Patriot John Bircher had a distinguished, 30-year military career. He joined the U.S. Army in 1959 as an enlisted man and graduated from Infantry Officer Candidate School in March, 1963. He retired in 1988 as a Colonel. Although a Military Intelligence Officer and Middle East Foreign Area Specialist for most of his career, he served in Vietnam with Special Forces in 1969-1970 where he received the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for Valor. Among his many CONUS and overseas assignments, he served as a Military Attaché in Iran, Lebanon and Morocco and speaks both Arabic and French fluently. His last military assignment was at the U.S. Department of State where, as an exchange officer, he was the Director of Regional Affairs and Politico-Military Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East. He is a graduate of the National War College and holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science.


For his valor and military service, Patriot Bircher was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Legion of Merit, Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for Valor with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Good Conduct Medal with Two Knots. He was also awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Office of the

Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, Special Forces Tab, and numerous other U.S. and foreign decorations. He was twice awarded the “Ouissam Alaouite” by the King of Morocco. He was inducted into the National OCS Hall of Fame in 2016, and is a recipient of the Infantry’s Order of St. Maurice.

Patriot Bircher is now twice retired, as a soldier and as a Government Relations Consultant in

Washington, DC where he was President of Neill and Company, Inc., a government relations and public affairs company that specialized in Middle East business and politics. From 2008 to 2018, he served as the National Director of Public Relations for the Military Order of the Purple Heart and now serves as an advisor to the Purple Heart Foundation Board of Directors. He was on the Board of Directors of the American Defense Preparedness Association (ADPA), the Board of the National Defense Industry Association, the Board of the Tangier American Legation Museum, and the Board of Directors of Angel Flight America, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides free transportation to medical patients in need of assistance. He also served as an Ambassador for the U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute program. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Purple Hearts Reunited, the Veterans Golf Association, and Tee It Up For The Troops, a non-profit organization that specializes in adaptive sports for severely injured military personnel and veterans.

Patriot Bircher and his wife Carol now reside in Lady Lake, Florida.

© Military Order of the Purple Heart Region IV - 2020