James Robert Ralph
James Robert Ralph
  • August 17, 1932 - December 22, 2017
  • Fort Belvoir, Virginia

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Retired Brigadier General James R. Ralph Jr. died peacefully in Ft. Belvoir, VA on Friday, December 22, 2017 at the age of 85.

Jim is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 62 years, Hilde; six children, Rebecca, James III, Linda, Rick, Michael, and Christina; ten grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his brother Joe, of Seattle, WA. Jim was born on August 17, 1932 in Spokane, Washington to Navy Veteran, James and Effie Ralph.

Jim was inducted into the United States Army on November 24, 1952. He subsequently graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA, where he received a commission as a Lieutenant in the Infantry Branch. He had a variety of command and staff positions in the Infantry, Adjutant General Corps, and was at the forefront of Army Automation. Jim's assignments included Company Command in the 101st Airborne Division, Military Advisor with MAAG at the Embassy in Benghazi and Tripoli, Libya in the Americal Division as the Division G1 in Vietnam, Department of the Army Staff Officer at the Pentagon, Chief of Staff of the AG School at Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN, United States Army Europe Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Automation, and Deputy Commanding General of Computer Systems Command. His nearly 35 years of military service culminated as Commander of Personnel Information Systems Command and Deputy Commanding General 7th Signal Command.

Upon retiring from the Army, Jim helped lead Automation Research Systems for over a decade, retired as President, and then went on to start Ralph Consulting, LLC. His dedicated and selfless service continued in support of the United States Armed Forces as he provided vital leadership in shaping the strategic direction in Army personnel policy through the Army Science Board and Army Reserve Strategic Management Advisory Panel.

Jim was an accomplished pianist and artist, and his exceptional musical talent often brought joy to all those around him. He made everyone around him laugh with his witty humor, and he was always filled with compassion and wisdom. Jim exhibited the core Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. He was truly part of the greatest generation, such a humble gentleman who loved life and was dedicated to his family and our country. He was a charter member and a founder of the Saint Martin History Club, and an active member of the Washington Chapter of AFCEA. Jim was a devout member of the Ft. Belvoir Catholic Church, serving as a CCD Teacher and Eucharistic Minister for many years.

Jim graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's in History and Music at Parkville College, MO, and earned his Master's degree in History and Business from Shippensburg University, PA. His military schools include the Infantry Officer Basic Course, AG Advanced Course, Command and Staff College, and the US Army War College.

There will be a viewing at Murphy Funeral Home, 4510 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22203 from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 30, 2017. A Funeral Service will be held there at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 31, 2017. Jim will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Jim's life.

You may contribute toward the U.S. National Army Museum at Ft. Belvoir in honor of Ret. BG James R. Ralph, Jr. at: https://armyhistory.org/donation/ and condolences may be posted online at: www.DignityMemorial.com. The family would like to thank Ft. Belvoir hospital staff for their utmost kindness and professional care.