Lieutenant General John Breitling Coulter, Class of 1911

From West Texas Military Academy to "Coulter's Dogs"

Lt. Gen. John B. Coulter was born in San Antonio on April 27, 1891. As a cadet at West Texas Military Academy, he commanded Company B and played fullback on the football team. He was an outstanding scholar honored at graduation as class salutatorian and recipient of the Declamation Medal. Along with eight classmates, he was commissioned straight from West Texas into the Army. Coulter’s call to service came in the middle of his post-graduate year, and he was commissioned a second lieutenant of cavalry Nov. 30, 1912.

Lt. Coulter initially was assigned to the 14th Cavalry with Mexican Border duty near Brownsville, Texas. At this time, he first saw combat June 15, 1916 he fought with M Troop against 100 raiders from Pancho Villa’s army at Ygnacio, 40 miles south of Laredo. In this surprise attack, four U.S. troopers were lost, six raiders were killed and eight captured.

After this, 1st Lt. Coulter was appointed adjutant of Fort McIntosh near Laredo, then became aide-de-camp to Brig. Gen. William A. Mann, 2nd Brigade commander. As the National Guard mobilized for the Mexican Border crisis, Coulter was moved to Camp Wilson in San Antonio. With the onset of World War I, Capt. Coulter performed similar duty with mobilization as an instructor in support of the District of Columbia National Guard until August 1917. When Mann took command of the famous 42nd “Rainbow” Division, he recalled Coulter to serve again as his aide-de-camp. Read More

After the war

After World War II, Maj. Gen. John Coulter returned to the United States first as Commander, Infantry Replacement Center at Fort McClellan, Ala., and then as Deputy Commander, Fourth Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. By 1948 he went overseas again as Division Commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Japan. This was followed by his appointment as Deputy Commander of U.S. Army Forces in Korea and then Commanding General of I Corps in Japan. After a little over two years in the Far East, he returned to the United States as Deputy Commander General of the Fifth Army in Chicago. Read More

Foreign governments awarded him the Belgian Order of Leopold II, the Ecuadorian Estrella de Aldon Calderon Second Class, Mexican Military Merit, Insignia of Grand Officer Order del Sol of Peru, Cuban Order of Military Merit with white insignia first class, Italian Order of Saints Maurice & Lazarus in grade of commander, and the French Cross of Officer of the Legion of Honor and Croix de Guerre with palm.