By U.S. Army Central Public Affairs
U.S. Army Central
A U.S. Army general officer died Sunday, May 27, 2018, of natural causes while running around Lake Murray near Lexington, S.C., according to medical examiners.
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister, 57, was assigned to U.S. Army Central at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., working as a special projects officer for the Chief of Staff of the Army. He was on transition leave with his family awaiting his retirement in June.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Maj. Gen. Bannister’s family. Our top priority is ensuring the family has all the local support and resources they need during this emotionally difficult time,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, the commanding general for U.S. Army Central.
Bannister was survived by his wife, Trese, and their daughter, Lindsey. His home of record was Rome, Ga. The general’s final resting place will be at Arlington National Ceremony, and funeral details will be announced once finalized.
Prior to his assignment at USARCENT headquarters, Bannister served as the 10th Mountain Division commander and senior commander at Fort Drum, N.Y., for 27 months until he relinquished command in April 2017. Years earlier, Bannister previously served as the division’s Deputy Commanding General. News of his sudden passing was received with shock and sadness throughout the Fort Drum and local community there.
“Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Bannister was a legendary Soldier and good man who dedicated his life to his family and his country. His wife and daughter are forever a part of the 10th Mountain Division Family, and we are grieving with them during this very difficult time,” said Major General Walter Piatt, Senior Commander, Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division. “We mourn his loss deeply, and recognize the significance of a life so well lived as a part of our lasting legacy.”
Maj. Gen. Bannister was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps as an Infantry Officer after graduating from Campbell University in 1984. He began his 34-year career as a Scout Platoon Leader and Rifle Platoon Leader with the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg, N.C., and the 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regt. At Hunter Army Airfield (HAAF), Ga. He was then assigned to the Republic of Korea with 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry. In 1993, Bannister returned to HAAF, Ga., where he served as the logistics officer in charge for the 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regt., and later the commander of B Co., with which he deployed in support of Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.
In 1996, Bannister graduated from the Command and General Staff College and returned to the 1st BN, 75th Ranger Regiment as a Liaison Officer and Operations Officer. From 1998-2000, he deployed in support of Operation Joint Guardian in the Balkans as the Operations Officer for the Joint Special Operations Command, Ft. Bragg, NC. From 2000-2003, Bannister commanded the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division and deployed in support of Operation Essential Harvest in Macedonia and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Iraq.
In 2004, Bannister graduated from the National War College and was assigned to the 75th Ranger Regt. At Ft. Benning, Ga., as the Deputy Commander, and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OER), Afghanistan and later OIF, Iraq. In 2005, he took command of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 2nd Infantry Division (Re-flagged as the 4th BCT, 4th Infantry Division), Ft. Carson, Colo., and deployed for a third time in support of OIF, Iraq. Following his command, he continued serving in Iraq as the executive officer to commanding general of Multi-National Forces-Iraq. In 2009, as the Deputy Commanding General (Operations), 10th Mountain Division (Light), Ft. Drum, N.Y., he deployed to Afghanistan in support of OEF. From 2011-2013, Maj. Gen. Bannister served as the Deputy Director for Operations, U.S. Central Command, followed by another deployment to Afghanistan as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) under NATO. He also served at the Pentagon as the Director of Strategy, Plans, and Policy for the Department of the Army’s G-3/5/7 in Washington, D.C.
Maj. Gen. Bannister was a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Airborne and Ranger schools, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and National War College. He earned a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. His awards and decorations included the Combat Infantry Badge, the Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and Pathfinder Badge.
U.S. ARMY RESERVE
DEPT. OF DEFENSE
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
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