He attended Loyola College in Baltimore where he joined the Army ROTC. After graduation, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. and attended Armor Officer Basic Course at Ft. Knox, KY. After being assigned to 1st Armor Division (Old Ironsides) at Ft. Hood, TX, he transferred to the Military Intelligence Branch. Receiving specialized training in Aerial Surveillance at Ft. Holabird in Baltimore, MD, he joined the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion Air Reconnaissance Support (MIBARS) unit, nicknamed the “Flying Eye Battalion”, in Saigon, Tan Son Nhut and Can Tho in Viet Nam.
Upon returning to the US in 1968, he was once again assigned to Ft. Holabird, Baltimore, MD for advanced training. That same year, he married the love of his life, Hilda “Heidi” Bachteler and then transferred to the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, as an Intelligence Briefing Officer.
Robert served two tours in Viet Nam (Chu Lai) with G-2, a branch of military intelligence in the US Army. Upon completion of his second tour in Viet Nam, he returned to the US and reunited with his wife, Heidi, and their first child before resuming his military duties with the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade in Honolulu, HI. Later, he was assigned to the 9thMilitary Intelligence Company in Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, WA as Commander and then as the S-2 of the 9th’s 2nd Brigade. While in Tacoma, his son was born. After being stationed at Ft. Lewis for nearly three years, he transferred to Seoul, Korea, with the 8th US Army.
He was a highly decorated officer during his years of service and was a recipient of the Bronze Star with an Oak Leaf Cluster, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal and an Aircraft Crewman’s Badge along with many other awarded medals, commendations, and acknowledgements. After 15 years of active duty, he received an Honorable Discharge and proceeded to join the US Army Reserves from which he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Among Robert’s numerous achievements was earning a Master’s Degree from Pepperdine University.
While residing in Largo, MD, Robert served as a civilian with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) where he was an Executive Officer, briefer, analyst, and a member of the 9/11 task force. He retired after a 25-year career with the DIA.
Born and raised in Baltimore, he was predeceased by his parents, Robert J. Galster and Anna Sturm. He is survived by his wife of almost 55 years, Heidi, and his two children Kirstin Beal and her husband, Todd of Cambridge, MA, Keith Galster and his wife, Christie, née Pavlock, of Charleston, SC, and his grandchildren, Lillianna Beal and Garrett Galster. He is also survived by his brother, Richard Galster and sisters, Patricia Galster, Mary Sprinkel and Janet Bach and several nieces and nephews. Two sisters, through marriage, predeceased him, Sandra Sutherland and Marlene, née Panzer.
He was a man who demanded excellence and exhibited the same. Highly intelligent and educated, there was nothing that was beyond Robert’s ability to contemplate and discuss with unrivaled passion.
The biggest joy of his retirement years were his grandchildren, his “Silly Lilly” and “Ranger Garrett”. Robert and Heidi spent their retirement traveling the world from Greenland to Australia, Europe, Canada, and throughout the US. Robert had a deep love of music, showing his prized 1967 Corvette at local car shows, and spending time with his loving family and friends.
Graveside services will be held Friday, September 15, 2023 at 2 pm in the NH Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, NH.
The Holt-Woodbury Funeral Home & Cremation Service Hillsboro, NH is assisting the family.
Donations may be made in his name to Liberty House in Manchester, NH or to the charity of your choice.