“A Monumental Undertaking”: Supplying the Vietnam War

Stephen Bliss


BG(R) Stephen Bliss graduated from West Point in 1965, after a distinguished swimming career, and joined the Quartermaster Corps, branch detailed to the Field Artillery. After two years in the Field Artillery at Fort Campbell, he deployed to Vietnam in 1967 where he commanded three different supply companies at the General Support, Direct Support, and Divisional level. Upon returning from Vietnam, he attended various quartermaster schools and earned a Master’s Degree from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Petroleum Engineering. He then returned to Vietnam where he served as an Advisor to the South Vietnamese in Petroleum Management before being reassigned to the United States Army, Republic of Vietnam (USARV) to manage the Army’s fuel. Following his second tour in Vietnam, attended the Command and General Staff College (CGSC), served in Bahrain, and held a variety of assignments at Fort Carson, Colorado, including serving as the G4 for 4th ID. He then served a year in Turkey, before returning to Fort Lee where he commanded the 240th Quartermaster Battalion. From 1988-1990, he commanded the 10th DISCOM at Fort Drum, NY before being assigned to the Pentagon as the Director for Energy & Troop Support, DCSLOG. BG Bliss’s final assignment was as the Vice Commander for AAFES, the Army / Air Force Exchange Service. In this interview, BG(R) Bliss discusses swimming and running track at USMA in the mid-60s and the high caliber teams West Point fielded. He describes his deployments to Vietnam and provides a great perspective of support at various levels. He explains how the Army ran petroleum operations world-wide and examines various aspects of the Army of the 1980s. He talks about running AAFES and some of the challenges that organization faces. Finally, he provides advice for young leaders.


conflicts Vietnam War Persian Gulf War
topics Army Athletics Ethics USMA 1965 West Point History Leadership
interviewer Fredric Laughlin
date April 11, 2016


name Stephen Bliss
institution USMA
graduation year 1965
service Quartermaster
unit 74th Supply CO, 221st S&S CO, A CO, 23 S&T BN, 23rd ID, RVN / 240th QM BN / 10th DISCOM
service dates 1965 1995