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Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom

Lt. Gen. Edward L. Rowny, U.S.A. (Ret.)

A 1941 West Point Graduate, Lt. General Edward L. Rowny, U.S.A. (Ret.) (1917-2017) would not only have an excellent military career but would also serve as a hardline arms control adviser to five U.S. presidents. In addition to his military education at West Point, Rowny would go on to study the Russian language and Soviet negotiating techniques at Yale University. Combining his military experience with his excellent education, Rowny positioned himself for a major role in U.S. policymaking during the Cold War. In 1971, he was appointed the U.S. Representative to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II) and would remain in the position under Nixon, Ford, and Carter. He would eventually become one of the most outspoken advisors against SALT II, stating that it would give the Soviets a lopsided advantage and allow them to cheat the agreement easier. However, under Reagan, Rowny would be appointed to the rank of Ambassador as the President’s Chief Negotiator on Strategic Nuclear Arms (START) and eventually as the Special Advisor on Arms Control for both President Reagan and President Bush, Sr. Following his resignation in 1990, Rowny wrote two books on his arms control experiences, It takes One to Tango and Smokey Joe & the General. Among his many military decorations, President Reagan awarded Rowny the Presidential Citizens Medal. In 2005, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation awarded him with the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom.