Vincent K. Brooks

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Vincent K. Brooks
Brooks 2016.jpeg
General Vincent K. Brooks, USA
Born (1958-10-24) October 24, 1958 (age 59)
Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1980–present
Rank Army-USA-OF-09.svg General
Commands held United States Forces Korea
United Nations Command
ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command
U.S. Army Pacific
Third Army
1st Infantry Division
1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division

Kosovo War
War on Terror

Awards Army Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (4)
Bronze Star (2)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (8)
Air Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal (2)
Army Achievement Medal (3)

Vincent Keith Brooks (born October 24, 1958) is a United States Army general who is the current commander of United States Forces Korea, United Nations Command and ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command. He previously served as commanding general of the United States Army Pacific and before that as the commanding general of Third Army.[1] Brooks was the United States Army's Deputy Director of Operations during the War in Iraq, and frequently briefed the media, which raised his public profile. He also served as the Chief of Army Public Affairs The Pentagon. He later was commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division. General Brooks assumed his current assignment on April 30, 2016.


Brooks was born in Anchorage, Alaska. He grew up in an Army family in California, and his father Major General Leo A. Brooks Sr. and brother Brigadier General Leo A. Brooks Jr. both retired after careers in the Army.[2][3] His uncle, Francis K. Brooks was the majority leader of the Vermont House of Representatives and a member of the Vermont Senate.[4][5] Vincent Brooks attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia, for two years and then Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California, and graduated in 1976. He was a basketball player and he decided to follow his brother to West Point to study to become an officer.

Military service[edit]

Brooks as a cadet in 1980

At West Point, Brooks was the academy's first African-American Cadet First Captain, the highest position (Cadet Brigade Commander) a cadet can hold, an appointment that brought much public visibility at an early age in life. He graduated from West Point in 1980. After graduating Brooks served in Korea and Kosovo among other places. In Kosovo he concurrently served as the deputy commander of the U.S. force in Kosovo (Task Force Falcon) and as commander of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division based at Fort Stewart, Georgia. From that position he moved to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. While serving there he was temporarily assigned to be Deputy Director of Operations at U.S. Central Command or CENTCOM. Returning to the Pentagon and The Joint Staff in April 2003 he became the Strategic Planner for the War on Terrorism.

In his role as Deputy Director of Operations he also became the spokesperson of United States Central Command, the main force in the Middle East. At that time he was the youngest general officer in the Army. He served as the Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas April 2009 to May 2011 and then became 3rd Army Commanding General.

As part of the "Asia Pivot" of the East Asian foreign policy of the Barack Obama administration, Brooks envisions a "Pacific Pathways" of a single US Army unit that would wander the countries of the region.[6]

In March 2016, Brooks was nominated to command United States Forces Korea, the U.S.-South Korea Combined Forces Command, and United Nations Command, succeeding Curtis Scaparrotti.[7]


  • "We are role models to a lot of young people, not just African Americans and soldiers".[8]
  • "People can see the achievement and how hard work leads to it."[9]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Combat Action Badge.svg Combat Action Badge
Expert Infantry Badge.svg Expert Infantryman Badge
Ranger Tab.svg Ranger tab
USAFSeniorParatrooper.jpg Senior Parachutist Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
United States Army Staff Identification Badge.png Army Staff Identification Badge
Combat service identification badge of the 1st Infantry Division.svg 1st Infantry Division Combat Service Identification Badge
United Nations Command Badge
9th Infantry Regiment DUI.png 9th Infantry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
Fallschirmspringerabzeichen der Bundeswehr in Bronze.jpg Silver German Parachutist Badge
Wings badge.JPG British Army Parachutist Badge
ASU overseas service bar.jpg 7 Overseas Service Bars
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Army Distinguished Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters
Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Legion of Merit with three bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze 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 Star Medal with oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Silver oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Meritorious Service Medal with one silver and two bronze oak leaf clusters
Air Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Army Achievement Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Silver oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Commendation with one bronze oak leaf cluster
Superior Unit Award
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
Bronze star
Kosovo Campaign Medal with one bronze service star
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Iraq Campaign Medal with four service stars
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with two service stars
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 4.png Army Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze award numeral 4
Inter-American Defense Board Medal
NATO Medal w Służbie Pokoju i Wolności BAR.svg NATO Medal for Kosovo
JPN Kyokujitsu-sho 1Class BAR.svg Order of the Rising Sun, Grand Cordon (Japan)
Tong-il Security Medel Ribbon.png Order of National Security Merit, Tong-il Medal (Republic of Korea)


  1. ^ "Lt. Gen. Brooks assumed command of Third Army". DVIDS. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Boeing Corporation, Biography, Leo A. Brooks, Jr., 2011
  3. ^ Virginia State University Alumni Association, Alumni in the military, Leo A. Brooks, Sr., accessed May 7, 2013
  4. ^ Hawkins, Walter L. Black American Military Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. pp. 59–60. ISBN 978-0-7864-4462-5. 
  5. ^ Secretary of the Vermont Senate. "Biography, Senator Francis K. Brooks". Vermont General Assembly. Montpelier, VT: Vermont Senate. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  6. ^ Chandrasekaran, Rajiv (29 December 2013). "Army's 'Pacific Pathways' initiative sets up turf battle with Marines". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Release No: NR-101-16: Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Gen. Vincent K. Brooks" (Press release). Washington, DC: Press Operations. U.S. Department of Defense. March 21, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Who is Brigadier General Vincent Brooks?". 
  9. ^ Reef, Catherine (2014). African Americans in the Military. Infobase Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-4381-0775-2. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Perry L. Wiggins
Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division
Succeeded by
William C. Mayville Jr.
Preceded by
William G. Webster
Commanding General of the Third United States Army
Succeeded by
James L. Terry
Preceded by
Francis J. Wiercinski
Commander of the United States Army Pacific
Succeeded by
Robert B. Brown
Preceded by
Curtis M. Scaparrotti
Commander of the United States Forces Korea
30 April 2016–present
Succeeded by