General John H. Tilelli Jr.

General John H. Tilelli, Jr., ICAS Liberty Foundation Distinguished Fellow & ICAS Liberty Award Reciprient, retired on January 31, 2000 from the United States Army after over 30 years of service. He is currently employed with Cypress International Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia, as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

General Tilelli was raised in Holmdel, New Jersey. A 1963 graduate of Pennsylvania Military College, now Widener University, he received a degree in Economics and was commissioned as an Armor Officer. He attended the Armor Officer Basic and Advance Courses and Airborne School. He was awarded a Masterís Degree in Administration from Lehigh University in 1972 and graduated from the United States Army War College in 1983. General Tilelli is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in Business Management from Widener University in May 1996, and an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Maryland.

During General Tilelli's last active duty assignment as Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command, Republic of Korea/United States Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea, he commanded the largest standing joint and coalition force in the world comprising of over 650,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who led to the theater's campaign strategy and revitalized Korea's automated command and control and equipment modernization. During his tour in Korea, General Tilelli advised and made recommendations to foreign heads of state, Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs and United Nations leadership regarding national security, regional policy and planning.

Upon his retirement from the United States Army as Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command, Republic of Korea/United States Combined Forces/United States Forces Korea, General Tilelli was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of the USO Worldwide Operations. He had the responsibility for the operation of over 122 USO operations around the world in support of our servicemen and women and their families, raising the donor funds to allow continued support by the American people of over $20 million/year; building a $100 million endowment and managing and leading 600 employees and 12,000 volunteers. He did all this in close coordination with the senior leadership of the Department of Defense. General Tilelli also participated and led many senior panels related to defense issues since his retirement.

General Tilelli's military career includes serving as the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and the Army's Deputy Chief of Operations during which he led the Army's vision to the Army of the 21st Century and implemented reforms in acquisition and procurement. His career included many command assignments including Commander of United States Army Forces Command where he improved readiness of all United States Army Forces (active and reserve) and was responsible for the Army's homeland security function. As the Commander, Seventh Army Training Command and Combat Maneuver Training Center, he revolutionized training in Europe. As Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, he trained, deployed and fought with the Division in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

General Tilelli's staff assignments include three tours at the Pentagon: Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition; the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans in the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army; and later promoted to Lieutenant General as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Department of the Army. His responsibilities in all assignments spanned geopolitics, programming and budgeting, congressional affairs, organizational design, development of training methodologies and, of course, leadership and management of large organizations with multiple functions and missions.

General Tilelli's military career includes two tours in Vietnam and four tours in Germany. His combat tours include assignments as a Company Commander and District Senior Advisor in Vietnam and Commanding General of 1st Cavalry Division during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In Germany, he served as a Troop Commander and S-1 in the 2d Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment; Chief of Staff, 1st Armored Division in Ansbach; Regimental Commander, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment in Nuremberg; and Chief of Staff, VII (U.S.) Corps in Stuttgart.

General Tilelli's awards and decorations include The Defense Distinguished Service Medal, The Army's Distinguished Service Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), The Navy's Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device, Bronze Star Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge and Army Staff Identification Badge.

Links for General John H. Tilelli Jr.
2011 ICAS Liberty Award Lecture
ICAS Liberty Award Dinner, 2011
Bulletin of December 2, 2011
Bulletin of November 10,2011


This page last updated December 17, 2011 jdb