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John Cox


John Cox

Veterans Funeral Care John Cox

LTC John R Cox, U.S. Army Retired, was born in White Plains, New York on April 9, 1935. He was the son of John P. Cox, Stamford, CT, and Hazel Crystal Roberts, White Plains, NY. He graduated from New York Military Academy in 1952. Attended Lehigh University and entered the Army as an enlisted man in 1954. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and was commissioned an Infantry 2nd Lt on 3 Jun 1959.

After spending three years with the United States Olympic Modern Pentathlon Team at Ft Sam Houston, Texas, he served as Company Commander with the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea; was selected for Special Forces training in 1965. After completion of the Special Forces Qualification Course, he began his Special Operations Forces career as a Commander of two different A Detachments with the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam, 1966-67. Upon return to CONUS, he was assigned to the Special Warfare School at the US Army JFK Special Warfare Center (USAJFKSWC) at Ft Bragg, North Carolina. He completed his Master’s Degree at North Carolina State University prior to returning to Vietnam where he served with the 1st Cavalry Division as Battalion Operations Officer and Division Inspector General, 1969-1970. He extended his combat tour to serve as Executive Officer, 4th PSYOP Group and as Commander, 7th PSYOP Battalion, 1970-71. He returned to Ft. Bragg and served 21 years within the US Army Special Warfare Center and School as an instructor; as Chief of Reserve Components; as Chief of Individual Training; as a Combat Developments Project Officer; as a Training Specialist in the Training Developments and Doctrine Division; as a Systems Engineering Project Officer; and in other positions within the Center and School from 1971-1992, both as a military officer and Department of Army Civilian. In November 1992 he accepted an assignment at the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill AFB, Florida.

LTC Cox was a highly decorated combat Special Forces (SF), Civil Affairs (CA) and Psychological Operations (PSYOP), and Foreign Area Specialist veteran with extensive experience in these areas over the last 41 years with Special Operations Forces (SOF) He held various positions of responsibilities, at all levels of command and staff, and at the tactical, operational, and strategic level of operations with significant experience in joint operational environments. His knowledge of SOF operations, requirements and acquisition was invaluable in meeting the needs of the SOF combat warrior.

During his extensive career with the Department of Defense, he created and implemented the career field for the Psychological Operations enlisted soldiers and assisted in the development of the career field for Special Forces, Career Management Field 18. He dedicated his time and effort in ensuring that both Active and Reserve SOF units received the latest technology and continued to seek the newest and advanced technologies and capabilities for the SOF warrior.

After retiring from the military in 1985, Mr. Cox was appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to serve as a Brigadier General with the North Carolina National Guard and State Defense Militia. He retired from that assignment upon departure from North Carolina and spent 14 years with the USSOCOM at MacDill AFB, as a Department of the Air Force Civilian. He was intensely involved in preparing SOF warriors for future operations and in meeting SOF missions against the Global War on Terrorism. He served his country for 52 years of which he spent 41 years with Special Operations and earned many military combat awards and decorations as well civilian awards from his career. He retired from USSOCOM, 30 Nov 2006.

LTC Cox was a world class swimmer and triathlete. He was a member of the St Pete Masters swimming team since 1991 and had competed in swimming since he was 8 years old. He completed the IRONMAN World Championship Triathlon in 1985 and other National and World swimming championships. He served as a Trustee and Deacon in the Cornerstone Bible Church located in St Petersburg and lived in St Petersburg since 1991.

He was devoted to God and his family and is survived by his wife of 24 years, J. Kay Leonard, St. Petersburg, FL; his three children from a former marriage; and four grandchildren.

He went home to be with the Lord on July 11, 2009 at 8:22 PM.

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  • Marc Neerman says:

    A good friend and mentor for more than 27 years. We served together several times. I would have never gotten to where I am today without him. We were there at each others weddings. He will be terribly missed, but NEVER forgotten.

  • Karen Williams says:

    The Lutz Patriots of Lutz, Florida send our deepest sympathies in the loss of LTC Cox. His service to our Country will be forever appreciated.

  • kc collier says:

    My first CO in VN 1971. Great officer.End of the war–dangerous times.

  • kc collier says:

    My first CO in VN 1971. Great officer.End of the war–dangerous times.

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