Lieutenant General John Vines (U.S. Army, ret.) served in the U.S. Army for 36 years, from 1971 to 2007. He commanded the U.S. Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps and Multi-National Corps in Iraq. In that position, he led a coalition force of 27 nations and 178,000 soldiers, and oversaw two elections that ratified the Iraqi constitution and selected the permanent government. Prior to that, John commanded the Combined Joint Task Force 180 Afghanistan, where he led a task force of 10,000, deployed six reconstruction teams, and worked personally with the president of Afghanistan. Prior to that, he commanded the 82nd Airborne Division during the U.S. deployment to Afghanistan. John’s service also included duty with the Joint Special Operations Command: He served as Commander, 4th Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, during its combat parachute assault in Operation Just Cause (Panama) and later when the unit was deployed as the first ground combat unit in Operation Desert Shield (Gulf War). At the time of his retirement, John was the oldest soldier in the U.S. Army on jump status. John earned his B.S. in chemistry at the University of Alabama and M.A. in national security and strategy from the Naval War College.