Major General Sidney Shachnow, 83, of Southern Pines, NC, died on September 28th, 2018 at Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, NC.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00pm with a time of visitation to follow on Saturday, October 13th, 2018 at Boles Funeral Home at 425 West Pennsylvania Ave, Southern Pines, NC. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery on a date to be announced.

Sidney was born in Kaunas, Lithuania on November 23rd, 1934 to the late Rose and Leon Shachnow. He experienced firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust and survived three years in a Nazi concentration camp. Two days before children in the camp were rounded up to be exterminated, he was smuggled out of the camp to live in hiding, where he was subjected to more unthinkable conditions. He fled west across Western Europe on a six month, 2,000 mile journey to reach American occupied Nuremberg, Germany from which he ultimately immigrated to Salem, Massachusetts in 1949. Once in the USA, he learned English and attended school for the first time in his life. He met, fell in love with, and married Arlene Armstrong, the love of his life, on August 28th, 1955.
Sidney enlisted in the US Army as an infantry private, rose to the rank of sergeant first class, was selected to attend Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA, and was commissioned as an infantry lieutenant in 1960. In 1962, he volunteered for Special Forces, the “Green Berets”. He served 34 years as a commander or staff officer in Light Infantry, Mechanized Infantry, Airmobile, Airborne, and Special Forces units. His final assignments in the US Army included Commanding General, John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg; Commanding General, United States Army Special Forces Command, Fort Bragg; and the Commanding General, US Army Berlin. Throughout his storied career, he left a legacy of selfless service and inspired leadership. Sidney is revered as a legend in the US Special Forces community. He was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment and the US Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.

Sidney attended Franklin Technical Institute in Boston, MA and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a major in business administration. He earned a Master’s of Science degree in public administration from Shippensburg State College in Shippensburg, PA and is a graduate of the Harvard University Senior Executive Management Program. His military education included the US Army Command and General Staff College and the US Army War College. Sidney’s awards and decorations include two Distinguished Service Metals, two Silver Stars for gallantry, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars for heroism, and two Purple Hearts received in ground combat. He earned the Special Forces Tab, the Ranger Tab, the Master parachutist Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Sidney served his country and lived his life passionately. He was a friend to every person, regardless of their station in life. With Arlene by his side, he enjoyed riding their horses, jazz music, traveling, and family.

Sidney is survived by his wife of 63 years, Arlene Armstrong Shachnow; his four daughters and spouses: Sheree Gillette (Ron), Michelle Batiste (John), Denise Smith (Joe), and LeeAnne Keister (Alan); his brother Stanley; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. He leaves behind 14 grandchildren and at last count, 15 great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in memory of Sidney Shachnow to Moore County Sentinels of Freedom for severely wounded military veterans. Please make checks payable to the Moore County, NC Sentinels of Freedom, and send to Payton Gentry, 5 Chinquapin Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374.

Online condolences can be made to

Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.

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