Pictured Left to Right: General Michael X. Garrett, USA (Retired) and Fayetteville State University Chancellor Darrell T. Allison, J.D.
Fayetteville, N.C. (April 10, 2023) — Fayetteville State University (FSU) has named four-star General (Ret.) Michael X. Garrett as Military Executive-in-Residence in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), home to the Army and Air Force ROTC programs as well as the Departments of Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies, Geospatial Science, Political Science and History. The newly created Gillis-Jones Institute for Ethics and Leadership is also housed in the CHSS.
Garrett’s appointment was announced at FSU’s inaugural Military Appreciation Luncheon, held April 10 at the Rudolph Jones Student Center on the FSU campus, honoring active-duty military personnel, veterans, military spouses and dependents for their sacrifice and service. Only the 9th African American four-star general in the U.S. Army, Garrett delivered the keynote address.
The free, public event welcomed more than 300 guests, including state and city officials, FSU alumni, area business leaders, military leaders, community partners, faculty, staff and students.
“As our nation’s leading HBCU that educates military-affiliated students, FSU works tirelessly to provide the best services and resources to our men and women in uniform, including bringing in premier professionals with unmatched knowledge and expertise to further enrich their experience,” said FSU Chancellor Darrell T. Allison, J.D. “General Michael Garrett exemplifies the kind of leaders we seek to help us do even greater work at FSU. Truly, I am honored to have the General joining Bronco Nation in such a meaningful role at such a significant time in our nation and world.”
In his new role, Garrett will serve as a guest speaker in selected classes, such as intelligence studies, military history and international politics; assist in leading a community-wide speaker series on selected topics of interest; lead faculty workshops on how to better serve and support military-affiliated students; and serve as advisor to Marcus S. Cox, M.B.A., Ph.D., dean of CHSS, regarding programming in the Gillis-Jones Institute for Ethics and Leadership.
“I am privileged to begin this new chapter of service as we gather with our military members and their families to thank them for all they do and reflect on what their commitment and sacrifice mean to all of us,” Garrett said. “I am excited to join FSU’s efforts to find new ways to further strengthen this incredible commitment to our community and look forward to working with my colleagues in CHSS and across campus to prepare the next generation of leaders.”
The appointment is part of FSU's pledge to better serve the needs of the military-affiliated community, including the university’s commitment to provide free tuition to all military-affiliated students (active duty, veteran, military spouses and dependents) that began in Fall 2022.
“We are thrilled to welcome General Garrett to FSU and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as Military Executive-in-Residence,” Cox said. “His lifelong military experience and knowledge will bring unprecedented depth and breadth to our students’ academic experience and forge even deeper ties with our military-affiliated community, our city and state partners and our citizenry. A scholar of the highest order, his unique, real-world perspective will deeply inform the life and work of the university.”
Garrett is currently an executive leadership advisor, public speaker and military family advocate. He sits on the boards of directors for First Command Financial Services, Inc., and the Semper Fi & America’s Fund. He also serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow on National Security with the Middle East Institute and as a senior mentor for the Army War College.
Garrett joins FSU after nearly 40 years of service. His distinguished military career culminated in his service as the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command overseeing its 750,000 combat and support personnel across the United States from 2019 to 2022. His earlier command tours included U.S. Army Central and its soldiers serving throughout the Middle East; U.S. Army Alaska; and the Army’s first Alaska-based airborne brigade, which Garrett established and deployed into Iraq in the mid-2000s.
The son of an Army Command Sergeant Major and the father of two young adults on their own military and military-family journeys, Garrett has spent his entire life in and around the U.S. Army. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he graduated from Xavier University’s ROTC program, earned a B.S. in criminal justice and was commissioned as an Infantry officer in 1984. He served his formative years in the elite 75th Ranger Regiment. Over a decade, Garrett wore the scrolls of the regimental headquarters and each of its three ranger battalions before commanding an infantry battalion of his own in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Garrett’s awards include the Ellis Island Honors Society’s Medal of Honor, an honorary doctorate from Methodist University, and multiple U.S. military decorations, including the Distinguished Service and Defense Superior Service medals. He is also a Distinguished Member of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Garrett and his wife, Lorelei, reside in Charlotte, North Carolina.