Regimental Division,
Office Chief of Signal

United States Army Signal Center, Fort Gordon, GA
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Header insignia for Distinguished Member biography pageDistinguished Member of the Regiment biography for

COL (Ret.) Robert L. Forrester (2002)

Throughout his 28-year career as a Signal Corps officer, COL (Ret.) Bob Forrester was one of the Army's very best tactical communicators, considered a perfect blend of technician and tactician and called a "national treasure" by his command.

COL Forrester was drafted into the Army in 1967 and rose from private to colonel.  His career encompassed a variety of assignments, including rifle company commander in Vietnam with 2/502d Infantry Battalion, 101st Airborne Division.

COL Forrester's key assignments included four company commands and command of 5th Signal Battalion, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Polk, La.  He held several assignments in both heavy and light combat divisions and served in a series of staff assignments of ever-increasing responsibility.  These included S-4, Long Lines Battalion, South Korea; S-3, School Brigade, Fort Monmouth, N.J.; battalion Signal officer, 4/23d Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Vietnam; commander, Company A, 125th Signal Battalion, and Signal officer, 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Hawaii; assistant inspector general, Forces Command; force development staff officer, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Department of the Army; Training and Doctrine Command liaison officer, Mobile Subscriber Equipment Fielding Team, Fort Hood, Texas; chief of Concepts and Studies Division, Directorate of Combat Developments, Fort Gordon, Ga.; and chief of the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Requirements Division, Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Va.  Many of these positions were jobs directly relating to defining requirements, funding and developing systems, and fielding much-needed C4 systems that would support U.S. joint and combined operations.  COL Forrester was also a strong leader who was especially adept at motivating and developing subordinates to meet new challenges.

COL Forrester's final Army assignment was as director of combat developments, Fort Gordon.  In that job he managed the Army's long-range planning for designing and developing Signal organizations, communications and information-systems architecture, concepts, doctrine and training.  COL Forrester then "led the charge" to support those programs through the Army's budget process and the defense acquisition process.

COL Forrester's performance and reputation enhanced the Signal Regiment. During his military career, COL Forrester was a key player in the success of many of the Army's most critical C41 programs (Mobile Subscriber Equipment, Single-Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System, Enhanced Position-Location Reporting System, "Joint Stars," Secure Mobile Antijam Reliable Tactical Terminal and Warfighter Information Network-Tactical). He responded to the Defense Department, Department of the Army, Training and Doctrine Command and Congress with impact statements, trade-offs and alternatives to ensure those programs' and the Signal Regiment's success.


After he retired from the military in July 1996, COL Forrester went to work with General Dynamics C4 Systems (formally GTE) and is still shaping Army communications through equipment development, engineering, production and fielding. Particularly noteworthy is that he continually shares current information with the Signal Regiment's leadership. COL Forrester's insight and analysis of Signal issues are respected throughout the Army.



His expertise in communications technologies promotes the Signal Regiment's success in today's complex mission requirements. His advice, leadership and friendship often transcend his position at General Dynamics and are made solely in the Signal Regiment's and Army's best interest. COL Forrester cares deeply about the Signal Regiment's future and inspires Signal officers, warrant officers and noncommissioned officers at every level of command. His contributions to the Regiment continue to be significant, further emphasizing his position as leader, mentor and great American.



COL Forrester's awards include the Bronze Star medal (three oak-leaf clusters), Legion of Merit (oak-leaf cluster) and both the Bronze and Silver Orders of Mercury from the Signal Corps Regimental Association. He was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Signal Regiment in 2002.

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Last modified on:
April 04, 2012

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