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Sidney Weinstein; Army Intelligence Chief

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Sidney
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Sidney "Tom" Weinstein was the principal architect of the modern military intelligence corps, colleagues said. (U.s. Army)

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By Patricia Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sidney "Tom" Weinstein, 72, a retired Army lieutenant general who was deputy chief of staff for intelligence during the 1980s, died May 24 of complications from emphysema at his home in Great Falls.

Gen. Weinstein was the principal architect of the modern military intelligence corps, his colleagues said, and was the crucial player in its expansion and professionalization. At a time when Army intelligence units were scattered under different commands, he brought them together and was responsible for the concept of intelligence and electronic warfare.

Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, said Gen. Weinstein established the Army's master plan for intelligence "that set a course for the Army to have the best intelligence corps for the next decade or two. It was a tremendous jump forward."

Gen. Weinstein was also known for his commitment to talking to the troops, said Alexander, who worked for him several times. "He gave people the impression that you as a person could do anything, everybody was really gifted," Alexander said.

He also had a knack for persuading his officers to stick with the Army when the higher wages of the private sector beckoned. Alexander said that when he was considering leaving, Gen. Weinstein warned him: "If all the good guys get out, only nitwits will be running our Army. Is that really what you want?"

Since his last illness, e-mails and notes flooded in from soldiers who served under him, one of his daughters said. The notes quoted his corny sayings ("The chicken don't cackle until the egg is laid") and the speech on leadership that he gave to every class of the Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., where he was commanding general.

"Ya gotta love soldiers," he'd begin, and then talk about a leader's obligation to care for the whole soldier while earning the person's trust and confidence by always doing the right thing.

Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, his classmate at West Point, described Gen. Weinstein in his autobiography as "a shrewd guy who . . . had a knack for getting to the point." Schwarzkopf wrote that he asked Gen. Weinstein why he wasn't consumed with personal ambition, as so many people in Washington are.

"During the four years we were [at West Point], you remember all . . . they taught us?" Schwarzkopf said Gen. Weinstein replied, referring to the school's motto of duty, honor and country. "Well, I really believed it."

Gen. Weinstein served in a broad variety of intelligence, counterintelligence and security positions in the United States, Europe, Vietnam and Latin America during his 33-year career in the Army. He retired from the military in 1989.

He was born in Camden, N.J., and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was fluent in Spanish and was considered an expert in Latin American affairs. He served in Vietnam.

In addition to his position at the Army Intelligence Center and School, he was deputy commanding general of the Intelligence and Security Command in Arlington. He was also commander of the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade and assistant chief of staff for intelligence of the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C. He also commanded the 2nd Military Intelligence Battalion in Germany.

Among his military awards were the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and several awards of the Air Medal. He was a member of the highly selective Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Pauline Weinstein of Great Falls; three children, Circuit Court Judge Halee Weinstein of Baltimore, Mila Masur of Carlisle Barracks, Pa., and Michael Weinstein of Ashburn; and eight grandchildren.


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