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Edward Soriano

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Edward Soriano
Edward Soriano.jpg
Lieutenant General Edward Soriano
Born (1946-11-12) 12 November 1946 (age 70)
Alcala, Pangasinan, Philippines[1]
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1970–2005
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Unit 82d Airborne Division
3d Infantry Division
1st Infantry Division
Commands held I Corps
7th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Operation Desert Shield
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Joint Endeavor
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (5)
Bronze Star Medal
Spouse(s) Vivian

Lieutenant General Edward Soriano (born 12 November 1946) is an American retired military officer. He is the highest-ranking Filipino American officer to have served in the United States military,[2] and the first promoted to a general officer.[3] Born in the Philippines, Soriano moved with his family to the United States and graduated from Salinas High School before being commissioned as an officer through Army ROTC at San Jose State University.[1]

Soriano served with infantry units throughout the United States, Korea, and in Germany.[4] Later Soriano was a liaison officer during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm,[1] and deployed during Operation Joint Endeavor;[4] he retired in March 2005.[1][5] Since retiring from the Army, Soriano has worked for the aerospace and defense technology company Northrop Grumman[6] and has sat on various boards of directors.

Early and personal life[edit]

Born on 12 November 1946 in Pangasinan to Ilocos Sur natives, Soriano came to the United States in the early 1950s when his father, Fred Soriano, a soldier in the United States Army, was assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia;[1] he was six when he left the Philippines.[5] Soriano's mother's name was Encarnacion.[7] Soriano's father was a corporal in the 57th Infantry (Philippine Scouts) during World War II. After the surrender of American forces on Bataan to the Japanese, the elder Soriano became a prisoner of war and was subjected to the Bataan Death March. The elder Soriano later served in the Korean War, and again became a prisoner of war.[1][8] During the Korean War, young Edward and the rest of his family moved from Guam back to the Philippines.[9] His father later retired from the army as a major.[1] In the 1960s, his family moved to Salinas, California,[10] and Soriano later graduated from Salinas High School. His father's service inspired Edward Soriano to join the military.[1]

Soriano graduated from San Jose State University (SJSU) in 1970,[9] and later earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri.[4][11] Soriano is married to Vivian Guillermo, who was born in the United States to Laoag natives.[12] The couple have two children, Melissa and Keith.[1][9]

Military career[edit]

Filipino wearing a camouflage uniform in front of three flags.
Portrait of Soriano in BDUs

Soriano was commissioned as an infantry officer through the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps at SJSU, in 1970.[1][13] Soriano's first assignment was at the Recondo School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which was followed by command of an anti-tank platoon in the 508th Infantry.[4][14] Soriano was then sent to Korea where he commanded Combat Support Company, 1st Battalion, 23d Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division, before he was transferred to command Company A, 3d Battalion, 47th Infantry, 3d Brigade, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington.[4][14] After attending the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Soriano served with the United States Army Recruiting Command in Albany, New York, before commanding Company C, 1st Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division in Germany.[4][14] Following his service in Europe, Soriano attended the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and University of Missouri, Kansas City, before serving in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans and in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel[4] at The Pentagon.[4][14] After his service in The Pentagon, he commanded 2nd Battalion, 41st Infantry, 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, before attending the United States Army War College and returning to The Pentagon.[4][14]

Two American generals wearing battle dress uniforms, and one Japanese general wearing a camouflage field uniform, all shaking hands.
LTG Soriano, Chūshou Hirotoshi Kan, and MG Perkins shaking hands in 2004

During operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Soriano served as the chief of the liaison team to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.[1] After the conflict ended, Soriano contributed to the Secretary of Defense's Gulf War Report as the chief of the army section while serving in the Office of the Chief of Staff.[1][15] In 1992, Soriano received his first assignment at Fort Carson, Colorado, as the commander of the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.[4][14] Following this command, Soriano returned to Germany to serve with the 3d and 1st Infantry Divisions, which included deployments to Bosnia for peacekeeping during Operation Joint Endeavor.[1][13] Returning to the United States, he undertook various positions in Virginia and The Pentagon, including service as Director, Officer Personnel Management, within the Total Army Personnel Command.[4][14] From 1999 to 2001, Soriano commanded the 7th Infantry Division and Fort Carson.[4][14][16] Soriano served as Director of Homeland Security for United States Joint Forces Command from October 2001 to August 2002,[1][14] which laid the foundations for what has become the Northern Command.[2]

Soriano's final assignment was command of I Corps and Fort Lewis, beginning in August 2002.[4] Under his leadership, Fort Lewis became a force provider for Operation Iraqi Freedom,[17][18] including the first deployment of the Stryker with the 2nd Infantry Division.[19] In June 2004, as the commander of Fort Lewis, Soriano ordered the court-martial of Ryan G. Anderson,[20] who was convicted of providing aid to al-Qaeda and was sentenced in September 2004 to life in prison with the possibility of parole after Soriano removed the death penalty as a possible sentencing option.[21] In September 2004, Soriano met with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at Malacanang,[22] who he had met before during Arroyo's state visit in May 2003,[23] after being invited by General Narciso Abaya, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.[7] In November 2004, Soriano turned over command of I Corps and Fort Lewis to Lieutenant General James M. Dubik,[24] and finally retired from active duty on 1 March 2005.[4]

A woman, two army soldiers wearing Army Combat Uniforms, and one man in a suit, all wearing hardhats carrying shovels with freshly dug dirt.
(from the left) Barbara Myrick, MG David G. Perkins, Soriano, and COL Robert McLaughlin at the Fort Carson Museum groundbreaking in 2010

Post-military career[edit]

Since his retirement, Soriano has worked for Northrop Grumman as the Director of Training and Exercises for Homeland Security and Joint Forces Support.[6] He has also sat on numerous boards of directors including Home Front Cares[25] and Goodwill Industries of Colorado Springs.[26] Additionally, Soriano is the current president of the board of directors of the Mountain Post Historical Center at Fort Carson,[27] and the vice-chairman of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce's military affairs committee.[28]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Soriano received the following awards and decorations:[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o De Castro, Cynthia (29 April 2009). "Lieutenant General Edward Soriano: Highest Ranking Filipino-American in the US Army" (PDF). Voice of Fil-America. Asian Journal. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Rivera, Ray (13 August 2002). "New commander at Fort Lewis, Army's highest-ranking Filipino". Seattle Times. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Fortuna, Julius F. (23 August 2007). "Yano takes over Philippine Army". The Manila Times. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Lieutenant General EDWARD SORIANO". Fort Riley. United States Army. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Papa, Alcuin (18 September 2004). "Fil-Am general here for visit, does things the Asian Way". Philippine Daily Inquirer. pp. A1. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Bohlen, Michelle (18 November 2008). "Northrop Grumman Awarded 2009 FEMA National Level Exercise Contract". News Releases. Northrop Grumman Corporation. Retrieved 31 May 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Sotelo-Fuetes, Yolanda (21 September 2004). "Fil-Am general gets hero's welcome in Pangasinan". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Fred D. Soriano". Military Times Hall of Valor. Gannett. 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
    Santos, Synthia (2004). "The Fort Lewis Military Museum Pays Tribute to Philippine Scouts" (PDF). The Banner. Fort Lewis Museum. XVIII (3): 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
    Frank Noel (6 April 1952). "520406196". Associated Press Images. Associated Press. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c Eljera, Bert (28 August 1997). "Major General". Asian Week. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Fil-Am now US Army lieutenant general". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Associated Press. 14 August 2002. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Zweigenhaft, Richard L.; Domhoff, William (2006). Diversity in the Power Elite: How it Happened, Why it Matters. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 192. ISBN 9780742536999. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Pamintuan, Ana Marie T. (24 September 2004). "One Man's Path To the stars". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Roth, Jonathan (2013). "SJSU Alumnus Retires as Highest-ranking Filipino American". Spartan Salute. San Jose tate University. 6 (Spring 2013): 1, 4. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Force Projection Symposium IV bios". west-point.org. West-Point.Org. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Conduct of the Persian Gulf War" (PDF). dod.mil. United States Department of Defense. April 1992. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "General takes over Fort Lewis Command". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 14 August 2002. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  17. ^ McGrath, John (2012). "A Brigade Replaces a Division, Northern Iraq, 2004". In McGrath, John J. Between the Rivers (PDF). Forth Leavenworth, Kansas: Combined Studies Institute Press. p. 109. ISBN 9780988583702. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Orejas, Tonette (7 February 2003). "Fil-Am general on top of US war preparations". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  19. ^ Tyson, Ann Scott (9 October 2003). "New Army 'Stryker' combat vehicle nears Iraq test". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
    Gregg K. Kakesako (2 November 2003). "On the move". Star Bulletin. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  20. ^ Mitchell, Melanthia (23 June 2004). "Soldier accused of trying to help terrorists faces court-martial". Seattle Times. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Barber, Mike (2 September 2004). "Guardsman convicted of trying to help al-Qaida". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "Fil-Am general in US military visits Arroyo". Manila Bulletin. 18 September 2004. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
    "GMA praises 3-star FilAm general in US armed forces". Manila Mail. 17 September 2004. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  23. ^ Marichu Villanueva (22 May 2003). "Bush, like Clinton, has Pinoy aides". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 20 May 2013. Also a source of presidential pride was the presence of US army Lt. Gen. Edward Soriano, who was introduced by Bush to Mrs. Arroyo as "one of the highest ranking Filipino Americans in the history of America’s military."
    As they shook hands, the President said Soriano thanked her for going to his hometown of Alcala, Pangasinan to save his fellow townmates from discrimination after the country’s first two reported deaths from Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome were from Alcala.
     
  24. ^ Seattle Post-Intelligencer Staff (1 November 2004). "Incoming commander not new to Fort Lewis". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
    "Local Digest". Seattle Times. 4 November 2004. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "The Home Front Cares 2012 Annual Report" (PDF). The Home Front Cares. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  26. ^ "Business Briefs - 2/3/2006". The Colorado Business Journal. 3 February 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "Board of Directors". The Mountain Post Historical Center. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2009. 
  28. ^ Schroyer, John (22 November 2010). "Hickenlooper: Troops key to success". The Gazette. Retrieved 20 May 2013. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Edward Soriano said he was "delighted" with Hickenlooper's remarks.
    "That's precisely what we're about," said Soriano, who is also vice-chairman of the chamber's military affairs committee.
     
    "Board Members" (PDF). coloradospringschamber.org. Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance. 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013. [permanent dead link]

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