Vines previously commanded the 82nd Airborne Division during the U.S. deployment to Afghanistan. He was responsible for tactical combat missions. Subsequently, Vines replaced Lt. Gen. Dan K. McNeill as the commanding general of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
His previous assignments include the 3rd Infantry Division; U.S. Army Europe and Seventh U.S. Army; Ranger Department, US Army Infantry Center; Company Commander and S3 in the 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment; and the original Executive Officer of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at its activation from 1984 until 1987.
Lieutenant General Vines has served in several command and staff assignments within the XVIII Airborne Corps to include joint duty with the Joint Special Operations Command. He served as Commander, 4th Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, during its combat parachute assault in Operation Just Cause and later when the unit was deployed as the first ground combat unit in Operation Desert Shield.
His second tour of joint duty with the Joint Special Operations Command included operations in Somalia; Commander, 2d Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); Assistant Division Commander for Operations, 82d Airborne Division; Chief of Staff, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg; Chief of Office of Military Cooperations, Cairo, Egypt; Commander, 82d Airborne Division from August 2000 until October 2002; Commander, Coalition Task Force 82, in Afghanistan from 1 September 2002 until 1 May 2003; and then Commander, Combined/Joint Task Force-180, Bagram, Afghanistan, until October 2003; Commander, Multi-National Corps Iraq in Baghdad from January 2005 until January 2006.
His military education includes the United States Navy War College.
He holds a BS Degree in Chemistry from the University of Alabama and an MA Degree in National Security and Strategy from the Naval War College.
"I must tell you that I believe that the heroic efforts of our men and women in Iraq have helped contribute to the relative peace and security that we enjoy back in the United States, and I believe it's because of the efforts of the men and women here, as well as our security forces back in the United States that can be directly attributable to that peace that we do enjoy at home." --September 15, 2006'''