Sean MacFarland

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Sean MacFarland
Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland.jpg
Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland in April 2017
Born (1959-02-12) February 12, 1959 (age 61)
New York City, United States
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1981–2018
RankLieutenant General
Commands heldDeputy Commander, TRADOC
III Corps
1st Armored Division
1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
2nd Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment
Battles/warsGulf War
Iraq War War in Afghanistan
Military intervention against ISIL
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal with "C" device
Army Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Defense Superior Service Medal (3)
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal (3)
Meritorious Service Medal (5)

Lieutenant General Sean Barry MacFarland (born February 12, 1959) is a retired three-star general who served in the United States Army.[1][2][3]

In 2015 MacFarland, then commanding III Corps, was selected as commander of the coalition against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.[4] MacFarland and III Corps thus became responsible for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).[5] MacFarland handed over command to Lieutenant General Stephen J. Townsend and the XVIII Airborne Corps in August 2016.[6][7][8][9] He became deputy commanding general and chief of staff for the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command in April 2017,[10][11] and retired from active duty 27 February 2018.[12]


MacFarland was commissioned into the United States Army in 1981 and has served in armor and cavalry units throughout his career. He was a cavalry platoon leader and troop executive officer in 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Ft. Bliss, Texas, the Squadron S4 and the commander of A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 12th Cavalry in Buedingen, Germany, S3 and XO of 3rd and 1st Squadrons, respectively, of the 4th Cavalry in Schweinfurt, Germany and in Bosnia. He commanded 2nd Battalion, 63rd Armor in Macedonia and Vilseck, Germany. He also commanded 1st Brigade Combat Team (Ready First), 1st Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany and in Iraq, where the Ready First fought in Tal Afar, Sinjar, Hit and Ramadi. Most recently, he was Commanding General of Fort Bliss, Texas and the 45th Commanding General of the 1st Armored Division (Old Ironsides).

Other assignments included: US Army's lead action officer for combat development of National Missile Defense interceptors at Ft. Bliss, Deputy Regimental S3 of 3rd ACR during Desert Shield/Storm, Deputy G3, 1st Infantry Division in Wuerzburg, Germany; Chief of the 3rd Army Commander's Initiative Group at Ft. McPherson, Georgia and in Kuwait during Operation Desert Thunder; Aide de Camp for the US Army Europe CG in Heidelberg and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Chief of Future Operations for Combined/Joint Task Force 7 in Baghdad, Iraq; G3 of V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany; Chief of the Joint Staff J5's Iraq Division in Washington, DC; Commanding General of Joint Task Force North at Ft. Bliss, Deputy Commanding General for Leader Development and Education and the Deputy Commandant of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and was dual-hatted as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and the Deputy Commanding General for Operations for US Forces Afghanistan.


MacFarland is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, the Command and General Staff College, the School of Advanced Military Studies, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech.

Combat Action Badge.svg Combat Action Badge
United States Air Force Parachutist Badge.svg Basic Parachutist Badge
AirAssault.svg Air Assault Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
United States Army 1st Armored Division CSIB.svg 1st Armored Division Combat Service Identification Badge
USA - 3rd Cavalry DUI.png 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
ArmyOSB.svg 9 Overseas Service Bars
'C' Device.png Defense Distinguished Service Medal with "C" device
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Army Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Width-44 scarlet ribbon with width-4 ultramarine blue stripe at center, surrounded by width-1 white stripes. Width-1 white stripes are at the edges.Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Joint Meritorious Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
Navy Unit Commendation
Army Superior Unit Award
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg Southwest Asia Service Medal with two campaign stars
Bronze star
Kosovo Campaign Medal with campaign star
Bronze star
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star
Bronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg Iraq Campaign Medal with three campaign stars
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 4.png Army Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze award numeral 4
NATO Medal for Service with ISAF
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) ribbon.svg Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) ribbon.svg Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)


He commanded 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division during the Iraq War and the Battle of Ramadi in 2006.[13] He is the former Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. MacFarland was previously the Commanding General of Fort Bliss and the 1st Armored Division,[14][3] and the Commanding General of III Corps at Fort Hood.


  1. ^ Sean Barry MacFarland
  2. ^ "Major General Sean B. MacFarland (USA)". Archived from the original on 31 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b "1st AD changes command Post bids farewell to MacFarland, welcomes Twitty – Fort Bliss Bugle". Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  4. ^ "MacFarland leads the coalition against ISIS". Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  5. ^ "CJTF-OIR changes command". Retrieved 2015-11-01.
  6. ^ "Dept of Army announces deployment of XVIII Airborne Corps". Retrieved 2016-03-18.
  7. ^ LTG Terry, Pentagon Briefing On Operation Inherent Resolve
  8. ^ Departing U.S. commander sees turning point in Islamic State fight
  9. ^ New Operation Inherent Resolve commander continues fight against ISIL
  10. ^ "Lieutenant General Sean B. MacFarland" (PDF). U.S. Army. 20 April 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  11. ^ Amy L. Robinson, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (17 May 2015) TRADOC welcomes MacFarland as new deputy commanding general
  12. ^ David Burge El Paso Times (27 February 2018), Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, former Fort Bliss commander, retiring after three decades
  13. ^ Michaels, Jim (1 May 2007). "An Army colonel's gamble pays off in Iraq". USA Today. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Leadership ISAF Headquarters". Archived from the original on 23 December 2012.
Military offices
Preceded by
Dana J.H. Pittard
Commanding General, 1st Armored Division
Succeeded by
Stephen Twitty
Preceded by
Mark A. Milley
Commanding General, III Corps
Succeeded by
Paul E. Funk II
Preceded by
James L. Terry
Commanding General, Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve
Succeeded by
Stephen J. Townsend