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U.S. Central Command Leadership

General Lloyd J. Austin III

GEN Lloyd J. Austin IIIGeneral Lloyd J. Austin III, hails from Thomasville, Georgia. He was commissioned an Infantry second lieutenant in 1975 upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

General Austin has served in a wide variety of command and staff positions throughout his 37-year career. His early assignments included duty with: the 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army; 2d Battalion, 508th Infantry, 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion, Indianapolis, Indiana; United States Military Academy, West Point, New York; 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry and 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York.

General Austin returned to Fort Bragg in 1993 and served as Commander, 2d Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division; G-3 82d Airborne Division; and later as the Commander, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division from 1997 to 1999. Following duty at Fort Bragg, he was assigned to the Pentagon where he served as Chief, Joint Operations Division, J-3 on the Joint Staff.

General Austin served as the Assistant Division Commander (Maneuver), 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Stewart, Georgia and OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM from July 2001 until June 2003; and as Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York from September 2003 until August 2005 with duty as Commander, Combined Joint Task Force-180, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, Afghanistan. He then served as the Chief of Staff, United States Central Command from September 2005 until November 2006 followed by assignment as the Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps in December 2006 where he commanded Multi-National Corps – Iraq, OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM from February 2008 until April 2009. He was then assigned to the Pentagon as the Director, Joint Staff from August 2009 to August 2010. General Austin commanded United States Forces – Iraq from September 2010 through the completion of OPERATION NEW DAWN in December 2011. Most recently General Austin served as the 33d Vice Chief of Staff of the Army from January 2012 to March 2013. General Austin assumed command of United States Central Command on 22 March 2013.

His military education includes the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, United States Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia; United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy, a Master's Degree in Education from Auburn University and a Master's Degree in Business Management from Webster University.

General Austin's awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with Three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Distinguished Service Medal (with Two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Silver Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (with Four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (with Six Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, the Ranger Tab and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge.

Vice Admiral Mark Fox

Vice Admiral FoxVice Admiral Fox serves as deputy commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), located in Tampa, FL. A native of Abilene, Texas, he was commissioned in June 1978 upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy and designated a Naval Aviator in March 1980.

Vice Adm. Fox has spent the majority of his operational career deploying to, and operating in, the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, having commanded U.S. Naval Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet/Combined Maritime Forces (2010-2012); Carrier Strike Group 10 aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) (2008); Carrier Air Wing Two aboard USS Constellation (CV 64) (2001-2003); and Strike Fighter Squadron 81 aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65) (1995-1996) in the region. Additionally, he served as Communications Division Chief and spokesman for the Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) in Baghdad from 2006-07, where he worked extensively with coalition partners.

Other command and executive leadership assignments include service as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans, and Strategy (N3/N5) in Washington, D.C.; Commander, Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallon, Nevada; Deputy Assistant to the President and, Director, White House Military Office (WHMO); responsible for overseeing all military support to the President; commodore of the Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet in Lemoore, California; and, service as the first commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 122, the Navy's first FA-18E/F Super Hornet squadron, in Lemoore.

Shore tours include: duty as the Deputy Director of WHMO; service as the Aviation Programs Liaison Officer in the Navy's Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C.; joint duty as the maritime plans officer at Supreme Headquarters; Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Casteau, Belgium; Aide and Flag Lieutenant for Commander, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare - OP-05); a tour as the Light Attack/Strike Fighter junior officer detailer in the Naval Military Personnel Command; and as an A-7E Corsair II instructor pilot in Attack Squadron 174.

Vice Adm. Fox has flown over 100 combat sorties, logged over 4,900 flight hours and 1,348 arrested landings on 15 different aircraft carriers. Military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal with gold star, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two gold stars, and the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat 'V'.

Major General Michael X. Garrett

MG Michael X. GarrettMaj. Gen. Garrett serves as chief of staff, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), located in Tampa, FL. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he received his commission in 1984 as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry upon graduating from Xavier University.

His assignments include multiple joint and operational tours, staff assignments at numerous levels as well as several commands. Highlights include commanding 3d Battalion 325th Infantry (Airborne), 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg North Carolina. He deployed to Afghanistan as Chief of Current Operations, Combined Task Force 180 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. He then commanded 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division (Light) which deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Following Brigade Command, Major General Garrett served as the Deputy Commanding General of United States Army Recruiting Command. Following his tour with Recruiting Command, Major General Garrett returned to Fort Bragg where he served as the Chief of Staff, XVIII Airborne Corps. As the XVIII Airborne Corps Chief of Staff, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation NEW DAWN where he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for United States Forces-Iraq. Most recently he served as the Commanding General, United States Army Alaska.

Major General Garrett’s military education includes completion of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advance courses, the US Army Command and General Staff College and a prestigious Senior Service College Fellowship. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Xavier University.

His awards and badges include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, The Combat Infantryman Badge, The Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the Ranger Tab.

Command Sergeant Major Frank A. Grippe


Command Sergeant Major Frank Grippe entered the United States Army on 29 April 1981 at Syracuse, New York. He trained as a light infantryman and graduated from Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Command Sergeant Major Grippe has served in the following duty positions and organizations: Rifleman, Machine-gunner and Team Leader in 1-509th Airborne Battalion Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy; Team Leader, Rifle Squad Leader and Reconnaissance Squad Leader in 2-325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Rifle Squad Leader, Rifle Platoon Sergeant, Battalion Operations Sergeant and Company First Sergeant with 2-75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington; ROTC Senior Military Instructor at San Diego State University, San Diego, California; Command Sergeant Major for 1-87th Infantry Regiment, Fort Drum, New York, CSM of Task Force Summit (OEF Afghanistan, September 2001 - April 2002); Command Sergeant Major for 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI), Fort Drum, New York, CSM of Combined Joint Task Force Warrior (OEF Afghanistan, July 2003 – May 2004); Post and Division Command Sergeant Major of the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, CSM of Task Force Band of Brothers; Multi-National Division North (OIF, September 2005 - September 2006.) From August 2007-December 11, he was assigned as the Command Sergeant Major of I Corps and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington and recently served as the Multi-National Corps-Iraq Command Sergeant Major from March 2009 to March 2010. CSM Grippe is presently the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for the United States Central Command located at MacDill AFB, Florida.

Command Sergeant Major Grippe has attended all levels of the Noncommissioned Officers Education System, culminating with the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy. He is a graduate of the Battle Staff Course, the First Sergeants Course and the Keystone Course, as well as numerous infantry and special operations-related schools. CSM Grippe has earned an Associate’s Degree from Pierce College in Tacoma, Washington.

His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (1oak leaf cluster), the Bronze Star for Valor (3d oak leaf cluster for service), the Purple Heart Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (3d oak leaf cluster); the Army Commendation Medal (3d oak leaf cluster); the National Defense Service Medal; the Army Good Conduct Medal (9th award); the Army Achievement Medal (4th oak leaf cluster); the NCO Professional Development Ribbon (with numeral 4); Humanitarian Service Medal; the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (with assault arrowhead and star); The Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with 2 service stars); The Iraq Campaign Medal (with three service stars); The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (with assault arrowhead) The Global War on Terrorism Medal; the Multi-National Force and Observers Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; and the Army Service Ribbon; the Army Superior Unit Award; The Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal (with oak leaf cluster); The Valorous Unit Award; the Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with oak leaf cluster); both the Expert Infantryman badge and Combat Infantryman Badges (2nd award); Master Parachutist Badge (with bronze combat jump star); Pathfinder Badge; Ranger Tab; the French Armed Forces Commando Badge; and the British and Royal Thailand Army Parachutist badges.


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