Major General Nicholas S. Krawciw was born in Poland (now Ukraine) in 1935 and lived in Germany throughout World War II. In 1949 at the age of 14 he emigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and six years later, in 1955, entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. There he achieved the second-highest Cadet Command position, was an outstanding rifle marksman and a distinguished graduate.
He was one of the first officers of his class to serve in Vietnam (1962–63) and was severely wounded in an ambush. He served two combat tours in Vietnam which earned him three Silver Stars, four Bronze Star Medals with two "Vs" for Valor, Distinguished Flying Cross, eight Air Medals and the Purple Heart. Later, he served with distinction as Chief Operations Officer for the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Jerusalem in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War. He also served in the Department of Defense and as Director of NATO Policy.
He retired 1 July 1990. In 2006 he was awarded the highly selective and prestigious West Point Distinguished Graduate Award.