Senior Army officers and non-commissioned officers, Army leaders and employees, and dignitaries from across North Carolina saluted Army Gen. Daniel B. Allyn Friday, at Fort Bragg, honoring his 36-year military career at an Army retirement ceremony on the post where his military career first started.
Dignitaries, invited guests, friends and Allyn Family members gathered Friday near the flagpole of the Fort Bragg Main Post Parade Field to celebrate Gen. Allyn. He has held several distinguished positions in his career, including his most recent leadership duties as the 35th Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, as the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command and as the commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg.
Allyn’s early assignments at Fort Bragg from 1982 until 1985 included platoon leader, then executive officer of Company C, and later as assistant operations officer of 2nd Battalion, 508th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division including serving in “Operation Urgent Fury” in Grenada.
Allyn thanked Fort Bragg for hosting his “final formation.”
“This is a special place for the Allyn Family. I’ve served in various capacities for over one-third of my career at Fort Bragg, including starting as a second lieutenant under General James J. Lindsay and finishing at U.S. Army Forces Command. I’ve been fortunate to serve at Fort Bragg at every rank except colonel.”
Allyn went on to add that he met his wife, Debbie, at Fort Bragg, got married here, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary here, and that their son was born at Womack Army Medical Center.
“Fort Bragg has been our home base for the past three-plus decades,” Allyn said, “our home base no matter where our duty assignment may have been.”
Allyn recognized his wife, son and daughter, many Family members and hometown friends from Berwick, Maine, as well as Army leaders, U.S. Military Academy at West Point Class of 1981 classmates, and several lifelong mentors.
“For me, it really all comes down to teams, leaders and Family,” he said.
During the ceremony, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley expressed his appreciation for Allyn’s service to the Army team.
“General Dan Allyn is a man of enormous character, deep humility and fearless moral courage,” said Milley. “As our Army’s 35th vice chief … he was always on point in all of our complex and controversial issues — from aviation restructuring initiatives to the Sustainable Readiness Model, to Headquarters’ downsizing and European reassurance initiatives, acquisition reform, leader development, budget battles and sequestration.
“Just like he always led the way from Grenada to Panama, from Iraq and Afghanistan in combat. In short, Dan Allyn improved the readiness of our Army and set the conditions for our future.”
Milley presented Allyn with the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service while assigned to successive positions of increased responsibility. Allyn “adeptly and effortlessly enhanced the health, wellness and resiliency of all Soldiers, civilians and Family members,” the award citation reads.
“The most prominent of his diverse achievements was his passion for leader development. As a leader of character, he played an integral role in educating and mentoring the next generation of Army Senior Leaders. In keeping with his traditions in ensuring the welfare of the force, he set the course for the Army’s Fiscal Years 2016-2022 budget strategy, ultimately ensuring that America’s Army remains properly manned, trained and equipped to support current and future contingencies,” the citation continues.
Allyn thanked Milley and an audience of more than 1,200 guests. Attending local dignitaries and North Carolina officials included the Hon. Chris Rey, mayor of Spring Lake, North Carolina; Secretary Larry Hall of the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; as well as representatives from the offices of U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis; and U.S. Congressman Richard Hudson.
Recognizing those attending Friday’s ceremony, Gen. Allyn expressed his gratitude to the 82nd Airborne Division “All American” Band for providing the ceremony’s military music, and the salute battery from Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, which provided a 17-gun salute in the general’s honor.
He also thanked over a dozen Army leaders, supervisors, mentors, friends and colleagues who provided guidance and support over his three-decade career.
Allyn’s time in the military included many other Army leadership assignments on and outside Fort Bragg. He was previously commanding general, 1st Cavalry Division, “America’s First Team,” including duty as commanding general, Combined Joint Task Force – Iraq and Regional Command East in Afghanistan.
Allyn also served as the chief of staff and, later, deputy commanding general of XVIII Airborne Corps, including duty as chief of staff, Multi-National Corps Iraq.
His joint assignments include the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and the Joint Operations Directorate, J-3, of the Joint Staff.
Prior to his joint assignments, he served as commander, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), culminating with service during “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Prior to serving in the “Marne Division,” Allyn served two tours of duty with the 82nd Airborne Division, two years with the 2nd Infantry Division, and three tours of duty with the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Allyn’s other previous duties include command at the platoon through division level and staff assignments at the battalion through Joint Staff level.
He served an overseas assignment in Korea and operational deployments for “Operation Urgent Fury” in Grenada, two peacekeeping deployments to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia, and Operations Desert Spring and Enduring Freedom in Kuwait, two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and most recently was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XII.
He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses at Fort Benning, Georgia; the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Strategic and National Security Studies. Allyn is a combat infantryman and master parachutist.