General Lloyd J. Austin III, Vice Chief of Staff for the United States Army, will address the more than 500 graduates of Fayetteville State University’s (FSU) 145th Spring Commencement. Commencement will be held May 5, 2012 at 9 a.m. in the Crown Coliseum. The event is open to the public.
Gen. Austin hails from Thomasville, Georgia. He was commissioned an Infantry second lieutenant in 1975 upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He has served in a wide variety of command and staff positions throughout his 36-year career. His early assignments included duty with: the 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army; 2d Battalion, 508th Infantry, 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion, Indianapolis, Indiana; United States Military Academy, West Point, New York; 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry and 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York.
Gen. Austin then returned to Fort Bragg in 1993 and served as Commander, 2d Battalion, 505thParachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division; G-3 82d Airborne Division; and later as the Commander, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division 1997 to 1999. Following duty at Fort Bragg, he was assigned to the Pentagon where he served as Chief, Joint Operations Division, J-3 on the Joint Staff.
More recently, Gen. Austin served as the Assistant Division Commander (Maneuver), 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Stewart, Georgia and OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, from July 2001 until June 2003; and Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York from September 2003 until August 2005 with duty as Commander, Combined Joint Task Force-180, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, Afghanistan. He then served as the Chief of Staff, United States Central Command from September 2005 until November 2006 followed by assignment as the Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps in December 2006 where he commanded, Multi-National Corps – Iraq, OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, from February 2008 until April 2009. He was then assigned to the Pentagon as the Director, Joint Staff from August 2009 to August 2010. General Austin commanded United States Forces – Iraq from September 2010 through the completion of OPERATION NEW DAWN in December 2011.
His military education includes the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, United States Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia; United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy, a Master’s Degree in Education from Auburn University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Management from Webster University.
Gen. Austin’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with Three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Silver Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (with Four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (with Six Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, the Ranger Tab and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge.
Presiding over commencement will be FSU Chancellor James A. Anderson, the 11th chief executive officer. He began his duties on June 9, 2008. Before coming to FSU, Anderson served as the University of Albany’s Vice President for Student Success and Vice Provost for Institutional Assessment and Diversity.
Raised in Washington, D.C, Anderson majored in psychology at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1970. He later earned a doctoral degree in the field (1980) from Cornell University in New York. Early in his career, Anderson chaired the Department of Psychology at Xavier University in New Orleans (1976-1983) before joining Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a professor of psychology.
In 1992, he began 11-year tenure as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs at North Carolina State University. In that role, he was credited with leading a revision of the general education curriculum, as well as the development of the First Year College, the Honors Programs, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, the Minority Engineering Program, and the North Carolina State Diversity Initiative, among others.
In 2003, Anderson was recruited to Texas A&M University, a major land-grant institution serving more than 46,000 students, as Vice President and Associate Provost for Institutional Assessment and Diversity. He held that post until joining the University at Albany in 2005.
FSU is the second-oldest public institution in North Carolina. A member of the University of North Carolina System, FSU has nearly 6,000 students and offers degrees in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
For more information, please call (910) 672-1474.