MG Patrick Higgins, USA (Ret)
34th Annual NDIA SO/LIC Symposium
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Patrick M. Higgins was born on August 23, 1958, in Rego Park, New York.
He attended Hofstra University where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Social Science and participated in the Army ROTC program.
In 1980 Higgins earned both his degree and commission into the U.S. Army as an infantry officer.
As a company grade officer, he served as a platoon leader in the 1st Battalion, 23d Infantry Regiment at Camp Hovey, South Korea. Following this assignment, he served as executive officer and company commander in Company B, 2d Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division.
While assigned to the 82d, he also served as the 2d Brigade S-3 Air, and assistant S-3.After completing the Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course and the Special Forces Qualification Course, he was assigned as detachment commander, Operational Detachment Alphas 573, 574, 584 and Battalion S-4 for 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C. He then served as an assignments officer in Special Forces Branch at U.S. Army Personnel Command, Washington, D.C.
Higgins commanded Company B and then served as battalion executive officer in 3rdBattalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Ky. Following this assignment, he served as an action officer in the Special Operations Division of the Operations Directorate, Joint Staff , at the Pentagon. He then commanded 2d Battalion, 5thSpecial Forces Group (Airborne), at Fort Campbell before returning to U.S. Army Personnel Command, Washington, D.C., to serve as the Special Forces Branch Chief.
Upon completion of the U.S. Army War College, he assumed duties as the Director of Operations for U.S. Special Operations Command, Central (Airborne), at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., where he participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He then commanded the 3rdSpecial Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, where he participated in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Following Iraq, Maj. Gen. Higgins was assigned to U.S. Joint Special Operations Command(Airborne). After this, he was tasked with standing up and assuming command of the nation’s newest Theater Special Operations Command – U.S. Special Operations Command – Africa (Airborne). He was then was assigned as the Director of Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command – Iraq, under United States Forces – Iraq, as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon returning from Iraq, he became the Deputy Director
for Requirements, J-8, Joint Staff at the Pentagon. Next, he served as the Director, Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization, J-8, Joint Staff at the Pentagon. Director for Operations/Intelligence Integration, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and Director for the Counter-IED Operations-Intelligence Integration Center, where he was responsible for supporting the combatant commanders with rapidly fused operational information, intelligence and technology to enable the defeat of threat networks.
On August 31, 2014, Higgins retired after 34 years of military service. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal (three oak leaf clusters), the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with “V” device, Bronze Star Medal (one oak leaf cluster), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (six oak leaf clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (three oak leaf clusters), Army Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge (with star), Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, several awards of foreign parachutist badges, Air Assault Badge, Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge.
Higgins’ civilian awards include the Hofstra U. Alumni Achievement Award received in 2015.