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Carl W. Stiner
General Carl W. Stiner
Born September 7, 1936(1936-09-07) (age 86)
Place of birth LaFollette, Tennessee
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1958-1993
Rank General
Commands held U.S. Special Operations Command
XVIII Airborne Corps
Joint Special Operations Command
82nd Airborne Division
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Operation Just Cause
Operation Desert Storm
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal (3)
Air Medal (16)
Army Commendation Medal (11)

Carl Wade Stiner (born September 7, 1936) is a retired United States Army four-star general who served as Commander in Chief, United States Special Operations Command (USCINCSOC) from 1990 to 1993.

Military career

Stiner was born in LaFollette, Tennessee on September 7, 1936. He graduated from Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in 1958 with a bachelor of science degree and was commissioned in the Infantry. He served initially with the 9th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia and commanded a basic training company at Fort Jackson.

His first special operations tour of duty was in 1964-66 with the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Following graduation from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1967, he served in the Vietnam War as both an infantry battalion and brigade operations officer (S-3) with the 4th Infantry Division.

In 1970, after a tour with Headquarters, Department of the Army in Washington, D.C., he joined the 82nd Airborne Division where he commanded the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, and served as the Division operations officer (G3). Following graduation from the Army War College in 1975 and a tour in Saudi Arabia, he commanded the 1st Infantry Training Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Promoted to Brigadier General in 1980, he served first as the Chief of Staff, Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), then headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, and later as the Assistant Division Commander of the 82d Airborne Division. After serving on the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C., as Assistant Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs, in 1984 he was promoted to Major General and appointed as Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.

He held this post until assigned as Commanding General, 82nd Airborne Division, in January 1987. In October 1988 he was named Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. As Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps, he was designated Commander, Joint Task Force South, and served as the operational commander of all forces employed on Operation Just Cause in Panama in December 1989.

In May 1990 he was promoted to the rank of General and became the second Commander in Chief of the United States Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. As Commander in Chief, he was responsible for the readiness of all special operations forces of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, both active duty and reserve, retiring in May 1993.

During his thirty-five-year career, Stiner commanded the Army's preeminent contingency strike forces; including the Joint Special Operations Command, the 82d Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps. Stiner has an extensive background in special operations. Among the many missions in which he was involved was the capture of the terrorists in the Achille Lauro hijacking, the Panama invasion and the capture of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and all special operations activities during Operation Desert Storm.

Stiner was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2004.[1]


Post-military career

Stiner co-authored the 2002 book Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces with Tom Clancy.[2] He is also a recipient of the Freedom Foundation Award and the Distinguished Alumnus award from Tennessee Technological University[3] and serves as Chairman of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.[4] Stiner has also been active teaching the joint war fighting course at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, and works as a senior advisor for new joint war fighting experiments.[5]

Additional recognition

An approximately 10-mile (16 km) stretch of State Highway 63 between LaFollette and Speedwell, Tennessee, is named in honor of General Stiner. The Army ROTC offices at Stiner's alma mater, Tennessee Tech, have been renamed the Carl W. Stiner Leadership Center in his honor.[6]

On September 7, 2002, an oil portrait in the likeness of General Carl Wade Stiner was unveiled to a company of interested citizens, friends and relatives of General Stiner, at the proposed location of a new Veteran's Memorial Museum in Jacksboro, Tennessee. Since that time, the portrait is being housed at the Campbell County Historical Society located at 235 E. Central Ave. in LaFollette Tn. and curated by Jerry Sharp at that location.

The Biographical material and photo of the portrait of General Stiner has been entered into the Catalog of American Portraits, Center for Electronic Research and Outreach Services, National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.


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