Peter J. Cofoni

  • Colonel
  • Vietnam


Peter J. Cofoni was born in Westerly, Rhode Island, a son of James and Millie Cofoni. A 1951 graduate of Westerly High School, he entered the University of Rhode Island with the Class of 1955 and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. He was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity. While at URI, he participated in Army ROTC, was a Cadet Company Commander and a member of the Scabbard and Blade Military Honor Society. Upon graduation, Pete was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps.

1LT Cofoni commanded Company E, 385th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army Reserve in Rhode Island from October 1957 to February 1959. On 2 February 1959, he was commis-sioned as a Regular Army Officer and served a two-year detail as an Infantry Officer where he earned the Expert Infantryman’s Badge.

In 1966, Major Cofoni deployed to Vietnam and was assigned as Chief, Plans and Opera-tions Division, U.S. Support Command, Saigon. In this position, Major Cofoni was re-sponsible for the operational planning for logistics support for combat operations in III and IV Corps, which were a hotbed of VC combat activity. During this period, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received during an enemy rocket attack.

Major Cofoni was then assigned as a Senior Logistics Instructor at the U.S. Army Quar-termaster School, Fort Lee, Virginia. He was designated as a “Quartermaster Distin-guished Instructor.” Having been an outstanding Leader and Senior Instructor, Major Cofoni was assigned as the advisor to the Saudi Arabia Army Quartermaster School where he improved the curriculum and methods of instruction.

Upon completion of Command and General Staff College, he volunteered for another assignment in Southeast Asia and was assigned as the Chief, Logistics Division, Udorn, Thailand, with the mission to provide logistics support to the allied forces with the war in Vietnam. These comments were extracted from LTC Cofoni’s OER by General John M. Vessey: “LTC Cofoni developed the tools and coordination techniques which permitted DOD agencies to work smoothly with other involved federal agencies in Southeast Asia. He should be promoted ahead of his contemporaries and sent to senior service school at the first opportunity.”

LTC Cofoni was selected for battalion command and assigned as Commander, 541st Maintenance Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, where he set an out-standing example of what a leader should be in developing his troops and as an outstand-ing Logistician providing Combat Service Support to the 1st Infantry Division during gar-rison and field operations. His coordination and direction of the departure and arrival air-field control group for 1st Infantry Division Exercise REFORGER IV and V in Germany was masterful and contributed greatly to the success of those major exercises.

After an outstanding command tour, LTC Cofoni had multiple key staff assignments: Of-fice of the Deputy Chief of Logistics, Department of the Army, Washington, DC; Chief, Career Programs and Chief, Congressional Affairs Branch, Department of the Army Mili-tary Personnel Center; Chief, Quartermaster Branch; Chief, Combat Service Support Di-vision; and Chief, Assignments Branch, Lieutenant Colonel’s Divisions. In all positions, LTC Cofoni performed his duties in an outstanding manner. He was responsive to the needs of the Army and the professional development of the officers and special needs of their families. He is a dynamic leader, manager and problem solver.

After graduating from the U.S. War College, Colonel Cofoni was selected to command the European Command Support Activity, Stuttgart, Germany. Brigadier General Johnny Ford stated: “Colonel Cofoni created a command climate which resulted in major im-provements of all aspects of post support. Colonel Cofoni has the potential to become a General Officer.”

As a result of Colonel Cofoni outstanding performance, he was selected for another Colonel Command assignment. In February 1982, he assumed command of the 47th Area Support Group, Burtonwood, England. Brigadier General Christian Patte stated: “He has enormous potential …. This is a guy you can trust completely; one who will get the hard jobs done.”

Returning to the Pentagon, Colonel Cofoni was selected as Deputy Director of Plans and Operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Logistics, Department of the Army. Colonel Cofoni continued to provide outstanding leadership and management for six divisions within the Directorate of Plans involved in proactive and reactive Army-wide planning and policy development, joint activities, war plans, readiness and reserve affairs.

Colonel Peter J. Cofoni retired from the United States Army in October 1986, after more than 30 years of service and was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service to our coun-try. Colonel Pete Cofoni is a long-standing member and leader of the URI Alumni Asso-ciation and one of the strongest supporters of the University of Rhode Island Washing-ton, DC, Alumni Chapter and the URI Foundation. Colonel Peter Cofoni and his wife Danielle reside in Alexandria, Virginia.