James L. Dozier

James L. Dozier

James Lee Dozier (born April 10, 1931) is a retired US Army general officer. In December 1981, he was kidnapped by the leftist Italian "Red Brigades" terrorist group. He was freed by Italian anti-terrorist forces after 42 days of captivity. General Dozier was the deputy Chief of Staff at NATO's Southern European land forces headquarters at Verona. At the time, Dozier had been the first American general officer to be abducted by a terrorist group. The Red Brigade, in a statement to the press, stated the reason behind Dozier's kidnapping was that the Italian and US governments had enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations, and the fact he was an American soldier invited to work in Italy made him a fair target for their actions. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/28/newsid_4202000/4202723.stm]

Brigadier General James L. Dozier was kidnapped from his apartment in Verona, Italy at approximately 6:00PM on December 17 1981, by 4 men posing as plumbers. It was later reported that as many as 4 additional terrorists provided support with multiple vehicles. His wife was not kidnapped, but was left bound and chained in their apartment. [http://www.tkb.org/Incident.jsp?incID=3077]

The Red Brigades held Brigadier General Dozier for 42 days until January 28 1982, when a team of NOCS (a Special Operations unit of the Italian police) successfully carried out his rescue from an apartment in Padua, without firing a single shot, thus capturing the entire terrorist cell. This kidnapping, subsequent rescue of Dozier and several convictions and imprisonments of many Red Brigade members had put the terrorist organization in rough watersFact|date=June 2008. Rather than achieve its goal of ruining the authority of the Italian government, the Italian people had expressed much pride and support for the police for the successful counterterrorist operation, and a renewed sense of confidence in their leaders for taking efforts to stop terrorist groupsFact|date=June 2008. After his return to the U.S. Army in Vicenza, he was [http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/textual/topics/dozierj.htm congratulated via telephone] by President Reagan on regaining his freedom.

Dozier was later promoted to Major General and eventually retired from active military service. As a result of his kidnapping, US military personnel are often required to study his case in order to better assess their surroundings in an attempt to avoid a similar abduction happening to themFact|date=June 2008. Dozier's levelheadness and courage in a dangerous situation are also cited as the example all American military members should emulate if they are being held against their willFact|date=June 2008.

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/28/newsid_4202000/4202723.stm BBC News Link]
* [http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/cc/phillips.html "The Dozier Kidnapping: Confronting the Red Brigades" (Reprint from Air & Space Power Journal)]
* [http://www.tkb.org/Incident.jsp?incID=3077 MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base]

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