James J. Lindsay

James Joseph Lindsay (born October 10, 1932) is a retired United States Army four-star general,[1] and served as the first commander of the United States Special Operations Command.

James J. Lindsay
GEN James Lindsay 1986.jpg
General James J. Lindsay
Born (1932-10-10) October 10, 1932 (age 88)
Portage, Wisconsin
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1952—1990
Commands heldU.S. Special Operations Command
XVIII Airborne Corps
82nd Airborne Division
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsDistinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (4)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star with "V" (4)
Air Medal (9)
Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm and Gold Star
Combat Infantryman Badge

Military careerEdit

Lindsay's military career began when he enlisted in the Army in 1952. He graduated from the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School in May 1953 as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Army Language School (German and Russian) the US Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the National War College. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Master of Science degree in Foreign Affairs from George Washington University.

Lindsay commanded units at all levels, from platoon through MACOM, in both peacetime and war. His first assignments were with the 82nd Airborne Division, 7th Special Forces Group and Military Intelligence. Within the 82nd Airborne Division he held eight assignments, from platoon to division level. During the Vietnam War, he was an advisor to the Vietnamese Airborne Brigade, commanded the 2nd Battalion 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division and was the G3 (Assistant Chief-of-Staff, Operations and Plans) for the 9th Infantry Division.

As a general, Lindsay commanded the 82nd Airborne Division, the United States Army Infantry School, the XVIII Airborne Corps,[2] the United States Readiness Command,[3] and was the first Commander in Chief, United States Special Operations Command.[4] General Lindsay retired July 1, 1990.[5]

Awards and decorationsEdit

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General Lindsay's awards and decorations include:


Post militaryEdit

In retirement, Lindsay founded the Airborne and Special Operations Museum Foundation in 1990. He served as a senior mentor for the Army's Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) from 1990 to 2009. He was inducted into both the United States Army Ranger Hall of Fame and the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. He was the 1996 recipient of the National Infantry Association's Doughboy Award and the 1998 recipient of the United States Special Operations Command's Bull Simons Award. His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service medal, Silver Star (with 3 oak leaf clusters), Legion of Merit. Bronze star with "V" device (with 3 oak leaf clusters), Combat Infantryman's Badge, Master Parachutist Badge (with 2 combat jump stars), Ranger Tab and Special Forces Tab.

Lindsay and his wife, Gerry, live in Vass, North Carolina.[5] Their children include: Steven, Michael, Kevin, and Barbara.


  1. ^ Wilmington Morning Star. "Fort Bragg commander tapped for higher post". September 26, 1986, p. 6C. Retrieved on June 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Times-News (Hendersonville, N.C.). "Medal Awarded". October 12, 1986, p. 1B. Retrieved on June 25, 2013.
  3. ^ Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "MacDill May Get Special Command, Lawmaker Says". January 28, 1987, p. YBTC. Retrieved on June 25, 2013.
  4. ^ Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "5 Killed as U.S. Cargo Plane Crashes in Public Exercise". July 2, 1987, p. 8A. Retrieved on June 25, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "James J. Lindsay: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com.

External linksEdit