GEN Steve Lyons, USA (Ret)
Senior Fellow, Institute for Defense and Business, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
36th Annual National Logistics Forum
General Steve Lyons retired from the US Army in 2021 after over 38 years of service culminating as the 13th commander of US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM). TRANSCOM is one of 11 DOD combatant commands responsible to deploy and sustain military forces globally, provide humanitarian assistance, and integrate the Department’s multibillion-dollar joint deployment and distribution enterprise.
A native of Rensselaer New York, General Lyons was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army upon graduation from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 1983. He began his career in Germany during the Cold War and subsequently held a wide range of leadership assignments that included command of troops at every level including multiple combat deployments (Panama, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, Afghanistan). As a battalion commander in 2003, he led more than 1,200 Soldiers as part of the 3d Infantry Division ground assault to liberate Baghdad. He subsequently spent more than 40 months deployed to the US Central Command area of responsibility in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. He has over 9 years of experience in joint assignments.
General Lyons’ flag officer assignments include Afghanistan International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) C/J-4 (2009-2011), Headquarters Department of the Army Staff, Commander 8th Theater Sustainment Command (Indo-Pacific), Commander US Army Combined Arms Sustainment Command, Deputy Commander TRANSCOM, and Joint Staff Director of Logistics (J4). As TRANSCOM commander he oversaw the largest noncombatant evacuation airlift operation in US history resulting in the successful evacuation of 124,000 Afghans within two weeks’ time.
He holds two master’s degrees, one from the Naval Postgraduate School in Logistics Management; and the second from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in National Resource Strategy.
His awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star, and the Master Parachutist Badge. He is the recipient of the National Defense Transportation Association 2021 distinguished leader award and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Naval Postgraduate School and US Army Materiel Command.
Upon retirement he and Maureen, his wife of 32 years, settled in Davidson, North Carolina. He is currently a senior fellow for the Institute for Defense and Business at UNC Chapel Hill and senior mentor for the National Defense University Capstone, Keystone, and Pinnacle programs.