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General James D. Thurman to retire after 38 years

Fort Hood
POSTED: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 3:52pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 10:08am

III Corps and Fort Hood will host a formal military retirement ceremony for Gen. James D. Thurman 1 p.m. Nov. 22 on Sadowski Field here.

Thurman will retire with 38 years of military service.

A native of Marietta, Okla., Thurman earned his commission through ROTC at East Central Oklahoma University in 1975. His first three commands were in Germany where he led a troop in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment; followed by the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He then commanded 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga. His next assignment was as the commander, operations group at the National Training Center and later as the commanding general. He then commanded the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood and Multi-National Division, Baghdad, Iraq. He commanded V Corps in Germany and U.S. Army Forces Command. His most recent assignment was as commander, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea.

Thurman has significant Army and joint staff experience, including assistant to the Army Chief of Staff for Plans and Policy, Allied Forces Southern Europe, Regional Command South in Italy; director of training, Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters, Department of the Army; chief, operations, Coalition Forces Land Component Command in Kuwait; director, Army Aviation Task Force, Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters, Department of the Army; and deputy chief of staff, operations, plans and policy and training, Headquarters, Department of the Army.

He has extensive operational combat experience. His combat assignments were as a battalion executive officer in the 1st Cavalry Division during Desert Shield/Storm from 1990-91; the chief of the Plans and Policy Division for Allied Forces Southern Europe in Kosovo from 1999-2000; the chief of Operations, for the Coalition Forces Land Component Command during the invasion of Iraq from 2002-2003; and the Multi-National Division commander responsible for all coalition operations in Baghdad in 2006.
Thurman holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from East Central Oklahoma University and a master of arts in management from Webster University. He has attended numerous military schools and is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.

His military awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal (four oak leaf clusters), the Defense Superior Service Medal (one oak leaf cluster), the Legion of Merit (three oak leaf clusters), the Bronze Star Medal (one oak leaf cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal (five oak leaf clusters), the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement medal (three oak leaf clusters). General Thurman is a Senior Aviator and has earned the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Army Staff Identification Badge and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge.
Thurman relinquished command of United Nations Command, Republic of Korea - United States Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea Oct. 2.

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Congrats to Gen. Thurman (former Bandit 5) to an outstanding career and well deserved retirement. I served as his driver during Operations DS/DS in 1990-1991. He is a top-rate officer. Jeffrey S. Nast, Esq. (former PFC and Bandit 5D in HHC TF 1-32AR).

Cpt. Ryan here: was the S-1 of TF 1-32 AR 1CD when we went to war. JD was the best officer I ever served with. Many years have past but I still remember his leadership and strength in difficult times. One night when 1-5 Cav experienced casualties Major Thurman directed the recovery of dead and wounded when others fled in fear. No medals were given but his fearless insistence on recovering the remains wil not be forgotten by those of us that err there. Michael D. Ryan S-1 TF 1-32 Ar 1CD

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