General Fred Franks was born in West Lawn Pennsylvania. He graduated from the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point New York,  in June 1959. He retired from Army service 0n 30 November 1994 after almost 35 1/2 years service.

During this active service, General Franks commanded Cavalry units at the platoon, troop, squadron, and regimental levels in the 11th and 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiments in periods from the early 1960s to 1984. He also commanded Seventh Army Training Command (84-85), 1st Armored Division (88-89) and VII Corps in Germany (89-91) As VII Corps Commanding General, General Franks commanded the US and British forces of the Corps during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the main ground attack, that as part of the Coalition, liberated Kuwait in February, 1994. He concluded his active service as Commanding General, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) from 1991-1994, responsible for the U.S. Army's total school system and for formulating concepts for future land warfare.

General Franks served in Viet Nam as S-3, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment form August 1969 until being medically evacuated to Valley Forge General Hospital in May 1970 after being wounded in Cambodia.

Since retirement General Franks has worked with the U.S. Army as a senior mentor in the Army's Battle Command Training Program and taught senior level battle command at Military Schools in the US and UK/ He also collaborated with Tom Clancy in a military memoir, Into the Storm. published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in May 1997. General Franks also served as chairman of the board of the VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans Association, a non-profit organization devoted to assisting the next of kin of those who served in VII Corps during Desert Storm

He resides with his wife of over 38 years, Denise in Alexandria, Virginia. They have a daughter, Majorie (Bozek), and three grandchildren, Jake, Mickey, and Denise