General John Sherman Crow was born in Bastrop, Louisiana and graduated Bastrop High School in 1955. He received the BS degree from Northwestern State College of Louisiana in 1959, simultaneously, Crow was commissioned a 2LT in the United States Army, as an Armor Officer, having completed Northwestern State’s Army ROTC Program as a Distinguished Military Graduate.
He entered active duty at Fort Knox, Kentucky in 1959 as a Cavalry Officer and began what lead to an extensive and impressive command history. He commanded a Cavalry Platoon and Troop in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, a Tank Company in 3rd Armored Division, and was an advisor to the Vietnamese 2nd Cavalry and 9th ARVN Infantry Division. He commanded one of the first Chieftain Tank Squadrons in the 11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own), a British Cavalry Regiment posted in Bergen-Belsen, Germany. He commanded 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment followed by command of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse) in Fulda, Germany. His last tactical command was as Commanding General, 2nd Armored Division (Forward) in northern Germany. His last posting was as Deputy Commanding General, US Army Japan.
Crow had an equally impressive series of staff assignments on the Army Staff in tank development and as Deputy Director for Operations, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Crow received the MBA degree from the University of Alabama in 1973. While there he was asked by then UA President, Dr. David Matthews and Dean John Fielden to pilot the MBA Internship Program. The program began with a retail marketing analysis sponsored by Mr. Lewis Manderson, owner of Creative Display, Inc. followed by a six- month advisory effort with a newly formed minority owned business headquartered in Birmingham. The results of both efforts are found in his treatises: ‘Tuscaloosa Shopper Preferences’ and ‘A.G. Gaston and Associates, Inc.: A Corporate Experiment in Minority Owned Business’. In 1979 General Crow graduated from the National War College and he became a National Institute of Higher Defense Studies Fellow in 1983.
Many will remember then Colonel Crow in a 1980 CBS ’60 Minutes’ interview with Mike Wallace while he commanded the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse) in Fulda, Germany. In April 1984, General Crow became only the third Alumnus, to be inducted into the Northwestern State University (Demon Regiment) Army ROTC Hall of Fame. Crow’s exceptional record of service inspires NSU ROTC Cadets, today. He is a highly decorated combat veteran with numerous awards for valor and meritorious service. He received the Combat Infantryman Badge, Vietnamese Combat Armor Badge, the Army Staff Badge and the Joint Staff Badge.
General Crow was the 2012 recipient of the Order of Saint George Gold Medallion, Cavalry and Armor’s most prestigious award. He is retired and is married to the former Virginia Ford Beard, also a 1959 graduate of Northwestern State College. They reside in their home state of Louisiana where he has served as a volunteer with several nonprofit charitable organizations.