COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Former Fort Benning commander and retired three star general Robert G. “Sam” Wetzel died early this morning. He was 91.

Wetzel had a distinguished 34 year military career that led him to the highest commands in the US Army infantry.

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Wetzel fought in Korea and Vietnam.

In the mid-1980s, he led V Corps in Germany. He was Deputy Commander U.S. forces Europe. When he left that command and retired in 1986, his replacement was Gen. Colin Powell.

Wetzel commanded Fort Benning and the Infantry in the early 1980s.

Upon retirement, Wetzel and his wife of 51 years, Eilene, returned to Columbus, where they have lived since.

The funeral for Wetzel will be on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Anne Catholic Church. The funeral will be followed by a military burial and visitation at the National Infantry Museum.