James Joseph Lindsay

James J. Lindsay

General James Joseph Lindsay (born on October 10, 1932 in Portage, Wisconsin) is a retired United States Army four star general, and served as the first commander of the United States Special Operations Command.

Military career

Lindsay's military career began when he enlisted in the Army in 1952. He graduated from the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School in May 1953 as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the National War College. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Master of Science degree in Foreign Affairs from George Washington University.

Lindsay commanded units at all levels, from platoon through MACOM, in both peacetime and war. His first assignments were with the 82nd Airborne Division and 77th Special Forces Group. Within the 82nd Airborne Division he has held eight assignments, from platoon to division level. During the Vietnam War, he was an advisor to the Vietnamese Airborne Brigade, commanded the 2nd Battalion 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division and was the G3 (Assistant Chief-of-Staff, Operations and Plans) for the 9th Infantry Division.

As a general, Lindsay commanded the 82nd Airborne Division, the United States Army Infantry School, the XVIII Airborne Corps, the United States Readiness Command, and was the first Commander in Chief, United States Special Operations Command. General Lindsay retired July 1, 1990.

General Lindsay’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with "V" device and three Oak Leaf Clusters, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and Special Forces Tab.

Post military

In retirement, Lindsay serves as president of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum Foundation, and is a Senior Observer with the Army’s Battle Command Training Program. He sits on the Board of Advisors of the National Infantry Foundation. He was inducted into both the United States Army Ranger Hall of Fame and Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. He was the 1996 recipient of the National Infantry Association’s Doughboy Award, and the 1998 recipient of the United States Special Operations Command Bull Simon Award.

General Lindsay and his wife Gerry live in Vass, North Carolina.


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