Robert Harter '88 Promoted to Major General

In April of 2019, Virginia Tech and German Club Alumnus Robert D. Harter received his second star and was promoted to the rank of Major General, US Army. The ceremony was attended by fellow German Club Alumni and Veterans, Scott Sangrey and Brian Stockmoe.

Major General Harter, a native of both Alaska and Virginia, was commissioned in the Field Artillery Corps in 1988, after graduating from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Communications. He also holds a Masters in National Security Strategy from the National War College. 


Maj. Gen. Harter currently serves as the Chief of Staff, Army Materiel Command.  His previous General Officer assignments include Commanding General of the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) where he deployed to CENTCOM in support of Operation Spartan Shield, Chief of Staff and G3 for the Office of the Chief of Army Reserve (OCAR), and the Army Reserve Senior Representative to the 39th Army Chief of Staff of the Army Transition Team.

Maj. Gen. Harter’s active duty assignments include the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Bad Hersfeld, Germany, where he participated in multiple border security missions before the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification, and deployed to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Storm; the 101st Corps Support Group, where he served as a Group Maintenance Officer and Battalion Operations Officer; Commander, 584th Direct Support Maintenance Company, Fort Campbell, Ky.; and as an instructor at the Ordnance (Ammunition) Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

Maj. Gen. Harter transferred to the Active Guard Reserve program in 1999. His AGR assignments include: Training Chief for Readiness, 99th Regional Readiness Command, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Support Operations Officer, 55th Sustainment Brigade, Fort Belvoir, Va.; Distribution Management Chief, 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, mobilized to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2007-2008); Branch Chief, Force Protection Branch, Joint Staff J8, Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment, Washington, D.C.; Executive Officer, Office of the Chief of Army Reserve, Washington, D.C.; and Assistant Chief of Staff, Office of the Chief of Army Reserve, Fort Belvoir, Va.  

Maj. Gen. Harter’s awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Parachutist and Air Assault badges. He is a graduate of the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, Ordinance Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Command and General Staff College, the National War College, and The CAPSTONE course.   Maj. Gen. Harter and his wife, Erin, have been married for over 30 years and they have three children.

When asked about his favorite memories of the German Club, Robert reflected on the variety of social and service events, but added the following about his years post-graduation  “My best memories are all the things we've done together since then - a true tribute to our brotherhood.  Attending each other's weddings, watching our kids grow up, Hacking Hokies golf trips for all these years, football games, reunions (the 100th, the 105th)...most folks leave their college relationships behind, ours have only gotten stronger. That is what the German Club is all about.  We hold each other accountable and we make each other better. Honored to be a German Club man.”

Robert and his family have maintained their season football tickets throughout his career and when time allows, you can find them tailgating on Fall Saturdays at the Manor alongside his former German Club classmates.