John B. Sylvester

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For the United States Navy admiral, see John Sylvester. For the businessman associated with Babe Ruth, see Johnny Sylvester.
John B. Sylvester
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1968–2004
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Yugoslav Wars
Gulf War

John B. Sylvester is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General and decorated veteran of the Vietnam and Gulf Wars. He is best known for his command of the famed Tiger Brigade of the 2nd Armored Division attached to the 2nd Marine Division in the first Gulf War, and his three tours of duty in the Balkans culminating as the commander of SFOR. Sylvester was awarded the Silver Star during Operation Desert Storm.

Early life[edit]

A military brat, Sylvester was born in Columbia, South Carolina while his father was stationed at Fort Jackson. His father Lieutenant Colonel George E. Sylvester was a World War II veteran who served in the European front.[1] The younger Sylvester spent his teenage years in Texas and attended Texas A&M University, graduating in 1967. He enlisted in the Army immediately afterward.

Military career[edit]

Graduating from OCS at Fort Benning in 1968, Sylvester was sent to Armor Officer Basic training at Fort Knox in Kentucky. He was then assigned to 2nd Battalion, 13th Armor. In 1970, he was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam. While serving on combat duty in Vietnam, Sylvester was awarded the Bronze Star.

After Vietnam, he rose through the ranks, serving in numerous assignments both stateside and abroad. In 1987 he graduated from the US Army War College. In 1994 he served as Deputy Chief of Staff of the ACE Rapid Reaction corps (ARRC) stationed at Rheindahlen, Germany and later deployed with the Corps during NATO's first combat deployment to Bosnia. He later served as Director of Operations, Headquarters, Allied Forces Central Europe (today known as Joint Force Command Brunssum), based in The Netherlands.

In 1998 Sylvester was named as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations for NATO forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He held two senior tours with the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe, Virginia, as Deputy Chief of Staff for Training and later as the Chief of Staff. After his promotion to the three-star rank he deployed on his third tour to the Balkans as the NATO force Commander, COMSFOR.[2] His final tour on active duty was as the Chief of Staff of the US European Command (EUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany. He retired in August 2004 and was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal during his retirement ceremony.[3] Following his retirement he accepted a position with Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI), as a manager for several joint venture companies performing law enforcement work in support of the US Department of State and the Department of Justice.

See also[edit]