Frederick Kroesen used to command the U.S. Army in Europe.
Huntington Hardisty once commanded U.S. forces in the Pacific. Carl
Vuono was Army chief of staff during the Persian Gulf War.
Today, they and others like them are part of a company with a
hot commodity to sell to the post-Cold War world: U.S. military
Their company, Military Professional Resources Inc., is unique
among the dozens of U.S. firms that sell military know-how. The
others consist mostly of retired majors and colonels. But Military
Professional Resources Inc. is a Who's Who for a generation of
officers who rose through the ranks during the Cold War, led the
troops in Vietnam and built an all-volunteer military force of
"We like to think of ourselves as the guys who, after Vietnam,
rebuilt the U.S. Army," says spokesman Ed Soyster, West Point '57,
an artillery officer in Vietnam and head of the Defense
Intelligence Agency who retired in 1991 as a three-star general.
The company has offered seminars on Desert Storm in Sweden and
in China, sent a team of trainers to Liberia and worked with an
eastern European country Soyster declines to identify. Another
customer is the Croatian Defense Ministry. Recent military
victories by the Croatian forces raised questions about the role
the company may have played in a conflict in which the United
States has remained officially neutral. Military Professional
Resources insists that it taught the Croats only mundane aspects of
leadership and the army's role in a democracy.
A Big Company
Vernon Lewis, an artilleryman with three combat tours in two
wars, started the company in 1987 with seven retired generals.
Today, he is president with 150 employees and $7.2 million in
earnings last year.
Other key figures in the firm:
Carl Stiner, a member of the board of directors, saw combat in
two wars. He led the Joint Special Operations Command, and
personally helped in the 1985 capture of the Achille Lauro
hijackers in 1985, facing down Egyptian commandos to negotiate the
Maxwell Thurman, a board member, was known as "Maxatollah," for
his demanding presence as head of the U.S. Southern Command during
the Panama invasion. He is a brilliant tactician who helped develop
modern warfare doctrine. As head of the Army's Recruiting Command,
he originated the "Be All You Can Be" campaign.
Kroesen, the board chairman, is a veteran of three wars. He
retired in 1983 after serving as commander of U.S. forces in
Europe. He survived a rocket-grenade attack on his armored
limousine by German terrorists. …