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General Kerr was born December 19, 1933 and reared in Philadelphia, PA. He received his B.S. degree in Naval Science from Oregon State University, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant through the NROTC Scholarship Program, upon graduation in June 1955. He also holds an M.S. degree in Management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA (1967); and an M.S. degree in Higher Education from the University of Southern California (1972).
Upon completion of The Basic School at Quantico, VA., General Kerr reports to the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC, where he served as a rifle platoon leader and company executive officer with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines. He returned from a Mediterranean deployment in 1957, and was assigned to Marine Barracks, Rota, Spain, serving as guard officer and adjutant. He was promoted to Captain in May 1960, prior to his transfer to the staff at The Basic School, Quantico, where he was assigned as a company officer, and later, instructor of Map Reading.
In June 1963, he reported to the 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA, where he was the K Company Commander in the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, and later, the battalion in 1965 as the Commanding Officer, H&S Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. During May 1965, the battalion landed at Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam, where he was the Battalion S-4 Officer and again, Commander of Company K.
Returning to the U.S. in January 1966, he reported to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA, to serve for six months as the Assistant Operations Officer of the Recruit Training Regiment.
He was promoted to Major on July 1, 1966 and attended the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, graduating with distinction.
Ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington D.C., in July 1967, he performed duties of a Manpower Analyst in the G-1 Division. He returned to Vietnam in 1969 as the Manpower Plans Officer with Headquarters, III Marine Amphibious Force, G-1. In September 1970, he was assigned as the Marine Corps Instructor at the University of Southern California, and while there was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on February 1, 1972.
General Kerr returned the Marine Corps recruit Depot, San Diego, in September 1972, to serve as the Deputy Comptroller, and then the Commanding Officer, 3rd recruit Training Battalion.
He was ordered to the 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, in July 1975, and served as the Executive Officer of the 5th Marines. The following July, he was selected to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, in Washington D.C., graduating with the distinction in June 1977.
Following graduation, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps as Head of Enlisted Assignment Branch, where he was promoted to Colonel in January 1978. He was reassigned, in June 1979, as the Secretary of the General Staff.
General Kerr assumed command of the 9th Marine regiment with collateral duties as Camp Commander, Camp Hansen, Okinawa on June 1, 1980. While serving in this capacity, he was selected in February 1981, for promotion to Brigadier General. He was advanced to that grade on April 10, and assigned as Director of Public Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps.
On June 20, 1982, general Kerr reported to the The Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, where he served as the Deputy and Commanding General of MCRD and the Western Recruiting Region. He was recruited to work for Bank of America and retired with 30 years of active service on December 31, 1984. He stared work on January 1, 1985 as a Vice President and General Manager with The Business Services Division of Bank of America in San Francisco, from which he retired in December 1992.
His decorations and awards include: The Legion of Merit; The Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device and gold star in lieu of second award; The Navy Commendation Medal; The Combat Action Ribbon; Presidential Unit Citation; The Navy Unit Citation; Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars; The Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross with palm; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (civil action); and The republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
See also Military Times article
Brigadier General Kerr and his wife, the former Susan George (OSU ’57) currently reside at Mirabella, South Waterfront, a high rise CCRC, in Portland, OR. They have two grown sons in their late 50’s and four grandchildren.