Lieutenant General Jack Brodie Farris, Jr., (Retired), after a long illness, died December 14, 2019, at the age of 84. He was the younger of two children of the late Jack Brodie Farris, Sr. and Dorothy Hackney Farris in Charlotte, North Carolina. His older brother, Henry Hackney Farris, predeceased him. Jack attended the public schools of Charlotte, where he graduated from Myers Park High School in 1954 and was the President of his class. He attended and graduated from The Citadel in 1958 named Regimental Commander of the college and graduated as an Infantry Officer. On March 2, 1968, Jack married Martha Diane Cox. They have one child, Marianne Glenn Farris, who with her husband, David Werneke, live in Columbus, Georgia. Jack’s early career included assignments as a Company Commander in the 82d Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and combat service in the Vietnam War as a Battalion Commander and the Executive Officer of the 173d Airborne Brigade. On these two assignments he suffered two separate exposures involving “Agent Orange.” Later, he was Senior Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General of Allied Land Forces Southeastern Europe in Izmir, Turkey and an Instructor and Department Director at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He served in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff at the Pentagon and was Commander of the Infantry Training Center at Fort Benning, Georgia where he helped form the Army’s first Advanced Individual Training Brigade. As a Colonel, Jack was Chief of Staff for the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado and after promotion to Brigadier General in 1980 moved up to Assistant Division Commander. He next served as Deputy Director of the Joint Deployment Agency at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. Upon advancement to Major General in 1982 he became Deputy Commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps, where he was the senior ground commander of the U.S. military forces who invaded the Caribbean nation of Grenada in October, 1983. In 1985, Jack assumed duty in South Korea as Deputy Commander for Operations of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command. He then served as Commanding General of the 2d Infantry Division directing approximately 30,000 troops. After a tour as Chief of Staff for the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Virginia he was advanced to the three star rank of Lieutenant General and served his final assignment as Deputy Commander of the United States Pacific Command at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii. He retired in 1991 after 33 years of service. In his career, Jack earned a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Florida State University in 1972 and was a graduate of the United States Army War College, the United States Army Ranger School and the U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School. He also attended the John F. Kennedy program on International Security at Harvard University. He earned the Combat Infantryman Badge and Master Parachutist Badge. His military awards further include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, 3 awards of the Legion of Merit and a Purple Heart. Those he led were devoted to him. One of them said “Jack Farris was the epitome of the combat infantry officer. He loved his men and they worshiped him. He had that extraordinary leadership characteristic that made you want to please him. When he asked you to do something you would do everything in your power to make it happen and when the mission was accomplished nothing felt better than to have him look at you, smile and say “Drive On!” Another soldier who was with Jack as a young officer from June to December 1970 recalled that Jack, along with other officers, spent countless nights in the officers’ hooch. Jack would causally slip into the hooch, grab the sitting edge of a cot and join the conversation. No ritual. No airs. No pretense. A genuine person. His presence radiated confidence, respect and dignity. In retrospect I understand that his presence among us those evenings was more than camaraderie: as a leader he was building relationships, connections, mutual respect. He generously gave an ear to virtually every man he led. He flew out to field missions to be among the ground pounders, talking to them, absorbing the burdens they carried and the arduousness of their mission. Jack’s presence on the ground with these men and his empathy for their condition and circumstances generated the highest of admiration among them. Lincoln wrote that: character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. Jack was the “real thing.” A private Memorial Service will be held at a later time. Memorials in honor of General Farris may be made to The Citadel Foundation at 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29409.
Posted in: Charlotte Observer
Posted on: 2019-12-22
Link to original obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charlotte/obituary.aspx?n=jack-farris&pid=194789282