A Brilliant Career

General James Lindsay, a luminary in the U.S. military with a career spanning nearly four decades, has passed away at the age of 90 in Vass, North Carolina. With an illustrious history that included commanding the U.S. Special Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, and the 82nd Airborne Division, his natural death was announced on Saturday night by the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Liberty.

“Last night, we lost a giant among leaders, Gen. Jim Lindsay. The Nation, the Airborne and Special Operations Forces owe him an enormous debt for his leadership, influence, and mentorship,”

stated Lt. Gen. Chris Donahue, the commander of the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Liberty, on Sunday.

Native Wisconsinite

Hailing from Portage, Wisconsin, Lindsay began his journey in the U.S. Army in 1952, first as a private and then as an infantry officer, after graduating from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning in 1953. His military path led him from a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division to the first commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Lindsay’s motivations for joining the military were pragmatic. In a 1986 interview, he said, “I joined the Army after running out of money at the University of Wisconsin, thinking I’d come back on the GI Bill. But 34 years later, I’m still here.”