John H. Tilelli Jr.

John H. Tilelli Jr.

Tilelli in August 1994
Born (1941-10-02) October 2, 1941
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1963-2000
Rank General
Commands held Forces Command
U.S. Forces Korea
1st Cavalry Division
2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Persian Gulf War
Awards Legion of Merit
Bronze Star with "V" Device
Other work President, USO
Operation Dark Winter

John Harold Tilelli Jr. (born October 2, 1941)[1] is a retired United States Army four-star general who served as Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army (VCSA) from 1994 to 1995; Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM) from 1995 to 1996; and Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK) from 1996 to 1999. He retired from the U.S. Army on January 31, 2000 and later worked for the USO and The Aerospace Corporation.

Early life and education

Tilelli was raised in Holmdel Township, New Jersey and is a 1963 graduate of Pennsylvania Military College, now named Widener University, where he received a degree in economics and was commissioned an armor officer.[2]

He earned a master's degree in administration from Lehigh University in 1972 and is a 1983 Army War College graduate. He also holds honorary doctorates in business management from Widener and in law from the University of Maryland.


Tilelli, left, greeting Defense Secretary William Cohen during his arrival in South Korea in January 1998.

Tilelli served two tours in the Vietnam War, four in Germany and three in the Pentagon. His combat tours include assignments as a company commander in Vietnam and as commander of the 1st Cavalry Division during the Persian Gulf War.

Awards and decorations

Tilelli's awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with "V" Device and two 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.[3]

Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star

Personal life

Since retiring, Tilelli has served as president of the United Service Organizations (USO).[4] He was also elected to the Board of Trustees of The Aerospace Corporation,[5] and sat on the board of directors of Raytheon until May 4, 2005.[6] In 2006, he joined the board of directors for Xcelaero.[7] From 2008-14, he served on the board of directors of Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), including a two-year term as chairman of the board from 2012-14.[8]



 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "".

Military offices
Preceded by
Gen. J. H. Binford Peay III
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1994 1995
Succeeded by
Gen. Ronald H. Griffith
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