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|Lloyd James Austin III|
Austin in April 2013, during his tenure as the commander of U.S. Central Command.
|Birth name||Lloyd James Austin III|
8 August 1953 |
Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1975–present|
Lloyd James Austin III (born 8 August 1953) is a United States Army general. He is the 12th and current commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM). Austin is the first African American to ever head the organization. Prior to current assignment, General Austin served as the 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army from January 31, 2012 to March 8, 2013. His previous assignment was as the last Commanding General of United States Forces - Iraq, Operation New Dawn, which lasted until December 15, 2011. On December 6, 2012, the Pentagon announced that President Obama had nominated General Austin to lead the U.S. Central Command. Austin was confirmed by the U. S. Senate on March 5, 2013, and assumed command on March 22, 2013. Of his service in Iraq, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said:
“During his final deployment to Iraq, Gen. Austin led our military efforts at a particularly important time, overseeing the drawdown of U.S. forces and equipment while simultaneously helping to ensure that hard-fought security gains were preserved and that Iraqis could secure and govern themselves.”
Austin was born on 8 August 1953 in Mobile, Alabama and raised in Thomasville, Georgia. He graduated from the United States Military Academy (West Point) with a Bachelor of Science degree in June 1975. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in counselor education from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1986, and another Master of Arts in business management from Webster University in 1989. He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced courses, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College.
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Austin was commissioned as a second lieutenant after graduation from West Point. His initial assignment was to the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) in Germany where he served as a Rifle Platoon Leader in A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry and Scout Platoon Leader in the Combat Support Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry. Following this assignment and attendance at the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he commanded the Combat Support Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 508th Infantry and served as the Assistant S-3 (Operations) for 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.
In 1981, Austin was assigned to Indianapolis, Indiana where he served as the Operations Officer for the U.S. Army Indianapolis District Recruiting Command and later commanded a company in the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion. Upon completing this assignment, he attended Auburn University where he completed studies for a Master's Degree in Education. He was then assigned to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he served as a Company Tactical Officer. After his selection and subsequent completion of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, New York, where he served as the S-3 (Operations) and later Executive Officer for the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry. He subsequently served as Executive Officer for 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and later as Director of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security for Fort Drum, New York.
In 1993, Austin returned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he commanded the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He later served as the G-3 for the 82nd Airborne Division. Following graduation from the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, he commanded the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Shortly after Brigade command, he was assigned to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. where he served as Chief, Joint Operations Division, J-3, on the Joint Staff. His next assignment was as Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Stewart, Georgia. As the ADC-M, he helped spearhead the division's invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
Austin served from September 2003 until August 2005 as the Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), with duty as Commander, Combined Joint Task Force-180, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. His next position was Chief of Staff of the United States Central Command at MacDill AFB, in Tampa, Florida from September 2005 until October 2006.
On 8 December 2006, Austin was promoted to Lieutenant General, and assumed command of the XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Austin handed over command of XVIII Corps to become Director of the Joint Staff in August 2009.
In February 2008, Austin became the second highest ranking commander in Iraq, taking command of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I), replacing Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno. As commander of MNC-I, he directed the operations of approximately 152,000 joint and coalition forces in all sectors of Iraq.
On 1 September 2010 he became Commanding General of U.S. Forces – Iraq at a ceremony at the al-Faw palace in Baghdad, Iraq after American combat missions ended. He took over from General Ray Odierno. Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen presided over the ceremony. Lloyd Austin's deployment in Iraq finished on 18 December 2011.
Austin was nominated and confirmed on 14 December 2011 to be the next Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army. He took office as the 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of the Army on 31 January 2012.
On 22 March 2013, he became the Commander of CENTCOM.
|Combat Action Badge|
|Expert Infantryman Badge|
|Master Parachutist Badge|
|Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge|
|United States Central Command Badge|
|Army Staff Identification Badge|
|18th Airborne Corps Patch worn as his Combat Service Identification Badge|
|505th Infantry Regiment worn as his Distinctive Unit Insignia|
|Defense Distinguished Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters|
|Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster|
|Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster|
|Defense Meritorious Service Medal|
|Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters|
|Joint Service Commendation Medal|
|Army Commendation Medal with five oak leaf clusters|
|Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster|
|Army Presidential Unit Citation|
|Joint Meritorious Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters|
|Secretary's Distinguished Service Award, Department of State|
|National Defense Service Medal with two bronze service stars|
|Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal|
|Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal|
|Afghanistan Campaign Medal|
|Iraq Campaign Medal|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|
|Humanitarian Service Medal|
|Army Service Ribbon|
|Army Overseas Service Ribbon|
2007 inductee to the Thomasville-Thomas County Sports Hall of Fame.
He is also the recipient of the Silver Star for valor as a general officer for leading from the front during the 3rd Infantry Division’s march to Baghdad more than eight years ago.
Austin, 54, was a pivotal figure in the invasion of Iraq. Leading the forward headquarters of the 3rd Infantry Division as it spearheaded the march to Baghdad, he gained a reputation for showing up unexpectedly in the heat of battle. He received a Silver Star for gallantry in combat.
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Franklin L. Hagenbeck
|Commander, 10th Mountain Division
|Commander, XVIII Airborne Corps
|Commanding General, Multi-National Corps - Iraq
2008 – April 2009
|Commanding General, United States Forces - Iraq
September 1, 2010 – December 18, 2011
None, post disbanded.
Peter W. Chiarelli
|Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
January 31, 2012 – March 8, 2013
John F. Campbell
|Commander of United States Central Command
March 22, 2013 – present