Vessey Leaves Joint Chiefs

Associated Press

Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., an infantryman who won a battlefield commission in 1944 and went on to become the nation’s top-ranking officer, retired today as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with personal thanks from President Reagan, who flew by helicopter to Andrews Air Force Base to participate in the ceremony.

Vessey, 63, was named by Reagan to the chairmanship in June, 1982. He was reappointed to a second two-year term in 1984 but announced in April that he wanted to retire early to keep a promise to his wife “to have her in our home in Minnesota before the first snow of the ’85-'86 winter.”