Major General (Ret.) James A. Guest
U.S. Army Special Forces Regiment.
Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment.
Major General (Ret.) James A. Guest was born in Elberton, Georgia on April 12, 1938. Major General Guest’s military career extended over 33 years, and began when he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry from North Georgia College in Dahlonega, Georgia, in 1960.
Following his initial assignment as a Platoon Leader in the 502nd Airborne Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, Major General Guest volunteered for Special Forces and completed the Special Forces Qualification Course in 1962. Major General Guest began his career in the Special Forces with the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Germany, where he served as a Detachment Executive Officer and Commander from 1962 to 1965. Following his return to the United States and graduation from the Infantry Officers Advanced Course, Major General Guest was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam where he served as Commander, D Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 8th Cavalry and subsequently as the Assistant S-3 for 1st Brigade (Airborne), 1st Cavalry Division. Upon completing his tour in Vietnam, Major General Guest was assigned to the Mountain Ranger Camp, where he served as an instructor and the Executive Officer until his return to Vietnam in 1969 where he served as a Senior Regional /Popular Force Advisor and later as Deputy Province Advisor, Advisory Team 69, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.
Returning to the United States to attend the Command and General Staff College, Major General Guest was subsequently assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) where he served as the Group Adjutant and as the Commander, Support Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Following assignments as an Airborne Infantry battalion Executive Officer, Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps, and a Personal Management Officer at United States Army Military Personnel Center, Major General Guest again returned to the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Germany, where he served as the Commander of the 1st Battalion.
Following his graduation from the Naval War College in 1980, and subsequent assignments in the XVIII Airborne Corps, Major General Guest returned to the Special Forces Community, where in December of 1982 he assumed command of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Following this assignment, he served as the Commanding General of the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS). He succeeded this assignment by becoming the Commanding General, United States Army Special Forces Command, and culminated his service to Special Forces and the nation as the J-3, Director of Operations, United States Special Operations Command at MacDill Airforce Base, Florida.
Major General Guest’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with five campaign stars, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Special Forces Tab, the Ranger Tab, and the Master Parachutist Badge.