Historic City News, friends, family and military peers of Major General James “Don” Tyre, honored the Florida Army National Guard’s highest ranking officer, a leader with more than ten-thousand soldiers under his command, as his 45-year military career came to an end.
Tyre said today that when he joined the Florida National Guard in 1969, his goal was only to complete an initial enlistment and leave; but, he is confident he made the right choice to stay for 45 years in uniform. Tyre served concurrently as the commander of the Florida Army National Guard and as Assistant Adjutant General of Florida for Army.
“You’ve allowed me the greatest opportunity that a soldier could ever dream of,” Tyre said to the well-wishers and attendees at the ceremony. “It was the opportunity to command the best Army National Guard in our nation.”
Adjutant General of Florida, Major General Emmett Titshaw, presented Tyre with the Florida Cross and the US Army Distinguished Service Medal during the ceremony at the historic St Francis Barracks today, and lauded him for his years of service to the Army National Guard.
“Don’s work since September 11, 2001 was instrumental in the mobilization, deployment and re-integration of our soldiers who went off to war,” Titshaw said. “He was a task force commander and a joint task force commander for over fifteen named storms in Florida, as well as relief operations, Operation Deep Water Horizon, and several wildfire operations.
Titshaw closed his remarks about Tyre by adding, “He is an approachable leader, a mentor to many, and a battle-buddy to me.”
Major General Tyre, who is a Live Oak native, is also a fifth-generation soldier. He can trace his family’s military lineage back to his great-great-grandfather, who served with the first Florida militia during the Seminole Wars from 1836-1838.
Tyre enlisted in the Florida Army National Guard in 1969, serving ten years as a non-commissioned officer before attending the Florida Army National Guard Military Academy. He was commissioned as an engineer officer in 1980, and in his first officer assignment served as an equipment supply officer at the 50th Area Support Group in Jacksonville.
Tyre’s lengthy and prestigious career led him through numerous positions and commands with the Florida National Guard. These assignments included: Director of the Joint Staff, Florida National Guard; Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Florida Army National Guard; Commander, 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade; Commander, 2nd Battalion, 265th Air Defense Artillery Regiment; Commander, 269th Engineer Company; Deputy G3, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command; and Inspector General, Florida Joint Force Headquarters, Florida National Guard
As the Assistant Adjutant General, Tyre was responsible for the operational readiness of more than 10,000 soldiers of the Florida Army National Guard. Since 2010 he was also responsible for the manning, training, administration, and logistics for both State and Federal missions.
His career culminated in October 2010, when he became Florida’s Assistant Adjutant General for Army, serving at the Florida National Guard Headquarters in St. Augustine.
“I stand here today as one of the luckiest people in the world,” Tyre said.