John Lawson Romjue, a military historian based at Fort Monroe who specialized in documenting the development of military doctrine and tactical forces in the U.S. Army, died of cancer on June 15, 2022 at his home in Yorktown surrounded by his family. He was 85 years old.
Romjue worked for the historical division of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe starting in 1974 when he and his family moved to Hampton. He became the chief of historical studies and publications for the military history office of TRADOC in 1985. During his service at Fort Monroe, Romjue authored numerous books and monographs that focused on doctrinal and institutional reforms and modernization carried out by the U.S. Army following the Vietnam War. Titles include From Active Defense to Airland Battle, The Army of Excellence, and American Army Doctrine for the Post-Cold War. His books have been widely used in military education and in national strategic and military studies. Romjue retired from TRADOC in 1998.
Before joining TRADOC, Romjue worked as the command historian of the U.S. Army Combat Developments Experimentation Command at Ford Ord, California from 1969-1974 and as a historian with the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command at Port Hueneme, California from 1966-1969. He served as an active duty solider in the U.S. Army from 1957-1961, including a tour of duty at the U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR) headquarters near Heidelberg, Germany.
Romjue received baccalaureate and master’s degrees in history at the University of Missouri. He completed further graduate study in modern European history as a J. William Fulbright scholar at the University of Heidelberg (1963-64), and at the University of California at Berkeley (1964-65).
Outside of work and during retirement, Romjue wrote free-lance articles and self-published several works of short stories and fiction. He was a past vice president of the Virginia Writers Club and a member of the Fort Monroe Historical Society.
John Romjue was born on October 4, 1936 in Washington, D.C., the son of Lawson and Joanne Romjue. He was also the grandson of U.S. Representative Milton Andrew Romjue, D-Missouri, who served the state’s 1st Congressional District from 1917-1921 and from 1923-1943. Romjue, who was very close to his grandfather, grew up in Macon, Missouri.
Romjue is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ingeborg (Schaefer) Romjue, who he married in Heidelberg on March 25, 1961; a son, Martin Romjue and his wife, Pauline, of Rolling Hills Estates, California; a daughter, Kristin Romjue Bender, and her husband, Shawn Bender, of Yorktown; a grandson, Andrew Bender of Virginia Beach; a granddaughter, Alison Bender of Yorktown; a brother, William Romjue of Jefferson City, Missouri; a brother-in-law, David Ethridge of Springfield, Missouri; and a nephew, Drew Ethridge and wife Ann of McKinney, Texas. He was preceded in death by a brother, James Allen Romjue, in 1986; his sister, Anne (Romjue) Ethridge, in 2016; and a nephew, Allen Ethridge, in 2008.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 9 at 11 a.m. at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Newport News, where he was a member for 48 years. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family asks that donations may be made to Resurrection Lutheran Church and School or the American Cancer Society.
Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601. Floral arrangements may be delivered to Resurrection Lutheran Church, 765 J. Clyde Morris Blvd, Newport News, VA 23601.