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Oral History interview of Benjamin Mixon. Interview conducted by Orleman, Andrew at University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.


0:42 Early childhood; 1:17 Education prior to entering the service; 2:01 Experience at North Georgia College; 2:36 Being commissioned and subsequent training; 4:33 First assignment at Fort Bragg and challenges joining right after the Vietnam War ended; 5:27 How the Army readjusted to become an all-volunteer Army; 6:28 First assignment overseas in Germany; 7:10 New equipment that the Army was beginning to use and how it affected the way the Army training functioned; 9:20 Assignment with the Ranger Battalion; 10:13 Making a unit combat-ready; 11:26 Experience in the First Gulf War; 14:22 Daily life during the First Gulf War; 15:15 Interacting with foreign troops; 16:57 Most memorable experience during the First Gulf War; 17:32 Assignments after the war in Italy; 18:38 Becoming a G3 and moving around frequently; 19:17 Memories of September 11th, 2001 and how it affected the Army; 21:39 Moving to the 18th Airborne Corps in his experience in Afghanistan; 23:09 Description of Bogram Air Base; 24:19 Becoming the J3 of the US Southern Command in Miami and dealing with trying to stop drugs from entering the US; 26:39 Becoming commander of the infantry division in Hawaii and trying to get them ready to deploy; 28:43 Description of the staff he worked with as a commander; 29:58 Deploying his division to Iraq; 30:18 Dealing with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs); 31:19 When we were losing the war and then the onset of The Surge; 32:52 Interacting with the Iraqi Army; 33:35 Difference between Kurdish Forces and the Iraqi Army; 34:39 Description of life while in Iraq; 36:09 His unit's experience with combat; 36:54 Strategies troops used to combat IEDs; 39:20 Most memorable experience in Iraq; 40:44 Being reassigned to Hawaii and being promoted to Lieutenant General and Commander of the US Army Pacific; 42:08 Why the Army was shifting to the Pacific; 42:59 Dealing with the press; 43:58 Medals and awards he received throughout his career; 44:47 Why he decided to retire from the Army; 45:10 Most memorable assignments from his time in the Army; 46:21 Transitioning to civilian life; 47:52 His association with veterans organizations; 48:35 Advice to those considering joining the military; 49:49 Reflections on his career.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Fort Campbell (Ky.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

Operation Iraqi Freedom



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service

101st Airborne Division; 18th Airborne Corps; 25th Infantry Division

Location of Service

Fort Bragg (N.C.); Germany; Italy; Afghanistan; Miami (Fla.); Hawaii; Iraq

Highest Rank

Lieutenant General; LTG

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Army Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Southwest Asia Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia); Ranger Tab; Master Parachutist Badge; Expert Infantryman Badge; Pathfinder Badge; Air Assault Badge; Combat Action Badge; Philippine Legion of Honor


Chief of Plans, 101st Airborne Division during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm; Chief Of Staff CJTF 180 Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan; Commander Task Force Lightning and Multi-National Division North Operation Iraqi Freedom.


Medal details: Army Distinguished Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Defense Superior Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Southwest Asia Service Medal with two Bronze Stars.

City of Birth

Fort Campbell

Country of Birth

United States


Orleman, Andrew

Interview Date


Location of Interview

University of Central Florida Orlando, FL.


Mixon, Benjamin; Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Personal Narratives; Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present -- Personal Narratives; United States. Army

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Orleman, Andrew

Length of Interview

51 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida




All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type