Robert Frederick Froehlke

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Robert Frederick Froehlke
Robert Froehlke.jpg
Robert Frederick Froehlke
10th United States Secretary of the Army
In office
July 1971 – May 1973
Preceded by Stanley R. Resor
Succeeded by Howard H. Callaway
Personal details
Born (1922-10-15) October 15, 1922 (age 91)
Neenah, Wisconsin
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin Law School
Occupation military officer, government official, businessman, and lawyer

Robert Frederick Froehlke (born October 15, 1922) is a United States businessman, lawyer and government official who served as Secretary of the Army from July 1971 until May 1973.1

Early life

Robert F. Froehlke was born in Neenah, Wisconsin on October 15, 1922. He graduated from high school in Marshfield, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin from 1940 to 1943. He left college in 1943 to join the United States Army for World War II, serving in Europe and attaining the rank of Captain before being discharged in 1946.

Start of career

After the war Froehlke attended the University of Wisconsin Law School. He graduated in 1949 and practiced in Madison, Wisconsin with the firm of MacDonald and MacDonald. He also served as a member of the faculty at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

In 1951 Froehlke joined the legal department of the Sentry Insurance Company, and he later became an executive with the company. A longtime friend of Melvin R. Laird, he managed Laird's congressional campaigns. When Laird became Secretary of Defense, Froehlke was appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense for Administration. He served until 1971, and during his tenure he was assigned responsibility for all Department of Defense intelligence resources and was Chairman of the Defense Investigative Review Council.

Secretary of the Army

Froehlke became Secretary of the Army in July 1971 and served until May 1973. Under his administration, the Army redeployed its last troops from from Vietnam, and converted from the draft to an all-volunteer force. In addition, the Army's administration of the Ryukyu Islands was ended, and U.S. biological warfare facilities were closed in order to comply with international treaties and conventions.

As Secretary of the Army, Froehlke was also responsible for the action changing from dishonorable to honorable the discharges of the African-American soldiers who had been falsely accused of crimes in the 1906 Brownsville Affair.

Later career

After resigning as Secretary of the Army Froehlke returned to Sentry, serving as the company's President. From 1975 to 1980 he was President of the Health Insurance Association of America, and from 1980 to 1982 he was President of the American Council of Life Insurance. He was Chairman of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States from 1982 to 1987, and President and Chief Executive Officer of the IDS Mutual Fund Group from 1987 to 1993.

In retirement Froehlke resided in Minneapolis, where he was active in raising funds for civic and charitable causes and donated to Republican candidates for office.


Government offices
Preceded by
Stanley R. Resor
United States Secretary of the Army
July 1971–May 1973
Succeeded by
Howard H. Callaway

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