Major General Robert J. Proudfoot was born in Philippi, West Virginia in 1922 and enlisted in the Army in 1942.
He attended Ordnance Officer Candidate School at Aberdeen Proving Ground late in 1943 and subsequently served in a variety of assignments in the U.S., Korea, and the Pacific. He was a graduate of the University of Maryland and later earned a Master of Business Administration at Babson Institute.
Late in 1950, as Depot Officer for the 69th Ordnance Ammunition Company in Hungnam, Korea, he was instrumental in the successful evacuation of nearly 9,000 tons of ammunition in less than a week in the face of an enemy advance. The operation was accomplished owing to his extraordinary initiative, aggressiveness, and planning ability.
In the mid-1960s, he was responsible for the successful programming of all munitions and missiles required in support of all Army elements in the Pacific Theater. Sent to Vietnam to deal with an urgent munitions logistics project, he developed within a few days a munitions control and supply system which normally would have taken the Logistics Command several weeks to organize. As Project Manager for the Shillelagh and later the Lance Missile systems, he oversaw the inclusion of these two major weapons systems into the Army inventory between 1968 and 1973.
He subsequently directed the $3 billion Army Materiel Acquisition Program, and then culminated his nearly 33-year career with the command of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico from 1974 to 1975. Among his other accomplishments was the planning for the High Energy Laser Test Facility. General Proudfoot retired from the Army in 1975 and died in 1987.