Alain Bizard was born at Saint-Nazaire, on April 18, 1925.
Having volunteered to go to the front, he joined the 3rd March battalion in August 1944 with the rank of senior officer cadet and, a few years latter, integrated the active army within the 1st hussar regiment. Admitted to ESM in July 1945, he chose Armoured Forces-Cavalry and attended the Saumur School of Instruction.
His three trips to Indochina gave him the opportunity to distinguish himself and become an extraordinary and highly admired soldier. Sent to the 8th dragoons, he landed at Tonkin in April 1947 where he fought at Hanoi, Haiphong and Langson. At his request, he made a second trip to Indochina from July 1950 within the 1st chasseur regiment and then a third trip in 1953 within the 5th Vietnamese parachute battalion. Everywhere, he was recognised as an exemplary soldier whose legendary drive, zeal and bravery were cited as model. Dropped at Dien Bien Phu on March 26, 1954, he was wounded by a splinter from a shell on April 14, 1954 and was imprisoned as from 8 May 1954, before being released four months later.
In February 1955, he was transferred to the headquarters of the 1st tabor in Tunisia and subsequently entered the 1st parachute chasseur regiment in August 1956 within which he participated in the Suez Anglo-French operation. During the Algerian war, he was wounded by a bullet at Djeurf, on September 25, 1955, and by a grenade splinter on December 18, 1959, in the Maillot region.
Thereafter he underwent several training sessions at Fort Bragg in the United States, where the Americans train their famous "green berets".
In 1967, he became the commander of the 13th parachute dragoon regiment. Auditor of the IHEDN 25th session, he was transferred to the General Inspectorate of the Army in 1973 before becoming the commander of the 1st parachute brigade in 1974, and then the commander of ESM and EMIA in 1975.
He was successively appointed commander of the 8th division in 1977, deputy commander of the 1st army and governor of Strasbourg in 1980, deputy director of IHEDN in 1981 before becoming inspector of territorial operational defence in 1982. He ended his rather exceptional career as the military governor of Lille, commanding the 2nd military region and the 3rd army corps from 1983 to 1985.
General Bizard, aged 84, died on February 18, 2010, at Institution nationale des Invalides where he was living. His funeral took place on Wednesday February 24, 2010, at the St Louis Disabled Veteran cathedral and was followed by military honours in the Court of Honour.
Having received three wounds at the front, been commended eighteen times, including seven in the Army order, this great volunteer serviceman was holder of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, the Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit, the Overseas Operations War Cross, the Military Valour Cross, Knight of the Vietnamese National Order and several other awards.
He leaves behind memories of a brilliant officer, an exceptional soldier, and will forever be looked upon as a model of abnegation by all.