|Raymond A. Thomas III|
Lieutenant General Raymond A. Thomas
Commander, Joint Special Operations Command
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1980–present|
|Commands held||Joint Special Operations Command|
Operation Just Cause|
War in Afghanistan
Defense Superior Service Medal (3)|
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal (5)
He has participated in numerous combat operations, such as; Operation Just Cause in 1989, Gulf War in 1991, and since 2001 the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every year between 2001 and 2013 (minus his time in Iraq with the First Armored Division in 2007) Thomas deployed to Afghanistan as part of various special operations units.
Thomas graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1980. Thomas was a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment. He was also a troop commander, squadron operations officer, unit executive officer and squadron commander within Delta Force.
Thomas crossed over from the special operations realm into the conventional warfare realm when he was selected by Lieutenant General Mark P. Hertling, then-commander of the First Armored Division, to be his deputy commander during the Iraq War, from 2007 to 2008. During that tour the division worked alongside Arabs and Kurds and despite the difficult relationship between the ethnic groups Thomas was praised by Hertling for "his ability to quickly fuse intelligence" adding, "He helped us fight better." After his tenure in the First Armored Division came to an end Thomas returned to Special Operations. From 2010 until 2012 Thomas served as the deputy commander of Joint Special Operations Command. As a major general, Thomas was in charge of all U.S. and NATO special forces in Afghanistan from 2012 until 2013. Every year between 2001 and 2013 (minus his time in Iraq with the First Armored Division in 2007) Thomas deployed to Afghanistan as part of various special operations units.
After commanding all US and NATO SOF units in Afghanistan Thomas was promoted to lieutenant general and was reassigned the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia where he served as the Associate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency for Military Affairs. In August 2014, Thomas replaced Joseph Votel as the commander of Joint Special Operations Command, Votel was promoted to four-star general and replaced Admiral McRaven as the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command.
Awards and decorations
|Defense Superior Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Legion of Merit|
|Bronze Star Medal with four oak leaf clusters|
|Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters|
|Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters|
|Joint Service Commendation Medal|
|Army Achievement Medal|
|Army Presidential Unit Citation|
|Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster|
|Valorous Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster|
|Meritorious Unit Commendation|
|National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star|
|Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Arrowhead device and service star|
|Southwest Asia Service Medal|
|Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars|
|Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars|
|Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|
|Army Service Ribbon|
|Army Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze award numeral 3|
|NATO Medal for Service in ex-Yugoslavia|
|Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)|
|Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)|
- "New Commander Takes Over JSOC at Fort Bragg | Military.com". military.com. http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/07/30/new-commander-takes-over-jsoc-at-fort-bragg.html. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "New Senior Appointment at CIA – Matthew Aid". matthewaid.com. http://www.matthewaid.com/post/50006119624/new-senior-appointment-at-cia. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "The New York Times". nytimes.com. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/us/09commanders.html?pagewanted=all. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Defense.gov News Release: General Officer Assignments". defense.gov. http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15416. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
|Commander, Joint Special Operations Command
July 29, 2014 – present
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