ILW CMF: Army Special Operations Value to the Nation

ILW CMF: Army Special Operations Value to the Nation

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 to Wednesday, October 11, 2017

LTG Kenneth Tovo

LTG Kenneth Tovo

Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Operations Command

Lt. Gen. Kenneth E. Tovo was commissioned from the U.S. Military Academy into the Infantry in 1983. After serving his initial tour with the 82nd Airborne Division, Tovo completed the Special Forces Qualification Course and transferred to Special Forces. He served as a Special Forces detachment, company, battalion, and group commander in the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Tovo’s additional assignments included serving as a plans officer with 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta and Joint Headquarters Center (NATO); aidede-camp to the commander, Stabilization Force, Bosnia; chief of staff, U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC); deputy commanding general, Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR); deputy commanding general, 1st Armored Division/U.S. Division Center, Iraq; commanding general, Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT); and commanding general, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan and NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (CSTC-A/NTM-A). Most recently, Tovo served as the military deputy commander of U.S. Southern Command in Miami, Fla.

Tovo’s operational assignments include the first Gulf War, refugee relief operations in Northern Iraq, noncombatant evacuation operations in Sierra Leone, peacekeeping operations in Bosnia on two occasions, five tours in Iraq, and one tour in Afghanistan.

The Honorable Geoffrey R. Pyatt

Geoffrey Pyatt

U.S. Ambassador to Greece

Geoffrey R. Pyatt, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic in September 2016.

He served as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine from 2013-2016, receiving the State Department’s Robert Frasure Memorial Award in recognition of his commitment to peace and alleviation of human suffering in eastern Ukraine.

Previously, Ambassador Pyatt was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs from 2010-2013. He was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, Austria from 2007 to 2010. He also served at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India as Deputy Chief of Mission from 2006 to 2007 and as Political Counselor from 2002 to 2006. Ambassador Pyatt served as Economic Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong from 1999 to 2002 and as Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore, Pakistan from 1997 to 1999. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1989, he has also served on the National Security Council staff, on the staff of Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott and at posts in Honduras and India.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he worked with The Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank that brings together leading citizens of the Americas.

Ambassador Pyatt grew up in La Jolla, California and holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from Yale and B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Mark E. Mitchell

Mark Mitchell

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense (Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict)

Mark E. Mitchell is a highly decorated U.S. Army combat veteran in the Special Operations community with extensive experience in the Middle East and South Asia. He brings 28 years of national level defense and counterterrorism policy experience to the Policy team.

Mitchell was among the first U.S. soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 and advised the Northern Alliance prior to the fall of the Taliban regime. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions in the November 2001 Battle of Qala-I Jangi in Mazar-e Sharif.

In 2014, Mitchell served as a Director for Counterterrorism on the National Security Council where he was intimately involved in significant hostage cases and recovery efforts in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia. He was instrumental in establishing the framework for the landmark Presidential Policy Review of Hostage Policy, which resulted in significant changes in organization and policy. He previously served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Senior Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. As a colonel, he commanded 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and simultaneously commanded a nationwide, Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq in 2010-2011. Mitchell has planned and conducted counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations, foreign internal defense, unconventional warfare, and other sensitive special operations. In addition to commanding multiple Special Forces organizations, he has served in principal staff positions up to and including the Theater Special Operations Command. He most recently worked as a business executive in the private sector and served on the board of a non-profit organization.

Mitchell earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University and a Master of Science degree in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also served as a National Security Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

BG David P. Komar

BG David Komar

Director, Requirements Integration Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

Brigadier General David P. Komar was commissioned as a Field Artillery Officer through ROTC at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania. As a Lieutenant, he served as a Platoon Fire Direction Officer, Platoon Leader and Fire Support Officer with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Battalion and the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, in Germany and during OPERATION DESERT SHIELD and OPERATION DESERT STORM.

After returning to Germany, he was the Brigade Adjutant for the 210th Field Artillery Brigade. Following the Field Artillery Advanced Course, he served with 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery, 25th Infantry Division (Light). During this time, he was the Battalion Fire Direction Officer, a Firing Battery Commander, and a Brigade Fire Support Officer. BG David P. Komar then commanded two more Field Artillery Batteries before serving as the Force Structure and Readiness Analyst in the Army Program Analysis and Evaluation Directorate, Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army. He was then assigned to the Army Capabilities Integration Center’s Force Design Directorate. During most of this assignment, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Force Design for the Chief of Staff, Army’s TF MODULARITY. BG Komar then became the Force Integration Branch Chief in the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army G-37 followed by service in the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army G-8, Force Development as the Chief of Army Equipping Plans and Policy. Later, BG Komar deployed as the Director, CJ7, NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan during OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. He then served as Director, Capabilities Development Integration Directorate, Mission Command Center of Excellence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His most recent assignment was as the Director, Business Operations Directorate, Office of Business Transformation at the Pentagon.

BG Komar graduated from the Air Command and Staff College and the Naval War College. He earned Master’s Degrees in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, Military Operational Arts and Science from the Air University and in Management from Webster University.

Lead Speaker:

LTG Kenneth E. Tovo

Commanding General

United States Army Special Operations Command



AMB Geoffrey R. Pyatt

United States Ambassador

Hellenic Republic United States Embassy Athens, Greece


Mark Mitchell

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense

Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict


BG David P. Komar

Director, Requirements Integration Directorate

Army Capabilities Integration Center

United States Army Training and Doctrine Command


COL Bethany C. Aragon


4th Military Information Support Group (Airborne)


COL Brandon Tegtmeier


75th Ranger Regiment


LTC Tom Craig


1st Battalion

5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)