William M. Matz, Jr.

Major General William M. Matz, Jr, U.S. Army (Ret), was appointed as the eighth Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission in January 2018 by President Donald Trump, a position he held until March 2021.

General Matz is a highly decorated combat veteran of the United States Army with a distinguished military career spanning five decades. As an infantryman, he served in Korea and Panama, and as a company commander with the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam, where he was wounded in action in the 1968 Tet Offensive. He served multiple tours in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and was executive secretary to two secretaries of defense, Caspar Weinberger and Frank Carlucci. He served two years with the Navy/Marine amphibious forces in the Pacific during a second tour in Vietnam and deployed with the 7th Infantry Division to Panama during Operation JUST CAUSE in 1989.

Upon retirement from the Army in 1995, General Matz worked nine years in the defense industry. He was first employed by Raytheon Company as vice president, Army Programs; and later as general manager for Vinnell/Northrop Grumman’s Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, returning to the United States in June 2004.

In 2005, President Bush appointed him to the Veterans Disability Benefits Commission, and he served there until the commission rendered its report to the Congress in 2008. He is also past President of the National Association for Uniformed Services (NAUS), a national veteran’s organization that advocates in Congress for service members, veterans and their families.

General Matz is a frequent participant in alumni and academic forums sponsored by the Eisenhower Institute and Gettysburg College and the University of San Diego College of Arts and Sciences. He is on the Eisenhower Institute National Advisory Council and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association.

He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Airborne and Ranger Schools, the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Gettysburg College and a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of San Diego. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security.

Among his military service awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Cross (second highest award our nation bestows for valor on the battlefield), Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

General Matz was born in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Great Falls, Virginia, and have three children and seven grandsons.