Donald M. Babers is an alumnus of Syracuse University, and also a military veteran. You should know his story, because it’s a Syracuse University story – one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future.
Born on May 15, 1931, Donald M. Babers grew up in Newkirk, New Mexico. Immediately after graduating from Tucumcari High School, Babers entered Oklahoma A & M College in 1950. While pursuing his Bachelor’s degree, Babers was also a cadet in the Army ROTC program, receiving his commission in 1954. Second Lieutenant Babers received his first assignment with the 881st Ordnance Company in Europe after completion of Associate Officers Ordnance Course at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.
After his assignment overseas, Babers returned stateside in 1957 and continued his training, attending the Army Artillery and Missile Center and the Field Artillery Battery Officer’s Course in 1958. He also attended the Army Project Manager Course in 1962, Command and General Staff College in 1968, and Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1970. Between attending these military schools, he earned his Masters in Business Administration from Syracuse University in 1964.
By 1970, Babers had filled positions as Battery Commander of a field artillery battalion at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Assistant Project Manager for combat vehicles in Vietnam, Personnel Management Officer in ordnance in Washington D.C., Commanding Officer of the 126th Maintenance Battalion in Europe; Project Manager of the M561/XM705 Truck Vehicle Programs, Director of Procurement and Production, and Deputy for Logistical Support with the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command in Michigan. In 1974 Babers took command of the 46th Support Group, 1st Corps Support Command at Fort Bragg, NC. In 1975 Babers was transferred to the Tank-Automotive Command and upon promotion to Brigadier General, become the Director of Procurement and Production. A year later, in July 1976, Babers became the Deputy Commanding General and later appointed to Project Manager of the XM1 Tank System. By October 1982 Babers had promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. On June 29, 1984 Babers became the 8th Director of the Defense Logistics Agency, appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
Major General Babers’ displays many awards. These awards include: The Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, Army of Occupation in Germany, National Defense Service Medals with Oak Leaf Clusters, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. His support to military services were in quality assurance, in the establishment of the Defense Logistics Agency’s 1st productivity plan, in productivity enhancement and cost monitoring, and in the establishment of an Office of Contracting Integrity in 1997.
Donald M. Babers is an alumnus of Syracuse University and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.