As Commander of Standing Joint Force, General Honore` planned and conducted land and maritime military operations and provided Military Assistance to Civilian Authorities (MACA) in order to protect and defend the United States of America.
He was responsible for two Joint Task Forces: Joint Task Force-Civil Support, whose main focus is consequence management of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear high-yield explosion events; and Joint Task Force-Six whose main focus is counter-drugs and counter-narcotics support.
His current command, First U.S. Army is one of two continental Armies in the United States. It is a highly specialized team of active Army soldiers, active Guard and Reserve soldiers and Department of the Army civilian employees. First U.S. Army is headquartered at Fort Gillem in Forest Park, Georgia.
Honoré, who took command of First Army on July 15, 2004, is a “warrior who understands the…fight, and is the right person at the right time for First U.S. Army,” said General Dan K. McNeill, FORSCOM’s top general. McNeill went on to say, “…we are changing the paradigm from active component to reserve component in our missions and Russ Honoré brings great leadership, coaching and mentoring to this fast-paced command.”
Honoré acknowledged and thanked his wife for the many military moves she has made with him over the years in supporting his service to the nation. He praised the great work done by First Army Soldiers and declared his great pride in leading the First U.S. Army during these critical times. Pledging to get Soldiers and units as ready as possible, Honoré said, “we will do what-ever the nation requires
Honoré is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana. He is the son of the late Lloyd and Marie Udell (St. Amant) Honor. He attended St. Alma Elementary School in Lakeland and is a 1966 graduate of Rosenwald High School.
He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971. He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College.
The general has experience with synthesizing civilian and military capabilities within the continental United States:
He looks like a throwback to another era, recreating a scene out of the movie Patton -- a cigar-chewing, three-star general barking out orders as he personally directs a vehicle convoy. Known within the Army as "the Ragin' Cajun," U.S. Army Lieutenant General Russel Honoré was called a "John Wayne dude" who can "get some stuff done," by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
He has been fully hands-on since "I give the president some credit on this, he sent one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done, and his name is Gen. Honoré, and he came off the doggone chopper [helicopter], and he started cussing and people started moving," Nagin said in an interview September 1 with local radio station WWL.
CNN videotaped the general overseeing the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops from a New Orleans street corner. Watching the video, one can hear the general gruffly ordering his troops to "lower your weapon[s] … this is a humanitarian relief operation."
Honoré is commander of a massive effort to help the devastated region in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. On September 3, President Bush ordered the deployment of more than 7,000 additional troops from the 82nd Airborne, from the 1st Cavalry, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force. The president also reported the presence of about 21,000 National Guard troops in the affected area.
In addition to the ground forces, five amphibious operation ships -- the USS Bataan, the USS Iwo Jima, the USS Shreveport, the USS Tortuga and the USNS Arctic --are expected to be off the Louisiana coast shortly. Those vessels will be joined by the hospital ship USNS Comfort.
Another ship, the USS Grapple, will help with maritime and underwater survey and salvage operations. The military also has sent eight rescue teams with special flood expertise from California to Louisiana. Much of New Orleans now is underwater, after levees holding back Lake Pontchartrain broke and the waters released flooded more than 80 percent of the city.
The majority of the city's half million residents now have been evacuated. But as Honoré told CNN while he personally supervised a tiny baby’s evacuation to a hospital ship, "We’re going to fix it one at a time, if we have to."
His wide variety of assignments include tours in Korea (Where he saw monsoon-season flooding in his command Area I and flood prevention measures following 1998 floods that caused more than $150 million in damage to Area I bases.)and Germany. General Honoré was the Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division, Korea; Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.; Deputy Commanding General/Assistant Commandant, United States Army Infantry Center and School, Fort Benning, Georgia; and the Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver/Support, 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He has also served as the Brigade Commander, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Senior Mechanized Observer/Controller, “Scorpion 07”, National Training Center (25 Rotations); and Commander, 4th Battalion, 16th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Germany.
General Honoré’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (two Bronze Service Stars), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (one Bronze Service Star) the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (4), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi), the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Qualification badges include the Expert Infantry Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Joint Staff Identification Badge.
Sources: dix.army.mil/ by Karen Bradshaw First U.S. Army PAO
first.army.mil/ By Karen Bradshaw, First Army Public Affairs Office
usinfo.state.gov/ by Michael OToole, Washington File Staff Writer
northcom.mil/ by Standing Joint Force Headquarters – Homeland Security, Public Affairs Office
stripes.com/ by Stars and Stripes
more at Hurricane Katrina and Katrina or hurricane and Katrina relief or General Honoré and General Russell L. Honoré
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