Douglas Buchholz, former Joint Chiefs C4 director, dies

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Douglas D. Buchholz

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Douglas D. Buchholz, who pushed the Defense Department to make better use of its communications bandwidth and led an effort to create a joint radio system, died of leukemia April 26 in Augusta, Ga.

Buchholz, who retired in 1998, completed a 30-year military career as the Joint Chiefs of Staff's director of command, control, communications and computers.

His service included a tour in Vietnam, two tours in Germany, command of the 3rd Signal Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas, and duty at the Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon, Ga. He was assigned to the Signal Center in 1993 as deputy commanding general and a year later became its commanding general and 27th chief of signal.

In the late 1990s, as the Joint Chiefs' C4 director, Buchholz led work on the Joint Tactical Radio System, a single family of programmable, modular communications devices. Last summer, the Army awarded a JTRS contract to build at least 10,000 of the radios.

He also campaigned for DOD to make more efficient use of bandwidth, arguing that the services didn't realize how expensive communications are, and at one point floated the idea of slapping a network tax on systems that exceeded their requirements.

He received many military honors during his career, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Clusters.

A graveside service was held last week at Arlington National Cemetery, with the national flag flown at half-staff.

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