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Raymond A. Thomas III
Lieutenant General Raymond A. Thomas
Commander, Joint Special Operations Command
Allegiance United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1980–present
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Joint Special Operations Command
Battles/wars Operation Just Cause
Gulf War
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Awards Defense Superior Service Medal (3)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal (5)
Purple Heart

Lieutenant General Raymond A. Thomas III is a senior officer in the United States Army and current commander of Joint Special Operations Command.[1]

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.

Military career[]

Thomas graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1980.[2] Thomas was a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment.[1] He was also a troop commander, squadron operations officer, unit executive officer and squadron commander within Delta Force.[1]

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.[3] From 2010 until 2012 Thomas served as the deputy commander of Joint Special Operations Command.[2] As a major general, Thomas was in charge of all U.S. and NATO special forces in Afghanistan from 2012 until 2013.[2][4] 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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[1]

Awards and decorations[]

CIB2.png Combat Infantryman Badge with Star (denoting 2nd award)
CMP 2.jpg Master Parachutist Badge with 2 Combat Jump Devices
USAF - Occupational Badge - High Altitude Low Opening.svg Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge
RangerTab TIoH.gif Ranger tab
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
United States Navy Parachutist Badge.png Naval Parachutist insignia
75th Ranger Regiment SSI (1984-2015).svg 75th Ranger Regiment Combat Service Identification Badge
75th Ranger Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia.svg 75th Ranger Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Legion of Merit
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
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 four oak leaf clusters
Purple Heart
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Presidential Unit Citation
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Valorous Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
Arrowhead
Bronze star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Arrowhead device and service star
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars
Bronze star
Bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 3.png Army Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze award numeral 3
NATO Medal for Service in ex-Yugoslavia
Us sa-kwlib rib.png Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Us kw-kwlib rib.png Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

References[]

Military offices
Preceded by
Joseph Votel
Commander, Joint Special Operations Command
July 29, 2014 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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