Colonel John Edwin Bircher Ill - US Army (Retired)- Lady Lake, Fl

Education and Training Accomplishments:


  • University of Nebraska, Omaha; BGS, 1973
  • Appalachian State University; MS, Political Science, 1977


  • Officer Candidate School, Ft. Benning, GA, 1963
  • Electronic Warfare School, Ft. Devens, MA, 1963
  • Intelligence Officer Career Course, Ft. Holabird, MD, 1968
  • Special Forces Officer Course, 1969
  • US Army Command and General Staff Course, Ft. Leavenworth, KS, 1977
  • Foreign Area Officer Course, Ft. Bragg, NC 1977
  • Defense Attache Course, Defense Intelligence Agency, 1978
  • Department of State Language School, Arabic, Washington DC, 1979
  • Department of State Language School, French, Washington DC, 1982
  • National War College, Ft. McNair, Washington DC, 1985

Professional or Employment History:

US Army Assignments:

  • 1959-1963- Enlisted in US Army, received Electronic Equipment training at the Army Security Agency Training Center and School (USASATC&S) and deployed to Panama prior to applying for Officer Candidate School.
  • 1963-1965-Assjgned to USASA TC&S as a Company XO and-Training Evaluation Officer. (LT)
  • 1965-1968-Unit Commander and Military Attache, US Embassy, Teheran, Iran (CAPT)
  • 1969-1970- Intelligence Officer (G2), Special Forces B & C Teams, Vietnam
  • 1970-1971- Executive Officer, USASA Field Station, Herzogenaurach, Germany (MAJ)
  • 1971-1972- USASA Liaison Officer, US Army Europe, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1972-1973 -Operations Officer (S3), 502d ASA Group. Augsburg, Germany
  • 1973-1975-Electronic Warfare Advisor to Iranian Army, MAAG, Teheran1 Iran
  • 1976-1979-Numerous training courses
  • 1979-1980 – Defense & Army Attache, US Embassy, Beirut, Lebanon {LtCol)
  • 1980-1982 -Attache Directorate, Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC
  • 1982-1984-Military attache, US Embassy, Rabat, Morocco (COL)
  • 1985-1988 – Politico-Military Advisor to Asst/Secretary of State for Mid-East/South Asia and Director, Mid-East Regional Affairs, Department of State. Tasks included 3-time Director of lnteragency Counter-Terrorism/Mid-East Crisis Task Force; Speaker on behalf of DOS Speakers
    Bureau; and Congressional Relations. {COL)

Civilian Work Experience:

  • 1988-1996-Sr. Vice President and CEO, Neill and Company, a Government & Public Relations firm, Washington, DC.
  • 1997-2002 – President/CEO, B3CI Company, Government Relations, Fairfax1 VA
  • 2002 – Retired to Lady Lake, Florida.
  • 2008- 2021 – National Director of Public Relations, Military Order of the Purple Heart

Nominee’s Advocacy on Behalf of Veterans.

Life Member of the MOPH and VFW. As a Purple Heart recipient himself, in 2006 the nominee organized and established a Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) in Lake County, Florida, and was elected to serve as the Chapter’s first Commander. During his tenure, the Chapter grew from 6 to 91 Members. As Commander, he organized a charity golf tournament whose proceeds were used to benefit homeless and needy Veterans and their families living in the Ocala National Forest. With other VSO’s in Lake County, organized a food and clothing drive for homeless or needy veterans and their families. In 2005, he spearheaded a fund raising effort to assist the American Red Cross in providing assistance to Florida veterans affected by hurricanes with critical needs such as shelter, food, clothing, counseling and other assistance. Helped organize and participated in the “Wreaths Across America” ceremonies at Bushnell Cemetery. In turn, he served as the Junior and Senior Vice Commander of the MOPH Department of Florida .. During the 2010 MOPH National Convention in Orlando, he organized a highly successful golf tournament at Waft Disney World that benefited the disabled veteran rehabilitation program at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa.

In 2008, he was asked to create a Public Relations program for the National MOPH Organization. Over the course of the next 12 years, he developed myriad initiatives and activities to raise awareness of the history of the Purple Heart medal and the sacrifices of its recipients, including the contributions of the MOPH National Organization and its Chapters and Departments to their local communities and veteran service organizations; expansion of the Purple Heart Trail across the nation; creation of a Purple Heart Entity program to recognize the support of Veteran friendly business and education entities across the country; Established the “Purple Heart Truck Run” in conjunction with Ford Motor Co. to provide new and specially adapted Ford trucks to disabled veterans; worked with the Oddfellows organization to build a special Purple Heart “Service and Sacrifice” float for the Parade of Roses in Pasadena, CA; In 2014. he organized and participated in myriad visits by the MOPH leadership to veterans recuperating from wounds in military hospitals, including Walter Reed, Bethesda, San Antonio, Tampa, and the Center for the Intrepid; and, expanded a program to provide reserved parking signs for Purple Heart recipients in communities across the nation. During his tenure as MOPH Public Relations Director, he was honored with the coveted “Carroll Fiffe Achievement Award”, the highest honor bestowed by the MOPH for his establishment of a new and highly successful Public Relations Program. In recognition of his achievements in the field of Public Relations, he was awarded the “Silver Anvil Award” by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), which recognizes the best strategic public relations campaigns of the year, as well as outstanding organizational excellence.

Summary of Nominee’s Civic Activities and Contributions:

The nominee was honored to be invited as one of four Guest Speakers, joining Vice President Biden at the dedication of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, PA.

The nominee served on the Board of Directors of Angel Flight America Southeast. Located in Leesburg, Florida. Angel Flight provides free air ambulance service transferring critically ill or injured patients from around the region, offering specialized care. During his tenure, the nominee organized two highly successful charity golf tournaments to help offset the costs of providing these services.

The nominee served as an ‘~mbassador” on the “Freedom Team Salute” program, an official U.S. Army Commendation Program sponsored by the Secretary of the Army and U.S. Army Chief of Staff.

He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of three separate veteran service organizations that provide golf instruction and comradeship for veterans throughout the nation; including “Birdies for the Brave”,” Veteran Golf Association,” and previously with Florida based “Fairways for Warriors.”

The nominee participated in the rebuilding of a home for a needy family in Lady Lake, Florida with the “Habitat for Humanity” organization.

Throughout the period he served as MOPH Public Relations Director, the nominee fielded  thousands of calls from Veterans and their families throughout the United States, especially Florida, seeking advice and assistance with the VA, Members of Congress, State and local officials, and other veteran related organizations.

Decorations and Awards of Honor:

Military Decorations:

  • Defense Superior Service Medal {3 awards)
  • Legion of Merit
  • Soldiers Medal (Saved lives of mother and child during gun fight in Beirut, Lebanon 1979)
  • Bronze Star for Valor (2 awards)
  • Purple Heart
  • Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards)
  • Army Meritorious Service Medal
  • Air Medal
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal
  • Good Conduct Medal (2 awards)
  • Combat Infantryman Badge
  • Parachute Badge
  • Special Forces Tab
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense Badge

Foreign Decorations:

  1. Awarded the “Ouissam Alaouite, Grade of Officer”” by King Hassan II of Morocco, and a second award, ”Grade of Commander” by King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
  2. Awarded the Civic Action Medal by the Vietnamese Army.

Other Awards of Honor:

  1. Induction into the US Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame (2016)
  2. “Order of St. Maurice,” by US Army Infantry Association
  3. National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
  4. “Carroll Fiffe Award” for Significant Achievement on behalf of MOPH
  5. “Spirit of Detroit Award” by Mayor and City Council of Detroit, Ml

Written Narrative:

A 21-year resident of Florida, John Bircher has dedicated his life to serving his fellow veterans, his nation, the State of Florida, and his local community. 

During his near 30-year distinguished career in the US Army, he served in a wide variety of complex command and staff positions. As a battalion and regiment level G-2 {Intelligence Officer} with the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam, he assisted in the planning for and then participated in the conduct of combat operations throughout the Ill Corps area of operations. For his bravery and heroism, he received two awards of the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in combat. Other than Vietnam, the focus of the majority of his assignments were either within the region, or in CONUS based jobs related to intelligence collection or behalf of US Government agencies and decision makers. With a fluency in the Arabic, French, and Farsi languages, he possessed a unique ability to travel, converse, and analyze local customs and attitudes towards US policies, and report on military capabilities and intensions.

As a testament to his unique capabilities, in 1985 he was asked to represent the Office of the Secretary of Defense on an exchange assignment with the Department of State, where he served as the senior Politico-Military Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East and South Asian Affairs. In this position he prepared assessments of capabilities and intensions of military forces throughout the region; reviewed all Arms Sales requests for the Region; and prepared Congressional testimony for the Assistant Secretary relating to the Arab-Israeli Peace Process. During periods of crisis or terrorism, he was asked to Chair the lnteragency Task Force at the Department of State that monitored the crisis and made recommendations for adjustments to US Foreign Policy. At the end of his three year assignment, he was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal and personal letters of commendation from the Secretary of State and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From a dubious beginning as a high school dropout, the nominee rose to become one of the nation’s leading experts on Middle East Politico-Military affairs.

After his retirement from the military, followed by leadership of a Middle East focused, government relations firm in Washington, D.C., he turned his attention to working on behalf of Florida’s Veterans and their families. As a member of the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame myself, I can think of no other person more dedicated to the well-being of Florida’s Veterans or more deserving of induction into the Florida Veteran Hall of Fame than John E. Bircher Ill. As seen throughout this recommendation, his achievements on behalf of all veterans are the threads from which the fabric of legend is woven.