rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
1966 to 1968 Commander (Commanding Officer), 3d Battalion, 517th Artillery (HERCULES), Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan (Detroit).
1968 to 1969 Executive Officer to Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea.
1969 to 1970 Deputy Chief, Plans and Operations Division, Office of the Chief of Legislative Liaison for the Secretary of the Army, Washington, D.C.
1970 to 1972 Deputy Director, Budget Authorization, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, Washington, D.C.
1972 to 1973 Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, Washington, D.C.
1973 Promoted to rank of Colonel.
1973 to 1974 Attended and graduated from U.S. Army War College.
1973 to 1974 Attended and graduated from Shippensburg State College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, M.S. in Mass Communications.
1974 to 1977 Chief, Senate Liaison Division, Office of the Chief Legislative Liaison for the Secretary of the Army, Washington, D.C.
1977 to 1992 Vice President of Government Affairs, Amoco Oil Co., Washington, D.C.
Overseas Tours of Duty: Japan, Thailand and Korea.