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First Name: James

Last Name: Hill

Birthplace: Dayton, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Thomas

Date of Birth: 08 October 1946

Rank: General

Years Served: 1968-2004
James Thomas Hill

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)
•  Gulf War (1990 - 1991)


James Thomas Hill
General, U.S. Army

James Thomas Hill was born on 8 October 1946 in Dayton, OH. Hill grew up in El Paso, TX, and graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, in 1968. As a member of the Reserve Officers' Training program at Trinity he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.

After completion of the Infantry Officers Basic, Ranger, and Airborne Courses, Hill was initially assigned to Fort Hood, TX. Later, Hill served with the 2-502nd Infantry, part of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), in the Republic of Vietnam as a rifle platoon leader, recon platoon leader, company executive officer, and company commander.

Hill's other key assignments included Company Commander, 3d Ranger Company, Fort Benning; Commander, Company A, 2d Squadron, 7th Cavalry, Fort Hood; Battalion Operations Officer and Battalion Commander, 1-35th Infantry, Schofield Barracks; Staff Officer, Strategy, Plans and Policy Directorate, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, HQDA; Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of Staff of the Army, and Special Project Officer for the Chief of Staff of the Army.

Hill commanded the "Always First" Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from August 1989 through July 1991, to include service in Southwest Asia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He served as Chief of Staff of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from August 1991 through October 1992. He then served as the Assistant Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs on the Joint Staff from October 1992 to July 1994. In July 1994, he assumed duties as the Assistant Division Commander (Support), 25th Infantry Division (Light) to include service in Haiti as the Deputy Commanding General, Multinational Force and Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces, Haiti, United Nations Mission, Haiti.

He served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, U.S. Army Forces Command, from June 1995 to June '97. He became Commanding General, 25th Infantry Division (Light) in June 1997, and served in that position until he was named Commanding General, I Corps and Fort Lewis, in September 1999.

From 2002 until his retirement, General Hill was the Commanding General of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), overseeing all U.S. military forces in Central and South America.

General James Thomas Hill retired from active Army service in 2004.


A graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the National War College, he also holds a Master's degree in Personnel Management from Central Michigan University.

Medals, Awards, Badges and Tabs

Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Defense Superior Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Purple Heart with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with Award Numeral 2
Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device and Silver Oak Leaf Cluster
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
Humanitarian Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Army Valorous Unit Award
Army Superior Unit Award
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Vietnam Civil Actions Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge
Air Assault Badge
Parachutist Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge
Ranger Tab

In Retirement

Hill joined the Board of Trustees for Fraunhofer USA, a bio-technology firm, in 2006. He is also the founder of the J.T. Hill Group, a consulting firm in Coral Gables, FL. He serves as an advisor and is on the board of The Protective Group, a Texas-based security firm. Hill is a consultant to Northrop Grumman and the Center for Molecular Biology and Enterprise Technology Partners.

He remains involved in Latin American affairs, writing a regular column for the Colombian magazine PODER, and serving on the board of United for Colombia, a non-profit organization for providing medical treatment to landmine victims in Colombia. In Coral Gables, he serves on the city's Emergency Management Committee, and he is a national advisor to The Military Child Education Coalition.

Honoree ID: 253   Created by: MHOH




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