Retired Army Gen. Bernard W. Rogers, commander of the European Command in the 1980s, died Oct. 27 in Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.

He was 87, according to a news release issued Saturday by the command.

Rogers was EUCOM commander during a critical period that included the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Iran hostage crisis, Beirut barracks bombing, airstrikes against Libya, and controversial deployment of Pershing II and Ground Launched Cruise Missiles, military officials said.

He was appointed Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and EUCOM commander in July 1979. He retired from active duty in June 1987.

Born in Fairview, Kansas, Rogers completed a tour as an enlisted man in the Kansas Army National Guard before attending West Point. He graduated in 1943 as a second lieutenant of infantry. He later attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees, according to the Association of the United States Army.

Rogers commanded the 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry in Korea and served as assistant division commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam, according to the association.

Rogers served with "distinction, dedication and honor for 44 years," Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, president of the association’s Council of Trustees, was quoted as saying in the EUCOM release.

He is survived by his wife, Ann E. Rogers, of McLean, Va., a son, Michael W., and two daughters, Diane Opperman and Susan Kroetch.

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