Prior to assuming duties as the Vice Director for Strategy, Plans, And Policy, Joint Staff [J-5] Major General Brett G. Sylvia was the 1st Cavalry Division Deputy Commanding General. His previous combat assignments and operational deployments include Commander, 1CD (Fwd) in Poland (OAR 2020); Chief of Staff of the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) and United States Forces – Afghanistan (OFS 2018); Commander of Task Force STRIKE and 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) (OIR 2016-17) and the 19th Colonel of the 502nd Infantry Regiment; Commander of Task Force SAW and 307th Engineer Battalion (OEF 2013); Executive Officer to Commander, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (OEF 2010-11); Operations Officer for 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment and Executive Officer for 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division (OIF 2006-07); Operations Officer to the Deputy of the Coalition Provisional Authority (OIF 2003-04); and Platoon Leader, 23rd Engineer Battalion, and Assistant S3, 16th Engineer Battalion in Bosnia (Operation Joint Endeavor 1996-97). His CONUS joint assignments include the Iraq Political-Military Planner; Executive Assistant to the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff; and Junior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
His military awards and decorations include six Legions of Merit, six Bronze Star Medals including one for Valor, Purple Heart, and four Army Commendation Medals, including one for Valor. He also served as a member of units that earned the Presidential Unit Citation, three Joint Meritorious Unit Awards, three Meritorious Unit Citations, and an Army Superior Unit Award. His foreign awards include the Polish Army Medal – Bronze, the Romanian Land Forces Award, and Uruguayan and Chilean jump wings.
He wears the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Army Staff, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badges, in addition to the Combat Action Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Ranger Tab.
Major General Sylvia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and a Master of Military Arts and Sciences from the Advanced Military Studies Program (SAMS). He was also a Senior Service College Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Major General Sylvia and his wife Lori have five children: Benjamin, Gavin, Noah, Caroline, and Samuel.
(Current as of November 2021)