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Bush Nominates Brown as Special Ops Commander

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2003 – President Bush has nominated Army Lt. Gen. Bryan D. Brown for promotion to general and as the next U.S. Special Operations Command commander.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Brown will replace Air Force Gen. Charles R. Holland.

Brown is currently the deputy commander at Special Operations Command. The command is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Brown, 54, started his career in 1967 as an infantryman. Upon completion of Airborne School and the Special Forces Qualifications Course, he served on a Special Forces "A Team" in Vietnam. He returned to the United States and attended Officer Candidate School. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in May 1970. Brown returned to Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and held a succession of aviation jobs thereafter.

Brown served in Operation Urgent Fury the invasion of Grenada in October 1983 as a member of the Joint Special Operations Command based out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

He also commanded a battalion of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

He later commanded the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. He was the assistant division commander (maneuver) of the 1st Infantry Division from 1994 to 1996.

Before serving as the deputy commander of Special Operations Command, Brown was the commanding general Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.

His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with "V" Device, Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. He also earned the Special Forces Tab, Master Army Aviator Badge, Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

There are nine unified commanders. They normally serve two- year tours with a year extension, according to Joint Staff officials. Holland is the second unified commander to move this summer. Army Gen. Tommy Franks, U.S. Central Command chief, will retire on Aug. 1, and the president nominated Army Lt. Gen. John Abizaid, currently deputy CENTCOM commander, to replace him.

Air Force Gen. John W. Handy, the head of U.S. Transportation Command is the longest-serving unified commander. He took command July 1, 2000.

Adm. James O. Ellis Jr. has been commander of U.S. Strategic Command since December 2001.

U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Thomas B. Fargo took over command in May 2002 and Army Gen. James T. Hill became commander of U.S. Southern Command in August 2002.

Air Force Gen. Ralph Eberhart stood up U.S. Northern Command on Oct. 1, 2002, and Adm. Edmund Giambastiani became commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command on Oct. 2, 2002.

Marine Gen. James Jones took over U.S. European Command in January 2003.

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