Became the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, May, 1990.
Army Command and General Staff College Tennessee Polytechnic Institute
Born in LaFollette, Tennessee, on September 7, 1936, Gen. Stiner 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, the 7th Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea, and commanded a basic training company at Fort Jackson, S.C.
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 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 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, Florida, 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 that post until he was 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 U.S. 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. He retired from the Army in May 1993.
During his thirty-five-year career, Stiner commanded the Army's preeminent contingency strike forces; including 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 involved 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.
He was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2004.
His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leal Cluster, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Army General Staff Identification Badge, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Service Badge.
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